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Character stills from Invincible, aka A Better Tomorrow’s remake

Invincible [Mujeokja, or 무적자] is the Korean remake of the 1986 Hong Kong mobster noir film A Better Tomorrow, and just wrapped filming on July 1 at Gamcheon Port in Busan. The shoot lasted just over five months, having begun on January 25 and including location filming abroad in Thailand.

The film stars Song Seung-heon in the role originated by Chow Yun-fat, Joo Jin-mo (pictured above), Jo Han-seon, and Kim Kang-woo. It is planning to release over the Chuseok holiday in September, which is one of the largest holidays of the year (and therefore a big movie-going weekend).

In the remake, Song Seung-heon and Joo Jin-mo are gangsters involved in the black market arms trade, while Kim Kang-woo is the detective pursuing them who happens to be Joo’s younger brother. Jo Han-seon plays a guy who wants to get rid of the others and take over.

Eldest-on-set Joo Jin-mo said after wrapping on the film, “During the filming, I fell deeper into the emotions of the character every day. It should satisfy audiences with action, emotion, and drama.” Song Seung-heon added, “If you don’t watch Invincible during the Chuseok season, you’ll be left out of the loop!”

The title Invincible can have a few readings; in addition to being a person who is unbeatable, another meaning is “one without a country.” The project boasts a hefty production budget of 10 billion won and comes from director Song Hae-sung of Failan and Maundy Thursday.

Via Newsen

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@ JB (responding here instead of in the Athena thread)

Thank you!!! Oh wow, I only saw the mashup picture and in a much smaller-scale. This is MUCH better for oogling purposes. The mashup of these four stills looked exactly like the Athena character-in-a-box look, which was leaving me exhausted for some creativity.

Individually, these stills do convey the characterization of each of the leads (JJM = world-weary and emotionally-laden with brotherly baggae, SSH = sleazy and cheesy (I think he was going for gangsta shady and jokester, but FAILED epically), KKW = straight-laced, and JHS = sly and plotty).

However, like I said before, and will say again, WHY the background, photoshop editor? They look like someone lit their asses on fire! Not the best look, made me laugh my head off instead of appreciating the manly pathos.

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I know Chow Yun Fat was famous for having a toothpick in his mouth in the original, but is it me or does Song Seung Hun have a lollipop in his mouth. LOL.

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SSH's photo made me LOL. 8-)

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Jo Han Seon ♥ ♥ ♥!!!

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I usually cannot stand the guy but SSH is cute there... in a campy way hahaha.

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@ sallynally

Yes, CYF had the toothpick action going, and apparently SSH said in an interview his character wasn't going to do the same thing, but something similar. I am baffled that anyone thinks chomping on a lollipop is menacing or manly in any way.

Unless they are going for unintentional camp, otherwise this is already veering into silly territory. But I LOVE JJM's pic.

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OMFG

Am i the only one who saw Song Seung-heon in East Of Eden?? HE CANT ACT

Why would they remake a classic with so many weak actors. I LOVE HK flicks and i will be damned if they ruin this movie. Kim Kang-woo Joo Jin-mo the only two who can act what a damn shame REALLY. :(

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WOW!!! LOTS OF EYE CANDY........!!! HOPE IT'S A GOOD MOVIE.. STELLAR CAST?

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OMG! ♥___♥

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the pictures made me laugh, especially song seung heon's. he looks like he's in a comedy. jo han seon didn't look that bad, but still...

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Woooh! Jo Han Seon! And three others I also like.

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Wow! It's a really tough act to follow. Nobody could touch Fat in the coolness factor back in the day, and then there's Leslie's pout.....

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Will watch this for Kim Kang Woo. :-)

SSH's lollipop-sucking reminds me of Kojak, I hope that's the only thing he "sucks," I read his acting is, too. Eep!

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I hope the Korean re-make lives up to its HK predecessor. JJM, SSH, .. they even dug up Jo Han-seon!
Looks like a gathering of the muscled macho and the macho-er. I am surprised choc-abs Kwon Sang-woo isn't somewhere in that lineup.

