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Visual adaptation rights for books and sales

 

2019.10.07

 

Global attention towards South Korea's cultural content has been growing. Music records, videos, performances, art, clothing, food and even temple-related cultural content have been subject to global interest. The following takes a look at visual content adaptations of South Korean literature on the global stage and offers an outlook for these adaptations going ahead.

 

Rights to adapt South Korean literary works into television dramas, movies and musical performances are being sold overseas.

 

Previously, diverse South Korean television dramas like “Winter Sonata”, “Autumn In My Heart” and “Daejanggum” were exported overseas and ended up great successes. On the back of this success, book adaptations of these dramas were later released in several countries like Japan, Taiwan and China to wide acclaim. This signaled the beginning of a Korean wave for literature and bodes well for future South Korean publishing content. The situation has evolved from there, and now, various adaptation rights for South Korean literary works are being sold to other countries, enabling adaptations in the form of television dramas, movies and musicals. This can largely be seen as a signal that the number of people who are interested in and enjoying South Korean cultural content on the global stage is growing at a rapid pace.

 

<The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly>, <Miracle on Cherry Hill>

The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly, Miracle on Cherry Hill

 

Hwang Sun-mi, who is now a global bestselling author after surpassing one million copies in book sales in South Korea, saw her book The Hen Who Dreamed She Could Fly be adapted into a musical at the Gulbenkian Theater in Beirut, Lebanon in 2018. The performance was held by students attending the Lebanese American University in Arabic. This book has been translated and sold in a total of 29 countries so far including the United States and the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Hwang's Miracle on Cherry Hill (Sakyejul) was released in the United Kingdom on July 4, 2019 by publisher Little, Brown.

 

<Please Look After Mom>, <I'll Be Right There>

Please Look After Mom, I'll Be Right There

 

South Korean bestselling novelist Shin Kyung-sook signed a drama series contract with Blue Jar Pictures in September 2018 for her book, Please Look After Mom (Changbi), a New York Times bestseller. Please Look After Mom has been exported to 38 countries around the world. Blue Jar Pictures was established in 2018 by renowned producer and director Julie Anne Robinson, long-time television drama series veteran Victoria Fea and producer David Wong. Wong is also known as a media businessman. Film rights for Shin's I'll Be Right There (Munhakdongne) were also sold to an American film studio in 2018.

 

<The Plotters>, <The Only Child>

The Plotters, The Only Child

 

Kim Un-su's The Plotters (Munhakdongne) can't be left out of this list. This book, for which translation rights have been sold into 25 countries, has enjoyed many global releases and film adaptation rights for it were sold to U.K.-based The Ink Factory in March 2019.
Seo Mi-ae's mystery novel The Only Child (Munhakdongne) is slated to be published in the United States in February 2020. As of mid-September, this book's translation rights have been sold into 11 countries, and that number is expected to go up once the U.S. version is published. The Only Child will have a greater opportunity to reach more readers around the world as adaptation rights were recently sold to U.K.-based Carnival Film & Television Limited in June 2019 for a television series. Through this contract, Seo has further cemented her position as one of South Korea's prominent mystery novelists.

 

South Korean literature has succeeded in entering the global video content market, marking a new foray into cultural content.

 

From 2018 and through the first half of 2019, South Korean literature succeeded in entering the global video content market, marking a new foray into cultural content. This has been a meaningful achievement as South Korean books are no longer limited to translation rights exports. As such, South Korea's publishing content has more potential now on the global stage culturally and industrially and is forecast to achieve greater results accordingly.

 

 


Written by Joseph Lee (KL Management)

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Joseph Lee (KL Management)

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