THE TOWER Press Notes
108 Floors of Terror… and Help is Out of Reach!
Source: CJ Entertainment America
Special Thanks to Hoon Bae
CJ Entertainment is thrilled to present present the heart-pounding, action-packed drama THE TOWER (타워, 2012). After stirring up intense interest in Korea where it opened as the holiday blockbuster offering for Christmas, the movie made its North American theatrical debut on January 11, 2013. THE TOWER was released on DVD in the United Kingdom on May 6th, and will be available in North America on July 2 and Australia on August 21st.
THE TOWER features a star-studded ensemble cast including SUL Kyung-gu (NO MERCY, 2009; HAEUNDAE, 2009), SON Ye-jin (A MOMENT TO REMEMBER, 2004; SPELLBOUND, 2011) and KIM Sang-kyung (MEMORIES OF MURDER, 2003). Interwoven dramatic storylines, heartfelt acting, and show-stopping pyrotechnics make THE TOWER a bold new addition to the disaster action movie genre.
When a deadly fire breaks out in a luxurious apartment tower, rescuers and those trapped have only one common goal: To get their loved ones out
Christmas Eve. At Tower Sky — the ultra-luxurious landmark building complex — a “White Christmas” party is held to dazzle its equally high-end tenants and VIP guests. Despite having to work late, Dae-ho (KIM Sang-kyung), the manager of the building and single father, promises his young daughter, Ha-na (CHO Mina) the best Christmas Eve ever. But Dae-ho is forced to cancel plans with his daughter when he is called to an emergency at the event. His Christmas is saved when Yoon-hee (SON Ye-jin), the food mall manager with a secret crush on Dae-ho, offers to babysit Hana during the party. The girls quickly forge a bond.
Meanwhile, Young-ki (SUL Kyung-gu), the legendary fire chief of Yeouido Station, takes the evening off to spend Christmas Eve with his wife… their first-ever holiday date night.
The party is in full swing with the spectacular sight of two helicopters flying overhead just to spray snow on the partygoers and make everything perfect. It’s supposed to be the happiest evening of the year for everyone, but a terrible accident starts a fire in Tower Sky and changes everything. Dae-ho and Young-ki must summon all their strength and courage to save the lives of thousands… but at what cost to themselves and their loved ones?
Amid one of the city’s worst disasters, a story of ordinary people who hang on to hope to the bitter end unfolds.
ABOUT the FILM
The worst fire ever hits Seoul’s most luxurious skyscraper on Christmas Eve
2012 saw a renaissance in Korean film. With moviegoers favoring locally produced films over foreign releases, as of late-November the annual number of viewers watching Korean films surpassed the 100 million mark for the first time according to the Korean Film Council. That trend continued in December with the release of the highly anticipated blockbuster THE TOWER.
The big budget disaster epic takes place within the confined space of a 108-story skyscraper in the heart of Seoul. As the worst fire in history breaks out on Christmas Eve, chaos erupts amid the panic and horror experienced by those trapped in the burning building. The virtual space of Tower Sky, a luxurious, and magnificent high rise residential complex, provides the perfect backdrop for spectacular special effects that will keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The movie’s realistic depiction of the fire and the resulting calamities — the collapse, heat fracturing, water tank explosion — will make for a white-knuckle cinematic experience. Armed with grand effects, powerful drama and the pathos of a tragedy striking on the most wonderful day of the year, THE TOWER will undoubtedly form the grace notes of the year’s renaissance.
A story of ordinary people fighting through disaster and a heart-tugging drama for the whole family
In addition to eye-popping visuals and effects, THE TOWER also contains powerful drama that will move all generations. Trapped in the burning building are people from all walks of life– from wealthy residents to the average people who work there. Among them are the building’s facilities manager and single dad who jumps back into the fray to save his daughter; a beautiful restaurant manager secretly in love with her co-worker; a church elder whose lottery winnings bought him a home in Tower Sky; the bickering cooks working in the building’s massive restaurant; an elderly couple enjoying their twilight years; a cleaning lady working extra shifts to earn her son’s tuition; a pregnant woman looking forward to the arrival of her baby; and the ambitious owner of the skyscraper banking on Tower Sky’s success.
