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[Movie 2019-2020] Ashfall / Baekdusan, 백두산 - No Option For Failure


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November 11, 2019


Individual Character Posters Released for "Mt. Baekdu"


By William Schwartz on HanCinema.net




Five new individual character posters have been released for "Mt. Baekdu". Each one establishes context for the upcoming disaster film's five new leads, who are all expected to serve distinct overlapping roles in the larger story considering the eruption of the titular real life volcano.


Lee Byung-hun appears in his role as a North Korean agent gathering information about the mountain. Ha Jung-woo plays his counterpart on the South Korean side, a special operative attempting to prevent a final explosion. Ma Dong-seok appears as a scientific researcher, with the tagline of an impossible mission that must succeed.


Jeon Hye-jin shares Ma Dong-seok's tagline, as the woman who solicits his help for the mission. Lastly, Suzy appears as a normal woman trapped in the chaos. Her tagline is that she must definitely survive. "Mt. Baekdu" is slated for theatrical release sometime in December.


Written by William Schwartz

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November 13, 2019


“Ashfall” Lee Byung Hun acting as a North Korean operative for the first time since his debut.  Speaking Russian and Chinese was not a problem for him. (A translation) 




The final movie of the year “Ashfall” assembled a super strong cast:  the main actors include Lee Byung Hun, Ha Jung Woo, Ma Dong Seok, Suzy and Jeon Hye Jin.  One of them, Lee Byung Hun acted as a North Korean operative for the first time since his debut.  Aside from being a good action actor, he needed to have multiple language skills. 




In the movie “Ashfall”, he is Lee Jun Pyeong, a North Korean armed forces personnel who holds decisive information in order to prevent the last eruption of Baekdusan.   When his spy identity was exposed, he participated in the secret operations of South Korea.  In order to play this special role, Lee Byung Hun must start by speaking with a North Korean accent and then learn to speak Russian and Chinese. In addition, as a first class officer, he must have great martial arts skills.    Lee said:  “Lee Jun Pyeong is a character with multiple personalities and appearances, I hope you will have a sense of curiosity about this character. “ 




The director also said: “Lee Byung Hun’s acting has always been very broad.  The role of Lee Jun Peong is very attractive.  I was amazed when I saw him on the set.”  He highly praised Lee’s performance. “Ashfall”  describes Baekdusan which will cause great damage to both North and South Korea and several important persons must stop its last major outbreak.    Lee Byung Hun, Ha Jung Woo, Ma Dong Seok, Suzy and Jeon Hye Jin will perform together.   The movie will premiere at the end of December. 




Source:  https://www.koreastardaily.com/sc/news/121805


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It's good to see that CJ Entertainment has actively started the promos for Ashfall. This is a fun comparison of Mount Baekdu and the Korean steamed egg dish (that's cooked in a covered pot till it boils over like a volcano). Seeing the uncanny similarity.. the team can't help but sprang into action to "stop the explosion" .. by eating it.. ??. oops.gif


The parody captures of the cast is too cute. :lol:


Source: CJ Entertainment


















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Source: 쉼표 @rmflrhdhsmf


Movie stills: Jo In Chang played by Ha Jung woo






Another artwork to anticipate the upcoming movie


Source: CJ Entertainment


Lee Byung-hun X Ha Jung-woo X Ma Dong-seok X Jeon Hye-jin X Suzy⠀⠀⠀
Colossal disaster, Baekdusan eruption has begun!
The story of five people against the explosion.
* Illustrator@ari.nunnunano


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November 12, 2019

Lee Byung-hun Does Double Duty With Disaster Films

Joan MacDonald FORBES 

Lee Byung-hun’s fans will have several chances to see him onscreen in the coming year, as he stars in three films, each of which features a storyline sure to get the adrenaline pumping. He appears in the disaster film Mt. Baekdu, which aims for a late 2019 or early 2020 release, as well as the political thriller, Chiefs of Namsan, aka The Man Standing Next, which aims for a release on Dec. 31. His next film, Emergency Declaration, another disaster film, plans to start production in early 2020.