A BETTER TOMORROW is a triad classic (still is) that spun many many more of its genre in the 90s. It was ze trend-setter.
Chow Yun Fatt's 'Mark kor' (Brother Mark) and his Mark-kor trench ('Mark-kor' lau = Brother Mark coat) was a huge fashion classic too, back then.
Mr Chow made it all so cool

So was Leslie Cheung, another class act.

The whole package was so successful ... even though eagerly awaited == A Better Tomorrow 2 fell a little flat.

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"I know Chow Yun Fat was famous for having a toothpick in his mouth in the original, but is it me or does Song Seung Hun have a lollipop in his mouth."

Next to Jay-Z, Em, and Drake, Song Seung Heon is DA BEST ACTA ALIVE!!!

"In the remake, Song Seung-heon and Joo Jin-mo are gangsters involved in the black market arms trade"

Very pleased to have Oppa Bot and Roman God in the same movie. (How Joo Jin Mo isn't close to Jang Dong Gun level popular in Korea is baffling. I mean, he's . . . a Roman God. In almost every other Asian country, he would be a mantinee idol. And a Roman God!)

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KKW...you'll be the only reason I watch this. I'll try to forget this is supposed to be "A Better Tomorrow" remake.

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Why are there so many remakes? I am tired of watching the same stories with some variations over and over again. That's probably why I find Coffee House so refreshing.

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<3 JJM <3 thanks JB!!

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its funny.
a better tommorow was a remake of a 1967 french flim noir movie called
le samurai, with alain delon as the lead.
a very good movie i would recomend to anyone who likes flim noir.
i hope this remake is good.

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Ooooh, major eye candy!! I will be looking forward to this movie!! I love the cast, especially JJM, SSH, and JHS!! Ahhhhh, I think my eyes are going to be blind after watching it!! Major hotness coming this FALL!!

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@nana

Actually, it was The Killer - not ABT ;)

I'm hopeful for the remake. I love A Better Tomorrow, and was THE film that got me into HK Cinema. I'm shocked the trailer hasn't shown up yet.

Good luck, SSH.

Still one of the best action scenes in films.... FLOWER POTS!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlQ_iyQ61ig

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only good thing here's Joo JM! OMG SSH? I can't see he's appealing

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@12 Nokcha

"Wow! It’s a really tough act to follow. Nobody could touch Fat in the coolness factor back in the day, and then there’s Leslie’s pout….."

I agree. This was one of the first movies I saw Leslie in. There will never be another Leslie.

I'm glad that Kim Kang-Woo will play his role. I think he will be pretty darn good.

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Song Seung Hun + lollipop + (trying to be) sly smile --> LOL.
The background of the pictures looks like a background of cheap photo studio.
( except on the KKW one, because it shows the 'fire' )

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Fingerprint production bought the remake rights from the Cannes in 2006. SSH was still in the army at that time, but they were already eyeing him for Chow's role. SSH didn't do the remake which was rumored by fans in China and Korea, but he decided to do FATE and East Of Eden instead for his projects post army service. However Fingerprint, all this time wouldn't let go of SSH, they wait and wait until he decided to finally give in to do Chow's role.

Filling Chow's role must have been quite a pressure for SSH, but through confidence showned by the production and its director he went for it.

It was reported by production staff, that John Woo was involved directly with many things with the Korean remake, even pre-production and casting. For a legend director like him to have such an impact with casting (in relation to SSH, JJM, KKW, and JHS), it's a big deal for us as fans.

I'm very excited, can't wait for the release come September.

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@15 belleza: I second to you! JJM IS a Roman god! Always has been, always will be. Period.

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^ I hate to burst your bubble, 2uss, I'm glad u r very excited and think it's a big deal John Woo 'the legendary director' is involved in this, but it just made me sadder.

I have no love left for John Woo. NONE. He's shown me no love for my intelligence or his craft, I'm not a charitable.

