“To have the title of ‘Korea’s first space blockbuster’ — it’s almost like having the Korean flag on our chests. So, you know, we didn’t want to be pressured or burdened by that. Again I think a lot of that [burden] lay on the director’s shoulders. On the contrary, I think I was more excited. I felt like I was a child again,” said South Korean actor Song Joong Ki.
Joong Ki, who plays genius space pilot Taeho in Netflix’s upcoming outer space sci-fi blockbuster “Space Sweepers“, was responding to a question at the Netflix Asia Pacific virtual press conference held this morning.
Captain Jang’s band of misfits
He was joined at the press briefing by fellow cast members Kim Tae Ri (ex-space pirate Captain Jang), Jin Sun Kyu (spaceship engineer Tiger Park), and Yoo Hai Jin (reprogrammed military robot Bubs), as well as “Space Sweepers” director Jo Sung Hee (“A Werewolf Boy” and “Phantom Detective”).
“Space Sweepers” takes place in 2092. Earth has become a bleak planet and will soon be uninhabitable. Thus, a pristine habitat was created in space for UTS citizens. All the space travel has also resulted in tons of space debris.
The crew members of Spaceship Victory live off salvaging this debris, and Tae Ri plays the leader of this band of misfits as Captain Jang.
“Captain Jang was the captain of a pirate crew, but because of a certain event, all of her crew members — the other pirates and comrades — get killed. And the captain ends up putting together this squad. She has a special dream that she wants to fulfill. And in order to achieve that dream, she collects all this space debris with her crew members to make money,” Tae Ri said.
10 years in the making
Director Sung Hee shared that he first had the idea for “Space Sweepers” 10 years ago, and is proud to work with this cast in making this vision a reality. The film reunites him with Joong Ki, who first worked with him in the 2012 South Korean fantasy romance film “A Werewolf Boy”.
Asked what differentiates this South Korean science fiction film, Sung Hee replied: “This might be something obvious, but in ‘Space Sweepers’ you hear Korean people in an outer space backdrop that speak Korean. I really wanted to make it seem as less odd or strange as possible, to make it familiar for the audience, to create a very ‘Korean’ spaceship.”
English actor Richard Armitage, who played Thorin Oakenshield in “The Hobbit”, sent a video message that was played at the press briefing. He thanked the director, Sung Hee, and his fellow cast members for his wonderful experience in making this film and visiting South Korea. Armitage plays the evil genius James Sullivan in “Space Sweepers”.
Streaming ‘Space Sweepers’
“Space Sweepers” was originally supposed to be shown in theaters but plans changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Does the cast feel sad about that the movie will not have a theatrical run?
“I try to think about it this way. As an actor in the commercial art culture industry, the most important thing is how you communicate with the audience and the viewers. And we wanted to reach out to the viewers as soon as possible. We wanted to help them watch the movie as soon as possible. Now we’re only days away from the release. The date has been finalized. So I just hope that you all will be able to see the movie as soon as possible,” Joong Ki said.
So, are you excited to watch South Korea’s first space blockbuster? Don’t miss “Space Sweepers” on Feb. 5, only on Netflix.