Kore-eda Hirokazu’s Cannes Prizewinning ‘Monster’ Lands U.S. Deal With Well Go USA (EXCLUSIVE)

Well Go USA Entertainment has acquired U.S. rights to Kore-eda Hirokazu’s film “Monster” which world premiered in competition at the Cannes Film Festival and and won best screenplay (for Yuji Sakamoto).

A critically acclaimed Japanese master, Kore-eda previously won Cannes’ Palme d’Or with “Shoplifters” in 2018 and returned to the competition last year with “Broker” which won best actor for Song Kang-ho.

Well Go USA Entertainment plans to release “Monster” in U.S. theaters in late 2023 or early 2024.

Scored by late Oscar-winning composer Sakamoto Ryuichi (“The Last Emperor”) and lensed by Kondo Ryoto (“Shoplifters”), “Monster” tells the story of a widowed mother (Sakura Ando, “Shoplifters) who notices that her young son (Kurokawa Soya) has begun exhibiting strange behavior. When she brings her concerns to the staff at his school, she discovers that a teacher (Nagayama Eita, “Hara-Kiri: Death of a Samurai”) is responsible and demands an explanation. Told through the multilayered perspectives of mother, teacher and child, the film gradually unveils the truth which proves much more complex than anyone expects.

“We are thrilled to bring ‘Monster’ to Kore-eda’s fans across the U.S., and particularly honored to highlight this final project of the renowned late composer Sakamoto Ryuichi,” said Doris Pfardrescher, president and CEO at Well Go USA. “In keeping with director Kore-eda’s reputation as a master of nuance and detail, and aided by an exemplary screenplay and score, ‘Monster’ beautifully and eerily captures how a single story can be experienced in vastly different ways from person to person, even if they experience that event in tandem.”

In his review, Variety’s Peter Debruge said “Kore-eda has proven himself to be among the medium’s most humanistic directors, inclined to see the best in people, especially children.” In “Monster,” Kore-eda’s “humanist instinct has been at work all along,” Debruge wrote.

The acquisition was negotiated by Pfardrescher on behalf of Well Go USA and by Eva Diederix at Goodfellas, as well as CAA Media Finance on behalf of the filmmakers. Gaga Corporation is managing sales in Asia, while Goodfellas (formerly known as Wild Bunch International) is handling all other international sales.

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