Production has begun on “The Roundup: No Way Out,” a sequel to record-breaking Korean action film “The Roundup.” Korean American actor Don Lee (“The Eternals”), also known as Ma Dong-seok, returns to the franchise as star and producer.
The cast of “No Way Out” also includes Lee Jun-hyuk (“Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds,” “Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days,” TV’s “Stranger”) and Japanese actor Aoki Munetaka (“Rurouni Kenshin” series, “True Mothers,” “Silence”). The directing reins are once again held by Lee Sang-yong.
The production is a re-collaboration between Don Lee’s Bigpunch Pictures, Hong Film and B.A. Entertainment. Indie sales agent K-Movie Entertainment also reprises its role handling international rights. Filming began on Wednesday and is scheduled to run until November. The completed film will be released in 2023 through ABO Entertainment.
The film is the third feature in a series that began with 2017-released “The Outlaws” in which Don Lee first appeared in the role of a tough guy or ‘beast cop.’ The second film, “The Roundup” was released in Korea on May 18,2022 and over the latest weekend passed the $100 million box office milestone.
In a little over two months, it has been viewed by 12.6 million people, making it by far the biggest film of this year in Korean cinemas and one of only a few dozen to sell more than ten million tickets in the country of some 50 million.
In gross revenue terms, without adjustment for ticket price inflation, the film is the third highest scoring of all time in Korea. At its current standing, its ticket sales total is the 13th highest in Korean history.
“The Roundup” was recently banned in Vietnam, reportedly on the grounds of excessive violence. Much of the film’s action is set in Vietnam, where Lee’s character Ma Seok-do travels to repatriate a fugitive, and while in the country uncovers a crime nest.
In “No Way Out” Ma Seok-do once again teams up the Regional Investigation Unit, this time to chase down the activities in Korea of a group of Japanese Yakuza gangsters. His detective allies will be played by Lee Beom-su (“Operation Chromite,” “The Beauty Inside”) and Kim Min-jae (“Peninsula,” “The Battleship Island”). Other roles go to Jun Suk-ho (“Miss & Mrs. Cops,” Netflix series “Kingdom”) and Ko Kyu-phil (“The Cursed: Dead Man’s Prey,” TV series “Crash Landing on You”) as characters who become unlikely allies of Ma Seok-do.
“ ‘The Roundup: No Way Out’ finally started filming. I know a lot of people are looking forward to it, and we’ll try to meet their expectations by making an enjoyable film. Please show a lot of interest and love in this series,” said Don Lee at a media event.