Outside the tower at first is a fire captain who was supposed to take Christmas Eve off in order to be with his wife for the first time and the rookie who is called to the worst fire scene on his first day. Brought together by disaster, their individual stories are folded into a larger drama as they struggle to escape the inferno. A powerful message about humanism, family and love told through their desperate struggles and tears will resonate in the hearts of the viewers all season long.
A stellar cast from leads — including SON Ye-jin and SUL Kyung-gu — to supporting players joins forces
THE TOWER’s all-star cast is another reason the film attracted so much attention with Korea’s biggest stars joining forces to tell the story of family, courage and love. The news that the inimitable SUL Kyung-gu and reigning box-office queen SON Ye-jin would co-star along with industry stalwart KIM Sang-kyung started the buzz.
SUL plays the veteran fire captain called to the scene to lead the rescue effort when the 108-story tower goes up in flames and SON steps away from her more familiar repertoire to try her hand at her first action film. She plays a confident, professional restaurant manager who comforts and leads stranded residents and workers with her gentle charisma. KIM Sang-kyung is the skyscraper’s facilities manager who plays a vital role in the firefighters’ rescue efforts.
On top of this, some of Korea’s favorite actors turn up in supporting roles, including KIM In-kwon, LEE Han-wie, KIM Sung-oh and PARK CHUL-MIN. Chungmuro giants CHA In-pyo, AHN Sung-ki and SONG Jae-ho make powerful, brief appearances as a final treat.
CAST and CHARACTERS
KANG Young-kee | Fire captain first on the scene (SUL Kyung-gu)
“Giving up the origin is giving up everything!”
KANG Young-kee is Yeouido Fire Station’s best firefighter. His leadership and dedication have earned him the respect and trust of his colleagues but it makes him a terrible husband. Captain Kang is supposed to be off-duty on Christmas Eve, a promise he made to his wife, when his squad is called to the horrific fire scene at Tower Sky.
SUL is undisputedly one of the most beloved actors in Korea. He starred in two of the seven Korean films to break the 10 million admissions mark, most recently HAEUNDAE, a film that kick-started a new era for Korean disaster films. SUL returns with a tough man-of-action role as a firefighter who leads the rescue effort in this winter’s THE TOWER. In order to convincingly portray a firefighter, SUL immersed himself in two months’ of firefighting training. The intensely charismatic actor once again delivers a passionate performance worthy of his reputation.
TROUBLESHOOTER (2010), NO MERCY (2010), HAEUNDAE (2009), PUBLIC ENEMY RETURNS (2008), VOICE OF A MURDERER (2007), CRUEL WINTER BLUES (2006), LOST IN LOVE (2006), SILMIDO (2003), OASIS (2002), A PEPPERMINT CANDY (2000)
SEO Yoon-hee | Restaurant manager who keeps calm in dire situations (SON Ye-jin)
“Do you think… we’ll make it out of here?”
Seo Yoon-hee is Tower Sky’s restaurant manager, a woman who has a smile for everyone. She is a confident professional, but turns into a fumbling girl in the presence of the man she harbors feelings for. When the fire breaks out, she is trapped in the building along with several others, but remains calm and hopeful, lending comfort and encouragement. Eventually, she becomes the emotional center for those trapped inside.
Korea’s adored queen of romantic comedy tries her hand at a disaster movie for the first time with THE TOWER, playing a professional restaurant manager. Stepping away from her repertoire of late, SON transforms herself into a charismatic and strong woman in an impressive display of versatility. To play a character caught in the middle of a catastrophic fire, she performed some of the dangerous scenes herself, including one in which she is swept away by five tons of water.
SPELLBOUND (2011), WHITE NIGHT (2009), MY WIFE GOT MARRIED (2008), ALONE IN LOVE(TV) (2006), THE ART OF SEDUCTION (2005), APRIL SNOW (2005), A MOMENT TO REMEMBER (2004), THE CLASSIC (2003)
LEE Dae-ho | Building manager who stops at nothing to save his daughter (KIM Sang-kyung)
“I have to go back! My daughter’s still up there.”