Chiefs of Namsan is set in Korea in the 1970s. Lee plays a former Korean Central Intelligence Agency chief who becomes involved in assassinating the president. Actor Lee Sung-min plays President Park and Kwak Do-won plays another ex-KCIA officer. Woo Min-ho, who directed Lee in the film Inside Men, also directs Chiefs of Namsan, making this Lee’s most anticipated role of the year. Under Woo’s direction Lee’s role in Inside Men won him the Best Actor prize at the 52nd Baeksang Art Awards, 37th Blue Dragon Awards and 53rd Grand Bell Awards.




Lee also plays an intelligence officer in the disaster film Mt. Baekdu, only in that film he’s a North Korean agent. The film imagines a fictional eruption of Mt. Baekdu, an active volcano on the Chinese - North Korean border. Mt. Baekdu last erupted in 1903 and since it emits lava about every 100 years, its expected to flare up again soon. Although recent real-life eruptions have been minor, the fictional eruption is set to happen on a cataclysmic scale. The characters played by Lee and his co-stars—Ha Jung-woo, Jeon Hye-jin, Ma Dong-seok and Bae Suzy—must do what they can to prevent disaster. 

Ha plays a member of a South Korean explosive detonation team, while Ma plays a geology professor who predicts the eruption. Despite their different approaches and political affiliations, the characters work together to forestall catastrophe. Mt. Baekdu is directed by Lee Hae-joon, who also directed Castaway on the Moon.

Lee is already preparing for his next disaster film, Emergency Declaration. His co-star in that film is actor Song Kang Ho, who stars in Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite. Song and Lee worked together on three previous films, Park Chan-wook’s Joint Security Area and in two of Kim Jee-woon’s films: The Good, the Bad, the Weird and The Age of Shadows. 




Emergency Declaration will give Lee a chance to cope with catastrophe in a new environment, since the action in the C-Jes film takes place on a plane. An unforeseen event forces the pilots to make an emergency declaration and be forced to land their plane. Emergency Declaration is directed by Han Jae-rim, who directed The Face Reader and The King. 


Lee has dozens of Korean films and dramas to his credit and he’s appeared in a few Hollywood productions. His film work also includes A Bittersweet Life; and Masquerade; plus both the film and TV drama versions of the spy story Iris. His TV work also includes the drama All In and most recently Mr. Sunshine. Lee’s recent Hollywood roles include Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and its sequel G.I. Joe: Retaliation, as well as roles in Red 2, Terminator Genisys, and The Magnificent Seven 



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November 15, 2019


CJ ENM, Walt Disney neck-and-neck at S. Korean box office

SEOUL, Nov. 15 (Yonhap) -- Two film distributing powerhouses, CJ ENM and Walt Disney Company Korea, were neck-and-neck at the South Korean box office in the first 10 months of this year, data showed Friday.


In January to October, CJ ENM, an entertainment unit of CJ Group, distributed 13 films, garnering 45.4 million admissions and taking up 24.5 percent of the total tickets sold.


Walt Disney Company Korea, the local unit of the U.S.-based media titan, also managed 13 movies, which attracted 45.2 million moviegoers with a market share of 24.4 percent.


On the list of the top 10 hit movies in 2019, three blockbusters -- "Extreme Job," "Parasite" and "Exit" -- were distributed by CJ ENM, while Walt Disney had four -- "Avengers: Endgame," "Aladdin," "Captain Marvel" and "The Lion King."


This image provided by CJ ENM shows a scene from "Ashfall." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

This image provided by CJ ENM shows a scene from "Ashfall." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

For the remaining two months of the year, the two giants are expected to continue their fierce competition for the top spot at the end of 2019.


Walt Disney will deliver the highly anticipated "Frozen 2," set to hit South Korean screens on Thursday next week. "Frozen" was the first animated film seen by more than 10 million cinemagoers in South Korea.


The upcoming disaster film "Ashfall," to be released in December, is CJ ENM's weapon of choice for the winter vacation season. The flick is attracting media attention for an all-star cast that includes Lee Byung-hun, Ha Jung-woo, Ma Dong-seok and Bae Suzy.


Amid the competition between the two companies, other film distributors have been sluggish.


