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December 23, 2016

SINGLE RIDER with LEE Byung-hun and KONG Hyo-jin Books February Release
2nd Korean Warner Bros Production Features AN So-hui

by Pierce Conran / KoBiz


Following their smash hit The Age of Shadows, from director KIM Jee-woon, Warner Brothers is gearing up for the release of their second Korean production Single Rider. Featuring LEE Byung-hun and KONG Hyo-jin, the thriller is the debut of director LEE Joo-young and will bow domestically on February 23rd.

LEE plays a company worker who becomes a central figure in a scandal and suddenly disappears. KONG plays an ex-violinist living in Australia with her son, while AN So-hui rounds out the cast as a university student spending her time in Australia on a working holiday visa. 

LEE’s role echoes the one he is playing in his current hit Master, where he played the head of a fraudulent company who goes on the run and winds up in the Philippines. The star also appeared in a small role in The Age of Shadows and has received several awards this year for his role in last fall’s political thriller Inside Men.

Active both on the big and small screen, KONG played alongside UHM Ji-won in the recent thriller MISSING. AN, a former member of the popular K-pop group Wonder Girls, was among the supporting cast of this year’s breakout hit TRAIN TO BUSAN.

Beyond Single Rider, Warner Brothers will also launch the in-production thriller V.I.P. next year from New World (2013) director PARK Hoon-jung.

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happy-new-year-2.gif January 4, 2017

'Single Rider' confirms February release with new still cut

Source: BNTnews (ELBH Google-translate)


On January 4, a still image from Lee Byung Hun's upcoming 2017 movie 'Single Rider' was unveiled in which the actor's emotional aspect stands out.

'Single Rider' is a story about the story of a man who has been living a stable life as a branch manager of a securities company in Korea while his family lives in Australia. After a bad debt case, he goes to find his family and discovers a shocking secret. 

This will be Lee Byung Hun's return to emotional melodrama in 16 years after 'Bungee Jumping of Their Own'. Recently, his co-star actress Gong Hyo Jin, has showed a perfect performance in 'Missing' making their encounter on the big screen a highly anticipated combination.

In the new still image, Lee Byung Hun's feelings of emotion are felt through his expressive eyes.  The movie which is to be released on February 23 signals the return of a Korean-style emotional drama, strongly attracts the attention of movie fans. 

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Source: Magazine2.daum (disclaimer: Google-translate)


Manager of a securities company. Kang Jae-hoon (played by Byung-Heon Lee) has a stable job, a solid family and a successful life. One day he loses everything in a bad debt case and leaves for Australia where his family lives. However, when he sees his wife Sujin, she is preparing for another life, He couldn't get close and had to hide his sudden appearance & traces. A perfect family, a missing husband, reveals the shocking truth that nobody knew.

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Source: Hancinema.net


Directed by Lee Zoo-young

With Lee Byung-hun, Kong Hyo-jin, Ahn So-hee

A man visits his family in Australia after losing everything only to find another shocking truth...
Promising fund manager Jae-hoon is at the brink of losing everythingwhen his company goes bankrupt. Overwhelmed by despair, he takes an impulsive trip to Australia where his wife Soo-jin and his son Jin-woo live for his son's education. Upon arrival, Jae-hoon finds his wife and son living ever so happily in his absence, and becomes suspicious of affectionate relationship between his wife and her Australian neighbor Kris. Startled by the situation, Jae-hoon decides to watch them from a distance instead of approaching them and eventually witnesses the evidence of Soo-jin's affair. As his trip nears its unexpected end, Jae-hoon gets a chance to look back on his life and finally confront a shocking truth that shatters what he has stood for.

Release date in Korea : 2017/02




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January 6, 2017

The most anticipated films of 2017 :

The upcoming year is filled with political thrillers and exciting adventures

Source: INSIDE Korea JoongAng Daily


A new year usually fills moviegoers with anticipation and excitement. This year will be a particularly appealing one for film fans, as a number of big name directors such as Bong Joon-ho and high profile actors, including So Ji-sub and Song Joong-ki, are slated to return to the big screen for the first time in several years. 

Some of the most awaited films in 2017 are still in production and still have working titles, including “Special Citizen”, which is about an ambitious man that makes a third attempt to run for Seoul mayor, and “Single Rider,” which questions what true happiness is. Among the Korea JoongAng Daily’s picks are “V.I.P.,” “Okja,” “With God,” “Taxi Driver” and “Battleship Island.” 

Some highly anticipating local movies slated for release this year include “V.I.P.,” “Battleship Island,” “Okja” and “Taxi Driver.” [WARNER BROS. KOREA, CJ ENTERTAINMENT, NETFLIX, SHOWBOX]




Directed by Park Hoon-jung of “I Saw the Devil” (2010), the upcoming political thriller “V.I.P.” is a star-studded film that features actors Jang Dong-gun, Park Hee-soon, Kim Myung-min and Lee Jong-suk. The movie unfolds as a V.I.P. from North Korea (Lee) is suspected to be a serial killer. Different people, including a cop (Kim), a National Intelligence Service agent (Jang) and a North Korean spy (Park) all work to become the first to catch the suspect. It will not be the first political film from the filmmaker. “The Unjust” (2010), which he wrote the script for, dealt with politics between a cop, a prosecutor and the mafia, and his “New World” (2012) depicts the internal politics among gangsters. The release date hasn’t been determined.


Highly-regarded filmmaker Bong Joon-ho, whose well-known movies include “Snowpiercer” (2013), “The Host” (2006) and “Memories of Murder” (2003), will release a new science-fiction adventure drama “Okja.” Funded by Netflix with a budget of $50 million, the film depicts the friendship of a girl named Mi-ja who lives deep in the mountains of Gangwon and a mysterious creature named Okja. The story develops as Okja suddenly goes missing. The movie will delve into the strange adventures of the girl and the creature. “Okja,” which features big Hollywood stars such as Tilda Swinton, is slated to drop in the early part of the year at local theaters, and will also be available in 190 countries through Netflix. 

With God

“With God” is a fantasy drama that depicts the 49-day journey of afterlife messengers in the human world while trials of dead people are being held in the underworld. Helmed by Kim Yong-hwa of the 2006 romantic comedy “200 Pounds Beauty,” the upcoming film is an adaptation of the webtoon that goes by the same title. Around 80 percent of the film, in which actors Ha Jung-woo, Cha Tae-hyun and Ju Ji-hoon appear, has been completed as of last month. The release date, however, hasn’t been decided. 

Taxi Driver

Those who wish to learn more about the Democratization Movement in 1980s Gwangju, where students clashed with soldiers to protest the authoritarian rule of military junta leader Chun Doo-hwan, should check out “Taxi Driver,” when it drops in summer. The film depicts the journey of a German journalist named Peter who heads to Gwangju to report on the shocking news that was suppressed from being covered by the mass media in Korea. The movie unfolds from the perspectives of two outsiders: the foreign journalist and his taxi driver that had no idea about what was happening in Gwangju (as the event wasn’t shown on the news). It is helmed by Jang Hun of the award-winning “The Front Line” (2011), and stars actor Song Kang-ho and German actor Thomas Kretschmann.

Battleship Island

Last year saw a number of historical films such as “The Last Princess” and “The Age of Shadows.” The trend will continue with director Ryoo Seung-wan’s “Battleship Island,” which refers to Hashima Island, where Korean forced labor was used. Set during the Japanese colonization of Korea (1910-45), the movie looks into the social hierarchy and relationships through the journey of 400 Koreans that strive to escape from the Japanese island, where victims had been forced to work. Starring actors Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub and Song Joong-ki, the film is scheduled to be released this summer.

BY JIN MIN-JI [jin.minji@joongang.co.kr]



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A few days ago, we posted here and at the FB a picture from an ardent Korean fan's instagram. It was a really nice image of Lee Byung Hun in 'Single Ride.' Shortly after that the instagram photo was deleted. We had a comment on FB from the Korean fan asking us to edit out the image and another surprise message from the director of 'Single Rider' mentioning that the image was not supposed to be published yet. So, we promptly deleted the picture from Soompi and the FB.

I thought we'd never see the image (publicly) again but here it is :w00t:

January 9, 2017

'Single Rider' Poster. The Man who Lost it All

Source: Sports Chosun


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January 6, 2017

Big-budget movies to highlight 2017

By Jason Bechervaise The Korea Times

Looking back at 2016, it was without doubt the best year for Korean cinema in recent memory. Various factors were attributable to its success including the return of some of the most revered Korean auteurs including Park Chan-wook and Kim Jee-woon, while Hollywood studios also played a part given the critical reception and popularity of "The Wailing" and "The Age of Shadows." 

Glancing ahead, 2016 is a difficult act to follow but over the coming 12 months, there are a number of projects that are set to attract attention.

‘Battleship Island'

This has the potential to be the biggest hit of the year. The cast is huge: Hwang Jung-min, Song Joong-ki, So Ji-sub and starlet Kim Soo-an. Director Ryoo Seung-wan previously helmed "Veteran" that amassed a whopping 13 million admissions in 2015. 

Set on Hashima Island during the Japanese occupation where about 400 workers attempt to escape from forced labor, it's part of a trend over the past 18 months to explore this period of history in films such as "The Age of Shadows," "Assassination," "Dong-ju: The Portrait of a Poet" and "The Last Princess." 

What worked so well in Ryoo's "Veteran" was an attempt to scale back and keep things straightforward in terms of the storytelling following the over-convoluted "The Berlin File" (2013). If Ryoo can continue to adopt his audacious set pieces while ensuring the script remains tight and focused, this could strike a chord with audiences both home and abroad. It is scheduled to hit local screens this summer.

‘The King'

Although Han Jae-rim has not quite established his filmmaking career in the same way as directors such as Park Chan-wook and Bong Joon-ho, he remains a notable figure in the local industry. Han experienced financial success with the sumptuous period drama "The Face Reader" (2013), but it is his excellent dark romantic comedy "Rules of Dating" (2005) and the terrific gangster noir "The Show Must Go On" (2007) that really demonstrate his wealth of talent. 

His new crime-drama "The King" starring Jung Woo-sung and Jo In-sung about a prosecutor in his quest for power appears to share similarities to films such as "Inside Men" and "A Violent Prosecutor." It also deals with the judicial system and politics. Given the current political climate in Korea where the Choi Soon-sil scandal continues to dominate the headlines, this could resonate with audiences. It is to be released in local cinemas on Jan. 18.

‘Taxi Driver'

Another film that could also feed into political sentiments is Jang Hoon's ("The Front Line") latest film that stars Song Kang-ho as a taxi driver who smuggles a German journalist played by Thomas Kretschmann ("Avengers: Age of Ultron") into the city of Gwangju in 1980 during the Gwangju Democratization Movement.

Scheduled to hit screens this summer, it is another interesting casting choice for Song Kang-ho who starred in Yang Woo-suk's 2013 box office smash hit "The Attorney" that was also set in the 1980s during the Chun Doo-hwan regime (1980-1988).

‘With God -- Part 1'

Also released this summer is Kim Yong-hwa's star-studded "With God" based on the webcomic of the same name. Featuring the likes of Ha Jung-woo, Cha Tae-hyun, Lee Jung-jae, Ju Ji-hoon and Ma Dong-suk, it is poised to at least open well.

Produced by Realize Pictures who were behind the hit "Masquerade" that was embraced by local critics in 2012, the film is set in the afterlife where the deceased have seven trials over a period of 49 days.

The film's visual effects are being orchestrated by Dexter Studios, while the film is to be released in two parts -- an unusual move for a Korean production. It is a risky project, not least given how poorly the studio's "Mr. Go" performed at the box office in 2013, but the high profile cast and interesting story should arouse interest.


Directed by Park Hoon-jung ("New World," "The Tiger"), his next film about a hunt for the son of a high-ranking North Korean official who is suspected of being a serial killer is being produced and distributed by Warner Bros. Korea. The film stars Jang Dong-gun, Kim Myung-min, Lee Jong-suk and Park Hee-soon.

The Hollywood studio made an impact with their first Korean-language film, "The Age of Shadows," which together with 20th Century Fox Korea's "The Wailing" demonstrated that bold projects can be commercially viable. Going ahead, the local industry will be watching closely how projects such as "VIP" along with Warner Bros' "Single Rider" starring Lee Byung-hun also to be released in 2017 will perform.


Also attempting to enter the local market is the American streaming giant Netflix, optimized by their $50 million project "Okja" directed by Bong Joon-ho. Shot both in Korea and North America, the cast includes names such as Jake Gyllenhaal, Tilda Swinton, Lily Collins, Bong Joon-ho's regular collaborator Byun Hee-bong, and young Korean actress Ahn Seo-hyun.

Following a girl who will do anything to prevent a multinational company from kidnapping her best friend, a large animal called Okja, the film is reported to feature both English and Korean dialogue. It is indeed interesting that "Okja" comes four years after Bong's English-language project "Snowpiercer" that was funded by a Korean studio.

"Okja," of course, is not technically a Korean film, but given the pedigree behind the camera and conception of Bong's latest feature, it would seem unfair to not include it in what is arguably one of the most anticipated projects of the year.

Jason Bechervaise is a movie columnist for The Korea Times. He can be reached at jase@koreanfilm.org.uk.

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January 10, 2017

The 1st Trailer For ‘Single Rider’ Starring Lee Byung-Hun

By Lady J. Asian Movie Pulse

Warner Bros. is gearing up for the release of their second Korean production Single Rider. Featuring Lee Byung-hun, Kong Hyo-jin and Ahn So-hee, the film marks the directing debut of director Lee Joo-young and will be released domestically in February.

Lee Byung-hun, who is currently on screens in the action-thriller Master, features as a branch manager who visits his family in Australia after losing everything, only to find another shocking truth. Kong Hyo-jin, who recently starred in the thriller Missing, plays Lee’s wife, an ex-violinist who lives in Australia with their son. Ahn So-hee, who appeared in a supporting role in the breakout hit Train to Busan, features as a student who goes to Australia on a working holiday.

Clip: warnerbros.korea

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