Malaysia and South Korea to collaborate on action film about durians

The durian-centric feature begins production this month

Malaysian and South Korean filmmakers will be collaborating on an action film concerning the Musang King durian. 

The project was unveiled at a press conference on 5 August, which was attended by Datuk Zahidi Zainul Abidin, deputy minister of Malaysia’s Communications and Multimedia Ministry (K-KOMM). Set for release in June 2023, the first joint feature film production between the two countries will be entitled The Lord Musang King, and features an extensive cast and crew from both countries.

The film will be helmed by Malaysian film producers Hundred Years Popcorn Production, and involve Ong Peng Chu and Datuk Seri Abidin Omar as co-executive producers, Malaysian actor Eddie Chow as producer, and South Korean director Lee Moon Ho. The cast will feature South Korean actors Kim Bo Yeon and Kwak Dong Hyuk, alongside a predominantly Malaysian cast including Yusuf Bahrin, Harissa and Hafizuddin Fadzil.

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Co-executive producer Ong expressed that he and director Lee conceptualised the film after they ate durians in Klang Valley. “Malaysians love K-Dramas,” says Lee, “and I strongly believe now is the right time for a joint Malaysian and Korean adventure, centred around Malaysia’s most popular ‘ambassador’ the durian.”

Deputy Minister Datuk Zahidi has expressed full endorsement of the project, stating, “I believe that it will spark interest in our local content and culture internationally and thus create a global demand for Malaysian content.” Production is slated to begin on 11 August around Klang Valley.

The plot of The Lord Musang King revolves around the son of a successful durian farmer who becomes framed for a crime he did not commit. His father then attempts to strike a deal with a South Korean businessman, in exchange for help in freeing Haikal, but ends up killed before the transaction is completed. The film follows the fruit farmer’s son as he attempts to bring justice on his father’s behalf.

In July, revenge thriller Stone Turtle by Malaysian film director Woo Ming Jin was selected for the Main Competition category in Switzerland’s Locarno International Film Festival. Director Woo was also nominated for Best Director at the festival. Its nomination marked the first time a Malaysian film was selected for competition in a main category.

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