Korean stars are becoming an increasing presence in U.S. film and TV productions. One of the latest examples of this talent influx is the casting of Lee Jong Hyuk and Han Hyo Joo in Treadstone, a spin-off series of the popular Bourne film franchise.
The Treadstone cast also includes English actor Jeremy Irvine, who appeared in the film War Horse, American actor Brian J. Smith, known for his role in the TV series Sense 8, American actor Omar Metwally, who appeared Mr. Robot, British actress Tracy Ifeachor, known for her role in The Originals, and American actress Michelle Forbes, who appeared in Star Trek: The Next Generation.
The Bourne Identity franchise began with the 2002 action thriller that was based on the Robert Ludlum novel of the same name. In the film, Matt Damon played Jason Bourne, a man with amnesia working to reclaim his identity in the middle of a CIA conspiracy. The film was a box office success, taking in $27 million in its opening weekend. The original film was then followed by The Bourne Supremacy in 2004, The Bourne Ultimatum in 2007, The Bourne Legacy in 2012, and Jason Bourne in 2016.
The spin-off series will explore the origins of a covert CIA program known as Operation Treadstone, which uses behavior-modification to transform recruits into unstoppable assassins. During the first season sleeper agents in several countries are somehow awakened to enact their deadly missions. The global plot offers plenty of options for an international cast.
Han Hyo Joo will play Park So Yun, a character who is faced with some difficult decisions when it comes to protecting her family. Over the course of her career, Han Hyo Joo has repeatedly expressed a desire to act in an action role and Treadstone will be her first opportunity. The actress is known for her roles in the dramas W, Brilliant Legacy, and Dong Yi, as well as the films C’est Si Bon, The Beauty Inside, and Cold Eyes, for which she won Best Actress at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards.
Lee Jong Hyuk’s role in Treadstone has not yet been disclosed but was described as pivotal to the plot. It is the veteran actor’s first U.S. role. Lee Jong Hyuk is known for his roles in dozens of dramas and films, including the dramas Descendents of the Sun and A Gentleman’s Dignity. Beside film and television, he’s also appeared in several stage productions and on the variety show Dad Where Are We Going?
Treadstone, which is currently filming in Budapest, is expected to premiere in the U.S. on Oct. 15. Tim Kring, who worked on the sci-fi series Heroes is the series writer. He’s also a producer, along with Ramin Bahrani, Ben Smith, Jeffrey Weiner, Justin Levy, Bradley Thomas, and Dan Friedkin.