Ryoo Seung-wan to Shoot ‘HUMINT’ Espionage Action Movie

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Ryoo Seung-wan, the South Korean film director who was last month in Cannes with “I, The Executioner,” says that his next picture will be an espionage action movie.

It is pitched as “depicting North and South Korean secret agents clashing while [also] uncovering crimes occurring at the border with Vladivostok, Russia.”

Currently titled, “HUMINT,” a reference to espionage industry’s shorthand for collection of intelligence through humans, rather than signals or data, the new film is to be produced by his Filmmaker R&K company and distributed by NEW.

Ryoo also says that throughout his career he has sought to change genres and that “HUMINT” will represent a “more mature espionage action” picture than some of his previous efforts.

Ryoo will release “I, The Executioner” at an unspecified date in the second half of this year. He has already settled the casting of “HUMINT” and has scheduled full-scale production of the new movie to begin in October.

The cast is headed by Zo In-sung, Park Jeong-min, Park Hae-joon and Nana. Zo, who delivered memorable action sequences and performances in Ryoo’s previous “Escape from Mogadishu” and “Smugglers,” will play the role of Manager Zo, from South Korea’s National Intelligence Service. Park Jeong-min, who was also in “Smugglers,” will portray Park Geon, a captain in North Korea’s State Security Department.

Park Hae-joon has had recent roles in “Emergency Declaration” and last year’s smash hit “12.12: The Day.” Nana is the stage name of Im Jin-ah, a singer, actor and model known for her work as a member of the girl group After School and its subgroups, Orange Caramel and After School Red. She previously appeared in 2017 film “The Swindlers” and 2022 title “Confession,” a Korean remake of “The Invisible Guest.”

Ryoo, the older brother of actor Ryoo Seung-bum, is a consummate stylist and action aficionado who made an impact with his first film “Die Bad” in 2000. Said to be influenced by films of Park Chan-wook, Ryoo has credits that include “Crying Fist,” “The Berlin File,” “The Battleship Island” and 2023 hit “Smugglers.”

He also has writer-director credits on “Veteran,” a righteous bad cop versus unspeakable gangster action picture, which was the biggest film of 2015 and is the fifth highest-performing Korean film of all time, earning $76.4 million from 13.4 million ticket sales. “Heat” director Michael Mann is in the early stages of developing an American remake.

“I, The Executioner” is a sequel to “Veteran” and in Korea is known as “Veteran 2.”

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