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‘Train to Busan’ director Yeon Sang-ho returns with sci-fi film ‘Jung_E’

Dec. 29, 2022 - 15:09 By Kim Da-sol
“Jung_E” (Netflix)

Filmmaker Yeon Sang-ho, who directed the first Korean zombie-thriller to attract more than 10 million viewers at local cinemas, is returning with the new sci-fi film “Jung_E.”

Yeon’s new dystopian action thriller is set in the 22nd century, when humans and AI robots exist only in outer space due to climate change. After a civil war breaks out in the post-apocalyptic era, humans at an AI research lab endeavor to develop the warrior AI robot Jung_E and clone its brain to win the war.

Kim Hyun-joo, known for her work with Yeon in Netflix series “Hellbound,” plays Jung_E, whereas the late actor Kang Soo-yeon is featured as the head of the AI research lab. Kang was expected to mark a return to the big screen after nine years in “Jung_E,” but passed away in May due to sudden cardiac arrest.

Yeon is well-known for tweaking familiar genres and styles in his projects by portraying barrier-breaking topics in a distinctly Korean way. His 2016 hit “Train to Busan,” which tells the story of a fund manager Seok-wu (Gong Yoo) and his battle as a father against zombies while on a train going to Busan, garnered global acclaim.

“I began with an idea to make a visually fascinating action film that the sci-fi genre can offer and also cover a topic that can be universally sympathized with – and it was AI,” director Yeon said.

“‘Jung_E’ will cover unexpected stories between humans and nonhumans, which will also give the audience an opportunity to ponder whether humanity really belongs to humans,” he said.

“Jung_E” releases via Netflix on Jan. 20, 2023.