Dae-ho is Tower Sky’s head of maintenance in charge of managing building facilities. He is a single dad who lives with his daughter, Ha-na, and though he has feelings for restaurant manager Yoon-hee, he finds it impossible to express them. When fire breaks out at Tower Sky and people are fleeing, he jumps back into the burning building and leads the fire squad in order to save his daughter and Yoon-hee, still trapped inside.
Kim is an actor beloved by audience and trusted by directors. He showed off his range and reliability working with respected directors such as Bong Joon ho (MEMORIES OF MURDER) and Hong Sangsoo (HAHAHA, A TALE OF CINEMA, TURNING GATE). He played tough guy roles in MEMORIES OF MURDER and MAY 18 and then a sweet romantic in HOW TO KEEP MY LOVE. In THE TOWER, the acclaimed actor exudes warmth as a father who’ll stop at nothing to save his daughter.
HAHAHA (2010), MAY 18 (2007), THE WORLD OF SILENCE (2006), A TALE OF CINEMA (2005), HOW TO KEEP MY LOVE (2004), MEMORIES OF MURDER (2003)
ABOUT the DIRECTOR
A director who thrives off new challenges with every film
Since his successful feature debut in 2004 with MOKPO, GANGSTER’S PARADISE, director KIM Ji-hoon has shown off an ability to shift tone and texture in each of his films. His sophomore film, MAY 18, was a historical drama about the Gwangju People’s Uprising of 1980 that drew over 7.3 million viewers. He returned in 2011 with SECTOR 7, a 3D science fiction film about a life-and-death battle with an unidentified life form on an oil rig. Broadening his directing skills with every genre, KIM’s filmography can be best defined and described by the word “challenge.” KIM’s journey of challenge continues this winter with THE TOWER, a story of ordinary people fighting for their lives in the face of disaster.
SECTOR 7 (2011), MAY 18 (2007), MOKPO, GANGSTER’S PARADISE (2004)
THE TOWER CREDITS
CJ Entertainment Presents A THE TOWER PICTURES/CJ ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTION
Korean Theatrical Release Date: December 25, 2012
North American Theatrical Release Date: January 11, 2013
Language: Korean w/ English subtitles
Running Time: 121 mins
Rating: NR (not rated by the MPAA) — For viewers age 12 and up (Korea rating)
Director: KIM Ji-hoon
Writer: KIM Sang-don
SUL Kyung-gu as KANG Young-kee, Fire captain
SON Ye-jin as SEO Yoon-hee, Restaurant manager
KIM Sang-kyung as LEE Dae-ho, Facilities manager
KIM In-kwon as OH Byeong-man, Fire Sergeant
DO Ji-han as LEE Seong-woo, Probie
Production: The Tower Pictures, CJ Entertainment
Distribution: CJ Entertainment
About CJ Entertainment America
Launched in 2005, CJ Entertainment America is the U.S. arm of Asia’s premier entertainment company and Korea’s #1 filmmaker and distributor, CJ Entertainment & Media. Since 1995, CJ E&M has provided original, award-winning content — across an array of genres, including drama, comedy, action, sci-fi/horror and special interest — for theatrical, television, DVD, digital download, interactive game publishing/portals and music.
A prominent investor in entertainment co-ventures in overseas markets (including 1492 Pictures, DreamWorks and IMAX in the U.S.), CJ E&M also develops and operates 200 premium multiplex theater sites under the CGV Cinemas banner (including a flagship site in Los Angeles) and is a leading concert promoter, helping establish “K-pop” as a successful world music genre. The cornerstone of the Korean entertainment industry – boasting the country’s largest and most significant library, with hundreds of films – CJ E&M is also a singular presence throughout Asia, Europe and in the States and a key force in popularizing contemporary Korean and Pan-Asian cinema around the world. Top films include THE MAN FROM NOWHERE; THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD; A BITTERSWEET LIFE; JOINT SECURITY AREA; and the VENGEANCE trilogy, to name a few.
For more information on THE TOWER please see the previous coverage here on SciFi Japan:
- THE TOWER Starts Production
- New Photos and Posters Released for THE TOWER
- THE TOWER on Australian DVD
- THE TOWER on Region 1 DVD July 2nd