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Will ‘Along with the Gods’ create a second box office smash?

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Updated : July 06 2018

Korean blockbuster film series “Along with the Gods” is ready to start its second story, more confident than ever.

The “Along With the Gods” series is based on a popular web comic of the same name, written and illustrated by cartoonist Joo Ho-min. The story deals with the afterlife from the perspective of traditional Korean mythology.

The first installment “Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds,” released in December, was the second most commercially successful movie in Korean box office history, selling over 14.4 million tickets.

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Poster for “Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days” (Lotte Entertainment)
“I was so pressured and overwhelmed by the success of the first part,” director Kim Yong-hwa said at a press event held Friday in eastern Seoul. “I guess the audience could have been generous about the first film as it was a domestic one.”
He continued, “But I started the first film to make the second part. After finishing it, it was so great that I thought, ‘Did I make this?’”

The first and second parts were shot together last year, the first such endeavor in the Korean film industry. While the first film was about what the afterlife is like, the second focuses on the characters and their stories.

The cast -- including Ha Jung-woo, Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hyang-gi -- stressed the difficulties of shooting two films simultaneously. The three play spirits who escort and defend the deceased.

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From right: Ha Jung-woo, Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hyang-gi during a press event held Friday at Lotte Cinema near Konkuk University in eastern Seoul (Herald DB)
“The second part’s emotion is much more agitated. We had to act for two films in one scene. It was difficult to express the gap of emotions, twice as hard other films,” Ha said.

Ju agreed, saying, “I thought, we might fool ourselves. So we had to talk a lot. I balanced my emotions, watching clips of other actors.”

The second segment had to be reshot, as two of the actors, Oh Dal-soo and Choi Il-hwa were replaced when they were accused earlier this year of sexual misconduct.

Meanwhile, the production company aims to produce parts three and four of the series. Won Dong-yeon, the chief of Realies Pictures said in an interview with local media outlet last month, two more sequels for the series will be simultaneously shot next year.

“Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days” is to hit local theaters on Aug. 1.

By Im Eun-byel (silverstar@heraldcorp.com)

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