(Korean Movies) THE DRUG KING, 2017


Youth not allowed
running time
139 minutes
cumulative audience
1864077 people


The state called the criminal, the world called the king

“Patriotism is nothing!
They sold mulberry in Japan, and that’s the popularity of patriotism!”
In the 1970s, when Korea became patriotic when exporting drugs, Lee Doo-sam, a low-level smuggler, accidentally took part in drug smuggling, but instinctively opened his eyes to the drug manufacturing and distribution business and jumped into the business.

“I fed this country, a child”
Lee Doo-sam, who took over the drug industry at once with his excellent eye skills, quick crisis response ability, and divine dexterity
As lobbyist Kim Jung-ah (Bae Doo-na), who has excellent business skills, joins the group, the drugs he made are branded 'Made in Korea'. Finally, Doosam Lee expands his power beyond Korea to Asia, opening the era of white gold.

Meanwhile, the world is starting to get more and more anxious due to drugs.
One person, Kim In-gu (Jo Jung-seok), who keeps an eye on Lee Doo-sam as he continues to win, begins to move…

All the stories of the films mentioned in this material are
It was created with the motif of numerous drug distribution incidents that occurred in Korea in the 1970s.
Even if there is a case like reality, this is by chance.


Director Woo Min-ho of "The Insiders" overturns the box office formula
Changing the times with sharp insight!

“My father’s era, the 1970s, was full of the slogan ‘Live well’. I wanted to draw a story about the rise and fall of a man who ruled power and money, calling the state a criminal and the world a king. The biggest mission and focus was on how to put the story of a man for about 10 years from 1972 to 1980 within the limited running time of the movie. So I put a lot of effort into thinking about how to follow the character Lee Doo-sam, and since it is a period drama from the 1970s, I tried a lot to capture the feelings of that era. Above all, if it wasn't for 'Song Kang-ho', who perfectly played the drug lord, which is also the title of the movie, the movie 'Drug King' would not have been possible.”

Director Woo Min-ho's highly structured storytelling ability and directing ability, recognized through <The Destroyed Man> and <Spy>, shone in <Inside Men>, which realistically portrayed the underside of powerful people who move Korea in 2015. <Inside Men> was well-received for its rustic lines of murder, a realistic story that seemed to have a glimpse of reality, and the cinematic fun that upturned reality. Not only that, it created a sensation in theaters and even mobilized more than 9 million audiences, including the extended version <Inside Men: The Original>, even though it was a blue-and-white film, setting a new record for the highest box-office box office hit in history, becoming a masterpiece of a Korean crime film.

Director Woo Min-ho of <Inside Men>, a masterpiece that overturned the box office formula for Korean films, once again made a radical choice. Director Woo Min-ho weaved the landscape, irony, era and power of the rapid economic growth of the 1970s through the biography of a person in <Drug King>, a work that announced a comeback after three years. Director Woo Min-ho said, “Representation is important in historical dramas, but reinterpretation is also important. Let's create a style unique to <Drug King> that reproduces the 70s, but not as it is.” He focused on the contents of research on actual drug trafficking in the 1970s, as well as the social images and feelings that were noisy at the time, into the film. In addition, a detailed composition is added to densely capture the life story of a man, which has continued for about 10 years, within the time of one movie, and the storytelling that does not miss the dense chemistry of various character groups is unfolded.

The actors who believed in him and united also convey their unsparing trust towards the director. Song Kang-ho said, "He is a director with a strong directing world, with a masculine and delicate side." Bae Doo-na introduced director Woo Min-ho on the set as "a director who takes care of actors so that they can perform the best in the best conditions." This is why the combination of the best director and the best actors is more expected. <Drug King> will shine differently from <Inside Men>, which captures the sharp insight of director Woo Min-ho, the representative director of Korea who provides unpredictable fun by weaving politics and culture, era and crime.

<Insiders: The Original><Insiders>(2015), <Spy>(2012), <The Destroyed Man>(2010)
AWARDS 2016 Daejong Film Festival Director Award, 2016 Daejong Film Festival Screenplay Award


Song Kang-ho, the king of acting, becomes the 'drug king'!
The most intense transformation in filmography history!