Really I do cringe anytime I read anything about this remake. I weep my own miserable tears and wish this is just a nightmare and please just go away....

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@ockoala

maybe it's an evil lollipop ... like a drug-laced one, or one stolen by a baby

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@ Mookie, why would you cringe?? remakes are done all the time. ABT was itself a remake. True artists evolve. I'm glad that John Woo isn't as close minded, but in fact very active in participating with this remake in some ways (big or small). I'm glad that he's open minded to the Korean film industry in carrying this remake, a piece of cinematic classic.

One could imagine the collaboration that director SHS and John Woo would have via telephone or in person about a certain scene. And John Woo would say, "Wait, that will work in Hong Kong, but how will this work in Busan?" and thus director Song would nod at a certain idea. Oh man!! what I would give to see that.

There were reports that there will be computer generated graphics over the gun fight scenes and that it took many days to weeks to complete. SSH and JJM were worried of the concept and how it would look, but once they saw the final edited gun scene(s), they were blown away by the quality.

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YAOOOOWWWZZAA!

Joo Jinmo's picture is really good.

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I know I can be a pessimist... but I hope this remake will not butcher the original movie which was such a timeless, classic piece from the glory days of HK Cinema...

That aside, Joo Jin Mo looks hot and SSH and toothpick... hmmm... I dunno... but would rather he didnt do that trademark...

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John Woo doesn't have an eye for acting, but he has an eye for beautiful posturing. So, yes, on that front, casting Oppa Bot or Roman God makes a lot of sense (and, truth be told, if Roman God had been raised and fed on HK police dramas and international casual, my Gawd he could have been Idol of Legend.)

As much as I love K-drama and J-dorama, and as much as they take influences from American TV, there's an innate insularity with K/J cultures that makes HK-style cop stories and therefore well-coifed, well dressed, kiss kiss bang bang HK "glimmer twins" impenetrable. Most actors, good as they are, do not have a colonial disposition to refract these kind of roles with the weary irony, warrior kitsch, and unscrupulous vulgairty needed to play this kind of stuff. John Woo didn't invent this stuff; instead, he successfully marketed that gutter glamour (centuries of HK's multilingual mythology, always on sale downstairs) as urban cowboy myth. Okay, well, you don't have that foundation in a remake, and you can't immerse these actors sufficiently to cop the myth.

Having said that, I'm sure it'll be fun. And I wish best for my Oppa Bot. :D

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John Woo , is no longer the legend he used to be . so getting him involved or not doesnt really guaranteer you anything much .and he really isnt that great in terms of acting direction . A Better Tomorrow was one of his classic during his golden days .but yes it is technically something that is uniquely HK gangster/mafia culture which he took to greater heights at that pt of time to make it into a classic .

anyway . i am looking forward to this just basically to see JJM~ he is my roman god! lol

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WOWOWOWOW!!!

This pictures of all of Korean actors REALLY look so good!

How impressive, heh! =) Hmm..........This is really.........something, hehe.

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@ belleza

"John Woo doesn’t have an eye for acting"

Agreed. He doesn't direct his actors, he simply gets the best actors alive in the HK Golden Age to do their thang all over his movies. His shot selection was exquisite in those days though. Mark Gor was CYF pulling out everything that made me a mega-superstar for a reason. Leslie's character was a giant asstwat but damn if I didn't love him anyways, because it was Leslie.

Honestly, JJM/Ti Lung's character was the lead in ABT, but CWF stole the show. Much as I lovelovelove our robot (Eun-suh ahhhhh.....oppa, pout wiggle from Song Hye Kyo), he's really nowhere near the right choice for this role. However....I have my own idiosyncracies and I'll watch and enjoy him regardless.

@ 2uss

I'm actually w/ mookie. She's cringing NOT because its a remake, who'd cringe about remakes in general. My worry about this remake is (1) ABT was so HK-centric, from its triad life to the grit of the times, it's may be hard to translate to Korean gangster culture, which is a different beast entirely (what I got from watching Friends, Our Legend - Korean underbelly reminds me A LOT more of Japanese yakuza in styling and posture), and (2) fripping John Woo2010 is involved as a "consultant."

