Real (2017 film)

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Real (Korean movie).jpg
Theatrical poster
Revised RomanizationRieol
Directed byLee Sa-rang
Screenplay byLee Jung-sub
Based onTMS Comics Entertainment characters
StarringKim Soo-hyun
Sung Dong-il
Lee Sung-min
Choi Jin-ri
Jo Woo-jin
Music byLee Jae-jin
SOSEOL (Kwon Sun-gyu)
CinematographyKim Jung-won
Cove Pictures
TMS Comics Entertainment
Distributed byCJ E&M (Korea)
Alibaba Pictures (China)
Global Road Entertainment (Others)
Release date
  • June 28, 2017 (2017-06-28) (South Korean)
  • May 5, 2018 (2018-05-05) (United States)
Running time
137 minutes
CountrySouth Korea
Box officeUS$3 million[1]

Real (Korean리얼; RRRieol) is a South Korean neo-noir action film based on character from Manhwa webtoons superheroes comic book by TMS Comics, directed by Lee Sa-rang, starring Kim Soo-hyun, Sung Dong-il, Lee Sung-min, Sulli and Jo Woo-jin. The film was released on June 28, 2017 in South Korea.[2][3][4][5][6]


In the underworld of a dark fictional city, Jang Tae-yeong (Kim Soo-hyun) is a successful problem solver as well as owner of a large casino. Disturbed by an entirely different personality lies within himself, Jang decided to seek the help of Dr. Choi Jin-ki. To help Jang be rid of the other personality, Dr Choi came up with an elaborate plan. Jang followed through the plan, however, it yielded unexpected consequences. The battle of the real and fake Jang Tae-Yeong then ensues...


Sulli, Sung Dong-il and Kim Soo-hyun at the press conference



  • Lee Gyung-young as No Yeom
  • Kim Hong-pa as Choi Nak-hyeon
  • Han Ji-eun as Han Ye-won
  • Rich Ting as Ryu Gil-soo
  • Choi Kwon as Head of Department Baek
  • Jung In-gyeom as Professor Kim
  • Lee Sang-hoon
  • Yoon Ji-kyeon
  • Yoon Kyung-ho
  • Hyun Bong-sik as Chinese gangster

Cameo appearances[edit]


  • On October 12, 2015, Alibaba Pictures signed an agreement at the 20th Busan International Film Festival to fund the film.[12] Paradise Group also co-invested with additional US$7 million. It also filmed in the corporation's resort, Paradise City.[13][14]
  • Actress Han Ji-eun was cast after going through auditions which involved of 4,200 other talents.[15]
  • Filming began on January 3, 2016 and finished on June 30, 2016 in Paradise City, Yeongjongdo, Incheon.[16][17]
  • Director Lee Jung-sub dropped out of the film and was replaced by Lee Sa-rang, first-time filmmaker, owner of the production company of Real.[18]


Real was initially released cinematically on 28 June 2017, then digitally in mid July 2017 in Korea.

Taiwan has become the first region outside Korea for Real to have a cinematic release. It was released on 4 August 2017.[19]

Real was released in Hong Kong on 16 November 2017.

Real was released in Japan on 14 April 2018.

Sitges Film Festival, one of the world's foremost international festivals specialising in fantasy and horror films, has included Real in its 2017 catalogue.[20]


On December 28, 2017, Cove Pictures, the production company of REAL, announced a television adaptation of the film. According to the company, the script will be written in 2017-2018, and the drama would be produced in 2019.


Real received mostly negative reviews during its initial release.[21] MaxMovie's review stated that despite Kim Soo-hyun giving justice to his dual roles, the film's plot is non-existent, the editing and special effects are amateurish, in addition to its action scenes being boring.[22] One critic felt the story was confusing and named the film "one of the most distastrous films ever made".[23]

One critic proclaims Real to be a "future camp cult classic" that "is the 'real' deal".[24] Sitges Film Festival, one of the world's foremost international festivals specialising in fantasy and horror films, has included Real in its 2017 catalogue. The experimental adventure that is Real is in Kim Soo Hyun's words, not an endearing film that is easy for moviegoers to fall in love with.[25] Yet, in the end, love it or hate it, there is no denying that Real is "one of the most singular Korean films to emerge in years".[24]

When Real was released for Digital Cable TV VOD and IPTV subscription in South Korea, it topped the charts at its initial release. In contrast to its box office response, the movie faired reasonably well on the VOD chart. While it is released via VOD platform only in mid July, the movie ranked quite high on the overall chart of July 2017.[26][27][28]

