Korean hitmaker combines sci-fi with Korean folklore in new film ‘Alienoid’
Published : Jun 25, 2022 - 16:02
Updated : Jun 25, 2022 - 16:02
From left: Kim Eui-sung, Jo Woo-jin, Yeom Jung-ah, director Choi Dong-hoon, So Ji-sub, Kim Tae-ri, Kim Woo-bin and Ryu Jun-yeol pose for a photo after the press conference for “Alienoid” held at Conrad Seoul hotel on Thursday. (CJ ENM)
Director Choi Dong-hoon, known for “The Thieves” (2012) and “Assassination” (2015), which attracted over 10 million viewers, is returning this summer after a seven-year break from the industry with “Alienoid,” an extraordinary film that combines science fiction with Korean folklore.

“When I was a kid, I used to wonder about the existence of aliens. It made me excited and, at times, also frightened. Imagining aliens made my childhood more entertaining. I thought, what if those ideas were true, so I created this. I added traditional Korean stories to it, thinking that both science fiction and fantasy elements would make for a more interesting movie,” Choi said during a press conference at the Conrad Seoul hotel on Thursday. 

Director Choi Dong-hoon’s new film “Alienoid” (CJ ENM)
The director added that after “Assassination,” a realistic espionage action film, he wanted to make a movie full of wild inventiveness like “Alienoid.”

According to Choi, his movie begins in the present, when the main characters encounter the alien ship. They then travel back in time to the late Goryeo period, where unique magicians, known as “dosa,” lived.

Initially, the director said he was concerned about getting CGI that could help him realize his creative vision.

“Some suggested we get help from foreign technicians, but we realized that Korea has technology advanced enough to make this movie. We have top-level technicians who were sufficient,” Choi said.

The film is highly anticipated by moviegoers thanks to a star-studded cast that includes Kim Tae-ri, Kim Woo-bin, Ryu Jun-yeol and So Ji-sub. The actors took the roles because of their faith in the director and the unique script.

Director Choi Dong-hoon’s new film “Alienoid” (CJ ENM)
“Alienoid” is the first of two parts that were filmed over the course of 13 months.

“I wrote this script in two and a half years. During this process, I came up with lots of different ideas for it, and there are so many stories that did not make it. The final script was long, so I thought it would be much more dramatic if the story is divided in two.” Choi said.

Although it took over a year to shoot the two films, Choi believes that filming them together helped the actors focus on their roles.

“It was crucial that the actors fully become the characters. 13 months was long, but I could see the actors show consistency when performing,” he said.

The director feels that the mega-hit status of his previous work adds pressure to the success of this one, but he doesn‘t like to think about it too much.

“It is sort of like when you win awards. When I get them from movie festivals, I am honored and happy, but I try to put them away where I cannot see them,” he said.

“Alienoid” will hit local theaters on July 20.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)