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Thursday, February 2, 2023

Disney+’s ‘Big Bet’ makes even the ordinary film-worthy

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From left, director Kang Yun-sung, actors Ryu Hyun-kyung, Son Eun-seo, Lee Dong-hwi, Choi Min-sik, Son Suk-ku, Heo Sung-tae and Kim Joo-ryoung pose for a photo at a local press event to promote Disney+'s original drama series "Big Bet" at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in eastern Seoul on Wednesday. [YONHAP]
From left, director Kang Yun-sung, actors Ryu Hyun-kyung, Son Eun-seo, Lee Dong-hwi, Choi Min-sik, Son Suk-ku, Heo Sung-tae and Kim Joo-ryoung pose for a photo at a local press event to promote Disney+’s original drama series “Big Bet” at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in eastern Seoul on Wednesday. [YONHAP]

Disney+’s upcoming crime action series “Big Bet” fronts its ordinary characters and reality as its charms.

“Big Bet” tells the story of a man named Cha Mu-sik, who started at rock bottom and worked his way to the top as a casino mogul in the Philippines. However, when he becomes swept up in a murder case, he’s determined to bet even his own life to cling to everything he’s built over the years.

Veteran actor Choi Min-sik portrays the main protagonist, his first drama series in 26 years since the MBC drama series “Love and Separation” (1997). The 60-year-old actor portrays his character from his 30s to 50s, with the help of de-aging technology.

 

Choi Mu-sik smiles at a local press event to promote Disney+'s original drama series "Big Bet" at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in eastern Seoul on Wednesday. [YONHAP]
Choi Mu-sik smiles at a local press event to promote Disney+’s original drama series “Big Bet” at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in eastern Seoul on Wednesday. [YONHAP]

“He’s super ordinary,” Choi said as he described his character at a local press event in JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in eastern Seoul on Wednesday. “Everyone has desires, but he pursues them, becomes obsessed, and, before he knows it, he’s stepped into the world of casinos. As I portrayed this character, I realized your course of life may change based on who you meet and where you go, and it may become dramatic even though you didn’t intend for it to.”

Son Suk-ku, who gained popularity through the JTBC drama series “My Liberation Notes” (2022), portrays Mu-sik’s nemesis as a police detective who goes after him, convinced that he is deeply involved in a murder case.

“[My character] Seung-hoon is not a detective with extraordinary capabilities as one would see in other movies or dramas,” Son said. “He’s actually very ordinary, and he was working every day just like an office worker until he was dispatched to the Philippines. He realizes there that it’s not easy for him to help others, but receiving help from others also comes with a price.”

Son Suk-ku introduces his character Seung-hoon at a local press event to promote Disney+'s original drama series "Big Bet" at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in eastern Seoul on Wednesday. [YONHAP]
Son Suk-ku introduces his character Seung-hoon at a local press event to promote Disney+’s original drama series “Big Bet” at JW Marriott Dongdaemun Square Seoul in eastern Seoul on Wednesday. [YONHAP]

Director Kang Yun-sung accentuates the realistic aspects of the series as the appeal of his project.

“The series is set in the Philippines and about 70 percent of the series was shot there,” Kang said. “So the series might feel a bit Western for Korean audiences, while for global viewers, it might feel a bit more familiar. Overall, the series has been created targeting reality, something that would convince the audience that the narrative is real, and that’s something I believe they would ubiquitously recognize for this series.”

The first three episodes of “Big Bet” will be released on Disney+ on Dec. 21. Season 1 has eight episodes, and an additional episode will be released each week. Season 2, also comprised of eight episodes, is also scheduled to be released next year.

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]

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