Marvel Shoots Another Film in South Korea

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The shooting of Black Panther took place in Busan from March 17 through March 29. [Image: Marvel Studio]

Marvel Studio, an American motion picture studio dedicated to producing films based on Marvel Comics characters, shot part of its upcoming film Black Panther last month in Busan, South Korea. The port city is known for hosting Asia’s largest film event: Busan International Film Festival. The half-month of shooting for Black Panther covered many of Busan’s landmarks, such as coasts, bridges, and local markets. The scenes filmed in Busan are mostly action-packed and involve chases.

On February 27, the Mayor of Busan invited the production director to discuss the specific schedule, support, incentive programs, portrayal of Busan in the film, and expected ripple effect on the Busan community. Production spending in Busan is estimated to be $4.8 million, involving about 2000 local staff including film specialists, supporting casts, and control guards.

Busan — where media is a core industry — supported the shooting through the location support program of the Busan Film Commission (BFC). While other cities’ incentive programs offer tax benefits, BFC takes an approach called production support. The program provides support for liaison and cooperation of government offices and film-related agencies during shooting in Busan. The program also covers the use of local human resources; it not only provides economic support such as accommodations, food expenses, and parking, but also promotes exchange between US and South Korean film practitioners. The specific financial support for Black Panther is expected to reach the maximum amount available: $17,000.

This is the second time Marvel has filmed in South Korea. The movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron” was filmed in Seoul, in 2014, with massive support and cooperation from the city and national governments. Marvel received support amounting to $2.3 million — 20% of the production spending in Seoul — from the Korea Tourism Organization. The movie drew a Korean audience of more than 11 million viewers on the expectation of Seoul being present in the film.

Jaichung Lee is a Research Intern at the East-West Center in Washington and an Asan Washington Young Fellow with the Asan Academy in Seoul.