The various faces of Song Kang-ho unfold as a panorama! Korea's best actor, Song Kang-ho, who has no more modifiers, declared the most intense transformation in filmography history as 'Drug King'. <Drug King> is a character that is possible because it is Song Kang-ho, and even more surprising because it is Song Kang-ho, creating a unique character 'Lee Doo-sam'.

The movie <Drug King> depicts all aspects of Lee Doo-sam, a man who calls the state a criminal and the world a king. From a low-level smuggler in Busan to being reborn as Asia's best drug lord, Lee Doo-sam is a biographical figure who has to show the unparalleled charisma of a drug lord who has seized power, from taking care of his family as a head of the household.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the character Lee Doo-sam, who seems to embody the splendid dark period of the 1970s itself, was able to digest it because it was Song Kang-ho. Song Kang-ho, who mobilized 12.18 million viewers with <Taxi Driver> in the summer of 2017, shows an overwhelming presence with a completely different face in <Drug King>. In addition to the civic appearance shown in his representative filmography <Taxi Driver>, <The Attorney>, and <Monster>, he shows the madness and charisma beyond what he could have ever imagined in any of his filmography, perfectly showing that there is nothing impossible for Song Kang-ho. proved In particular, his acting, which runs for about 30 minutes in the second half of the movie, will overwhelm the audience and at the same time give the audience a catharsis of discovering the new face of actor Song Kang-ho, and his various faces will unfold in a panorama.

Actor Song Kang-ho said that he chose <Drug King> because "it is not a story that limits or glorifies drug crime, but a film that can illuminate an era that we have passed through through the monster-like characters of the times." It would not be an exaggeration to say that the story of Lee Doo-sam's tumultuous life and the joys and sorrows are all in the history of Korea in the 1970s. At the same time, <Drug King> did not hesitate to recommend it as “a new, provocative, attractive film”.

Transforming into a figure that captured the 1970s in Korea was a significant challenge for a veteran actor. Song Kang-ho explained his worries at the time of filming, saying, “It was very important to visualize the unknown world of drugs, and how to properly express it was a homework and a difficult task.” He said he wanted the audience to feel familiar with Lee Doo-sam, a person who embodies the times, and he did not forget to attribute the creation of an unconventional character to the collaboration with director Woo Min-ho and fellow actors.

Song Kang-ho, who succeeded in the most intense transformation into a drug lord, will truly decorate the end of the theater in 2018.

A panorama of the acting kings who will decorate the end of 2018!
Song Kang-ho, Jo Jung-seok, Bae Doo-na, Kim Dae-myung, Kim So-jin, Lee Hee-jun, and Jo Woo-jin!

The movie <Drug King>, which marks the end of 2018, prepared a grand feast for the best actors in Korea, led by Song Kang-ho. Actors Jo Jung-seok, Bae Doo-na, Kim Dae-myung, Kim So-jin, Lee Hee-jun, Jo Woo-jin, Lee Sung-min, and Kim Hong-pa, who compressed Chungmuro by their names themselves, scramble for <Drug King>.

First of all, actor Jo Jung-seok, who played without limits on the screen, the CRT, and the musical stage, took on the role of 'Kim In-gu', a hot-blooded prosecutor chasing Lee Doo-sam (Song Kang-ho). Jo Jung-seok said, "Kim In-gu is a prosecutor pursuing Lee Doo-sam, but he is also an observer looking at Lee Doo-sam. So I thought that I had to express myself more delicately,” he said during the acting period. In addition, he has a second meeting with Song Kang-ho following <Contemplation> (2013), and he is expected to show a different chemistry with Song Kang-ho as an enemy rather than a comrade. Unrivaled actor Bae Doo-na, who travels both in Korea and Hollywood, reunited with Song Kang-ho after 12 years after <The Monster>. Bae Doo-na takes on the role of 'Kim Jeong-ah', a lobbyist who is fluent in four languages, and leads Lee Doo-sam to the position of the drug king, exuding the acting skills and charisma that she has accumulated while traveling around the world. Bae Doo-na expressed confidence, "From the moment I read the scenario, if I took on the role of Kim Jung-ah, I thought that an unusual and interesting character could come out."

