The Korea Herald


MBK chairman's novel 'Offerings' to hit big screen in Hollywood

By Moon Joon-hyun

Published : Oct. 9, 2023 - 14:27

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MBK Partners Co-founder and Partner Michael Byung-ju Kim’s novel, MBK Partners Co-founder and Partner Michael Byung-ju Kim’s novel, "Offerings" (MBK Partners)

The 2022 US best-selling novel "Offerings," authored by Korean-American Michael Byung-ju Kim, co-founder and chairman of South Korea's largest private equity fund, MBK Partners, is set to be adapted into a film, according to the company on Monday.

Hollywood production company Anonymous Content, known for hits like "True Detective" and "The Revenant," is teaming up with Anthology Studios, co-founded by director Kim Jee-woon and actor Song Kang-ho, for the adaption. The film, to be directed by award-winning Korean-Canadian director Anthony Shim of "Riceboy Sleeps," is slated to begin production in Seoul and the US next fall.

"Offerings" delves into the life of Daejun, a Korean American who defies his father's expectations for him to work at a Wall Street investment bank. His challenges with self-identity and personal values intensify during the 1997-1998 Asian financial crisis, when he relocates to Korea for business with chaebol firms.

Drawing inspiration from his own experiences having attended elite schools in the US and lived through South Korea's IMF crisis, Michael Byung-ju Kim spent over two decades crafting the novel and is currently penning his second book.

"'Offerings' paints a nuanced picture of a society in turmoil and an individual's quest for self-understanding. Director Anthony Shim is ideally suited to transpose this intricate narrative onto the screen," said an official from Anonymous Content and Anthology Studios.

"From my first encounter with 'Offerings,' I was captivated. The depth of the characters and the story's multifaceted elements spoke to me profoundly," said Shim, expressing his connection to the material.

The adaptation joins the trend of Hollywood embracing Korean-American immigrant narratives, as demonstrated by acclaimed film "Minari" and series "Pachinko." This trend is reflected in the 2023 Busan International Film Festival's special program “Korean Diasporic Cinema.”