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Ha Jung-woo to redefine immigrant experience in Koreatown

 photo HaJungWoo1.jpg

It’s like seeing a beautiful rare butterfly when someone can make a successful crossover career in acting and directing, and Ha Jung-woo (Agasshi) is steadily on his way to doing just that. The acclaimed Chungmuro veteran actor made his debut as a director in 2013 with screwball comedy Rollercoaster, followed up by the period film Chronicle of a Blood Merchant. Yesterday, he announced during a press conference that he has started to work on his third directorial project, Koreatown.

As of yet, the main filming location is undecided. However, Ha is thinking of setting the film in either Los Angeles or Hawaii, due to their large thriving Koreatowns. The plot is about a Korean-born man whose origins are rooted in the underground criminal world. The movie takes place years later when he has already transitioned into a completely new identity as a wealthy company CEO abroad. He uses his accumulated wealth and power to buy a farm and a university to live a legitimate life with his only daughter, when one day, his past comes back to catch up with him.

While Ha Jung-woo’s past directorial projects may not have been resounding commercial successes, no one can say that they lacked star power. The man has some serious connections; talented actors like Ha Ji-won, Sung Dong-il, and Jung Kyung-ho have all been a part of his projects largely due to his persuasion. I think this says a lot about Ha Jung-woo as both an actor and a human being, because it’s a clear sign that a person has gained respect in their field when the leaders in it are willing to trust and take a risk with them. 

 photo Koreatown1.jpgLee Kyung-young, Jo Jin-woong, Ma Dong-seok

For Koreatown, Ha Jung-woo has revealed that he has already asked senior actor Lee Kyung-young (D-Day) to play the lead role. Ha has also been in talks with Jo Jin-woong (Signal) and Ma Dong-seok (Police Unit 38) to serve as Lee Kyung-young’s right- and left-hand men respectively. It’s very possible they’ll confirm as they’ve both had history with Ha. They both acted with him in Kundo: Age of the Rampant, and have played small roles in his previous directorial works.

According to an interview with Ha Jung-woo, Koreatown is still in its early planning stages. As he and the other actors who have expressed interest in joining him have other commitments, Ha believes production probably won’t start until 2018. 

Via Daily Sports

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Really surprising fact about Ma Dong Seok is that he's fluent in English and his accent is really, really good! He lived in America for some time and if any of you follow "Dave" the American youtuber living in Korea, he did a video with MDS that was pretty funny.

I also love JJW and LKY, they're both veteran actors who do well in whatever role they're in, and the premise sounds pretty fun tbh. Not sure about Ha Jung Woo as a director but this shows promise

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I saw that video on Ma Dong Seok's instagram - it really brightened my day and made me laugh.

Also, film featuring two of my favourite ahjussis from 2016...where do I sign?

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Anyone who's seen PU38 episode 12 already knows about the accent, I was so surprised when 'Martin Kim' turned out to speak English so fluently :)

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Oooh, interesting! I'll check it out, thanks! Just checked him at wiki and he is actually identified as Korean-American

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I'm pretty much a Ha Jung-woo fan for life! I'm excited to hear that he's heading to the director's chair again. I was kind of worried that he was going to take a very long break based on his comments in Blood Merchant. "Directing for him is much harder than acting."

Lee Kyung-young should not be wasted again in another bad drama. I hope he'll take this. Jo Jin-woong and Ma Dong-seok <3. Hope the power of friendship will get them to accept.

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Honestly, Blood Merchant was a bit disjointed and not of the same calibre of the films he stars in as an actor.

I can't wait for The Handmaiden (still howling inside that Kim Min-hee's career is basically done for after what should have been its pinnacle tho /sob)

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He has nothing to prove when it comes to acting so directing is his challenge. He is still learning and I hope he keeps doing it till he's good at it.

Yes the film was a work of a greenie :). Blood Merchant was also a remake so there was that comparison to the original by the older film geeks and critics.

I think he took on more than he could handle. He stars in it too and also co-wrote the script. Maybe he needs to just concentrate on directing?

He is the kind of guy I love rooting for because he won't give up.

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So what I'm understanding is I have a year and a half to save up either to
1) go to LA Koreatown every weekend for months (which isn't far but would probably make my best friend frustrated with me)
Or
2) afford to a plan a trip to Hawaii specific to filming dates
All in a hope of meeting MDS and having a conversation in English sprinkled with my random Korean.

Oh, and something about a man buying a farm & university. Because those purchases go hand in hand.

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To buy a university??? I don't think it really works like that in the US...........

But I do love Jo Jin-wong and Ma Dong-seok.

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Heh. You should read up on the history of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.

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