Director Ryoo Seung-wan said he had always wanted to make an escape thriller.
“Escaping can be interpreted as an attempt to deal with the past,” Ryoo told reporters following the press screening.
|Actor Song Joong-ki speaks at a press call for the film “The Battleship Island” held at CGV Yongsan on Wednesday. (Yonhap)|
The war flick is set on Japan’s Hashima Island, where Koreans were taken captive as slave laborers in mines during the Japanese colonization of Korea.
Actor Song plays a soldier in the Korean Liberation Army who smuggles himself onto the island on a rescue mission.
Though the heroic character is similar to the one Song played in 2016’s smash-hit TV drama “Descendants of the Sun,” director Ryoo shot “Battleship Island” before the series aired.
|Lee Jung-hyun (left) and So Ji-sub attend a press call for the film “The Battleship Island” held at CGV Yongsan on Wednesday. (Yonhap)|
“I just felt that (Song) would be capable of portraying a darker character despite his clean-cut looks.”
The film has spiraled into a major blockbuster set to hit summer box offices. Director Ryoo, however, had no intention of exploiting a painful historical past for ticket sales.
|Director Ryoo Seung-wan speaks at a press call for the film “The Battleship Island” held at CGV Yongsan on Wednesday. (Yonhap)|
“It wasn’t my intention to take this dramatic moment in history and target the summer movie market, but despite my intentions, it’s turned into a huge project,” he said. “I only hope I will not do an injustice to history.”