There is no doubt that director JK Youn is a man who has the potential to make massively successful film. Six years ago, he made “Ode to My Father”, a film which after all these years still remains the fourth highest-grossing domestic film at the Korean box-office. His film prior to that was just as successful, with 2009’s “Haeundae” still well within the top 20 in the same list. After a long wait, he is finally back with his newest film “Hero” and it is an interesting project for various reasons.
Ahn Jung-geun is a fighter for the Korean independence movement. Seol-hee used to be a court lady for Queen Myeongseong, but, after Queen Myseongseong was assassinated by the Japanese, Seol-hee takes part in Korean independence activity. She becomes a geisha and gains the favor of Hirobumi Ito, who is the Japanese Resident-General of Korea. He travels to Manchuria and Seol-hee accompanies him. Ahn Jung-geun learns of Hirobumi Ito’s travel plans from Seoul-hee. He decides to assassinate Hirobumi Ito for the Korean independence movement.
As mentioned earlier, this is a rather interesting project, not least because it is an adaptation of a hugely successful stage musical of the same name. While the trailer does not give away any musical moments, instead giving the vibes of a tense blockbuster, it is purported that the film will also be a musical. Taking the lead role of Ahn Jung-geun is Jung Sung-hwa, who played the same role in the stage version. This will be the first lead role he plays, after several bit parts over the years. Kim Go-eun (“Sunset in my Hometown“) plays Seol-hee, while veteran Na Moon-hee (“I Can Speak“), Jo Jae-yun (“The Outlaws“), Bae Jung-nam (“Master”) and Lee Hyun-woo (“Secretly, Greatly“) round up the supporting cast. While the official release month is yet to be announced due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, it is expected to be CJ Entertainment’s next release some point in Summer, 2020.