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Veteran actor Lee Jung-jae to make directorial debut

Choi Ji-won

The Korea Herald/Asia News Network

Seoul, South Korea  /  Tue, July 28, 2020  /  09:09 pm
Veteran actor Lee Jung-jae to make directorial debut

This handout photo received on September 28, 2012 by Showbox/Mediaplex, Inc shows Korean actor Lee Jung-jae starring as a thief in Choi Dong-hun’s 2012 heist thriller 'The Thieves' in Macau. (AFP/Showbox/Mediaplex, Inc.)

Veteran actor Lee Jung-jae is set to make his directorial debut in an upcoming spy-action film.

Tentatively titled Hunt, the film is expected to kick off production next year, according to the film’s distributor Megabox Joongang Plus M last week. Lee will also play the lead role in the movie.

Taking place in 1980s Korea, the film will revolve around national security agents Park Pyong-ho and Kim Jung-do, who are chasing after the chief of North Korea’s espionage operation in the South. Lee will play Park, a member of the agency’s overseas division.

Lee joined the production of the spy movie in early 2017. He selected the film -- which was then titled Namsan -- as his first production piece and stated he would also take part in writing the film’s screenplay.

Read also: Korean films hope to repeat Cannes success in 2020 Cannes Film Market

A few months later, media reported that filmmaker Jung Ji-woo of Eungyo (2012) and veteran actor Choi Min-sik would be joining the project as director and lead actor, respectively. However, Jung and Choi ultimately declined to take the part, and star director Han Jae-rim, of The Face Reader (2013) and The King (2017), was then expected to helm the movie. However, Han also turned down the offer in March 2018.

After almost four years of working on the script, Lee finally confirmed he will himself be taking up the role of producer, director and lead actor.

Meanwhile, the distributor on Monday told The Korea Herald that another headlining actor, Jung Woo-sung -- well known as a longtime close friend of Lee -- is considering starring in the movie. If Jung confirms the casting, the two actors will partner for the first time in 21 years, since action-drama film City of the Rising Sun in 1999.

Lee, 47, debuted as a TV actor in 1993 and, in the following year, shot to fame with his first film The Young Man. Since then, Lee has had key roles in several hit films, including The Thieves (2012), The New World (2013) and Assassination (2015), which all exceeded the blockbuster milestone of 10 million tickets sold. 

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This article appeared on The Korea Herald newspaper website, which is a member of Asia News Network and a media partner of The Jakarta Post