Chungmuro/Film News
Jung Seok-won headlines naval war film
by | January 11, 2013 | 47 Comments

Jung Seok-won has been cast as the lead in a new war movie called Battle of Yeonpyeong, and interestingly, his marine corps background seems to have been a major reason he got the part. Hey, Hyun Bin shouldn’t be the only one to collect good karma points for being an actor marine.

The movie is based on the 2002 naval attacks between North and South Korea on the island of Yeonpyeong which sits right at the border. It’s a disputed boundary, and the site of many an attack (The most recent was in 2010.) and the subject is reportedly popular source material for many films still in development (in particular another film based on the same incident called Beautiful Us, which was courting Hyun Bin).

This production took off with director Kim Hak-soon at the helm (He produced White Night and the documentary Daughter of Chorolque, and directed Dandelion and Rewind), and plans to be a big-budget war epic. The specific battle depicted happened on June 29, 2002, during the 2002 World Cup, hosted in South Korea and Japan. Two North Korean boats crossed the limit line into Southern waters, and when South Korean ships approached to warn them back, the Northern ships opened fire. North Korea had 13 killed and 25 wounded, and South Korea had 6 killed and 18 wounded.

Jung Seok-won will play Lieutenant Commander Yoon Young-ha, a real officer who was there at the time, and a national hero. The producers said, “Jung Seok-won is an actor who served as a marine and has lived an exemplary life, and we decided to cast him because he would portray Lieutenant Commander Yoon Young-ha best. And more importantly, he’s an actor who has received the same training in real life.”

I’m sure that it’s not a strict requirement that the actor be a navy seal in real life or anything, but obviously the casting pattern across other films covering the same subject seems to be pretty clear. The incident is contemporary, hits as close to home as it gets, and they mean to honor the officers in a way that having a real marine up on the screen as your hero elevates. It’s not necessary for a good movie to make its point, but it doesn’t hurt either. This one’s gonna be a tearjerker, isn’t it?

Battle of Yeonpyeong starts shooting in February for a 2013 release.

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47 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. coconuttybums

    i didn’t know cutie went to the marines :O so hot~

    • 1.1 nova611

      cant forget his character in Rooftop Price and White Christmas

  2. Dominique

    A welcome, moral counterweight to the raging scandal in South Korea involving Rain the singer on active duty right now.

    A few good men, and that is really all we need. The rest – they are here today, they are gone tomorrow.

    • 2.1 Dominique

      Rain, in the news footage that repeated over and over again, stripped of all stage theatrics and paraphernalia, looked grossly overweight and oh so plain.

      By weird coincidence, the TV screen next showed mousy Kang Ji Whan, looking ghastly and washed-up, while the voice informed us that there is a growing backlash against Hallyu across Asia.

      I hope the Hallyu forces would regroup and puts forward only the best of Hallyu as it moves forward in the New Year. A bit of fresh materials and counter instincts might help it break a new ground. And lead the viewers, rather than be dragged by them and their set ways.

      • 2.1.1 JO

        not “grossly overweight”, I would have to disagree

      • 2.1.2 queencircles

        haha you betta watch what you say about kang ji hwan looking ghastly on this site. they’ll come after ya. ;)

        i like rain. feel bad for him in this sitch. deserves the reprimand, sure, but all this craziness, idk.

        annywayy… I’m really glad that Jung Seok Won scored the lead role!! I’m happy for him. :)

      • 2.1.3 a_diva

        RAIN is certainly not grossly overweight. and although rain broke the rules, i don’t believe what he did was all that bad. i mean, any normal heterosexual male is going to try to sneak time to meet with their ladylove when they’re forced to be confined with all males for that long of a time. hell, any normal heterosexual woman would do the same . . .

        anyway, i still love you RAIN even if you did go and make out with kim tae hee . . . eeek!

        • 2.1.3.1 meanrice

          Any normal person, regardless of orientation, would want to keep their trysts separate from their work/military/school life.

