Park Chan-hook‘s Cannes darling, Decision to Leave, is officially set to make it to theaters stateside this fall. Starring Tang Wei (Lust, Caution, Blackhat) and Park Hae-il (The Host, Memories of Murder), the film premiered at the international film festival to widespread praise, earning the acclaimed director his first Best Director win from the event. Now, viewers in the U.S. will have a chance to see his latest intriguing film on October 14, courtesy of its distributor Mubi. The indie film company also has exclusive streaming rights to the film and will premiere it on the service later this Fall.
Decision to Leave continues following the intriguingly seductive route that his 2016 film The Handmaiden had already paved so well. It follows Hae-joon (Hae-il), a detective who’s investigating the mysterious death of a man who fell from a mountain peak. While on the hunt for suspects, he encounters the widow, Seo-rae (Wei), who seems more than a little suspicious when asked about her husband’s sudden demise. As Hae-joon digs deeper, he takes an interest in her that intertwines his work and personal life. The film not only earned its director a Best Director nod but was also among the nominees considered for the Palme d’Or.
Park co-wrote the film with his occasional collaborator Jeong Seo-kyeong. Alongside Wei and Hae-il, the film also features Go Kyung-Pyo, Yong-woo Park, and Lee Jung-Hyun. It’s Park‘s 11th feature film in his loaded catalog of influential work and one that’s been long in the making, with principal photography back in October 2020. Park‘s production company Moho Film produced the film with CJ Entertainment.
Park‘s work this century ranks as some of the most influential media out there, earning high marks not only from general audiences but critics too. He broke onto the scene with Joint Security Area, a thrilling look at murder at the DMZ between North and South Korea through the eyes of neutral investigators. His landmark work, Oldboy, won the Cannes Grand-Prix when it was released while his oft-underappreciated Thirst picked up the jury prize at the festival. His last film, The Handmaiden, snagged the director his first-ever BAFTA win for Best Film Not in the English Language among other awards around the festival circuit. Decision to Leave fits comfortably in with those titles considering its run at Cannes and beyond.
Decision to Leave finally makes its way to the U.S. and U.K. on October 14 before heading to Mubi in late Fall. As for what Park’s next move is, he has a series in production at HBO titled The Sympathizer based on the book by Viet Thanh Nguyen with Robert Downey Jr. starring. In terms of films, he told Deadline that he has numerous other projects floating around including a remake of the 2005 Costa-Gavras horror film The Ax.