The film is a sequel to “The Outlaws,” a 2017 crime actioner that took $51 million at the Korean box office. That performance confirmed Lee’s star status, which had been freshly minted with his role in the previous year’s zombie action sensation “Train to Busan.”
Lee, who is alternatively credited as Ma Dong-seok, was born in Seoul, but was educated in Ohio and is a naturalized U.S. citizen. His acting career, which has almost entirely been in Korea, has frequently involved tough-guy roles. (Other credits include crime actioner “The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil,” smash fantasy actioner “Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days” and comedy “The Soul Mate.”) But a cheeky persona and a quick wit have earned him an army of diehard fans. “Eternals” is his first mainstream Hollywood role.
In “The Roundup,” Lee reprises his role as “Beast Cop” Ma Seok-do who heads to a foreign country to extradite a suspect. But soon after his arrival, Ma discovers additional murder cases and learns about a vicious killer who has been committing crimes against tourists for several years. Son Sukku (“Nothing Serious”) plays the antagonist. To catch an unprecedented criminal, Detective Ma and his team must go the extra mile.
The new film was shot in South Korea and Vietnam earlier this year and wrapped production in June. Lee Sang-yong, who was assistant director on “The Outlaws,” this time took the directing chair.
A theatrical release in Korea, through ABO and Megabox Plus M is planned for the first half of 2022. The producers are developing third and fourth installments in the franchise, but will give a green light only at a future date.
“The Roundup” is presented by ABO Entertainment and produced by Lee’s own Big Punch Pictures, Hong Film, and B.A. Entertainment. International sales are being handled at the American Film Market (AFM) by independent Korean film sales firm K-Movie Entertainment.
The sales company is also handling sales of new sports drama “One Win” which stars “Parasite” lead Song Kang-ho as the determined coach of a desperate women’s volleyball team.