          • 2.1.3.1.1 Quiet Thought

            WANTING to keep their trysts separate from work life is the goal. Being bright enough to manage it is, apparently for Bi Rain, another matter.

        • 2.1.3.2 bd

          Sorry, but Rain broke the rules (repeatedly), even while already having it easy as an “entertainment” soldier.

          In contrast Hyun Bin volunteered to serve as a regular ROK marine (who undergo tougher training) and has followed the rules.

          Rain simply took advantage of his position – which was already advantageous to begin with.

      • 2.1.4 bd

        Since when was Rain ever good-looking?

        And his physique, even when in shape, was OK (but hardly great).

        Anyway, nice to see Jung Seok-won move up to lead status.

      • 2.1.5 Moko

        wait…what news footage are you talking about?…

    • 2.2 jane

      That would have been even more perfect with Hyun Bin in it sorry. Not only he is an amazing dramatic actor, he would rock this movie plus he’s fresh out of the marines so he would be raw, in shape and simply fantastic.

      • 2.2.1 bd

        Eh, have yet to see Hyun Bin in anything where he has wowed me w/ his acting (not saying he’s a bad actor, but I really haven’t taken note of his acting one way or the other).

        Meanwhile JSW stole pretty much all the scenes he was in RTP; granted, it wasn’t a great drama, but he showed promise – so I like the fact that he has gotten a shot to show viewers what he can do in a leading role.

    • 2.3 Lisa-Loo-Loo

      So true about the here today gone tomorrow…insincerity is of no consequence and we easily forget you exited. But, to be sincere, honest and true…is so rare we can’t help but remember. Morally upright what a novel idea…

  3. MariD

    It’s being release next month??? That’s some quick filming..

    • 3.1 Addylovesbwood

      no it begins shooting next month to be released later this year..

      Good for him!!! He’s always 2nd lead…

    • 3.2 Panadera Cubana

      No. Filming starts in February. The release won’t be until later in the year. :3

  4. Rashell

    Awww love him and his noona girlfriend. So happy to see him finally be the lead in something.

    • 4.1 Ivoire

      I 2nd the sentiment about being happy to see JSW as a lead in a movie or a drama. Good for him, he went to the Marines, the toughest branch of the SK military corps.

    • 4.2 Lovebug

      Whose his Noona girlfriend?!?

      • 4.2.1 Rashell

        Baek Ji Young is the lady in question. She’s 9 years older then him, but she’s BEAUTIFUL. Here’s an article from dramabeans about a photo shoot they did http://www.dramabeans.com/2011/09/baek-ji-young-and-jung-seok-won-as-a-couple-for-cosmopolitan/

        If you put Baek Ji Young into youtube, you’ll be surprised how many songs you know. I think almost every other drama uses her. She’s fab!

        • 4.2.1.1 mary

          Heh she even sang for Rooftop Prince’s OST.

          I also ship his noona romance with BJY. :)

  5. Anne

    From being a stuntman to lead actor! Hurray jung seok won!

    • 5.1 mary

      He started out as a stuntman?

      Wow. Hope his career success mirrors that of Song Il Gook!

    • 5.2 kfangurl

      Wow! I didn’t know he started out as a stunt man! :D

      I first noticed him in Dr. Champ – I couldn’t NOT notice him with all those shirtless scenes! – and I’m so glad he’s finally made lead!! :D Woot!

  6. Lovebug

    So Glad for him, I hope its a success! Have loved him ever since Dr. Champ. Hope he gets a lead role in an actual good drama. (They didn’t know what to do with him in Hauendae Lovers).

  7. howforwardsale

    Yes!!! I love the picture and I love him. I’m happy for him, he deserves this starring role. I always thought he had too much stage presence to let it go to waste being in the background.