The drug lord Lee Doo-sam's family also had to share the panorama of his spectacular life, so actors with overwhelming acting skills commensurate with it were joined. Actor Kim Dae-myung, who has shown the power of character digestion that crosses good and evil by going back and forth between the CRT and screen in the dramas [Misaeng] (2014) and <Inside Men> (2015), shows an unprecedented transformation by acting as Lee Doo-sam's cousin, 'Lee Doo-hwan'. . Actress Kim So-jin, who showed an overwhelming presence through the movie <The King>, finally met Song Kang-ho as 'Sung Sook-kyung', the drug lord's wife. Kim So-jin created by exploding his inner skills, Myeong-kyung is a strong character who helps Lee Doo-sam with an activity that is more than a housekeeper, and also gives a strong teaching amid his twists and turns.

Actor Lee Hee-jun, who showed the image of a passionate reporter in the movie <1987>, disassembles as a smuggler 'Choi Jin-pil' and meets the audience with a completely different appearance. Heejun Lee added details of the character by imagining the back story of Jinpil Choi, who does not appear in the movie. Next, Jo Woo-jin will play the role of 'Cho Seong-gang', the boss of the Seonggang faction of the Busan criminal organization that leads Lee Doo-sam to Japan, and will show off his amazing charisma again following <Inside Men>. The special appearance lineup is also competitive. Actor Lee Seong-min, who believes and sees, plays a double detective as 'Seo Sang-hoon', a corrupt detective who helps the drug lord, and Kim Hong-pa, who made a special appearance as 'Professor Baek', once again worked with director Woo Min-ho following <Inside Men>.

Song Kang-ho, Jo Jung-seok, Bae Doo-na, Kim Dae-myung, Kim So-jin, Lee Hee-jun, Jo Woo-jin, Lee Sung-min, and Kim Hong-pa, the explosive performances of the best actors in Chungmuro can finally be met through <Drug King>.

Drawing the splendid dark ages of Korea in the 1970s!
who shook Korea
The first film adaptation of drug distribution incidents in the 1970s!

Director Woo Min-ho of <Inside Men> and Korea's best actors finally stand in front of the audience with <Drug King>, the most talked-about work that will decorate the end of 2018. The movie <Drug King> tells the story of a smuggler who became a legendary drug lord in the 1970s, when drug exports became patriotic.

<Drug King>, which became a hot topic only with the meeting of Korea's representative actor Song Kang-ho and <Inside Men> director Woo Min-ho, gathers expectations with an attractive and high-quality casting in addition to Jo Jung-seok and Bae Doo-na, as well as Kim Dae-myung, Kim So-jin, Lee Hee-jun, and Jo Woo-jin. The biggest expectation above all is that it vividly depicts the story of the drug lord and his people who dominated the times. The movie <Drug King> captures the panoramic life of the Republic of Korea, which was in the midst of the chaos of the dictatorship from 1972 to the spring of 1980, and those who enjoyed a white golden age with drugs. In particular, <Drug King> is attractive in that it is based on the actual drug distribution incidents that shook the Republic of Korea based in Busan, the largest port city in Korea. The production team has already entered the pre-production stage from the time <Inside Men> was released, conducting thorough preliminary research and data collection.

In the 1970s, the Republic of Korea's anti-Japanese sentiment that 'even if it fails ten times, we can fix it if we succeed once' and the anti-Japanese sentiment that 'patriotism is to export drugs to Japan to produce addicts' were added to make the drug lords exporting drugs to Japan become patriots. It was a time when it was accepted as Ironically, based on this background that stimulated Busan's economy, the production team went back and forth between Seoul and Busan for about a year and conducted detailed interviews with people with actual drug manufacturing experience and drug-related people who had completed treatment.

In addition to the smuggling and crackdown practices prevalent at the time, the mechanism of drug distribution, and the side effects experienced by drug addicts, a thorough preliminary investigation was conducted on the chronology of major political, social and cultural events in the 1970s. In addition, he put a lot of effort into realizing the background of the times, such as organizing photos of dozens of models of vehicles from the price of the 70s and selecting songs suitable for the atmosphere of the time as well. The flow of the film, which perfectly matched the major events of the 70s, was possible only through such thorough research.

