SEOUL (THE KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - South Korean heartthrob Gong Yoo is returning to the big screen with fellow actor Park Bo-gum in Seobok, a film about the first human clone.
The sci-fi film, which is set to be released in December, will feature the bromance between two main characters played by Gong and Park.
"The director told us to use Dustin Hoffman and Tom Cruise's relationship in Rain Man (1988) as our reference. In the movie, Seo-bok is constantly curious, seeing the real world for the first time, and Ki-hun becomes a little irritated by this," Gong, 41, said during an online press conference held on Tuesday (Oct 27).
"These are actually important emotional scenes (between the two characters) in our movie as well as the parts where the audiences can probably relax a bit. I also enjoyed filming these scenes (with Park)."
In Seobok, Ki-hun (Gong) is a former intelligence agent, while Seo-bok (Park) is the first ever human clone who possesses the secret of eternal life.
Ki-hun receives his final mission from the director of the intelligence agency (played by Cho Woo-jin) to move Seo-bok, who has never known life outside of the laboratory, to a safe place.
Seobok is Gong's first movie in a year after his role in Kim Ji-young: Born 1982 (2019), which also starred Jung Yu-mi. Both Gong and Jung have previously starred in the zombie flick Train To Busan (2016).
Park, 27, was absent from the press conference on Tuesday as he is currently in mandatory military service.
Director Lee Yong-joo explained why he chose to create two male main characters.
"When I was first writing the plot, I did consider writing Seo-bok as a female character (like many other films that feature the first human clones). But then, I decided to make it a male character since it could be a cliche if Seo-bok is a woman and there's a romantic relationship between the two main protagonists," Lee said.
The film is his first since Architecture 101, a hit romance that came out in 2012.
The director added that even though Seo Bok uses a human clone as one of its main characters, that is not the key element in the movie.
"Human clone Seo-bok came in later," Lee said. "I did not begin writing the script with the theme of eternal life or a human clone in my mind. The script began with my intention to write a story about human fear."
He noted that the idea to name the clone Seo-bok, which came from the legend of Chinese explorer Xu Fu, came to him later. He said it represents the fear of death and the desire to live eternally.
Xu Fu, known as Seo-bok in Korea, is a Qin Dynasty figure sent to Korea by Chinese Emperor Qin Shihuang to find a plant that is known for giving eternal life.