|Actress Shin Si-ah in a scene from the film "The Witch: Part 2. The Other One" / Courtesy of NEW|
Sequel to rare superpower heroine franchise returns with rookie actress
By Kwak Yeon-soo
On returning with the much-anticipated sci-fi thriller "The Witch: Part 2. The Other One," a sequel to "The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion" (2018), director Park Hoon-jung made it clear that there is still more story to tell.
The upcoming film tells the story of a girl who comes out into the world as a lone survivor of a top-secret lab where the facility creates creatures with superpowers.
The first installment of the female-centered heroine franchise attracted over 3.1 million moviegoers in 2018.
"It's taken us four years to get a sequel. Our project has been delayed due to COVID-19. Under challenging circumstances, we weren't sure when we could resume filming. The plot also changed over time. I feel like I haven't told a 10th of the story in mind, but I think this one turned out to be a good one," Park said during a press conference for the film, Tuesday.
Rookie actress Shin Si-ah beat out 1,408 actors who auditioned to nab the main role. "At first, I was just shocked. It didn't even really register until I started filming. It was a real honor," she said.
She explained how her character, Sonyeo ("girl" in Korea), differs from Koo Ja-yoon (Kim Da-mi), the heroine of "The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion."
"My character is the strongest among children who are trained to be ruthless killing machines. Compared to Koo, who was adopted by an elderly farmer and raised like an average kid, Sonyeo lacks social skills and can hardly feel or express her emotions," Shin said.
|From left, actors Seo Eun-su, Park Eun-bin, Shin Si-ah, Jo Min-su, director Park Hoon-jung, actors Sung Yoo-bin and Jin Goo pose during a press conference for the film "The Witch: Part 2. The Other One" in Seoul, Tuesday. Courtesy of NEW|
Actress Jo Min-su, who plays dual roles as Dr. Baek, a scientist who orders the slaughtering of genetically engineered children, and her twin sister, said she was worried that the sequel might be disappointing.
"I was really happy to return for 'The Witch: Part 2,' but at the same time, I was a bit worried. I thought to myself, 'What if the sequel is not as good as the first one?' Even after reading the script, I only had a vague idea of how director Park would unravel the story," she said.
Actors Lee Jong-suk, Park Eun-bin, Seo Eun-su, Jin Goo and Sung Yu-bin have been cast in the film. Lee, who is returning to the big screen for the first time since she appeared in the 2017 crime film "V.I.P.," didn't attend the press conference as details about the character are being kept under wraps.
Instead, director Park hinted at the mystery character, saying, "When we collaborated on 'V.I.P.,' my impression of Lee was that he is incredibly smart. He's been on my mind ever since I created his character, a mysterious man in charge of the secret lab."
Actress Park, who shot to fame through KBS' "The King's Affection" (2021) and plays Sonyeo's only friend Kyung-hee, talked about more thrilling and immersive action sequences. "The action looks bigger and better than in the first movie. Most of the action sequences take place outside of the lab, in open space," she said.
"The Witch: Part 2. The Other One" will hit local theaters on June 15.