It sure feels like forever waiting for the movie to be out, but the wait is almost over for Phantom Detective (formerly known as Detective Hong Gil-dong). The movie is finally set for May release, after a year of post-production since the filming wrapped up in April last year. All eyes are on the project after Lee Je-hoon’s successful drama Signal aired earlier this year, and this will be his first movie after his completion of military service.
Initially planned for 2015 release, it was probably a safer bet to push it to 2016, considering how many movies premiered towards the end of last year and the competition that would be quite risky. I think with public attention directed at Lee Je-hoon post-Signal, there is a bigger chance for people to flock to the cinemas; plus, as a movie coming from the director of A Werewolf Boy, Jo Sung-hee, there will be expectations to see whether Phantom Detective will be able to stand on the same level as A Werewolf Boy.
The teasers are slick with a comic book feel, giving us the first taste of the story, as well as the titular Detective Hong Gil-dong. Lee Je-hoon himself said that Gil-dong is nothing like an upright person: he is a private detective who takes on cases for the pay, not for his sense of justice or things like that. His methods know no boundaries, often venturing into the bad side like an antihero. In short, he is a detective with no memory of his past, no mercy when investigating his cases, no fear of anything or anyone, no friend around him, and no affection at all.
With high success rate of handling his cases, there is only one he could not solve that is the location of a man who disappeared. His investigation probably reveals another big secret, because he suddenly finds himself being chased by another man while forced to babysit two kids. Maybe the missing man and the lost village have something to do with Hong Gil-dong’s past? Detective Hong Gil-dong: the Lost Village, also known by its English title Phantom Detective, stars Lee Je-hoon, Kim Sung-kyun, Park Geun-hyung, Jung Sung-hwa, Go Ara, Lee Min-ji, Noh Jung-eui, and Kim Ha-na.