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‘Collectors’ to steal moviegoers’ hearts with tomb-robbery tale

(From left) “Collectors” cast members Lee Je-hoon, Jo Woo-jin, Shin Hye-sun and Lim Won-hee, and director Park Jung-bae pose during an online press conference Tuesday. (CJ Entertainment)
(From left) “Collectors” cast members Lee Je-hoon, Jo Woo-jin, Shin Hye-sun and Lim Won-hee, and director Park Jung-bae pose during an online press conference Tuesday. (CJ Entertainment)

Comedy crime film “Collectosr” is ready to steal moviegoers’ hearts with its original story about tomb robbery.

“As the first Korean film about tomb robbery, we will present new visuals that the audience has never seen before,” director Park Jung-bae said during an online press briefing Tuesday. “Collectors” is Park’s debut feature. 

“Collectors” introduces three robbers. Kang Dong-goo, played by Lee Je-hoon, is a genius robber of ancient treasures and works with an expert in ancient tomb murals -- also known as the Korean Indiana Jones, Dr. Jones, played by Cho Woo-jin -- and legendary shoveling expert Sabdari, played by Lim Won-hee. The story develops after Kang meets an expert in ancient art named Ms. Yoon, played by Shin Hye-sun. Ms. Yoon offers Kang the attractive but dangerous job of robbing the royal tomb Seolleung.

“Just reading the title ‘Tomb Robbery (literal translation of the Korean title),’ I wanted to play a role because it is such an original topic,” Lim said.

Lim, who brought a shovel to the press conference as a prop, did not hide his affection for his character, Sabdari.

“My reference was Antonio Banderas. I wanted Sabdari to look sexy,” Lim joked.

During the conference, the actors and director all praised the film’s art team for the realistic ancient treasures.

“Since our movie is not based on a real story, we used a lot of imagination and also did a lot of research to make it believable,” the director said. 

“I was impressed with the golden Buddha from Hwangnyongsa (that we used in the film). It was not a real treasure, but it looked real. The art team told me that they only created one and that it was expensive. Since my character always keeps his cool in front of treasures, it does not show in the movie, but I really tried to be careful with it,” Lee said.

“For me, the impressive treasure was the tomb mural. When I first saw what the art team had created, I could hear classical music in my head. It looked very elegant and made me reverent,” Jo said.

Lee also added that the art team was very caring.

“For the scene where I had to taste dirt, I was ready to do it for real. But our amazing art team said it would hurt my teeth and created fake dirt out of chocolate on ice cream ‘Pig Bar,’” Lee said. “It was so sweet.”

“Collectors” will hit local theaters in November.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)
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