South Korean news outlet The Korea Herald reported on October 12 that The Match – which stars Squid Game’s Lee Byung-hun and Hellbound’s Yoo Ah-in as its leading stars – is currently considering forgoing a theatrical release in favour of a Netflix premiere.
The producers of The Match had reportedly previously sorted out a release date for its theatrical premiere, but are now in talks to change tactics considering local movie theatre attendance has yet to improve since the ease of COVID-19 restrictions in South Korea. However, representatives of Netflix told The Korea Herald that “nothing has been decided yet”.
Based on true events, The Match follows the tale of two notable Go (a traditional Chinese board game) players set in the ’80s and ’90s. Cho Hun-hyun (played by Lee) is a Go champion who takes in a gifted but untrained apprentice, Lee Chang-ho (played by Yoo), after discovering him at an amateur contest. He begins to teach Chang-ho the ways of the game. But conflicts arise when Cho’s protégé begins to go up against him.
The Match marks the first time Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in have collaborated on a project. Other stars set to make appearances in the upcoming drama film via supporting roles include Moon Jung-hee (Mystic Pop-Up Bar), Kim Kang-hoon (Racket Boys), Ko Chang-seok (Today’s Webtoon), Jung Suk-yong (Extraordinary Attorney Woo) and Hyun Bong-sik (Narco-Saints).
It was also helmed by filmmaker Kim Hyung-ju, known for directing 2017’s The Sheriff In Town. According to The Korea Herald, The Match had wrapped up filming as early as April 2021, and is currently in post-production.