Lotte Cultureworks, the No. 1 last year on the back of the success of the "Along With the Gods" series, dropped to third place with a share of 8.1 percent over the 10-month period. It has distributed more than 20 films but none of them set the market alight.


Warner Bros. Korea came in next with 6.4 percent, followed by Showbox with 6.2 percent and NEW with 5.6 percent.



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19.11.19 Showcase: New movie 'Ashfall'

New movie 'Ashfall'

Lee Byung-hun, who stars in the new movie "Ashfall," poses during a showcase at a Seoul theater on Nov. 19, 2019. The disaster flick, which tells the story of a massive eruption of a volcano on Mount Paekdu in North Korea and ensuing disasters across the Korean Peninsula, will hit local screens in December. (Yonhap)


New movie 'Ashfall'


Ha Jung-woo, who stars in the new movie "Ashfall," poses during a showcase at a Seoul theater on Nov. 19, 2019. The disaster flick, which tells the story of a massive eruption of a volcano on Mount Paekdu in North Korea and ensuing disasters across the Korean Peninsula, will hit local screens in December. (Yonhap)


New movie 'Ashfall'


Bae Suzy, who stars in the new movie "Ashfall," poses during a showcase at a Seoul theater on Nov. 19, 2019. The disaster flick, which tells the story of a massive eruption of a volcano on Mount Paekdu in North Korea and ensuing disasters across the Korean Peninsula, will hit local screens in December. (Yonhap)



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November 19, 2019


Ha Jung Woo Talks About Playing A Married Couple With Suzy In Film Despite 16-Year Age Gap

Source: Soompi by U. Kim


Ha Jung Woo Talks About Playing A Married Couple With Suzy In Film Despite 16-Year Age Gap


On November 19, a press conference was held for the film “Baekdusan” (literal title). Directors Lee Hae Joon and Kim Byung Seo, as well as actors Lee Byung Hun, Ha Jung Woo, Jeon Hye Jin, and Suzy were present.


“Baekdusan” follows the story of people who must do their best to stop the final eruption of Mount Baekdu, which has enough force to swallow up both North and South Korea.


Ha Jung Woo plays Jo In Chang, a captain who has been brought in on the secret project that has everyone’s lives at stake, and Suzy plays his wife Choi Ji Young, who tries to survive the disaster.


Ha Jung Woo and Suzy are 16 years apart in age, regarding which Ha Jung Woo shared, “At first, when I heard that Suzy was cast [in the role], I wasn’t sure if we’d look good together because we have quite an age gap. Director Kim Yong Hwa and his wife actually have a big age gap between them, and the people around me gave me courage to enter the filming.”


He also corrected his previous statement at an interview last year where he had said that he and Suzy do not meet in any of the film’s scenes. He shared that his character and Suzy’s character come together at the beginning and end of the movie.


Suzy described her thoughts about filming her first disaster film, saying, “I felt lonely when I was alone on set and faced with the disasters, so it was easy for me to focus. I thought, ‘I’m really alone,’ and felt lonely, scared, and frightened. Also, I was nervous about working with such great senior actors, and that’s why I always had a degree of excitement and nervousness when going to the set.” She added, “I’ll be showing a side of me that’s different from what I showed in ‘Vagabond.’ In the drama, I uncovered cases as an NIS (National Intelligence Service) agent, and this time, I’ll be struggling to overcome a disaster.”


Check out the official posters for the film here!


Source (1)

Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews



Aerial view of Ashfall PC, clip by wongu_jang


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Full video: ASHFALL 19.11.19 Press Event (Source: Movie-bee)



'Ashfall' actors confident about film's eye-catching scale, storyline

By Kim Boram


SEOUL, Nov. 19 (Yonhap) -- South Korean star actor Lee Byung-hun said Tuesday that his first disaster film "Ashfall" will catch the eyes of local film buffs with its overwhelming scale and fresh storyline and characters.


"I thought I have experienced a lot of film genres in my career. But 'Ashfall' is my first disaster film," Lee said at a press conference in Seoul. "It has inherent thrill and tension from beginning to end, which is crucial for a disaster movie."


Co-directed by Lee Hae-jun and Kim Byung-seo, "Ashfall" is Lee Byung-hun's first silver screen project in almost two years since his last comedy film "Keys to the Heart." Last year, he appeared on the small screen in the period drama "Mr. Sunshine."