The world where <Drug King> will melt the irony of the 1970s into white powder will be revealed on December 19, 2018.


The highest-grossing Korean film of all time
<Inside Men> Satan! Lighting, music, and costumes perfectly recreate the era of drug lords in the 1970s!

For the movie <Drug King>, Korea's representative acting kings and even the strongest Korean producers participated. In particular, the <Inside Men> teams, which marked a mark in the history of Korean blue-and-white films, joined as they were, perfectly reproducing the era of drug lords in the 1970s.

Capturing the turbulent 1970s and the psychology of people with light and color

The movie <Drug King> is a work that cannot take your eyes off of the story and production that unfolds like a panorama with the life of a man who gathered hundreds of 'drug kings' from 1972 to the spring of 1980. The production team thoroughly analyzed the atmosphere, times, and political and cultural background of the Republic of Korea in the 1970s to complete the film's color by adding a modern feel and imagination.

Cinematographer Gorak-seon Gorak-seon, in charge of filming, captured the transformation of the Korean era on camera in <The King of Drugs> following <Inside Men>(2015) and <Taxi Driver>(2017). In particular, the faces of Kang-ho Song in <Taxi Driver> and Kang-ho Song in <Drug King> had to be 540 degrees different, so I paid more attention. He said, “The film itself is very vast and I had to show a lot of things through the main character ‘Lee Doo-sam’. Therefore, I thought that it would be better if the shooting was simple, so I took the concept so that the color and shooting method do not look like a period thing, but feel like the present.” The tone and color of the film were designed according to the flow of Lee Doo-sam's life. In the early Busan scene, the 70s atmosphere of color and gentleness were given, and from the time when Lee Doo-sam, who came to Seoul in the mid-late late, met Kim Jung-ah, he gave strong color and contrast. And to express the psychology of Lee Doo-sam, who is growing in anxiety while running on the road to success, he added a strong impression by using the red color.

Art director Hwa Seong, who was in charge of the production design, adjusted the color of the wallpaper and props to determine the radius of Lee Doo-sam's life. Young Doo-sam Lee's spirit and bluntness represented his innocence with a lively feeling rather than unhappiness. The lighting concept was also designed to give strong contrast while simplifying colors, and to reflect on the joys and sorrows of life by using neon signs in various ways. Lighting director Seung-bin Lee explained that Lee Doo-sam is a person with greed who wants to have all the colors of the world by any means and methods, and the truth that becomes achromatic when all light is mixed is captured by lighting.

<Drug King> represents the psychology of the characters by changing the color depending on the point of view of the film, and adds visual pleasure.

Traveling to and from Japan, airlifting the best clothes

Actress Bae Doo-na says she found pleasure in the costumes of the movie <Drug King>. The costume and makeup team went through a three-month research journey to find a concept that suited the times and actors, starting with a photo book in the 70s.

Ryu Hyun-min, head of the costume team, said that he joined director Woo Min-ho's contact saying that the <Inside Men> staff would like to work together. Because fabrics made of materials unique to the 1970s were not often available, he searched the market and even the warehouses of stores to heat up and even went to Japan. For the main character, Doo-Sam Lee, 40 costumes were prepared, and most of the costumes were made by hand using airlifted 70s-style fabrics. Based on the 70's style tight pants and a large collar, the costumes after success were given a gorgeous and strong image by using gold, gold thread fabric, and leopard print. In contrast to Lee Doo-sam, the honest prosecutor Kim In-gu's costume was based on a suit from the 60's earlier than the 70's. The narrow collar, gentle and simple style, and dark gray and beige tones bring out the image of a confident public official.

Regarding Lobbyist Jung-ah Kim's outfit, which creates synergy in Lee Doo-sam's costume change, Bae Doo-na said, "It seemed to have become a fashion icon of the day." Ryu Hyeon-min, head of the costume team, says that Kim Jung-ah's costumes, a strong and colorful character, were imported directly from Japan, made according to the concept, and matched with the character's image. A modern image was given by using outfits with designs that cannot be seen in Korea, and outfits that have a retro atmosphere despite being designed these days. Meanwhile, Lee Doo-sam's Jo Kang-ji-cheo Mun-kyung made a contrast with Kim Jung-ah by emphasizing her Korean image with the concept of elegant hanbok and vintage dresses and dresses. In addition to this, the costumes of up to 4,000 people were put into making the perfect 70's.

