×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Busan: SHINee Star Choi Min-ho Helps Indie Drama ‘Derailed’ Make Splash

First time director Lee Seong-tae is making a big splash in the Busan Film Festival’s Korean Cinema Today section thanks to his own reputation and his casting of two hip names.

After short film “The Ten Minute Break,” which traveled to multiple film festivals and won awards, Lee took nine years to make his feature breakthrough. Yet his “Derailed” was the first BIFF film to sell out tickets for Sohyang Theater.

The crime action stars blockbuster character actor Don Lee (“Train to Busan”) and Choi Min-ho (“Canola”) from top K-pop band SHINee.

“I am a new director, and ‘Derailed’ is an indie film with little commercial potential. The script was turned down by all the investors we had pitched to. It was after (Don) Lee and Choi had confirmed their participation that the film’s IPTV rights were pre-sold,” Lee told Variety. “The rest of the less than $500,000 funding came from the film’s executive producer Kim Young-min.

The film tells the story of a teenage runaway who tries to rescue his girlfriend who is forced to work at a sleazy karaoke joint where underage girls illegally serve as prostitutes.

Managed by Korea’s top talent agency SM Entertainment, Choi admits that, as an idol singer at the forefront of the mainstream music scene, it was a new experience to be in a rough indie production.

“Because this character is quite the opposite of the image that I have built up as an idol artist, I thought my agency would oppose my appearance in ‘Derailed’,” Choi told Variety. “When I was younger, I had no real insight about films and acting, and SM chose which roles to go for. But now in my 9th year in the industry, I can raise my voice more and I really didn’t want to see other actors my age play this role.”

“I am an artist after all. Of course it takes double effort if you want to be both a singer and an actor, but you also get double inspiration in return,” Choi said.

Waiting for “Derailed” to open in cinema in November, Lee says he will continue making dark films about troubled individuals.

“I am grateful that this small film, thanks to (Don) Lee and Choi, premiered in Busan. Its screenings and sales have done very well,” said Lee. “I hope the three of us can get together for a new film someday, though not for my next film, because it’ll be about people in their thirties and forties.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Noele trailer Anna Kendrick

    Disney Unveils 'Noelle' Trailer Starring Anna Kendrick, Bill Hader

    Among the many announcements at the D23 Expo, Disney debuted the first look at holiday feature “Noelle,” which is set to premiere exclusively on Disney Plus this fall. “It isn’t Christmas without Santa’s Sister,” Walt Disney Studios said of the film on Twitter. Starring Anna Kendrick and Bill Hader, the Christmas flick tells the story [...]

  • A Hidden Life Movie Austria

    Film News Roundup: Austin Festival Selects Terrence Malick's 'A Hidden Life'

    In today’s film news roundup, the Austin Film Festival selects a Terrence Malick title, “A Day Without a Mexican” gets a sequel and DCR Finance signs a first-look deal. FESTIVAL SCREENING The Austin Film Festival will screen Terrence Malick’s “A Hidden Life,” which won the Francois Chalais and Ecumenical Jury awards at the Cannes Film [...]

  • Blake Lively

    Blake Lively's 'Rhythm Section' Moved Back to 2020

    Paramount Pictures has moved the release date of Blake Lively’s “The Rhythm Section” back two months from Nov. 22 to Jan. 31, 2020, the weekend of Super Bowl LIV. The spy tale, adapted from Mark Burnell’s novels surrounding character Stephanie Patrick, is produced by James Bond producers Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson through their [...]

  • The Mandalorian

    'The Mandalorian': Watch the First Trailer for 'Star Wars' Series

    The gunslinging lone warrior — the Mandalorian, as they call him — calls the far reaches of the “Star Wars” galaxy home. Disney dropped the first trailer for the spinoff series during its biennial D23 convention on Friday, finally giving fans a closer look at the franchise’s newest character. “The Mandalorian” creator Jon Favreau, who [...]

  • Lady and the Tramp trailer

    'Lady and the Tramp': Disney's Live-Action Remake Gets First Trailer (Watch)

    Ready your dog-friendly bowl of spaghetti, Disney has debuted the first trailer for its live-action remake of “Lady and the Tramp,” starring Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux. The teaser was released during Disney’s D23 Expo in Anaheim at the Disney + presentation. In addition to Thompson and Theroux, who play the Lady and Tramp, respectively, [...]

  • Mickey Mouse waves to members of

    Spider-Man, Spicer and Splashy First-Looks: Everything We're Looking For at D23

    As if Disney hasn’t owned enough weekends this year at the box office, the biennial D23 Expo will light up Anaheim, Calif. over the next three days to celebrate the content monolith. From a new Netflix-competing streaming platform to scores of movie and series reveals — along with a few hot controversies to confront — [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    'Angel Has Fallen' to Dominate Modest Box Office With $20 Million Weekend

    Gerard Butler and Morgan Freeman are leading the way at the North American box office with “Angel Has Fallen” on its way to about $20 million, early estimates showed Friday. Should forecasts hold, “Angel Has Fallen” will take in about double the next title, Universal’s second weekend of raunchy comedy “Good Boys” with about $10 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content