Actor-turned-filmmaker Lee Jung-jae from Netflix’s popular South Korean Original series, Squid Game, has recently made his directorial debut with an espionage drama Hunt which has been invited for a screening at the 75th Cannes Film Festival.
Hunt has been invited to be screened at a non-competitive section of the festival called the Midnight screening. Hunt will be joining other South Korean local films like Kim Jee-woon’s 2005 film A Bittersweet Life, Na Hong-jin’s The Chaser, Yeon Sang-ho’s 2016 zombie film Train to Busan and The Merciless by Byun Seong-hyun in this section.
Both Lee and his co-star Jung Woo-sung will be seen gracing the red carpet. Lee directed, produced and wrote the screenplay for the film, besides appearing in the lead.
Hunt is a spy action drama that is set in the 1980s featuring the South Korean military regime in its full glory. Lee Jung-Jae is seen as an elite spy Park Pyung-ho who works for the Agency for National Security Planning and is tasked with the persecution of a North Korean spy. He teams up with his colleague and rival, Jung’s Kim Jeong-do. Together, as they try and carry out this daring mission, Park comes to terms with bitter truths about his own country.
The rest of the cast includes Jeon Hye-jin and Heo Sung-tae as members of the department.
Since this is his debut directorial venture, Lee Jung-jae expressed his gratitude to the cast and crew who cooperated with him during the long six-month journey while the film was in production. Jeon Hye-jin praised Lee as a director by saying, “Director Lee Jung Jae, who pays attention to every cut until the end, even though he is in a very tiring condition, was amazing. Especially since it was the role of Joo Gyeong, who assists Park Pyung Ho, the figure came closer. It was a happy time to be able to work with such great people.”
Lee will head to Cannes soon for the global premiere of his film in May 2022. The 75th edition is scheduled to take place from May 17th to May 28th, 2022.
Lee Jung-jae has been a very popular figure in the South Korean film industry since the ’90s, known for his noteworthy performances in films like An Affair, ver the Rainbow, The Thieves, City of the Rising Sun, The Housemaid, Assassination etc. The actor, however, catapulted to global superstardom with his role as Seong Gi-hun, the protagonist in Hwang Dong-hyuk’s 2021 Netflix Original dystopian survival thriller series set in modern-day Korea that was a searing commentary on the power structure, capitalism and socio-economic differences.
Lee Jung-jae’s brilliant performance helped the show make history at various award shows and earned it a sweeping win, also making Lee the first-ever South Korean actor to win an award at the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) Awards for his performance.