The South Korean film industry has seen a massive boon in recent years, with filmmakers like Chan-wook Park (Oldboy) and Kim Jee-woon establishing themselves well beyond the borders of their native country.
Jee-woon has found success with a variety of films and film genres, including A Tale of Two Sisters (horror), The Good, The Bad, The Weird (western), and I Saw the Devil (revenge), which our own Kofi Outlaw reviewed last week.
Now, Kim Jee-woon is prepping his first English-language film in the form of The Last Stand, an action-thriller about a U.S. Sheriff Trying his darnedest to stop the leader of a drug cartel from reaching the Mexican Border. Liam Neeson was previously in the running to star, but is no longer attached. Recently, Kim Jee-woon spoke to Coming Soon about how things are progressing with Last Stand.
The director was coy about who he would like to see star in The Last Stand now that Neeson is out, but he said:
“There is a short list that we are interested in having for the film, so are we actively casting but nothing has been signed."
When asked about what his approach to The Last Stand would be, he said:
"My concept for The Last Stand is that it's kind of a combination of Die Hard and High Noon where [the latter] was about protecting something very important that needs to be protected, while Die Hard is a very drawn-out, long process that almost kills someone in the process, so my film will be [about] something that has to be very well protected and in the process, we almost die protecting it in a way. […] So if I Saw the Devil was about a person's extreme remorse about having lost something that they couldn't protect, The Last Stand would be where someone puts their lives on the line to protect something that's very important and it will be a bit more optimistic film in that regard."
Lastly, Kim Jee-woon indicated that filming would likely start later this year, saying:
“If there are no problems and no complications, I'll probably start shooting it in August or September.”
Considering there are almost always problems or complications, I guess we can expect The Last Stand to not begin filming by August or September.
It’s unfortunate that Liam Neeson dropped out of The Last Stand, because frankly, he’s easily the coolest “older white guy” in show business currently. He can take a completely mediocre Bourne-esque action flick – say, Taken – and turn it into one of the more watchable films of the past ten years.
That said, Kim Jee-woon is the true star of his movies, and there are plenty of “old white guys” looking to star in awesome and stylish modern-day westerns, especially of the Die Hard variety. Hell, maybe Bruce Willis could even take the role. If titles are anything to go by, he's practically already starred in the movie.
For stylistic reference, check out the strange, creative, and incredibly entertaining trailer for Kim Jee-woon's 2008 film, The Good, the Bad, the Weird: