Mixing a strange blend of occult horror with mixed martial arts action and a dose of drama, "The Divine Fury" reads like what it says on the cover.
If you think this is going to be some kind of CG extravaganza following up with last year's "Along with the Gods" series, "The Divine Fury" is going to be playing in a different court for different results and audiences.
So here are some interesting things to know about "The Divine Fury" before watching it in cinemas on 15 August!
This will be the follow up outing for director Kim Joo-hwan or Jason Kim after his surprising success with 2017's "Midnight Runners", taking a hard right turn from the action comedy he is known for. Naturally, expectations on Kim to deliver is head and shoulders above other directors so far, and him daring to try something new is always refreshing to see from such a budding director.
Also coming back in this outing is "Midnight Runners" lead Park Seo-joon, reuniting with Jason Kim. This could be one of Park's more complicated roles as a mixed martial arts fighter who is torn up internally upon witnessing the death of his father, and abandoning his faith. This will also be Park's first return to a feature length role since "Midnight Runners". Besides Park, another actor will also be taking up new challenges with his role. Woo Do-hwan, who is better known for his kind characters in television and movies, will be appearing as a villain in "The Divine Fury". Woo will play a black bishop who spreads evil by manipulating the weaknesses of his victims.
Beside the leads, "The Divine Fury" is expected to have a few cameos or minor roles played by prolific actors. Among them would be Choi Wooshik (also seen in the acclaimed "Parasite), playing a priest who loses his courage in the face of evil. Although director Kim has insisted that Choi's role would be much larger or influential in the narrative arc of "The Divine Fury", Choi is also expected to appear in Kim's next comedy film, "Puppy".
But what is "The Divine Fury" really about? It centers on a mixed martial arts champion, Yong-hoo, who is traumatised by his father's death and chooses to abandon his Christian faith. While standing at the top of the world, Yong-hoo starts to realise that he has wounds on his palms and seeks the help of exorcist priests to explain the phenomenon. This ties in closely with the stigmata of Jesus and Yong-hoo is believed to be called to serve a higher purpose of banishing demons. Director Kim has described that he got the inspiration for this story when he saw a statue of an angel defeating the devil in France, and wanted to make a film that embodies the physical and emotional struggles of good versus evil.
That was not all that Kim wanted to do with this story. He also has ambitious plans to expand "The Divine Fury" into a larger cinematic universe akin to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and "The Conjuring" franchise, introducing new characters and new villains of evil. Kim has said that beside the leads, "The Divine Fury" will be setting up some characters to be seen in later installments of the universe, and we could then see how Korea handles its own cinematic universe.