I'd rather the director do his own vision, rather than consultant with the man who wears John Woo's face but is no longer than JW of Hard Boiled and ABT, he's not even the JW of Face/Off, for god's sakes.

He's the JW who thinks he's about to make cinematic history, and proceeds to deliver straight on visual porn masquerading as a canonical history lesson in Red Cliff. And seeing the trailer for Reign of Assasins (formerly called Rain of Swords, much better title, btw, which he had to go and f-up as usual), I'm already crying inside for my Jung Woo Sung. It's looks dorky.

Anyways, JW is not the same "legendary director" he once was, he'll forever have those masterpieces, but he's not producing anything that the Chinese public loves and adores like his earlier works. I would say his ego is bigger than his talent at this point in his career, but honestly, I still have lots of goodwill for him. Always hoping for the best from his latest projects.

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@ ockoala, but that's the thing, it's all in our subjective perceptions. John Woo is beloved by many all over Asia. Film critics still hold him high on the upper echelon of film industries. However, I won't take away anything from director Song. I'm sure he is by far the most pressured individual of this whole production: being the director of a classic remake, and to fill in the shoe of an awesome director. It's natural for us to feel pessimistic regarding this remake. But that won't constrain me to feel hopeful that the film will "kick-ass" like its original version, as well as the theme of brotherhood and redemption it will portray.

I won't stand and comment about John Woos lack of anything in regards to his past projects, but I'm sure Fingerprint and 'Mujeokja' production crew are glad to have him be part of this remake at some point in its filming.

I'm not familiar with director Song's past projects aside from Calla ('99) and Failan ('01), but from articles release fall of last year, this remake was to fit his portrayal "in the Korean sentiment" of things.

So with that, I'm hoping for the best ^_^

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JJM and KKW! that's all i can say with this remake. that's enough reason for me to watch this movie :)

i agree with @ockoala, Ho/JJM's character is the main lead of ABT and CYF stole the show. so i'm hoping JJM will steal back the show since it's the Roman God against Oppa Bot lol!

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SHS wont ever live up to the performance CYF done for the character of Brother Mark, but hopefully he'll do it justice and add abit of his own to it.

Also the action choreography better be awesome, for some reason i think they'll focus more on characterization and story rather than action. ABT had in my opinion the perfect blend of action, story, and characterization.

@ockoala
haha i agree, red cliff was really mostly visual porn, but i did however enjoy watching the performances by TL and TK and i thought they did a great job.

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XDDDD These pics are so funny!!! Can't get the Chow Yun Fat (he's really...bad-ass, if I can say it that way D:) vibe off of Song Seun-heon, but let's see =D

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I liked Red Cliff as an old school throwback to vintage 80s "Once Upon a Time"-style epics. And I liked how John Woo threw in bits here and there from ROTK with comic book glee. It's not The Warlords, but it's fun and especially it's fond.

@magichouse,

"but i did however enjoy watching the performances by TL and TK and i thought they did a great job."

I think it depends on your reference points. If you come to Red Cliff without any awareness of ROTK, then their performances carry the movie amiably. Whereas if you've read or seen adaptations of ROTK, Kaneshiro and Leung both missed the mark (by a country mile, I mean, wow ) and were both BADLY miscast. Originally, Leung was to play Zhuge Liang and CYF General Zhou. Now, THAT would have worked better.

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I found RC badly miscast ZGL and LCH, I concede Tony just wasn't right for his role either but at least he brought some gravitas to the party. I don't see RC as a throwback to the OUTIC epics, yes it aims BIG and BIGGER, bit OUTIC was where the narrative drove the story and the pacing was a frenetic as the narrative. RC was randomly languid in between eye candy action sequences. You can't have all the Zen then throw in some boom boom pow every 15 minutes or so. I felt like a car lurching between brake and pedal to the metal. Anyways, I'm a notorious RC hater so don't mind me. I would love to see a modern OUTIC style epic, RC did hit that sweet spot for me.

