• Interview


Interview Director Lee Yongju

Apr 20, 2021
  • Writerby Kim Bo-ra
  • View1400

 "Seobok is not SF. It's an allegory about faith and death"


Director Lee Yongju, who made Architecture 101, has returned to his new film SeobokIt took 9 years. Seobok (Park Bogum), which is also the title of the movie, is the first cloned human born through genetic manipulation and cell cloning. The film portrayed the story of an ex-agent Kiheon (Gong Yoo), who was sentenced to a limited time, taking on the task of moving him, who holds the key to eternal life as well as being immortal. From the perspective of Kiheon, who is about to die, the audience faces the world of a special being who has just emerged. 'Seobok', a tentpole movie that cost 16.5 billion won, released at the theater and OTT simultaneously, goes a different path from other blockbuster box office officials.


Director Lee Yongju, who is still contemplating the path said, "This movie is not SF. It's an allegory of faith and death" He replied that the story of Seobok started in his first film, Possessed.


It was said that Gong Yoo and Park Bogum’s casting was important.

It's a big part. Both actors did it. Thank you very much. Gong Yoo is very sensitive and humane. If his human-like aspect with cute corners is attractive, Park Bogum will be able to see what he hasn't seen before. In that respect, I was confident.


Is casting the best combination to satisfy?

Yes. Casting exceeded expectations. It was perfect.


How was it when you met in person and worked on it with Gong Yoo?

After working together, my expectations were correct. I was grateful as an actor, and we became good friends. It's fun to be together. There weren't many cases like that with a male actor. I hear a lot of stories that I'm like an aunt. There are many, and it's far from macho. I did not intentionally, but I did both with a female producer, and I don't like doing it with a younger brother. Gong Yoo said that. We talk a lot. We're busy trying to stop talking.



Park Bogum took the lead, and he is actually playing a big part. 

I had the idea that I was an actor with good eyes. The reason she cast Park Bo Gum was Park Bo Gum's visual and popular at the time, but most of all, it was because of his gaze. There was no alternative to Seobok's role other than Park Bogum.


You said this movie is about 'Death and Faith'. What is the reason?

The absolute, I'm talking about is the one who acquired faith. I thought he wouldn't be like a Marvel Hero. He bleeds and suffers, gains trust and saves humans. Wouldn't the absolute be more human?


As a film director, do you think there is a big difference aesthetically between 'big theater movie' and 'small OTT movie'?

Twenty years ago, LPs and CDs were popular when listening to music. But these days, everyone listens to it through MP3 or streaming. It's better to watch a movie in the theater. But it is an expansion of choice for the audience to watch movies at home and in front of the desk, not at the theater. Now I don't think it's a problem for people who listen to music to listen to it on streaming. So is OTT. There may be differences in perfection and screen quality, but what is more important is the relationship between the movie and the audience. I am contemplating the flow of a new era.


Is this movie a new experiment in a new era? 


Seobok is an experiment in which the movie is screened in the theater and OTT simultaneously. Will the number of people going to the theater decrease because of OTT? I'm curious about the result, too. I think the theater and OTT will be a win-win. I hope it will be a symbiotic touchstone.


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