'Revolver' director Oh Seung-uk reveals movie was written for actor Jeon Do-yeon

From left actors Lim Ji-yeon, Jeon Do-yeon, Ji Chang-wook, director Oh Seung-uk pose for a photo at a press conference for the upcoming film ″Revolver″ in Gangnam District, southern Seoul, on July 9. [YONHAP]

The upcoming crime film “Revolver,” set to premiere on Aug. 7, was ignited by a suggestion from actor Jeon Do-yeon, which director Oh Seung-uk embraced as an opportunity to reveal a different facet of the actor he had known for years.

"One day, while I was at home, I got a call from Jeon," director Oh said during a press conference held on Tuesday in Gangnam District, southern Seoul. "She invited me out for a drink. There, she suggested that I write a new script and create a new film."

At the time, Oh was facing a difficult period, having had one of his films canceled during pre-production.

Jeon and director Oh previously collaborated on the film "The Shameless" (2015), which was invited to the 68th Cannes Film Festival. The two have reunited for their second project nearly a decade later.

A still from upcoming crime film ″Revolver″ [PLUS M ENTERTAINMENT]

"Revolver" centers around Ha Soo-young, a former police officer portrayed by Jeon, who is released from prison after serving time for crimes she took the fall for in exchange for compensation. Upon completing her two-year sentence, she finds that no one involved in the original agreement is there for her. The narrative follows her as she seeks the promised compensation and pursues her ultimate goal.

The film boasts a star-studded cast, including Jeon, Ji Chang-wook of "The Worst of Evil" (2023) as Andy and Lim Ji-yeon from Netflix's "The Glory" (2022-23) as Jeong Yoon-sun.

“It took him four years,” Jeon said. “I thought that I would start shooting the film earlier because the discussion about ‘Revolver’ started way before shooting ‘Kill Boksoon’ [2023]."

"But when he finally presented 'Revolver,' I felt the wait was worthwhile," she added.

A still from upcoming crime film ″Revolver″ [PLUS M ENTERTAINMENT]

Director Oh crafted the film with Jeon as the protagonist in mind, which is uncommon for him. Oh said he usually does not consider a certain actor when writing a scenario.

"Jeon possesses a unique dignity and class, coupled with a strong sense of empathy," Oh said. "Her characteristics align well with the narratives I wish to tell, which often center on criminals trying to avoid repeating their mistakes."

"Jeon has become my muse," he added.

Despite the director's confidence in her, Jeon admitted she had concerns about her portrayal of Soo-young, who was directed to exhibit minimal emotion. "I questioned whether I had ever encountered a character requiring such an emotionless demeanor," she said. "It felt repetitive, and I worried that my expressions seemed dull during playback."

A still from upcoming crime film ″Revolver″ [PLUS M ENTERTAINMENT]

Oh intended this direction to highlight a new dimension of Jeon’s acting.

"I aimed to keep the audience intrigued and eager to see Jeon's face throughout the film," he said. "After the final edit, I felt I succeeded in capturing an unseen aspect of her performance."

Jeon is not the only one showing a new side of herself. Ji also showcases a different side of himself, describing his character as a "troubled brat."

“During our first shoot, I told Oh that I saw a character and a side of Ji I had never seen before," Jeon said.

A still from upcoming crime film ″Revolver″ [PLUS M ENTERTAINMENT]

Jeon, who debuted in 1990, is now a veteran in the acting scene and respected by many other actors, including her co-stars Ji and Lim.

“While I was in college, I dubbed myself the Korea National University of Arts’ Jeon Do-yeon, as I dreamed of becoming an actor like her,” Lim said. “It was a series of wonders experiencing working with Jeon under the same roof, whom I once nicknamed myself after.”

According to director Oh, "Revolver" will be a "feast of various faces," emphasizing the actors' nuanced facial expressions as a highlight for audiences.

"It will be a very hot film that heats up this summer," Lim concluded.