Famed anime on special operations force remade into film dealing with Korean unification
It is not every day that you see Gang Dong-won, Jung Woo-sung, Han Hyo-joo and SHINee’s Choi Min-ho on the big screen together, but the rare gathering takes place in the upcoming film “The Wolf Brigade.”
“Someone told me (the film’s) genre was ‘looks.’ I didn’t realize that until I saw them all together on the same screen, which was an honor as a director,” director Kim Jee-woon joked, during a press conference to promote his new film. “Fans would want such a moment, to have these actors’ unique characters shine in various personalities and drama. They each had their moment, which was extensively satisfying.”
Jung Woo-sung (left) and Gang Dong-won attend a press conference for “The Wolf Brigade” in Seoul on Monday. (Yonhap)
It would take all of these big names to tell a story so bold, indeed.
Set in 2029, the film takes place as the two Koreas embark on a five-year plan for unification. But a conflict occurs between the top government agencies, with Gang’s character Im Joon-kyung -- or “Inrang” -- and Jung’s Jang Jin-tae in the middle of it all.
“Director (Kim) called me and I said I’m ready to take on whatever role he wants,” said Jung, starring in his first Kim Jee-woon movie since “The Good, The Bad, The Weird. “I liked the idea of a special operations team preparing for unification.”
K-pop star Choi, who expressed his excitement about starring alongside big names in the film industry, will play Jang’s right-hand man.
Director Kim noted that the film will delve into a man under mental duress.
Han plays the sister of a “red-caped girl” who blows herself up in front of Gang. This is expected to be a key incident in Gang’s life, considering that the five-year unification setting, according to Kim, is intended as a healing period for a traumatic incident.
While the flick is a sci-fi/action film, a romantic encounter between the characters is expected, Kim said, adding that elements of melodrama and science fiction will be infused into the movie.
The film is a remake of the 1999 Japanese animation “Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade” by Mamoru Oshii, which has a cult following.
“(Remaking the film) was reckless. It is a legendary animation in Japan and has fans around the world. I think fans have been both excited and nervous about it being made into a live-action film, as was I.”
Whether the veteran director’s efforts have paid off will be seen when the film opens in local theaters on July 25.
By Yoon Min-sik