From Seoul to Hollywood: Ma Dong Seok Talks ‘The Roundup’ Franchise and More

the roundup ma dong seok
the roundup ma dong seok
Credit: ABO Entertainment

>> ‘The Roundup: No Way Out’ Audience Reactions: ‘Way More Entertaining Than Previous Installations’

Ma Dong Seok, aka Don Lee, recently sat down for a roundtable interview at a café in Samcheong-dong, Seoul, to discuss his upcoming film The Roundup: No Way Out (Directed by Lee Sang Yong), slated for release on May 31st.


In The Roundup: No Way Out, the third installment in The Outlaws series, Ma Dong Seok reprises his role as the unyielding detective Ma Seok Do, who tackles a new drug crime conspiracy led by the main villain, Joo Seong Cheol (Lee Joon Hyuk), and another mysterious character Ricky (Aoki Munetaka).

During the interview, Ma Dong Seok candidly discussed his involvement in the series, saying, “I’m not interested in directing. In The Outlaws series, there are three producers. My focus is on casting, creating, and characters. I plan the script, decide on the story. I am heavily involved in turning that into a screenplay. Other producers help with the business aspect. I don’t have much interest in directing. I want to continue producing or creating screenplays.”

the roundup ma dong seok
Credit: Megabox Plus M

The actor also revealed that he has been working on The Roundup: No Way Out and The Roundup: Punishment concurrently since the release of the second installment. “We’ve already finished filming The Roundup: Punishment (4th installment). It’s currently in the editing phase. We’re working on scripts for the fifth and sixth installments, but the shooting schedule is not yet decided. I have some Hollywood projects to shoot first. So, I’m trying to work out the schedule around my overseas commitments,” Ma Dong Seok explained.

The actor also let slip some exciting news about collaborations with Hollywood. “I’m co-producing a film and nearing the end of scriptwriting with Matt Jackson and his production company, Jackson Pictures. They’re the same team that produced The Trial of the Chicago 7. I’m also preparing the remake of The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil with Paramount. Due to the ongoing writers’ strike in the States, we’re on a brief pause. However, we have some parts written, so we’re making progress,” he shared.

The actor, who has already secured his place in Hollywood with Marvel’s Eternals, revealed that he has a long-term commitment to the franchise. “I have a ten-year contract (with Marvel). Whether it leads to Eternals 2, a spin-off, a solo movie, or a Disney Plus drama, I don’t know yet. I’m waiting for further instructions,” he elaborated.

In addition to his work on international projects, Ma Dong Seok has his sights set on elevating Korean content in Hollywood. “After watching The Outlaws, Hollywood proposed making an American version. I am co-producing several projects that I am currently filming. There’s a lot of interest in Korean content. We’re discussing three or four films that would be produced in Korea and released internationally.”

Finally, he expressed his wish to showcase the efficiency and quality of Korean production. “We want to demonstrate that we can achieve better quality while keeping our production budget low,” he commented. “We aim to create opportunities to showcase Korean actors in the global market. There are many talented actors, but they are often overlooked. People show interest in content but not necessarily in the actors. We hope to see talented actors in various global content.”

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