“Illang: The Wolf Brigade” Director Reveals His Reasoning For Casting Each Actor

Director Kim Ji Woon of “Illang: The Wolf Brigade” opened up about his casting decisions.

“Illang: The Wolf Brigade” is a remake of the Japanese animation film “Jin-Roh: The Wolf Brigade.” The story takes place in the year 2029. The sci-fi film tells the story of the struggles of a special police unit and government task force after an anti-reunification terrorist group attacks the country following the announcement of a five-year plan for North and South Korea’s reunification.

The director talked about the behind story of the casting for each of the main actors, starting with Jung Woo Sung. He said, “In the case of Jung Woo Sung, when you take a look at all the characters he has played, they always had to step up. He played very emotional, reckless, and penetrating roles. I thought it would be possible for the actor Jung Woo Sung to try to show his presence while taking control of everything without moving for the first time.”

He continued, “[In this movie] he is a cold, stern, and hard-headed character who plans, controls, and directs. I got the impression that he was aging very well, like Hollywood star George Clooney. I thought now is the time to show the dignity and experience of Jung Woo Sung, so I should hurry and use him [in my film].”

Regarding Han Hyo Joo, the director said, “As you all know, Han Hyo Joo is a very good actress. She expresses the details very well. In romantic movies or melodramas, she usually portrays a woman who is calm, innocent, clean, and bright, and I thought I should create a dark shadow over her. That way, a strong character could be created. Hyo Joo also acted more interestingly while showing such a new face through the movie.”

The director also talked about Kim Moo Yeol and Han Ye Ri, saying, “I thought Kim Moo Yeol fit the image of a rather mean, cold, and sexy villain. I thought that if I put Kim Moo Yeol’s feelings into the role of Han Sang Woo, I might find a character with interesting details. Han Ye Ri also didn’t portray this kind of character in her previous works. I wondered if I could show interesting acting by directing characters with more new looks than ever done before.”

When asked why he gave the lead role of Lim Joong Kyung to Kang Dong Won, the director replied, “Lim Joong Kyung of ‘Illang’ is Kang Dong Won himself. I never thought of a replacement before. Kang Dong Won is the most consistent actor with the movie. And what’s so important here is, after the prologue comes a silhouette from above the ruins. I needed a person who could show the light and atmosphere of the silhouette. Who can perform the beautiful actions while still portraying the character’s sad inner side and chastity? Kang Dong Won had all of those abilities.”

The director also shared his thoughts about casting idol-turned-actor Minho from the group SHINee. He commented, “I happened to think of Minho’s face a lot when writing the scenario. While writing about Kim Chul Jin, I needed someone who was extremely loyal to the point where he’s considered inflexible. Kim Chul Jin seemed to be a reliable right-hand man who carries out his missions in an inflexible manner. That’s why I thought of Minho’s healthy and wholesome face a lot.”

Then he shared, “While checking out the list of potential actors, Minho’s photo was there. I asked, ‘Minho wants the role even though it’s a small one?’, and I heard he wanted the role a lot. So we had a meeting. I saw the movie “Derailed,” and he acted very earnestly. I felt it like he was saying, ‘I don’t know about the preconceived notions of an idol’s acting, and I’m just going to prove myself by doing my best.'”

The director praised the idol, saying, “It was commendable and admirable. I’m very happy Minho took this role. I came to think that Minho should show something that would be appreciated as an actor, rather than just using an idol as a face.”

“Illang: The Wolf Brigade” premiered on July 25.

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