Published: 11:39, May 23, 2024
S. Korea's Ryoo promises fresh action, relatable problems in 'Veteran' sequel
By Reuters
(From left) South Korean actor Jung Hae-in, South Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan and South Korean actor Hwang Jung-min pose during a photocall for the film "Veteran 2" (I, The Executioner) at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 20, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

CANNES, France - Nine years after his box office hit Veteran, South Korean filmmaker Ryoo Seung-wan is bringing the Violent Crime Investigation Division back to the big screen with Veteran 2.

The action-thriller, which also goes by the title I, the Executioner and stars Hwang Jung-min and Jung Hae-in, had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it is showing out of competition, shortly after midnight on Tuesday.

Veteran actor Hwang, 53, one of Korea's highest-paid movie stars, reprises the role of detective Seo Do-cheol in the new film while Snowdrop and Something in the Rain star Jung, 36, takes on the role of mysterious rookie police officer Park Sun-woo, who is brought in to help catch a serial killer targeting criminals.

There are a lot of events happening right now, not only in Korea, but all over the world, that involve fake news, situations where information is oversaturated, where there is confusion about what is true, and I thought I would take those things and try to merge them together.

Ryoo Seung-wan, South Korean filmmaker

Complicating the investigators' work is an increasing number of social media influencers who livestream from crime scenes in the hope of gaining clicks, likes and new followers.

"There are a lot of events happening right now, not only in Korea, but all over the world, that involve fake news, situations where information is oversaturated, where there is confusion about what is true, and I thought I would take those things and try to merge them together," said Ryoo.

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Detective Seo and his squad are overworked and underpaid, with high gas prices biting particularly hard - something audiences can relate to, said Ryoo, who wrote both films.

He also promised that audiences would not be disappointed by the new film's action scenes. "I wanted to make sure that when the audience watches the movie, they feel like they're seeing these type of action scenes for the first time," he said.

South Korean director Ryoo Seung-wan poses during a photocall for the film "Veteran 2" at the 77th edition of the Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, southern France, on May 20, 2024. (PHOTO / AFP)

The most important part is making sure audiences love the film enough that a third instalment can be made, he said.

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However, "nothing has been decided yet, apart from our will to make another movie," he said, promising that it would take less than nine years this time to deliver a third film.