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Kwon Sang-woo as vengeful Go master in ‘The Divine Move: Ghost Move’

The 2014 film “The Divine Move” about a Go master was a brutal, violent film about vengeance and gambling, shattering any expectations one might have had about watching the millennia-old board game that is played completely silently with minimal movement.

“The Divine Move: Ghost Move,” an upcoming spinoff and prequel, stars Kwon Sang-woo as the mysterious “Gwi-soo,” or “ghost move,” whose presence was never fully explored in the first film.

In the new film, Gwi-soo, whose previous appearance was clouded in mystery, is a master Go player who loses everything via the game he loved. After losing his teacher Heo Il-do (Kim Sung-kyun), he plots revenge on the world, gambling on Go.

“The Divine Move: Ghost Move” (CJ Entertainment)
“The Divine Move: Ghost Move” (CJ Entertainment)

Kwon said the movie provided an opportunity to make the kind of “masculine” action film he preferred, with his recent works mostly comedy or drama. Despite being an action enthusiast, Kwon admitted his most talked-about action scene is from 2004 film “Spirit of Jeet Keun Do.”

“After reading the script, I thought there was a clear charm that I could show (in the film), and that the film might be a turning point in my film career,” said Kwon in a press conference held to promote the film in Seoul on Tuesday.

“This is also the first time in my career that I have slimmed down for a film. ... I wanted to show the ‘extremes’ since it’s a crime-action film. So I worked very hard for three months,” he added, offering a glimpse into a film series known for its intensity. “‘Gwi-soo’ is a film that is a pinnacle of masculinity. I wanted people to say, ‘Wow, he can actually do that’ (after watching me).”

Director Lee Khan said that he attempted to keep the best parts of the previous film, which was its fast-paced storytelling and action. The difference, he said, was his focus on creative retelling of the Go games and action.

“I tried to blend Go and action, and also introduce many different characters,” he said, mentioning the variety as an upgrade from the previous film.

The characters are featured in the forms of different types of Go masters around the country, including Gwi-soo’s sidekick “Teacher Ddong” (Kim Hee-won), “Busan Weed” (Heo Sung-tae) and “Loner,” played by Woo Do-hwan.

“My character is named Loner. I tried to tell how he became a loner, and why he keeps his distance from the world and wants nothing else than to take revenge on someone,” said Woo.

The film opens in November.

By Yoon Min-sik