Choi Min-shik dons Admiral Lee Soon-shin’s armor in Roaring Currents
Blockbuster film Roaring Currents (literal translation: Battle of Myeongryang, Whirlwind Sea) looks ahmaaazing, and I will be so bummed if it doesn’t live up to its hype. In it, veteran Hallyu star Choi Min-shik (who needs no introduction, but from New World, Oldboy, Shiri and No. 3, to name a few) has tackled the iconic role of Korean hero and legend Admiral Lee Soon-shin, and the retelling of the famous Battle of Myeongryang.
Koreans are educated about the great Lee Soon-shin from a young age, but the short version of the Battle of Myeongryang is: In 1597, in the sixth year of Japanese invasions, Admiral Lee lured a fleet of roughly 330 Japanese ships into a dangerous strait, and with only 12 ships of his own, he was able to turn the tide of the war and emerge victorious from an epic battle of naval warfare.
The source article states that Roaring Currents is the first project to tackle the Battle of Myeongryang (I guess they’re not counting Immortal Lee Soon-shin, the long-running, low-budget KBS drama that starred Kim Myung-min as the celebrated naval commander ten years ago), and the movie will be directed by Kim Han-min, who proved his historical action picture prowess two years ago with Bow, the Ultimate Weapon (also known as War of the Arrows).
The film already caught my eye with its capable director, but with one of the nation’s most charismatic and respected actors, Choi Min-shik, on board, I’m eagerly anticipating the movie’s release. The actor said, “Taking on the role of Admiral Lee Soon-shin seems like fate.” In order to embody the great icon, Choi spent six months filming fierce battle scenes in both the dead of winter and the middle of a summer heat wave, and he attacked his action sequences with unparalleled fervor — no easy feat, as he did so while bearing 20 kgs (roughly 44 lbs) of massive armor.
Choi worked tirelessly on his portrayal of the much revered hero, wanting to demonstrate the vulnerability behind the courageous exterior. “He was a military officer, a person and a parent, and I wanted to show his human side: the fear and loneliness the valiant admiral must have felt but had to hide amidst the chaos and the insurrection.” Choi went on to say, “All Koreans have the utmost admiration for Admiral Lee, and I knew I had to give more than I’d ever given before.”
The use of some experimental techniques means that we’ll see battle scenes in Roaring Currents that are unlike anything we’ve seen in other Korean movies, and the naval warfare sets were produced and filmed in the actual ocean. The quality of the production and the big budget are evident in the glossy trailer, and with Ryu Seung-ryong (another fave), Jo Jin-woong and Jin Gu rounding out the cast, I don’t know how I’ll hold out until its release date on July 30th.
Via Sports Chosun