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Korean Superstar Don Lee’s ‘Holy Night: Demon Hunters’ to Launch in Berlin Through Lotte Cultureworks (EXCLUSIVE)

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Lotte Cultureworks will launch “Holy Night: Demon Hunters,” likely to be one of the biggest Korean movies of the year, at next month’s European Film Market in Berlin.

The occult-themed action movie stars Don Lee, the Korean-American superstar who also fronts “The Roundup” comedy-action franchise. The fourth instalment in that series “The Roundup: Punishment” will have its world premiere in the Berlin festival’s Berlinale Special section, with Lee expected to be in attendance, giving Lotte some additional momentum with the new title launch.

“Holy Night: Demon Hunters” sees Seoul descend into chaos as a devil-worshipping criminal network takes control. In a desperate plea for salvation, the police are forced to enlist Holy Night, a trio of demon hunters armed with supernatural powers.

The cast also includes Seohyun (real name Seo Ju-hyun) of K-pop sensation Girls Generation, who has acting credits in Netflix film “Love and Leashes” and TV series “Private Lives,” as well as David Lee (aka Lee Da-wit) (“Svaha: The Sixth Finger,” and the upcoming “Squid Game” season 2”).

The film is directed by first-time feature director Lim Dae-hee, who developed the screenplay with the star and producer Don Lee. A Lotte sister company will distribute the film in Korea, but a local release date has not yet been set.

Lee, who is known in Korea as Ma Dong-seok, was in the entertainment industry for many years, playing supporting roles and operating as a physical trainer to better-known performers, before breaking out into the big time through roles in “Train to Busan” (2016), “The Outlaws” (2017), and “Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days” (2018).

Although it bore a different title, “The Outlaws” is the first of the “Roundup” pictures which mix comedic timing with bone-crushing violence. Variety’s review called it, “One of the most enjoyable South Korean action movies in recent years [..] a deft mix of brutal gang-warfare thrills and Keystone Cops comedics.”

Lee reprised the role as a fists-first investigator, known as a ‘beast cop’ called Ma Seok-do, in 2022’s “The Roundup,” which was the biggest film of 2022 in Korea with a box office of over $95 million. His third go around in last year’s “The Roundup: No Way Out,” grossed $83 million in Korea.

Lee has cleverly parlayed his rise from obscurity and his ability to work on both sides of the Pacific into a prolific development and production nexus with greenlighting power. His company vehicles include Big Punch Pictures and Team Gorilla.

These have given him multiple credits, including co-writer, planner, producer, executive producer and performer on “The Roundup” titles. Big Punch and Nova Film share the production credits on “Holy Night.” Big Punch is also a producer of the recently released Lee-starring Netflix movie “Badland Hunters.”

Lee made his Hollywood debut in Marvel film “The Eternals,” by Oscar-winning director Chloe Zhao, and is reported to be developing a U.S. remake of “The Gangster, The Cop, the Devil,” a 2019 Korean action film in which he starred. He is also reported to be expanding “The Roundup” to six or seven titles.