On June 23, CJ Entertainment confirmed, “We started filming on June 17 at Chungju in North Chungcheong province, beginning with the scene where Lee Kang Ok, played by Hwang Jung Min, is begging to be given a job in Japan.”
“Battleship Island,” directed by Ryu Seung Wan of “Veteran” fame, takes place during the Japanese colonial era and tells the story of how 400 Joseon people bet their lives and attempt to escape Hashima Island, where they were forcibly displaced.
It will depict the unknown history behind the actual Hashima Island, also known as Gunkanjima or Battleship Island, where thousands of conscripted Joseon people were forced to work to death during the Japanese colonial era.
As previously mentioned, Hwang Jung Min will play the role of Lee Kang Ok, a hotel bandmaster who believed he was being sent to Japan, but instead was scammed and sent to the island. This film marks the second time the actor will be working with director Ryu Seung Wan.
Meanwhile, So Ji Sub will play Choi Chil Sung, Gyeongseong‘s best fighter who brought peace to the entire Jongno district. (Gyeongseong, also known as Keijo, is Seoul’s old name whilst under Japanese colonization).
Song Joong Ki will transform into independence fighter Park Moo Young, who infiltrates the island in order to rescue important figures of the independence movement against imperial Japan.
Rounding out the cast, singer and actress Lee Jung Hyun has been cast as Mal Nyun, a Joseon woman who was forced into coming to the island.
Director Ryu Seung Wan comments, “I’m happy because the first filming went smoothly, similar to flowing water. It’ll most likely become difficult, but I believe that we will continue making good progress moving forward.”
Hwang Jung Min adds, “This is only the beginning. I hope that the project will end as smoothly as it is a big project. I am not too worried because the director, and much of the staff, are colleagues I have worked with before. I’m excited because our first shoot ended well, and, moving forward, I will contemplate more about who Kang Ok is.”
It will be released in South Korean theaters sometime in 2017.