Acclaimed South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook has set up his first project with Netflix. The director of Old Boy and last year’s stunning romantic noir Decision to Leave will co-write and produce the period thriller War and Revolt, set during Korea’s Joseon dynasty.
The film will be directed by Kim Sang-man, known for his well-received 2010 action thriller Midnight FM. Kim also is an accomplished art director, having done production work on Park’s landmark action drama Joint Security Area (2000) and I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK (2006).
War and Revolt is described as being set against the chaos of war, taking viewers on a gripping journey through the lives of two childhood friends turned adversaries.
A-list Korean actor Gang Dong-won (Broker, Peninsula) co-stars as the enigmatic Cheon-young, a character whose remarkable martial prowess defies his humble origins as a slave. Opposite Gang, Park Jeong-min (Deliver Us from Evil, Bleak Night) assumes the role of Jong-ryeo, Cheon-young’s former master and scion of Joseon’s most influential military family. After passing the military service exam, Jong-ryeo becomes King Seonjo’s personal guard, leading to a heart-wrenching reunion with his former friend.
The film marks the first time Gang and Park have shared the screen together. Describing the two performances, Netflix says: “Struggling to break free from the chains of servitude, Cheon-young will be brought to life by Gang’s extraordinary talent, exuding charm and delivering breathtaking action sequences that will leave audiences in awe… Park’s portrayal is expected to be nothing short of mesmerizing, as he delves deep into the complex psyche of a man torn between friendship and duty, ultimately facing his own downfall.”
Rounding out the cast, Cha Seung-won (Blood Rain, TV series Our Blues) will play the role of King Seonjo, a monarch who abandons his people at the onset of the Japanese invasion, only to seek redemption by restoring his royal authority after the war. Kim Shin-rock (Hellbound) portrays the resolute Bumdong, a member of the civilian militia who fearlessly defies social norms and confronts any obstacles that cross her path. Jin Seon-kyu (Extreme Job) takes on the role of Kim Ja-ryeong, a civilian militia leader descended from the traditional ruling class who emerges as an inspiring force amid the chaos of the invasion. And Jung Sung-ill (The Glory) brings the intimidating Japanese warlord Genshin to life, a character who recognizes Cheon-young’s extraordinary swordsmanship.
War and Revolt is produced by Moho Film — the powerhouse Korean label behind Park’s Decision to Leave and The Handmaiden, as well as Bong Joon-ho’s Snowpiercer — in collaboration with Semicolon Studio.
Park’s next project as a director is the HBO miniseries The Sympathizer, starring Robert Downey Jr. in multiple roles.
Netflix released images Wednesday from a recent table read for War and Revolt. See them below.
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