The Hype Begins: 4 Main Cast Stars, Script Reading, And Filming For “Sad Tropics”

Updated: December 4, 2021

“Sad Tropics” is a Korean film by the famous screenwriter-director, Park Hoon Jung. The story revolves around an aspiring Korean-Filipino boxer who comes to Korea to find his estranged father. Throughout the quest, he stumbles upon a villainous group of boys, meets a mysterious nobleman, and encounters misadventures where his life will reverse.

Set as an an action film noir, it will characterize dark elements, intricate plots, cynical roles, and violent scenes. The anticipated film is reported to premiere in 2022. Filming starts on December 10, 2021 and the script reading with the entire cast is scheduled on December 4th.

Here are the main leads and characters of the movie:


The Nobleman and The Boxer

According to reports, there are two top protagonists in the film, the boxer and the nobleman. Early in September, Kim Seonho was positively reviewing the casting offer, as confirmed by his agency, although his role was not specified yet.

On November 1st, it was confirmed through Naver and Soompi that Kim Seonho will appear for the first time on the big screen in 2022.

On November 18th, it has been officially stated that Kim Seonho will take the role of a nobleman, a very complicated and mysterious character who encounters the Filipino-Korean boxer, which will be portrayed by a rookie actor, Kang Tae-joo.

As the director is known to have dark, violent, and intricate plot twists in his projects, one thing to anticipate in “Sad Tropics” is the nobleman’s role in the boxer’s life. Will the nobleman act as a helper or a hindrance to the boxer’s quest? Regardless, the film officials reveal that the dark character of the nobleman will completely transform Kim Seonho’s acting into something different that the audience has never seen before.

On December 2nd, Lee Hwa-bae, a movie critic and Baeksang judge, expressed delight to see a photo of Kim Seonho in a movie magazine, stating, “The film industry has gained a new face who has a strong fandom.”

While Kim Seonho was automatically selected by the director to fill the nobleman role, Kang Taejoo was chosen through an audition of 1,980 competitors. The said film will be the big screen debut of the two main actors.

Kang Tae-joo appeared in the drama series, “Missing: The Other Side” (2020) and “Hello, Me” (2021). Meanwhile, Kim Seonho’s hit series, “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha” (2021) which ended mid-October strongly remains on the Top 10 TV shows on Netflix in several countries with a successful rewatch campaign organized by fans worldwide.


The Female Lead

In October, actress Go Ara has reportedly received the offer to star in this movie. After reviewing the project, her appearance as the female lead has been recently confirmed.

However, it is not cited if her character is a love interest of the nobleman. But rather, she will play the significant role of someone who holds the key to the story’s mystery.

She has appeared in various films and television series including the hit projects “Reply 1994” (2013), “Hwarang: The Poet Warrior Youth” (2016), and “Dodosolsol Lalasol” (2020), to name a few. Her works have also been nominated and recognized in several award-giving bodies such as the APAN Star Awards, Asia Artist Awards ( AAA), Blue Dragon Film Awards, and Baeksang Arts Awards.


Other Stellar Casts


On November 19, Kim Kang-woo has also been confirmed to join the movie. He has appeared in several films, variety shows, and television series. His recent accolade include the “Top Excellence Award, Actor in a Weekend Drama” at the 2018 MBC Drama Awards for his role in the series, “My Contracted Husband, Mr. Oh”.

On the other hand, it was rumored that Marian Rivera, a famous actress from the Philippines, was selected to be the Filipina mother, while Yoon Junghoon will portray the boxer’s Korean father. Both Junghoon and Seonho are cast members of the reality-variety show, “2 Days and 1 Night” Season 4. As of writing, these news are not yet verified.


The Director


Park Hoon Jung, the director of this movie, is known for his hit films, “New World” (2013), “V.I.P” (2017), “The Witch: Part 1 The Subversion” (2018), and “Night In Paradise” (2021).

His accolades include the following:

  • Best Screenplay for the film, “The Unjust” at the 2011 Blue Dragon Film Awards and Fantasia International Film Festival
  • Best Director for the film, “The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale” at the 2016 Golden Cinematography Awards and Korea Gold Awards Festival
  • Best Director-Thriller Features for the film,”V.I.P.” at the 2017 Fantastic Fest
  • Best Film Orient Express for the film, “The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion” at the 2019 Fantasporto Film Festival
  • Syfy Jury Prize for the film, “The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion” at the 2019 Gerardmer International Fantastic Film Festival


His recent project, “Night in Paradise” (2020) has been nominated for Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Lighting, and Best Actress at the 2021 Blue Dragon Film Awards.