A still of Don Lee in 'The Roundup' Image Credit: BA Entertainment

South Korea’s biggest money spinner of 2022, ‘The Roundup’, is getting a third part with Don Lee returning to the Korean action drama.

Production has already commenced on ‘The Roundup: No Way Out’, with Lee, who is also known as Ma Dong-seok, returning to the franchise as its lead star and the producer.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, the third instalment of the series reunites Lee with director Lee Sang-yong.

After joining the Regional Investigation Unit to take on a fresh crime plot, Lee’s beefed-up detective Ma Seok-do continues his gritty action adventures in the new film. Lee Jun-hyuk, the villain of the upcoming movie, will be played by Korean leading man Lee Joon-hyuk (‘Along with the gods’). Japanese actor Aoki Munetaka will also appear as the yakuza figure Riki.

With the release of the 2017 film ‘The Outlaws’, which introduced Lee’s tough-as-nails investigator Ma Suk-Do as he fought to retain control over Seoul’s Chinatown neighbourhood amid brutal gang wars, ‘The Roundup’ franchise was born. The movie, which made $53 million, was warmly welcomed by both critics and aficionados of the genre.

In the follow-up, ‘The Roundup’, directed by Lee Sang-yong, the action moved to Vietnam, where Lee’s detective decamped in order to extradite a suspect but wound up becoming involved in the hunt for a serial abduction and murderer. With nearly $100 million in revenue since its May release, the movie has established a new record for South Korea’s post-pandemic theatrical box office (‘Top Gun: Maverick’ is in a distant second place in the nation’s annual standings with $52 million).

Kim Min-jae (‘Peninsula’, ‘The Battleship Island’) will portray Ma Seok’s right-hand man in ‘The Roundup: No Way Out’, and Lee Beom-su (‘Operation Chromite’, ‘The Beauty Inside’) playing Inspector Jang Tae-soo of the Regional Investigation Unit. The production also enlists actors Jun Suk-ho (‘Miss & Mrs. Cops’, ‘Kingdom’) and Ko Kyu-phil (‘The Cursed: Dead Man’s Prey’, ‘Crash Landing on You’) to play Ma Seok-unusual do’s companions.

Produced by Big Punch Pictures, Hong Film, and BA Entertainment, ‘The Roundup: No Way Out’ is similar to its predecessor in that ABO Entertainment is in charge of distribution in Korea.

The movie’s shooting will go on until November and a target release date of 2023 has already been established. — With inputs from ANI