KPOP Channel had the honour of watching the screening of Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds before it premiered on 5 January 2018 and we were really impressed that the film exceeds its reputation.
With only 16 days since released, this film is currently the second fastest film to reach 10 million viewers after The Admiral: Roaring Currents. Originally released on 20 December 2017, Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds boasts an impressive cast of Cha Tae-hyun, Ha Jung-woo, Ju Ji-hoon, Kim Hyang-gi, Kim Dong-wook, Oh Dal-su, Lim Won-hee, Do Kyung-soo, Lee Joon-hyuk, Jang Kwang, Jung Hae-kyun, Kim Su-an, Lee Jung-jae, Kim Hae-sook, Lee Kyung-young, and Kim Ha-neul.
Actor Cha Tae-hyun, who is popular for his lead roles in comedy films, takes the role of Kim Ja-hong, the protagonist of this film. “Regardless of gender, everyone loves him and feels certain connection to his characters. We unanimously chose to cast Cha in this role,” said Director Kim Yong-hwa.
Cha Tae-hyun expresses, “Ja-hong is a character who lived a difficult life and unlike other characters I played, I couldn’t make the audience laugh and smile. I had to maintain a tone that is neither positive nor negative.” More on the plot, he says, “There are actually many scenarios in this movie that portray things which one can relate with.”
Do Kyungsoo, a vocalist from boy group EXO, is also featured in this film as Private Won. “I have never seen an actor whose emotional range is so wide. He went above and beyond to play Pvt. Won,” said Director KIM and hyped Do Kyungsoo’s character, who wields one of the most important keys in the film.
The amazing viewer’s count of this film is backed by the fact that it is an adaptation of the most-viewed webcomic/webtoon on Naver and sold over 450,000 copies of paperback version by the web artist/writer Ju Ho-min. The story is included in the ‘Webcomic Masterpiece’ series and was re-released and scored 9.98, thereby sealing its fate as a webcomic legend.
Making a webtoon into film is known to be very hard and a lot of directors has refused to take on this series, but Director Kim Yong-hwa, the father of 200 Pounds of Beauty and Take Off to Mr. Go, braved himself into working on this film. “I didn’t choose the web-toon, but it was something that came to me, …it was just like fate, (after I refused to take on the production) when it came to me for the second time, it was difficult for me to reject it. And I thought that life is all about taking the first step, so I ended up doing it” Director Kim said.
Director KIM Yong-hwa’s filmography has transcended genres but always brought heart-warming stories of humanity with sympathetic and moving characters. He thought hard about his next project and settled on adapting Along with the Gods into feature films. He kept the main storyline that the fans of the webcomic loved and wondered how he could improve it by adding cinematic devices.
The film is an accumulation of 6 years of work by some of the most creative minds in Korean cinema to adapt the wonderful original source material to the big screen. Director Kim and the filmmakers decided on 7 unique properties that are found in nature as themes for the depiction of the 7 hells in the film: fire, water, metal, ice, mirror, gravity and sand. VFX supervisor Jin Jong-hyun even took a trip to Mongolia to gather data in the desert to create the Filial Impiety Hell, which uses sand as its theme.
KPop Channel has done tickets giveaway for this film thanks to Feat Pictures which brings it to Indonesian screens and viewers, and what’s best is Along with the Gods is planned as a 2-part film! Director Kim has set himself up to the challenge of filming two parts back to back, which is a first in Korea.
Using Korea’s views of afterlife, Director KIM will create a world no one has ever seen before and keep the audience entertained and moved by reinforcing universal themes. His limits as a director and storyteller will be tested in this film. We cannot wait for the second part to be released soon!