The Korea Herald


Korean auteurs, prolific actors return to silver screen in 2024

From Bong Joon-ho’s first work in five years to global blockbuster sequels, theaters ready to attract more moviegoers

By Kim Da-sol

Published : Dec. 26, 2023 - 15:33

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“Mickey 17” (Warner Bros. Pictures) “Mickey 17” (Warner Bros. Pictures)

Award-winning filmmakers including Bong Joon-ho and prolific actors such as Choi Min-sik are returning to the silver screen next year to deliver joy and laughter. Much-awaited sequels of global blockbuster franchises are also slated for local opening.

“Mickey 17,” Bong’s new film since “Parasite” (2019), will hit theaters on March 29 next year, according to Warner Bros. Pictures.

The movie is based on Edward Ashton’s 2022 sci-fi novel “Mickey7,” which tells the story of Mickey7, an expendable employee who is sent on a dangerous mission to colonize an ice world called Niflheim.

Bong penned the script for the upcoming film, and “Twilight” series’ Robert Pattinson plays the lead role. The cast also includes Hollywood stars Naomi Ackie, Toni Collette, Mark Ruffalo and Steven Yeun.

Another Korean auteur, Park Chan-wook, is also releasing a new film, this time as a producer and scriptwriter.

“War and Revolt” is the first project between Park and Netflix.

“War and Revolt” revolves around a Joseon-era servant, Cheon-young (Gang Dong-won), and his master Jong-ryeo (Park Jung-min). Later, Cheon-young becomes a military officer under King Seonjo (Cha Seung-won) and encounters Jong-ryeo again.

Directed by Kang Sang-man of “Midnight FM” (2010), the film will portray the friendship between Jong-ryeo and Cheon-young, which transcends their social ranks.

“Alienoid: The Return to the Future” (CJENM) “Alienoid: The Return to the Future” (CJENM)

One of the major Korean blockbuster films slated for a January opening is director Choi Dong-hoon’s “Alienoid: The Return to the Future” -- the second part to the 2022 science fantasy action flick “Alienoid."

The film tells the story of Lee Ahn (Kim Tae-ri) who tries to return to the present after getting transported back in time to 630 years ago, in search for a sword that opens the door of time.

“Alienoid: The Return to the Future” hits theaters on Jan. 10.

This year’s second-most watched hit film, “The Roundup: No Way Out” with 10.6 million admissions, is returning with the fourth installment next year -- a story on a crime syndicate involved in illegal gambling.

The Roundup's director and lead actor Don Lee also appears in the new Netflix dystopian action film “Badland Hunters,” a directorial debut project by Heo Myeong-haeng who has directed action sequences in many hit Korean films.

“Harbin,” a movie that revolves around Korean independence activists that launched a daring attack in the northern Chinese city in 1909, is also opening this year. Hyun Bin stars as independence activist An Jung-geun.

Director Ryoo Seung-wan of this summer's hit action flick “Smugglers” is finally releasing “Veteran 2,” eight years after the first edition, featuring Hwang Jung-min again as a seasoned detective Seo Do-cheol.

“Heaven: To the Land of Happiness” (Lotte Entertainment) “Heaven: To the Land of Happiness” (Lotte Entertainment)

Veteran actor Choi Min-sik is meeting the audience on the silver screen after the hit Disney+ series “Big Bet,” this time with “Heaven: To the Land of Happiness,” directed by Im Sang-soo. Also starring Park Hae-il and Youn Yuh-jung, the film tells the story of two men who meet by chance and embark on a journey looking for happiness.

Choi is also appearing in the upcoming occult thriller “Exhuma,” where he stars as Sang-deok who is tasked with relocating a tomb after receiving a mysterious sum of money. Kim Go-eun, Lee Do-hyun and Yoo Hae-jin are part of the cast. The movie is helmed by Jang Jae-hyun behind “The Priests” (2015) and “Svaha: The Sixth Finger” (2019).

“Citizen of a Kind” (Showbox) “Citizen of a Kind” (Showbox)

Director Park Young-ju is making her commercial film debut with comedy flick “Citizen of a Kind,” which has confirmed a Jan. 24 release.

Based on a true story, the movie is led by actor Ra Mi-ran, who plays a housewife who flies to China with a ragtag crew to take down a voice phishing scam ring.

Actor Kim Woo-bin and Kim Sung-kyun are uniting in the new Netflix action-comedy film “Officer Black Belt,” which looks into the life of a probation officer. The film is helmed by director Jason Kim of the 2023 Netflix series “Bloodhounds.”

Some of the rom-coms that are opening in the next year include Song Joong-ki’s new Netflix film “My Name is Loh Kiwan” and Im Yoon-ah’s “2 O'Clock Date.”

Several much-awaited sequels to Hollywood blockbusters are also landing in Korea.

First on the list is director Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi adventure “Dune: Part Two,” which stars Timothee Chalamet as Paul Atreides, who acknowledges his superpower and seeks revenge on the people that destroyed his family.

“Gladiator 2,” the sequel to the first installment in 2000, will likely launch in late 2024. Helmed by director Ridley Scott again, the epic historical drama tells the story of Lucius, the son of legendary gladiator Maximus.