As reported by Variety, Yoon Sung-hyun’s action thriller “Time to Hunt” is no longer receiving a theatrical release amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and is instead heading straight to Netflix beginning from next month.
The 70th annual Berlin Film Festival took place in February and was one of the last festivals not to be disrupted by the ongoing global crisis. “Time to Hunt” screened out of competition at the festival as part of the Berlinale Special Gala. Yoon Sung-hyun has also written the film, with “Parasite” star Choi Woo-shik, Lee Je-hoon, Ahn Jae-hong, Park Jeong-min, and Park Hae-soo as part of the film’s ensemble.
The following is the synopsis for “Time to Hunt” as written in the Berlinale Festival Programme from last month:
“When Jun-seok is picked up by his buddies Ki-hoon and Jang-ho after three years in prison, it takes him a while to understand how much South Korea has changed following the recent financial crisis. The glittering world of consumerism that he left behind has turned into a dark, post-capitalist desert, in which young men don’t really make any plans for the future anymore. The won is now worthless anything, and the cash loot from their last heist has disappeared into thin air. However, Jun-seok has brought a dream with him from his time in prison that he is determined to hold onto: he longs to escape with his friends to Hawaii, to the warmth and the turquoise sea, to start a new life there. To this end he persuades them to join forces for a risky raid on a casino. The trio has nothing to lose. The robbery succeeds. But what they didn’t expect was that it would incur the wrath of infinitely more powerful criminals. A chase through this dystopian world ensues.”
“Time to Hunt” is the first of many theatrical releases to be moved digitally, with Netflix recently announcing that “The Lovebirds” is heading to the streaming giants, as well as Disney+ set to release the latest Pixar adventure “Onward” in April after less than a month in theaters.
A quote from the film’s financers Little Big Pictures is included in Patrick Frater’s article for Variety, giving thoughts on the decision to move the release to Netflix:
“After a long wait, we are pleased to announce that we have decided to simultaneously release “Time to Hunt” to 190 countries around the world through Netflix. With the danger of the Covid-19 virus continuing to spread and the global outbreak continuing, we decided to make this decision in the hope that it would be the most effective and a way to introduce our work to more audiences.”
Sung-hyun’s last directed feature was “Bleak Night,” for which he won the FIPRESCI prize at the Hong Kong International Film Festival.