SEOUL, Jan. 11 (Yonhap) -- In the new year, movie theaters are expected to teem with fresh releases of star-studded blockbusters and long-awaited homegrown films put on hold due to the protracted novel coronavirus pandemic last year.
Starring two Korean heartthrobs, Gong Yoo and Park Bo-gum, the sci-fi action film "Seobok" is on the top of the 2020 list of projects that failed to be released due to COVID-19.
It is about a former agent who is suffering a terminal illness and assigned to take care of the first human clone, Seobok, who possesses the secret to eternal life.
The musical film "Hero" about Korean independence activist An Jung-geun is also one of the 2020-made films that is waiting for its release in 2021. It is Korea's first musical film in more than a decade and director Yoon Je-kyoon's big screen return after the smash-hit drama "Ode to My Father" (2014).
"Mogadishu," an action film based on the true story of diplomats in South and North Korean missions in Somalia during the 1990 civil war, is also seeking the best timing for a theatrical run this year as it should have opened last summer.
At the same time, new big-budget movies, which are now in post-production, are moving to grab a chance to be released this year.
"Emergency Declaration" is one of the most anticipated films in South Korean theaters for this year, with a cast including big-name silver screen stars like Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun and Jeon Do-yeon.
It is ready to hit local screens later this year even though the filming of the movie was once suspended due to an outbreak of the novel coronavirus among its crew.
The historical drama "The Book of Fish" is also in the 2021 lineup. Directed by Lee Joon-ik, who gained nationwide fame with the historical drama "King and The Clown" (2005), the black-and-white film tells the story of Jung Yak-jeon, a renowned scholar from the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910) who wrote a book on ichthyology, the study of fish, while in exile on a remote island.
A sequel to the 2014 historical war film "The Admiral: Roaring Currents," which attracted a record 17 million admissions in Korea, will be released in cinemas this year.
"In 2021, a number of movies will seek theatrical releases, including big-name films that postponed their openings last year due to COVID-19," said an official from CJ CGV, a leading multiplex chain operator in South Korea. "When the pandemic ends or subsides later this year, the competition to attract movie fans will get fiercer."