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Don Lee to return to Marvel and make four more “Roundup” films

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Source: Berlinale

‘The Roundup: Punishment’

South Korean star Don Lee has revealed that four more films are being planned for the hit Roundup franchise and confirmed he is lined up to return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The action star is in Berlin with The Roundup: Punishment, which will receive its world premiere tonight (February 23) as a Berlinale Special Gala.

It is the fourth instalment in a series that began with The Outlaws in 2017 before sequel The Roundup became the top grossing film at the Korean box office in 2022 with takings of nearly $100m (KRW131.3bn) – bringing audiences back to cinemas post-pandemic – and The Roundup: No Way Out ranked second last year with $78.5m.

Each film stars Lee as Detective Ma Seok-do (close to the actor’s Korean name Ma Dong-seok), who punches his way through the criminal underworld to serve justice. In the latest instalment, he is tasked with taking down an online gambling organisation and goes up against a cold-blooded villain played by Kim Moo-yul.

“Every time I make a film in this series, it’s very hard work,” said Lee, who also devises the stories based on real events and is involved on the production side through his company Big Punch Pictures. “There are many things to consider: character development, story, action design and the Korean audience doesn’t want to lose their sense of humor, so it’s important to include that as well. This is how we have tried to differentiate it from the previous films.”

Despite the challenges, Lee confirmed the franchise will continue. “We are working on the scripts for [of Detective Ma] five, six, seven and eight right now, each with different stories and tones,” Lee told

Screen[The Roundup]. “I will remain the central character until eight but, after that, I’m not sure yet.”He confirmed that Lee Sang-yong, director of the second and third instalments, will return to helm the fifth film.MCU return

Lee also has a string of non-Korean projects lined up including a return the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having previously played the near-immortal Gilgamesh in 2021 film


. Lee has a number of non-Korean projects lined up, including a return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. He previously played the near-immortal Gilgamesh in 2021 film Eternals. I loved the director Chloe Zhao and the entire production. It was a great experience working with Marvel’s Kevin Feige, the actors and other Marvel employees. It was a great inspiration for me to create a film around IP and design a whole universe.” I have to wait until they give me an answer. All of a sudden, they’ll give me something.”

Further projects include a remake of his 2019 crime thriller

The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil with Sylvester Stallone at Paramount and action feature Nonstop, which will bring together Asian martial arts stars Jet Li, Thailand’s Tony Jaa of Ong Bak and Indonesia’s Iko Uwais of The Raid alongside Lee.“I have a lot going on in Hollywood and was supposed to shoot four last year,” said Lee, recalling how the actors strike placed the projects on pause. “But they’re going again and I am going back and forth Korea quite a bit right now.” Heo Myeong-haeng first worked with Lee in 2012 on anthology feature

Doomsday Book

and his work ranges from the iconic hammer fight scene in Park Chan-wook’s Oldboy to features including Train To Busan, Extreme Job and Hunt. He also worked on all three previous Roundup films.“With just I look, I know what he wants,” said Lee. “I’ve worked with many great directors, but with him, we don’t really have many conversations because we know what the other person is thinking.” It’s a real pleasure to work with someone like that. He’s almost like a best friend and a brother, and we’ve worked together for a long time on a lot of big action sequences.”Also in Berlin for the premiere, director Heo told Screen: “My goal was to upgrade the storytelling in this film as well as the action, but this depends very much on the characters. I upgraded the villains because of this. They must be strong. Ma Seok Do has to suffer more to catch them. Lee adds that the last action scene in the movie was the most difficult to shoot. “The very last scene in the film. I don’t want to spoil it but that last scene – that was really hard.”

Seoul-based sales agent K-Movie Entertainment handles international sales of the film and closed a string of deals before the European Film Market (EFM) in Berlin, including to the US, UK and across Asia.

Preesnted by ABO Entertainment and produced by Hong Film, Big Punch Pictures and B.A. Entertainment, a local theatrical release date has not been set but is expected in the first half of 2024.Japanese directors talk upcoming projects in Berlin (exclusive)

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