Detective Won-ho is determined to catch the infamous leader of Asia’s largest drug market, who is known only by the name, ‘Mr. LEE.’ While searching for Mr. LEE, Won-ho apprehends and eventually conspires with Rak, a lowly member of the drug cartel who seeks revenge against Mr. LEE. An endless dilemma between trust and suspicions begins.
Director Johnnie To’s 2012 film, Drug War, was a staunch and stark crime thriller with a compelling story, riveting characters and haunting finale. The film won a raft of awards and nominations around the world through 2014 next to its rave reviews at the time, now begging to see if its remake value stands with equal merit.
That litmus test is now being applied through the lens of Arahan: Jangpung Daejakjeon (2004) scribe, The Silenced (2015) helmer Lee Hae-young with production underway as his fourth feature film set for next year. Actors Cho Jin-woong (A Hard Day) and Ryu Jun-yeol (The King) will reimagine the respective roles as such, per To’s film, intially centered on a Hong Kong drug enforcement whose lead detective successfully captures a key witness – an elusive, conniving drug lord now forced to work with the police to infiltrate a bigger criminal empire or face the death penalty.
Also starring will be actors Cha Seung-won (Man On High Heels) and Kim Joo-hyuk (Confidential Assignment). Yong Film Inc. (The Handmaiden) is producing the film with Kidari Ent. (The Deal, The Chosen: Forbidden Cave), financing and distributing the film in South Korea. (KoBiz)
Long considered the master of the Hong Kong crime thriller, Johnnie To’s first mainland production eschews “two guns at once” mayhem in favor of atmosphere and a tightly-wound plot punctuated with impeccably choreographed bursts of violence, making DRUG WAR an intricate puzzle box of a film that ignited a firestorm of controversy in its homeland.