After its release was delayed due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic, the Gong Yoo-Park Bogum starrer sci-fi movie “Seobok” is now out in theaters and on over-the-top video streaming service in South Korea today, April 15.
Filmed with a budget of 16.5 billion won (about $14.7 million), “Seobok” tells the story of Gi-heon (played by Gong Yoo), a former intelligence agent suffering from terminal illness, who is tasked to transport Seobok (Park Bogum), the first human clone, to safety. The two face dangerous situations as forces try to take Seobok.
“Seobok” was originally scheduled to be released in South Korea last December but the growing number of COVID-19 cases that resulted in the imposition of strict social distancing rules scuttled the plan.
Production company CJ ENM decided to release the film simultaneously in theaters and through its OTT service Tving.
“Responding to the rapid changes in consumer’s perspectives and needs for content, we decided to release Seobok in theaters and on streaming service Tving,” the company said, according to the Korea Times.
This is the first time that Gong Yoo and Park Bogum have worked together in a film and Gong Yoo praised his co-star with regard to their onscreen chemistry.
“It’s hard not to like him, because he’s so well-mannered and friendly. It was easy to concentrate when looking into his eyes because he has such a compelling gaze,” Gong Yoo told the Korea Times.
Park Bogum enlisted in the Korean military in August last year but he called Gong Yoo on April 12 after the press conference for the film was held.
“Park was relieved that the film is finally getting its release this month. I told him that I felt lonely without him,” said Gong Yoo.
For his role as a terminally-ill agent, Gong Yoo said, “I had to lose a lot of weight to play Ki-heon, who has less than a year to live. However, I didn’t want him to feel like an outsider. I imagined that he was a quick witted fellow before being diagnosed with the illness.”
“Through this film, I was able to look back at my own life and pose questions about what kind of human I want to be. I think how you live is more important than living a long life,” he said.
He added, “I’m not interested in films with flat characters or weak narratives. As I get older, I prefer thought-provoking films” like “Seobok.”