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"I concede Tony just wasn’t right for his role either but at least he brought some gravitas to the party."

Tony has a proclivity toward a beatific impishness that, for me, badly marred his portrayal as ZY. However, put that same "hee hee twinkle" into Sage Zhuge, and it completely works.

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*LE sigh*

There wont be a bigger hater of @$!%RC than me. If we r giving prizes for that, I'll take it all but one left for my ockoala twin, and collectively we'll throw it all at JW's direction and hope some will bounce off and hit LCL on the upside of her head so she wont be delusionally 'acting' ever again.

I dont blame Tony entirely for that beatific impishness (but he disappointed me nonetheless), because it's per exact JW direction of wanting the homoerotic tension For REALS in broad daylight foreground btn Zhuge Liang and Zhou Yu (to which I cant help but go [email protected]#$%6#$! every single time even if bromance is my fav trope). I also cant blame TK aping Tony doing a Zhuge Liang coz I suspect that's exactly what world known legendary director Woo asked him specifically to do (and on that note, I must say TK did his best acting job in his life). I got my confirmation when I saw how much bottled up disgust TK has towards JW during press tours. Mr John Woo fr under whatever drugs he's taken definitely based his movie on a homoerotic fanfic of ROMANCE of the 3 kingdoms and sell it to the world saying he's put 10 years on his life to adapt the Records of 3 kingdoms to which the whole wide world buy it except the whole of semi-literate greater Chinese population who has heard of and read at least bits of both RoTK, to which Mr JW can kiss our collective behinds forever if we so wished him to.

So in JW's vision, we got Zhou Yu, a rice queen, down low, trapped in a guy's body w/ a stepford wife w/ the most annoying squeaky voice. The same wifey he'd rather spend time watching mare in labor w/ than making cringeworthy love to since he's not into boobies and he's an thick brow/ dove lover...and a Zhuge Liang who cant be merrier he's a flamboyant gay Juliet and everybody knows it including his Romeo a la Tony Leung and JW happily gave them a Chinese period 'dueting in instruments'/sexting scene in the middle of war and eye sexing galore. How happy should I be?!

Twin, I do feel for your JWS, my shoulder is here always for u to cry on. I'm afraid your opinion of Mr JW will only deteriorates when that movie is out, and I'm already being hopeful.

Bottom line: any director/writer/actor that consciously recruit LCL to act is immediately in my hit list and will forever stay there as tastelessly blind in any judgment on actors, and lost all credibility.

And any fangirl that holds an opinion of SSH IS an actor actor will forever intrigues me! :) If there is a SSH fanboy out there, ooooooo! I want your number pretty please!!!

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Joo Jin-mo is just beautiful.

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"Joo Jin-mo is just beautiful."

Roman God is Roman God. I'm not kidding when I say the helicopter scene from Fashion 70s is my all-time favorite in all K-drama. :D

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"I know Chow Yun Fat was famous for having a toothpick in his mouth in the original, but is it me or does Song Seung Hun have a lollipop in his mouth. LOL."

lol that's clearly a banana/chocolate chupa chup in his mouth!

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i don't care how corny the posters look-those are some very good looking men!!!

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@ 3 momosan, 47 ohemgee

Same here. And I in part agree with the majority fixating on JJM more than SSH.

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IT´S SO EXCITING !!!!!!!!!!!!!
I ´LL SEE THE MOVIE , BECAUSE THE HANSDOME, ATRACTIVE AND TALENTS ACTORS WILL BE THERE AS Joo Jin mo AND Kim Kang-woo

I hope so as soon as posible I ´ve watched it

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Um..I'm having cynical thoughts about this one. Thee's a reason why the orignal was lauded as a major classic of the HK film industry and maybe it's just me, but remakes hardly do justice to classic blockbusters. It's like Departed and Infernal Affairs. Totally different classes altogether.

I still get goosebumps whenever I watch the original Chow Yun Fat one.

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