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Saturday, January 17, 2015

News: Jung Woo-sung to Hunt Monsters in New Period Film


In the midst of the incredible popularity of Korean period films, yet another production has been announced. Jung Woo-sung has boarded Jakseoui Byeon - Attack of the Water Monster (a literal translation of the Korean title). A Joseon Era creature feature, the film be helmed by Chaw (2009) director Shin Jung-won.

Based on a story from 1527 during the reign of King Jungjong (though very tenuously I imagine), Jung will play Yoon Gyeom, the King's loyal subject who goes after a monster endangering the monarch as well as a faction intent on removing him from the throne.

Monster movies, both good (The Host, 2006) and bad (D-War, 2007), have had a good track run at the local box office and given the recent success of period films, it's easy to see how this project might have come into existence. Given Shin's monster movie experience and Jung's strong recent track record, which includes Cold Eyes (2013) and Scarlet Innocence, I'm definitely intrigued but far from convinced.

Period films have been all the rage since Masquerade topped the charts in 2012, peaking with Roaring Currents' record-breaking performance last summer, but studios are falling over themselves to produce more and more of them, and I have to wonder when the wheels will come off this gravy train.

Granted, I said the same thing at the beginning of last year and we ended up with two big hits (the other was The Pirates), but also a pair of marginally profitable efforts (The Fatal Encounter and Kundo: Age of the Rampant) and two outright bombs (The Huntresses and The Royal Tailor). Jakseoui Byeon is now the tenth entry in the period film queue, and though all of them might not be released this year, some of these costly bets are beginning to look risky. 

Jakseoui Byeon, which will be produced by Taewon Entertainment, will start filming at the end of February.


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