Actor Ha Jung-woo (R) speaks at a press conference on the upcoming disaster film "Ashfall" with Lee Byung-hun (L) in Seoul on Nov. 19, 2019. (Yonhap)

Actor Ha Jung-woo (R) speaks at a press conference on the upcoming disaster film "Ashfall" with Lee Byung-hun (L) in Seoul on Nov. 19, 2019. (Yonhap)

The new film is about a group of people who team up to stop the volcanic explosion of Mount Paekdu located at the northern tip of the Korean Peninsula. Its historic eruption that happened about a thousand years ago was so enormous and powerful that its ash even flew to Japan.


Lee plays the role of Lee Joon-pyeong, a North Korean spy agent, who has to join hands with a South Korean special forces team captained by Jo In-Chang (Ha Jung-woo) to prevent a possible volcanic eruption of the North Korean mountain.


"Ashfall" is one of the most anticipated films of 2019 for its production house, Dexter Studios, which is behind the smash hit series of "Along With the Gods," and its all-star cast including Lee, Ha and singer-turned-actress Bae Suzy.


It is the first time that the two most bankable male stars in the South Korean film industry will appear in the same film together.


For this movie, Lee, who has more than 30 movies in his filmography since his debut in 1995, learned North Korean accents and even Chinese and Russian.


"Its screenplay was so powerful that I could read it in one stretch," he said. "It's also kind of a buddy film as I act with Ha. I'm looking forward to it a lot."


Ha, who has also carved out a new career as a filmmaker with four movies, including "Fasten Your Seatbelt" and "Take Point," said "Ashfall" has something different in dealing with the disaster-torn characters.


He said in spite of the catastrophe, when all people become desperate and hopeless, the heroes of the movie are not engrossed in despair. They sometime have leeway for humor and wit and feel a deep sense of camaraderie and friendship.


"I like this movie because the characters are not monotonous," Ha said. "We don't feel sad and frustrated around the clock. The movie catches that balance between frustration and humor."


He said the on-screen chemistry between him and Lee created a synergy that maximizes the tension and friendship in the film.


On top of the two huge names, superstar Ma Dong-seok takes the important role of Kang Bong-rae, an expert on Mount Paekdu and its possible eruptions, and appears alongside the actresses Jeon Hye-jin and Bae Suzy.


"This movie doesn't focus on the survival of the characters in the tragedy, but concentrates on the stories of each person who tries to protect something valuable," Kim Byung-seo, one of the co-directors, said.


"Ashfall" will hit local screens in December.




Photo: MBN Star


기사의 1번째 이미지


기사의 2번째 이미지

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Ashfall’ brings new threat to Seoul: a volcano: Disaster movie asks what people will do to protect their loved ones

Nov 20,2019

A zombie apocalypse, poisonous gases and unknown viruses have all descended upon Seoul in movies over the past few years, so why not a volcanic eruption? 

Over the years, directors have enjoyed bringing several “what if?” situations to the screen with the help of state-of-the-art movie technology and some of the country’s best actors. 

This time, directors Kim Byung-seo and Lee Hae-jun are introducing a plausible crisis situation that hasn’t been seen in a local movie before through their upcoming film “Ashfall,” which asks the question: What if Mount Paektu, which has been dormant since 1903, erupts again?

Mount Paektu is an active volcano situated on the Chinese-North Korean border. The “Millennium Eruption,” one of the most violent eruptions in the last 5,000 years, occurred during the Goryeo Dynasty (918-1392) from 946 to 947. Geologists and earthquake experts say that although there is no guarantee that the volcano will erupt again anytime soon, there is always a possibility.

For the whole cast except for Ha Jung-woo - Lee Byung-hun, Jeon Hye-jin and Bae Suzy - the film was their first opportunity to work with large-scale CGI technology, but they all found that the film’s set was closer to reality than they’d imagined.  

The many lifelike situations in the film were thanks to the fact that the director was able to close off the Jamsu bridge across the Han River in Seoul for the first time in local cinema history to shoot a scene. Director Lee wanted the audience to experience the disaster as vividly as possible, even though it’s on a screen. 

“In order for the audiences to feel like it’s happening to them, we needed a familiar place that we see often,” said Lee Hae-jun at the press conference on Tuesday. “Naturally, those are locations where there are a lot of people. We also filmed at Gangnam station [in southern Seoul] and although the scene is less than five minutes long, we had to [have many] takes to get all the necessary scenes.” 
  Actors Ha Jung-woo, left, and Lee Byung-hun as agents Jo In-chang and Lee Joon-pyung in “Ashfall.” [CJ ENTERTAINMENT]

Ha, although he’s had plenty of experience working on disaster films, such as “The Terror, LIVE” (2013) and “Tunnel” (2016), said that he was again attracted to the disaster scenario because the characters’ actions and words weren’t predictable. 

“Although people were going through an apocalypse, their dialogue wasn’t cliche,” said Ha, who plays the character Jo In-chang, the leader of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD). “I mean, no matter how much of a calamity we’re in, we are not facing difficulties 24/7. So I found it freshening to find humor and sincerity in how people dealt with their predicaments.” 

Actor Ma Dong-seok plays geology professor Robert Kang, who suggests solutions to the upcoming disaster. 

While making the film, Ma explained his character as “a person who uses his brain more than his body.” Using his own sense of humor, Ma’s character brings the laughs in between moments of tension. 

Meanwhile, actor Lee Byung-hun, for the first time in his 28-year career, plays a North Korean agent. His character, Lee Jun-pyung, forms an unlikely coalition with Jo to prevent the impending doom. 

“But [the film] is also a buddy movie, as Lee and Jo gradually learn to collaborate with one another,” Lee Byung-hun added. 

“The rapport between Jo and Lee is definitely one of the most attractive aspects of the film,” Ha agreed. “Although I have play characters in several disaster films in the past, I felt less-pressured because in ‘Ashfall’ all of us were putting our heads together to resolve the problem.” 

Although the two veteran actors have appeared in many films, they have never had the chance to work together until now. 

While Ha and Lee Byung-hun play characters who are on the scene, Jeon’s character is the one behind the scenes who tries to formulate a new plan with Ma as the President for Civil Affairs. 

“My character, Jeon Yoo-kyung is a leader who needs to have a firm hand to make the momentary decisions for a greater cause,” said Jeon. “Rather than debating over whether or not her judgements are right or wrong, she is someone with the determination to carry out what she believes in.”

Bae, on the other hand, represents the civilians struggling to survive. Her character, Choi Ji-young, is married to Jo and attempts to survive in the midst of chaos to meet her husband. 

“I was actually lonely because I spend a lot of scenes apart from everyone else,” Bae said. “So in the rare moments where I was filming with the other actors, I was really energized.” 

“The film itself was a new challenge for us because there never has been a local movie about volcano eruption,” said director Lee. “The story will offer a new spectacles that audiences haven’t seen before.”

“It’s about how the people stand up against the face of casualty to protect their loved ones” added Kim.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]


Source:  JoongAng Daily

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November 19, 2019


Ha Jung Woo Shares Fun Nickname For Suzy Among Cast Members Of Their Film

Source: Soompi by C. Hong


Ha Jung Woo Shares Fun Nickname For Suzy Among Cast Members Of Their Film

At a press conference for the upcoming film “Baekdusan” (literal title) on November 19, Ha Jung Woo shared a fun nickname that the cast had for Suzy.


He said, “We call her ‘Chairman Bae.’ Despite her young age, she frequently buys us meals and drinks. The rest of us keep messing up our timing [to pay for the meal]. We decided we needed to call her chairman [the word in Korean can also mean ‘president’ or ‘CEO’], so we’re calling her that now.”


Ha Jung Woo went on to share that Jun Hye Jin’s nickname was “super ant,” a term that refers to people who are interested in the stock market. When asked about Lee Byung Hun’s nickname, Ha Jung Woo responded, “I will think about it before the next press conference. He is a very diverse character.”


“Baekdusan,” which stars Lee Byung Hun, Ha Jung Woo, Ma Dong Seok, Jun Hye Jin, and Suzy, premieres in December.




Source (1Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews


Clip: TongTongTV



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