[PICK] Will the Summer Theater Be Revived? Upcoming Korean Films that Will Compete for Box Office

Edited by Hong Hyun Jung
Translated by Kim Hoyeun

The film industry has fallen into a swamp of stagnation as it was hit directly by the COVID-19 pandemic. As theaters became empty, Time to Hunt chose Netflix, whereas intruder, and Innocent (literal translation) had to postpone the release date twice. Fortunately, though cautious, news about new films being released this summer is brightening up the industry. Whether the theater will be able to regain its old vitality again even when the situation dials down remains a question, but I hope that these four films below will signal a revival.


#ALIVE �” Differentiated K-Zombie with a Fresh Settings?

Credit: Lotte Entertainment

The movie, which confirmed its release in late June, depicts a story of people stranded alone in an apartment as data, Wi-Fi, text messages, and phones all cut off amid people with unknown symptoms start to attack.

Based on the original scenario (#ALONE) of Matt Naylor, the writer and director of the TV documentary series Small Business Revolution: Main Street, Cho Il Hyung, a former director of the American Film Institute, directed the film. Yoo Ah In and Park Shin Hye will star in the movie as Jun Woo and Yoo Bin, who are isolated from the world and are living an apratment where unidentified beings are running wild, creating tension.


Peninsula �” Can it Recreate the Success of ‘Train to Busan’?

Credit: NEW

Peninsula, which first announced its release in February, tells the story that takes place four years after Train to Busan. Director Yeon Sang Ho once again directed the film, and actors Kang Dong Won, Lee Jung Hyun, Kwan Hae Hyo, Kim Min Jae, and Koo Kyo Hwan will appear as the main characters of the new story.

If Train to Busan provided dizzying tension with a survival struggle that takes place in a confined space of a moving train, Peninsula �will show a larger scale and more speedier actions on the stage of the devastated vast city.

In the first trailer, the images of devastated peninsula such as hundreds of zombies entangled in closed subway stations, stranded harbors where only giant ships are left, a bleak street where only rusty cars remains were shown, raising expectations for the film.

Peninsula depicts the story of Jung Seok (Kang Dong Won), who returned to the peninsula after four years, meeting a group of survivors who have become wild dogs with Min Jung (Lee Jung Hyun) and fighting desperately against zombies who became more sensitive to sound and light, and barbaric groups who lost their humanity for survival.


Hero (literal translation) – Will the Film Be as Touching as the Musical?

Credit: CJ Entertainment

New film Hero, directed by Yoon Jae Kyun, best known for Haeundae and Ode to My Father, unveiled its released date on March 24, the 110th anniversary of An Jung Geun’s death.

Based on the musical of the same name, Hero depicts the last year of An Jung Geun, who was sentenced to death in a Japanese court after shooting Ito Hirobumi in Harbin in October 1909, from the moment he was preparing for the uprising to the moment he died. The fact that this is the first Korean musical film is catching the eye.

Jung Sung Hwa, the original cast of the musical, will also play the role of An Jung Geun in the film and showcase a determined yet honorable performance. Kim Go Eun, Na Moon Hee, Cho Jae Yoon, Bae Jung Nam, Lee Hyun Woo and Park Jin Woo joined hands to tell a heartbreaking story.


Space Sweepers �” Is Space Opera Possible in Korea?

Credit: Merry Christmas

Like Hero, Space Sweepers, in which director Cho Sung Hee and Song Joong Ki have met once again after A Werewolf Boy, challenges a genre not often used in the Korean movie industry: the SF genre. Song Joong Ki, Kim Tae Ri, Jin Sun Kyu, and Yoo Hae Jin participated in the film headed to space in 2092.

Set in 2092, Space Sweepers follows the crew of a space junk collector ship called The Victory, who competes with junk collectors from other countries in search of garbage that they can make money off. When they discover a humanoid robot named Dorothy that’s known to be a weapon of mass destruction, they dive into a risky business deal.

Besides such fresh material, Space Sweepers will also shock everyone with the unique transformation of the actors. Song Joong Ki, who is returning to the big screen after three years, will lead the story as a pilot, while Kim Tae Ri (captain) and Jin Sun Kyu (engineer) will each catch the eye with their imposing looks and striking visuals. Yoo Hae Jin, on the other hand, plays the role of a robot, becoming the first Korean actor to act with motion capture.

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