  8. ck1Oz

    Yeah congratulations to him.He has always come across as a decent guy and a gentleman in his interviews.Am so happy he is moving onto a leading man status.Have seen him in uniform and this guy is hot.Yes he certainly looks and can act so if it’s to portray a still living hero, great choice.

  9. KKrazy

    Wow, how cool!! I always enjoy/love Jung Seok-won in his roles. Absolutely wonderful in Rooftop Prince. I’m still laughing about the elevator scene. His expression was priceless!

  10. 10 Farhana

    Yay I’m so proud of him! But I long for the day that he gets to be a leading man in a drama! He has so much charisma and has the ability to create epic bromantical chemistry with fellow actors!

    Jung Gyu Won, Joo Won and the cast of White Christmas all had great chemistry with him! Though JGW and JSW in Doctor Champ made that drama what it was!

    • 10.1 ilikemangos

      Finally, im just glad this guy is lead.
      About time.

  11. 11 Mar

    I know this has nothing to do with rah rah Marines services lands him a role but—-This man should not have to wear clothes. Just sayin.

    I do not know what is going on with Rain in his personal life and I really do not care as long as he’s not abusing anyone or eating babies or anything. If he’s got fat from army food and desk duty or something, the man is a friggin beast, he will whip that stuff off in no time. I look forward to the day when he returns to civilian life and starts taking his clothes off and objectifying himself for our viewing pleasure again.

    My thoughts seem to have a theme today.

  12. 12 elisabeth

    Oh! How Exciting! I can’t wait! Maybe they’ll cast Kim Woo Bin in a supporting role :-)))) I miss the cast of White Christmas, it’d be nice to see them all on board, hehehe

  13. 13 browncoat78

    Yeah for JSW! I’m always rooting for him to get lead rolls as I love him and think he is underrated (oh, and he is so hot he nearly melts my computer screen). But anyhoo… Also, I have a soft spot in my heart for Marines since I grew up near a Marine Corp base (in the US) and have dated more than a couple of Marines. So, yeah! Can’t wait to see this film!

  14. 14 dewaanifordrama

    Yay! Jung Seok Won getting some love!

  15. 15 bgr

    He has finished his mandatory service! hooray – no enlistment news & missing him for 2 years down the line! Yay!

    p/s: Yo Seong Ho is timing it right too. :)

  16. 16 JC

    This guy is adorable!
    (He was sooo cute in Rooftop Prince.)
    I don’t usually like war movies, but in this case, I might just watch it for him. :D

  17. 17 goldeng

    yaaaaaay jung suk won!!! im so happy two of my biases -him and jo jung suk- are leads! and im even more happy because now I know he already enlisted, it means one less bias I would be missing like crazy…

  18. 18 Tishi

    OH SO HAPPY! Finally he gets a lead role!

  19. 19 cg

    this movie will definitely be a tearjerker….

  20. 20 meanrice

    Yeah, i actually was wondering when he would get a lead role, good for him. Now it may stray from actual events, but please gratuitous shirtless scenes please PDnim.

  21. 21 Deeliteful

    opppppaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! OMG i”m so happy for him to just be LEAD in SOMETHING! yay

  22. 22 altair

    Finally! It was about time someone gave this guy a main lead role! He was second lead in sooo many dramas, but never a main. Congrats! And in a military drama…. which I think will really suit him. I won’t watch the drama though. Anything military bores me to death.

  23. 23 sally_b

    Jung Seok-won.

    yum…yummy….nom.

    that is all.
    ;)

  24. 24 yee

    I will love to see him in the BIG screen! <3

  25. 25 Bu Young

    I remember the first drama I watched, Shinning In heritance, and he was Hwan’s (Lee Seung Gi) friend and my first Kdrama crush. I was so mad he had such a little part because it took me a while to start liking anyone else, lol.

    But wow, the Marines? Sweet!
    Ignorant International fan question her but is the marine the toughest in South Korea too? Like, is it cooler?

    Random, but I think Ji Suk Ji was in the Marines too, our big nose hyung, lol

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