Real received positive reviews upon its opening in Taiwan in early August. Critics praised Kim Soo Hyun’s acting, proclaiming that both main characters, despite looking identical, were easily distinguished through his use of body language, mannerisms, and voice acting.[19]

Expat Korean Movie Critic/Blogger Pierce Conran has included Real in his list of top 15 Korean Movies of 2017 for its uniqueness and originality.[29]

Box office[edit]

Real grossed over $1M NTD (New Taiwan Dollar) in its first weekend of release in Taiwan. It was the highest initial week box office take for a Korean film at the time.[19]

To date, Real has grossed over $4.7M NTD in Taiwan.[30]


  1. ^ "REAL (2017) - Korean Film Council". Retrieved 5 August 2017.
  2. ^ "김수현 복귀작 '리얼', 성동일ㆍ이경영ㆍ이성민ㆍ설리 등 역대급 라인업". 비즈엔터. 30 December 2015. Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  3. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (12 October 2015). "Alibaba Pictures In 'Real' Deal; Pacts For First Korean Film Investment". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 27 May 2016.
  4. ^ "김수현 '리얼'로 2년만 스크린 복귀, 10월 크랭크인".
  5. ^ (30 November 2015). "Kim Soo Hyun Gets Ready For His Role In 'Real'". KDramaStars. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  6. ^ "김수현과 호흡, '리얼' 女주인공 누구?… "노출 수위 높아 부담될 수도"". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  7. ^ "김수현, 영화 '리얼' 출연 확정…2년만에 스크린 컴백". 9 April 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  8. ^ "'김수현과 호흡'… 이성민, 영화 '리얼' 출연 결정". 중앙일보 (in Korean). 15 December 2015. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  9. ^ "[리폿@이슈] 설리-아이유-수지 가진…김수현은 좋겠다". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  10. ^ "Suzy, IU to cameo in 'Real'". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  11. ^ "[단독] 수지·아이유까지…김수현 1인2역 '리얼'에 요정들 총집합". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Alibaba Pictures invests in Kim Soo-hyun's upcoming film". Yonhap News Agency. Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Kim Soo-hyun's new film draws new investment". Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  14. ^ "김수현 영화 '리얼' 파라다이스그룹에서도 80억 투자 결정". Retrieved 11 November 2016.
  15. ^ "한지은, 김수현 주연 영화 '리얼' 여주인공 확정". 인사이트 (in Korean). Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  16. ^ ""REAL"在韩杀青 金秀贤"星你"后演技变身". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  17. ^ ""김수현이 온다" 영화 '리얼' 스틸컷 첫 공개". Retrieved 1 November 2016.
  18. ^ "Filmmaker Lee Jung-sub drops out of upcoming film 'Real'". Retrieved 20 November 2016.
  19. ^ a b c "《REAL》在台上映獲亮眼票房 金秀賢入伍前代表作". Yahoo! Movie, Taiwan (in Chinese). 7 August 2017.
  20. ^ "Sitges Film Festival » REAL". Retrieved 15 October 2017.
  21. ^ "[엑's 이슈] '리얼' 김수현의 마음고생, 끝내 눈물 터졌다". XSportsNews.
  22. ^ "<리얼> 보자마자 리뷰 . 괴상하고 이상한 나라의 김수현". MaxMovie.
  23. ^ "[Oh!쎈 리얼①] '리얼', 두 유 노우 '클레멘타인'?". Osen.
  24. ^ a b "Review: REAL Makes Korean Noir Gloriously Camp, Weird and Amazing". ScreenAnarchy.
  25. ^ "[연예세상 비틀어보기] 나는 '리얼'이 '레알' 좋았다!". SPORTSWORLDI.
  26. ^ "스크린서 움츠렸던 '악녀' · '리얼', 안방극장에선 선전". MoneyS News (in Korean). 11 August 2017.
  27. ^ "영화순위, 케이블TV 7월 VOD 순위 김옥빈 악녀1위, 김수현-설리,리얼도 상위권 - 울산종합일보". Ulsan Daily (in Korean). 12 August 2017.
  28. ^ "영화순위, 케이블TV 7월 VOD 순위 악녀1위, 리얼도 상위권". (in Korean). 11 August 2017.
  29. ^ Conran, Pierce. "Top 15 Korean Films of 2017". Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  30. ^ "全國電影票房截至2017年九月前資訊". Taiwan Film Institute (in Chinese). 5 October 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2017.

External links[edit]