South Korean Movie ‘Assassination’ Facing Plagiarism Accusations

kpopluv, Aug. 4, 2015, 11:59 a.m.

The South Korean blockbuster, ‘Assassination’, is facing allegations of plagiarism.  According to reports, 64-year-old novelist Choi Jong Lim stated on the 31st of last month, "The movie 'Assassination took much of the storyline and characters from my book 'Korean Memories' which was published 13 years ago. At court I requested the banning of the screening, pressed criminal charges against the producers, directors and script writers, and I will submit a suit for 10,000,000,000 KRW (~$8.5 mil USD) in damages." 

Choi claimed, "The story of how Kim Goo forms a sniper team from the provisional government and sends a carefully selected party of agents to Joseon is similar to the setting of my novel. The only thing altered about nominating the female lead to assassinate the Japanese chief and the pro-Japanese faction is her name which was changed to Ahn Ok Yoon (played by Jun Ji Hyun). 

Choi also added that the scene of the wedding hall where a majority of the Japanese key figures and pro-Japanese faction is shot down is similar to the scene in his book where the birthday party of the Japanese emperor is held at the government-general banquet hall. Further, Choi mentioned that the part where Kim Won Bong and Kim Goo light fire to a cup of alcohol to honor the death of an independence movement fighter coincides with a scene in his book. The novelist added, "Several years ago I made a round of production companies with a scenario based on my novel seeing if a movie could be made from it; that's when [my story] must have leaked." 

However, President Ahn Soo Hyun of Caper Films--the company that was in charge of producing the movie--says otherwise. He asserted, "The storyline of how Kim Goo and Kim Won Bong conspired together for the assassination plot and sent agents to Joseon is the historical truth and we flavored [that fact] with a bit of fiction to restructure the movie." The lawyer on the side of the production company, Im Sang Hyuk, stated, "We can't accept an action that tries to find fault with a one-sided claim. If it's ruled that there is foul intention [behind Choi's claims], then we will respond with defamation among other forcible actions." 

Assassination is a 2015 South Korean espionage action film directed by Choi Dong-hoon. Set in the 1930s during Japan's colonial rule of Korea, many Korean resistance activists are based in Manchuria, northeastern China while hiding from Japanese authorities. In 1933, orders are given to assassinate the commander of the Japanese troops in Korea and a pro-Japanese Korean business tycoon.

For this covert mission, Yeom Seok-jin, an agent of the provisional Korean government in exile in Shanghai, breaks out topnotch sniper Ahn Ok-yun from a prison where she's been sentenced to death, in order for her to lead the plot. Among her comrades are mysterious and ruthless gun-for-hire Hawaii Pistol and his right-hand man Pomade, as well as firearms specialist Soksapo (meaning "rapid-fire gun"). The squad arrives in Gyeongseong not knowing that one of them is secretly working for the Japanese and was given his own orders to kill a member of the team.

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