On 15 June, multiple media outlets reported that South Korean A-lister Park Seo Joon has received an offer to star in the upcoming sequel to the 2019 blockbuster Captain Marvel. Titled The Marvels, the movie is slated for release on 11 November 2022.
If the casting rumours turn out to be true, the 32-year-old actor will join two other Korean stars who have appeared in a Marvel movie, namely Claudia Kim in Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Ma Dong Seok in Eternals.
Ma, also known as Don Lee, had a breakout role in Train To Busan (2016) and has one of the lead roles as the strongest Eternal superhero Gilgamesh in the highly anticipated Phase 4 Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) film Eternals, helmed by Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao.
Park's role in The Marvels is still undisclosed at the time of writing. In a past interview, he expressed his interest in doing Hollywood movies, stating, “I might have an opportunity someday, so I think I should always be prepared.”
The actor's management agency Awesome ENT has not confirmed the rumours, and when asked to validate the news, Soompi.com reported that the agency responded with a “No comment”.
Asian representation in the blockbuster Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise will receive a boost in the upcoming Shang-chi And The Legend Of The Ten Rings, which is slated for a 2 September release this year.
Given the MCU's massive popularity in South Korea, Park's casting may be seen as another example of Marvel engaging with their South Korean fans and a step towards inclusivity. The country, which is immensely popular for its Hallyu wave of K-pop idols and K-dramas, served as the backdrop for two intense action sequences in both Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Black Panther.
Furthermore, Marvel Comics recently debuted a new Korean hero named Taegukgi as their version of a "Korean Captain America".
While these gestures have created a more inclusive space for Korean talent to work within the franchise, Marvel has yet to announce any stories expressly dedicated to representing Korean stories onscreen. Hopefully, Park's role in Captain Marvel 2 will be a step in that direction.
Park has appeared in a succession of K-drama hits, including Kill Me, Heal Me, She Was Pretty, What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim, and Itaewon Class. He also appeared in the films The Divine Fury and had a small role in Bong Joon Ho’s Oscar-winning film Parasite.
He is currently filming Concrete Utopia, a disaster thriller starring Lee Byung Hun and Park Bo Young. The film is based on the webtoon Pleasant Bullying by Kim Sung Nik.
Speaking of Asians in Marvel movies, here's everything to know about Marvel's Shang-chi: