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July 27, 2017

Watch: Teaser Trailer For Lee Byung-hun’s ‘Namhansanseong Fortress’

By Arnav Sinha Asian Movie Pulse

It’s finally out! A few images and bits of information had been trickling out from the sets of this much-anticipated period epic, but the makers have finally decided to unveil the first trailer of Namhansanseong Fortress. And it looks spectacular.

The film is directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, who makes his foray into yet another new genre after 2011’s dark and challenging The Crucible (Silenced) and 2013’s comedy Miss Granny. Starring in key roles are Lee Byung-hun (Inside Men, I Saw the Devil), Kim Yoon-seok (The Priests), Park Hae-il (The Last Princess), Go Soo, Park Hee-soon and Jo Woo-jin.

The film is set during the Second Manchu invasion of Korea of 1636, when the newly established Manchu Qing dynasty invaded Korea’s Joseon kingdom. During the invasion, King Injo, the 16th Joseon king, and his retainers were forced to seek refuge in the fortress located in the mountain city of Namhansanseong.

Lee plays Choi Myung-kil, a representative of the Juhwapa faction in Korea, insistent on maintaining friendly relations with the Qing Dynasty in order to protect the people of Joseon. In conflict with him and his group is Kim Sang-hun, played by Kim Yoon-seok, whose Cheokhwapa faction prefers siding with the Ming Dynasty and urges the king to keep on fighting a losing battle with the mighty invading army. Park Hae-il will be seen in the role of King Injo.

Namhansanseong Fortress is based on the 2007 bestselling novel Namhansanseong by Korean writer and journalist Kim Hoon. The film’s release is scheduled for September 2017. CJ Entertainment has financed and will distribute the film.

(Source: Hancinema.net, KoBiz)

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August 7, 2017

'Namhansanseong Fortress' 6 Character Posters Released

Source: TV Report

Upcoming movie 'Namhansanseong Fortress' has revealed 6 new character posters for its main cast -- featuring the characters played by actors Lee Byung Hun, Kim Yoon Seok, Park Hae Il, Ko Soo, Park Hee Soon and Jo Woo Jin.


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August 18, 2017

'Namhansanseong' script-reading footage revealed

Source: TV Daily ++

A clip showing the script-reading session from 'Namhansanseong Fortress' have been revealed on Friday. The first footage of the cast gathering took place on November 18, 2016 have been released via CJ Ent. official youtube channel.


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So, the (finalized) movie is called 'THE FORTRESS' ..

August 23, 2017

'The Fortress' director hopes to provide a chance to learn from past

By Shim Sun-ah

SEOUL, Aug. 23 (Yonhap) -- In the winter of 1636, King Injo of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) sought refuge in the Namhan Mountain Fortress, located 24 kilometers southeast of Seoul, after an invasion by the emperor of China's Qing Dynasty and his 100,000 troops.

The new Korean historical film "The Fortress" tells about the 47 days he spent at the fortress with his army and officials, which is considered one of the most tragic and shameful moments in Korean history. The movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same Korean title by Kim Hoon and helmed by Hwang Dong-hyuck, best known for "Miss Granny" (2013).

Director Hwang Dong-hyuck speaks during a press conference for "The Fortress" at a Seoul theater on Aug. 23, 2017. (Yonhap)

Director Hwang Dong-hyuck speaks during a press conference for "The Fortress" at a Seoul theater on Aug. 23, 2017. (Yonhap)

"I came to rethink about the Qing invasion of Joseon in 1636 that I had known only partly while reading the novel. I was greatly surprised to know that so many things happened inside the fortress and how much resemblance there is between the era and today," Hwang said during a news conference at a Seoul theater to promote the film Wednesday. "I wanted to make a movie that can give its viewers a chance to review the past and ponder the current times."

Today's Korea has to walk a tightrope between the two superpowers -- the United States and China -- to find a way to survive as a small country as Joseon did between China's waning Ming Dynasty and ascending Qing Dynasty in the 17th century, he explained.

Hwang said he was also driven by the desire to bring the novel's own power, tragic beauty and sorrowful but beautiful landscapes to the big screen.

The main cast members of "The Fortress" pose for the camera during a news conference for the film at a Seoul theater on Aug. 23, 2017. (Yonhap)

The main cast members of "The Fortress" pose for the camera during a news conference for the film at a Seoul theater on Aug. 23, 2017. (Yonhap)

The film boasts a star-studded cast composed of Lee Byung-hun, Kim Yoon-seok, Park Hae-il, Go Soo, Park Hee-soon and Jo Woo-jin.

"Without these actors, this film would not have been made at all," Hwang said, adding that this serious historical flick might not even be able to draw investment without them.

"After finishing the casting of such actors as Lee Byung-hun and Kim Yoon-seok, I felt relieved thinking, 'Now I can make a film.' Their acting was far beyond my expectation."

Lee and Kim play Choi Myung-gil and Kim Sang-heon, leaders of two ideological cliques that clash in the fortress over whether to make peace with or fight against the Qing Dynasty. Park Hae-il takes the role of King Injo who is in agony in the tense conflicts between his men over the fate of the nation.

The movie is set to premiere Sept. 27.


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August 23, 2017

New movie 'The Fortress'

New movie 'The Fortress'

Lee Byung-hun, who stars in director Hwang Dong-hyuk's new film "The Fortress," poses during its showcase at a Seoul theater on Aug. 23, 2017. The historical drama, which is about a fierce battle between Korea's Joseon and China's Qing Dynasties in 1636, will hit local screens in September. (Yonhap) (END)

New movie 'The Fortress'

Ko Soo, who stars in director Hwang Dong-hyuk's new film, "The Fortress," poses during its showcase at a Seoul theater on Aug. 23, 2017. The historical drama, which is about a fierce battle between Korea's Joseon and China's Qing Dynasties in 1636, will hit local screens in September. (Yonhap) (END)

New movie 'The Fortress'

Park Hae-il, who stars in director Hwang Dong-hyuk's new film, "The Fortress," poses during its showcase at a Seoul theater on Aug. 23, 2017. The historical drama, which is about a fierce battle between Korea's Joseon and China's Qing Dynasties in 1636, will hit local screens in September. (Yonhap) (END)

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August 23, 2017

Dazzling cast of ‘Fortress’ takes serious approach to historical film


To say the upcoming historical flick “The Fortress” is star-studded would be an understatement. 

The king of Joseon is played by Park Hae-il. His two loyal advisers are played by Korean cinema heavyweights Lee Byung-hun and Kim Yoon-seok. Also starring are Go Soo and Park Hee-soon. 

The film’s director is Hwang Dong-hyuk, whose 2013 comedy “Miss Granny” and 2011 drama “Silenced” were well-received. The film is based on a novel by writer Kim Hoon, one of Korea’s most acclaimed novelists. 

“If these (actors) hadn’t agreed to do the film, it wouldn’t have been made,” said director Hwang at a press conference at CGV Apgujeong, in Seoul, Wednesday. “I envisioned the movie with them in mind.” 

Park Hae-il (CJ Entertainment)

The setting is 1636, during the Qing invasion of Joseon. Injo of Joseon, the 16th king, is forced to take refuge at Namhansanseong, a fortress some 25 kilometers southeast of Seoul. Thoroughly overpowered by the enemy, the Joseon Army is trapped there in the poorest of conditions.

Two loyal advisers try to find a solution to the dire situation. Choi Myung-gil, played by Lee, believes in giving in to the Qing and argues that a moment’s humiliation can be endured for the safety of the people.

Lee Byung-hun (CJ Entertainment)

Kim Sang-hun, played by actor Kim, is adamant in defending the kingdom’s dignity and fighting against the enemy regardless of the odds. 

The film draws on the clash between the two strategies during the 47 days of entrapment in the fortress. It is the first time the historical event has been rendered on cinema screens.

Kim Yoon-seok (CJ Entertainment)

“The tension was palpable on set,” said director Hwang. “All of the actors gave such intense performances.” 

“It is a film that took pains to portray history accurately. It’s not a film that has fantasy elements,” said Lee. “I took a very serious approach in portraying (the character).”

Park said it had been a huge mental burden to portray the king, faced with an impossible choice. 

The veteran actors met for the first time on this film set, they said. 

“I don’t know why we hadn’t crossed paths before,” said Kim. “It was such a refreshing and enjoyable experience.”

Kim described Lee as an actor who “goes by the book.” “There’s a fluidity and glamor to him as well, of course, but in his role, he delivers his lines in a very refined state.” 

The film will open in theaters in September. 

By Rumy Doo (doo@heraldcorp.com)

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August 24, 2017


At the “Fortress” press conference, Lee Byung Hun and Kim Yoon Seok  gave each other  wonderful mutual assessments.   ( A translation ) 

Q On the set, how do you view each other’s acting ?   When you are not acting, what happens? 

LBH:  I just used a shot to mention what I want to say briefly.  When I watch other movies, I can feel Kim Yoon Seok’s enthusiasm.  Shooting together when he is by my side, I feel ... from the audience standpoint, Kim Yoon Seok is a passionate actor; furthermore, he was able to release his feelings in every single shot.    Each shot was dfferent, it was not rational acting, very emotional.  His performance at each shot was  different.  Everything (wow) was released.    

KYS:  What is actually interesting is that I am cooperating with all the actors present here for the first time.   It is strange that our paths have not crossed before.  Working together  to me is a very refreshing and valuable experience.

As for working with Lee Byung Hun for the first time,  just one word sums it all:  orthodox actor!   He pursues excellence, without any added ingredients, and will not miss the emotional element of the story. For his role as Choi Myung Gil, he delivered his lines in a delicate state which is very refreshing for me.   Lee Byung Hun’s  performances in TV dramas and in “Gwanghae.” are not the same.  In private, we discuss topics that are good for our health. 

LBH:  Just now what our director said about Kim Yoon Seok Sunbae. I feel a bit different.   In fact, just like the ahjussi that we see in the small community, at the end of shooting, we would inquire about where we can shoot pool, and good places to eat.  Which restaurant serves delicious intestine soup,  and which one serves delicious meals?  All this gives me a warm feeling. Even though I am also an actor, we look like ordinary people to each other.  However, when the camera rolls, it is different.  

Source:  All That Star 

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August 23, 2017

[bnt photo] Leading Actors of 'The Fortress' are 'Korean Movie Industry's Avengers'

Source: BNTNews


[by Jo Hee Sun] The leading actors of the movie 'The Fortress' (Director Hwang Dong Hyuk) attended the press conference held at Seoul Gangnam-gu Sinsa-dong CGV Apgujeong on the morning of the 23rd and had a photo time. 

The movie 'The Fortress' is a movie that tells the story of the 14 year standstill of the 2nd Manchu Invasion of Joseon with King Injo at the head of the fight. The story will focus on the most hard 47 days of the period portrayed by actors Lee Byung Hun, Kim Yoon Seok, Park Hae Il and Ko Soo. The movie is scheduled to premier in September. (photo by bntnews DB)

Clip: cjenmmovie 

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THE FORTRESS related excerpt ~

August 29, 2017

It’s September and the Hitmakers are Back!
Three directors on board with three different genres

by SONG Soon-jin / KoBiz


The summer box office war is almost over and the 2017 battlefield was especially heated featuring domestic films The Battleship Island, A Taxi Driver and Midnight Runners, and Hollywood competitors such as War for the Planet of the Apes, Despicable Me 3 and Dunkirk.

However, the September box office war looks like it will be just as intense, if not more, with potential blockbusters coming from some of the greatest hitmakers of our time: WON Shin-yun, HWANG Dong-hyuk and KIM Hyun-seok.  

WON Shin-yun, from action to thriller

KIM Hyun-seok, back with comedy, his signature genre

HWANG Dong-hyuk, from comedy to a big scale period drama


HWANG Dong-hyuk of Miss Granny (2014) is back with his first ever period drama, The Fortress. His previous works include true-story based My Father (2007) which stars Daniel Henney as a US soldier in Korea in search of his biological parents, Silenced (2011) which deals with the disclosure of sexual assaults and abuses committed in a public facility for the speaking and hearing handicapped, and the very famous Miss Granny, about a grandma in a young woman’s body, which went on to attract 8.66 million viewers in Korea. Miss Granny has since become a huge hit throughout Asia, having been remade as a local film in several countries including China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia.  
HWANG has been working hard to expand his cinematic scope and has taken up the challenge of directing a period drama for the first time, with The Fortress. The film is a historical, political drama where the King and ministers argue over the way to end a war while they lay under siege in a fortress, suffering from vicious, cold weather during the 1636 Ching invasion. The original novel was written by KIM Hoon and goes through the 47 days it took to decide the future of the Joseon Dynasty. With a star-studded cast featuring LEE Byung-hun, KIM Yun-seok and PARK Hae-il, this film is generating excitement before its release. The Fortress will be distributed by CJ Entertainment, a long time partner of HWANG.  

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September 1, 2017

KBS Entertainment interview 

(A translation  -  please note the original interview was in Korean. Thereafter translated into Chinese and finally into English.   Apologies for any errors and  misinterpretations. )


http://m.weibo.cn/6318381706/4145109546687722  (The full interview)

EMCEE:   Introducing five trusted and responsible actors from Chungmuro:  Lee Byung Hun (LBH), Kim Yoon Seok (KYS), Park Hae Il (PHI), Go Soo (GS) , Park Hee Soon (PHS).   

EMCEE:  Although this interview was arranged in a rush, it is very interesting.   Please watch.   I worked very hard and almost lost my voice!   We are presenting the Avenger actors from Chungmuro.  They are alllgathered here for a historical movie: “The Fortress”.  

ALL:   Hello hello, nice to meet you.

EMCEE:  Not one trusted actor but five!   Is this group for real?  The stars of the movie “The Fortress” are coming together for this interview,  How awesome!  First, please introduce this movie to the audience.  Who will do it?

KYS:  Lee Byung Hun  

LBH:  I guess everyone is curious about the movie “The Fortress” .  During the Qing invasion of the Joseon Kingdom,  King Injo took refuge in the Nanhan Mountain Fortress. Two loyal advisors advocated opposing strategies.  Kim Sang Hun proposed fighting the invaders inspite of human sacrifices.  I played the character Choi Myung Gil who advocated the importance of human lives.  

EMCEE:  This movie is based upon a real event in Korean history.  The Kingdom was in a predicament of not being able to advance or retreat.  The film tells the story of the most intense 47 days.  This is an orthodox history movie.  

EMCEE:  First of all, the line up of actors is a hot topic.  How do these actors digest together such a piece of work?  

KYS:  In fact, everyone wants to avoid this story;  we all do not want to touch this subject.  We have outstading people here willing to sacrifice for their country. The script is outdstanding!

PHI:  All the actors who participated in “The Fortress” fierecly adhered to the correct interpretation.  We felt honoured to have participated in this movie.  

LBH:  Although this is said, I heard selection of Park Hae Il’s part in the movie was the most difficult.  (Laughter)

EMCEE:  Really?

LBH: The director said so.  

EMCEE:   With Lee Byung Hun’s sudden report, we understand the selection process was very difficult, so what really happened?

PHI:  At first, I thought the part would be difficult because it requires leadership and the appearance of high prestige,  but in fact for this role, Injo had no confidence. 

EMCEE:  Lee Byung Hun,  After “Gwanhae”  is this the first historical film?

LBH:  Was “Memories of the Sword” so bad? (Laughter) 

EMCEE:   So you also filmed “Memories of the Sword” 

LBH:  Right, there was “Memories of the Sword," very interesting.  Oh, forgot the question, very sorry.  (Laughter)

EMCEE:  I felt the atmosphere is tense and difficult to describe with words.  Perhaps the two of you could talk about how you feel. 

KYS:  Actually, for Injo who had to listen to us, it was more uncomfortable for him.   I now understand Injo’s performance.  He was almost in tears. 

PHI:  Both of them voiced their opinion, to a point of semi-threatening me.  (Laughter)

Emcee:  The conflict between the two loyal advisors has become the selling point of the movie.  While the audience look forward to the movie with anticipation, they are also worried.  

<Your Highness, do you really want to become a vassal of the Qing Dynasty? >  <What Myung Gil (LBH) said  does not work anyway>  (Lines from the movie) 

PHI:   Oh!  I was really tired. 

EMCEE:  This movie is said to have six main characters.   But one actor is missing. 

LBH:  Jo Woo Jin 

EMCEE:   What role is Jo Woo Jin playing ? 

PHS:  I am not interested    (Laughter) 

EMCEE:  If you are not present, what you say does not count.  Jo Woo Sin plays the role of a Qing Dynasty translator, Jeong Myung Soo.  I understand Jo Woo Jin and Lee Byung Hun are fated to act together.  He appeared in “Inside Man “ and the two of you cooperated harmoniously.  

LBH:  For every movie that we acted together, this friend bullied my character each time.   This time is not any different and he acted very well.  This can well be a topic of conversation.   (Laughter)  

EMCEE:   I see.   Park Hee Sun.  What made you decide to act in this movie? 

PHS:  Director Hwang Dong Hyuck and I live in the same small district.  (Laughter) 

EMCEE:  Are you still in the same district? 

PHS:  Because he called me.  

EMCEE:  Is this geographical fate?  

PHS:  This is geographical fate.  Very straight forward.  

EMCEE:  Lee Byung Hun and  Go So.  It’s the first time for the two of you to cooperate.  But you have a great relationship.  

LBH:   Not too long ago, I just finished filming the movie “ It’s My World” .  During filming, Go Soo sent me a coffee car.   I was very touched.   

KYS:  They are in the same company ! 

EMCEE:   Is that so?  

KYS: It’s the company who sent it   (Laughter)

GS:  I have not spoken to my brother for a while.  I called him and he told me he was filming.  The summer was very hot!  

EMCEE:  Did you pay or did the company pay?  

GS:  Each paid half.  (Laughter) 

EMCEE:  Half and Half is a really smart choice! Let’s ask Park Hee Soon.  You have been a busy actor!  “Occasionally”  “Age of Shadows” “Money Bag”   “Sunkist Family”  “VIP” “The Fortress”   “Monsters”  “1987” .  From 2016, you have appeared in 8 movies. Do you think you are a hot actor?  

PHS:   Timing was good.  I was free.  (Laughter( 

EMCEE:  Can you explain why you were cast in so many movies? 

PHS:  First and foremost, I am inexpensive.  (Laughter)

PHS:    Because I am obedient and very handy. 

EMCEE:  Who among you  will say hello to the audience?  The cast is really funny,  

KYS:  You the King.  You should do it.  (Laughter)  

PHI:  We will meet you in autumn,   I hope you will follow the movie “The Fortress “ with anticipation.   The movie should be very interesting. 

EMCEE:  Thank you, all the artists for promoting “ The Fortress”  Let’s hope for great ticket sales.  

Source:  Weibo via LBH Baidu

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