Big auteurs, hit franchises ready to roll out in 2024

Kim Tae-ri in a scene from the upcoming blockbuster film 'Alienoid: The Return to the Future” / Courtesy of CJ ENM

This year is set to be filled with a dynamic lineup of movies, from recognized filmmakers’ new flicks to hit franchise sequels.The film to kick off this year’s local film box office run is the second installment of the action blockbuster “Alienoid,” hitting theaters on Jan. 10.The two-part film revolves around two androids from 2022 who are chasing after escaped alien criminals. When a time portal opens, their fate gets entangled with Taoist magicians from the 918-1392 Goryeo Kingdom who fight each other over a legendary divine sword.“Alienoid: The Return to the Future” will pick up the story where Lee Ahn (Kim Tae-ri), a human from the modern day, gets stuck in Goryeo for 10 years and finally restores the legendary divine sword. Meanwhile, Taoist wizard Mureuk (Ryu Jun-yeol), who has been helping Lee Ahn through her adventure, starts to feel a mysterious being inside him.The second part is also directed by Choi Dong-hoon, who helmed the 2012 hit action flick “The Thieves.”

Another hit franchise, “The Roundup,” will be rolling out its fourth installment this year. The film series, which follows rough-and-tough cop Ma Seok-do (Ma Dong-seok) chasing and fighting vicious criminals, has garnered success with two previous installments — “The Roundup”(2022) and “The Roundup: No Way Out” (2023) — surpassing 10 million ticket sales.The latest one, “The Roundup: Punishment,” will follow Ma going on a mission to take down Korea’s largest illegal online gambling cartel with his team along with the cyber investigation unit. Heo Myeong-haeng, who previously led stunts for the previous installments, will make his directorial debut with this movie. Two globally acclaimed directors, Bong Joon-ho and Park Chan-wook, will premiere their newest project in the coming months.Director Bong will be releasing his new Hollywood flick, “Mickey 17,” marking his return to the director’s chair five years since the award-winning “Parasite” (2019).Based on Edward Ashton’s novel “Mickey7,” the sci-fi thriller, which is set to premiere this March, revolves around a cloned employee (Robert Pattinson) going on a human expedition to colonize the ice world of Niflheim. It includes a star-studded cast of Toni Collette, Mark Ruffalo and Steven Yeun.Produced and written by Park, “War and Revolt” will hit Netflix later this year.

Set in the chaos of war during the 1392-1910 Joseon Kingdom, the film is about two childhood friends — played by Gang Dong-won and Park Jeong-min — going on a gripping journey through the lives of turned adversaries.The film is directed by Kim Sang-man, whose previous work includes the 2010 thriller “Midnight F.M.”Adding to the year’s excitement are two star-studded films, “Pamyo” starring Choi Min-sik and Kim Go-eun, and “A Normal Family” starring Jang Dong-gun and Kim Hee-ae.The occult thriller “Pamyo,” scheduled to hit theaters in February, revolves around a shaman, Hwa-rim (Kim Go-eun), and a feng shui master (Choi) who travel to Los Angeles to investigate a mysterious occurrence and uncover the truth behind it.The film is directed by Jang Jae-hyun, who is known for the occult movies “The Priests” (2015) and “Svaha: The Sixth Finger” (2019).The drama film “A Normal Family” is finally getting its much-awaited premiere this year.Based on Herman Koch’s novel “The Dinner,” the movie follows successful attorney Jae-wan (Sol Kyung-gu) who investigates the murder of a wealthy executive’s son. Despite his client being a killer, defending the client is his priority in his profession, whereas his pediatrician younger brother, Jae-kyu (Jang), is devoted to prioritizing the health of his patients. When unexpected circumstances involve their teenage children, the brothers’ consciences are tested.The film, which was invited to the Toronto International Film Festival last year, is directed by Hur Jin-ho, whose previous work includes the 2019 period film “Forbidden 메이저 Dream.”

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