We’ve got some more casting movement on the sequel to the legendary two-friends-become-rival-gangsters movie Friend (2001), and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher: Joo Jin-mo (Coffee) has been cast to play Yoo Oh-sung’s (Faith) father, and Yoo Oh-sung is reprising his role from the original film. What, now?
You may remember that early casting rumors were searching for someone to play Jang Dong-gun’s son (everyone from Yoo Ah-in to Lee Min-ho has been rumored, but there’s still no one cast in the role). It turns out Friend 2 will be a story spanning three generations: Yoo Oh-sung will play his original character, Joo Jin-mo will play his father in the past, and the yet-to-be-cast young actor will play Jang Dong-gun’s son in the present. That’s a lot of gangster blood running through those families, but I guess you can’t really have a sequel to a gangster movie with the son and father being an accountant and a florist.
Director Kwak Kyung-taek (who wrote and directed the original movie, and then directed the drama version starring Hyun Bin in Jang Dong-gun’s role) is helming the sequel and so far using familiar actors. Yoo Oh-sung is of course in the first film, and Joo Jin-mo has worked with him on A Love, and the two have another action film in development called Enemy.
[If you haven’t seen Friend, there are SPOILERS ahead: Yoo Oh-sung’s character in Friend already had a gangster father, so it’s at least a story written into the original world. In the sequel we’ll go back and follow the father’s story in his 30s, when he came to lead the Busan mob that Yoo Oh-sung later takes over. At the same time, the present-day story will follow Yoo Oh-sung’s release from prison after serving his sentence… where Jang Dong-gun’s son is lying in wait.]
So it’s complicated, but a little less complicated by the fact that Yoo Oh-sung anchors the story by playing the same character aged appropriately over time. So at least there’s some sort of narrative cue there, otherwise I’d be swimming in names and crying, Who’s supposed to be whozit? I’m not certain I like the idea of reviving this story yet again because the original is so iconic, but there’s no shortage of love in Korea for this film, so I’m sure the sequel will be showered with love as well. It’s just… with this story, don’tcha think the movie will have to change its name from Friend to Family?
The big question out there is who they’ll cast as the son, because those are some big britches to fill. Friend 2 starts shooting this spring.
Via TV Report
- Yoo Ah-in in consideration to play Jang Dong-gun’s son
- Movie Review: Gabi (Coffee)
- Vogue shoot. Fashion is weird.
- Coffee’s “special poster” and additional trailer
- Kim So-yeon and Joo Jin-mo for Vogue
- Coffee’s action-packed trailer and comic-inspired posters
- Joo Jin-mo poses in his underwear
- Faith: Episode 1
- Yoo Oh-sung as a chieftan in Kim Suro