Along with the costumes, each character has a make-up that reveals the atmosphere and emotions of the 70s. Kim Seo-young, who oversaw the makeup of the actors, said, “If the previous films set in the 1970s were based on reality, <Drug King> features photos from other countries such as the United States and foreign countries in the 1970s, as it features characters who have studied abroad. I also looked at a lot of movies and differentiated them.” Song Kang-ho's Lee Doo-sam delicately followed along with the character's emotional lines, from the head of a small citizen to the shadow cast on the powerful drug lord's face. The most difficult character is Jo Jung-seok's Kim In-gu, who added subtle touches such as cutting his hair thick so as not to look like a typical politician of the time. Bae Doo-na was embarrassed by the flashy 70s style makeup that she tried for the first time in her life. The drug lord's cousin, 'Lee Doo-hwan' Dae-myung Kim, is a concept that reveals that "that's the 70's look" the moment you see it, adding the style of contemporary superstar Bruce Lee to his humorous and mischievous appearance. In expressing Kim So-jin's 'Sung Suk-kyung', it contains detailed efforts and details to embody the era, such as referring to her mother's photo.

Shin Jung-hyun and Schubert match

The unique atmosphere of the movie <Drug King> is also born from the music. According to Lee Doo-sam's life, the music placed in the right place leaves a strong impression as much as the acting.

The music of <Drug King> is the music of Jo Young-wook, who won the Blue Dragon Film Award for Best Music for <Taxi Driver> and played an active part in numerous crime dramas such as <Inside Men>, <New World>, and <War against Crime: The Golden Age of Bad Guys>. directed by the director. Regarding the opportunity to work with director Woo Min-ho following <Inside Men>, he said, “Director Woo Min-ho fully respects the opinions of the workers, discusses them, and completes the results. Working with him is always fun,” he said, expressing his trust and gratitude.

The song highlighted in the movie <Drug King> is Kim Jung-mi's 'Wind'. Like the words of Doo-Sam Lee's line in the play, "Life is 80% wind," the song 'Wind' decorates the beginning and end of the movie, creating a unique atmosphere. Composed by Shin Shin-hyeon, the godfather of Korean psychedelic, this song features decadent vocals and was released in 1973, and also represents the times. Music director Jo Young-wook began to select songs suitable for the popular songs and atmosphere of the era to bring the reality of the 70s to life, including 'Wind'. Composer Jung Joo-hee, singer Jeong Hoon-hee's 'Mist', and lyricist Seo Jeong-mo and composed by Na Hwarang's military song 'Torch of Destruction' create the atmosphere of the 70's in the right place. In addition, many musical props such as turntables, speakers, and pianos are also found in the movie, demonstrating the importance of music in <Drug King>.

The music of <Drug King>, which is not limited to Korean pop songs, also uses a lot of pop music from the 70s. The first music that plays when showing the bright and energetic view of Busan is the 1975 song 'SKY HIGH' by the band Jigsaw. As the movie progresses, classical music is gradually used a lot. Regarding the reason for this composition, music director Jo Young-wook said, “It was to increase the immersion of the drama. Also, in the play, Lee Doo-sam is a music fanatic, and his wife Myeong-gyeong is the director of a music academy, so classical music was appropriate to express the character's inner conflict and the setting that he was interested in classical music."

One of the many business cards that Doo-Sam Lee, who is interested in music, has is the 'President of the Korea Schubert Research Society'. As if to support this, at the climax of the film, Schubert's 'SCHUBERT: ERLKONIG. In addition, in the appearance of Lee Doo-sam, who travels to and from Japan for business, he used Japanese popular songs to create an exotic and retro atmosphere.

In the music of <Drug King>, music director Jo Young-wook says, "I hope the audience can feel the feeling of a time when popular culture expanded at a tremendous speed." <Drug King>, which depicts an era when people were crazy about something, will invite the audience to Korea in the 1970s with its unique music.

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