Actors Yu Oh-seong, left, and Jang Hyuk pose during an online press conference for the film “Tomb of the River,” Friday. Courtesy of Studio Santa Claus Entertainment
By Kwak Yeon-soo
Actors Yu Oh-seong and Jang Hyuk, both who made their names through action movies, have teamed up for the new crime thriller “Tomb of the River,” which tells the story of two rival gangs’ schemes and betrayals as they fight over ownership of Gangneung City’s newest and largest resort. The two starred previously in KBS’s drama “Gaekjoo” in 2015.
Yoon Young-bin, who is making his feature directorial debut with “Tomb of the River,” described the upcoming film as a highly predictable action noir drama. The story consists of a criminal organization, gangsters and the cops who try to chase them down. However, he noted that the versatile actors elevated the material.
“Even if the plot is banal or cliche-ridden, I believe the actors’ performances can give new life to the film. What differentiates this story from other action noir movies is the strong lineup of actors,” he said during an online press conference for the film, Friday.
In the film, Yu plays the role of Gil-suk, who is the leader of Gangneung’s main criminal gang. His plan to construct and own Asia’s largest resort in Gangneung is interrupted with the appearance of Min-suk (Jang Hyuk), an ambitious young gangster from Seoul who intends to jump into the resort business.
Yu explained that “Tomb of the River” may be the final part of his gangster film trilogy, following his roles in “Beat” (1997) and “Friend” (2001)
“It actually took us a while to complete this film. I first met with director Yoon in March 2017 and we began shooting in October 2020. The production was paused for about three years in between, but I’m grateful that the director, the cast and the film crew managed to complete it without giving up,” he said.
Jang Hyuk in a scene from the film “Tomb of the River” / Courtesy of Studio Santa Claus Entertainment
Speaking about his reason for choosing to play the character, Yu stated, “I liked the fact that the script wasn’t lighthearted. The way the dialogue was penned was so powerful and deep-rooted that gives us much to think about.”
Jang Hyuk, who appears as the manipulative villain in the new film, said he only remembers “having fun” while filming with Yu.
“It was comfortable acting opposite Yu because we have worked together before. I was also drawn to the fact that the film is set in the seaside city of Gangneung. There was beautiful landscape and sea by the filming spots, and that was visually stunning,” he said.
Oh Dae-hwan, who plays Gil-suk’s strong right-hand man, said he discovered new sides of Yu while acting alongside him.
“When I heard that Yu had been cast as my boss, I was both nervous and excited. I grew up watching his films where he often played charismatic characters. I was kind of anxious that it might be hard to get close to him. He turned out to be such a nice and friendly person,” he said.
“Tomb of the River” will hit local theaters Nov. 17.Internet Explorer Channel Network