'Hansan: Rising Dragon': Release Date, Trailer, Plot, and Cast

Hansan: Rising Dragon, a follow-up to South Korea's epic action war movie The Admiral: Roaring Currents—the most-watched and highest-grossing film in Korean cinema history—will make its North American premiere next week.

History comes to life in Hansan: Rising Dragon, which forms the second part of a trilogy of films from director Kim Han-min retracing the battles led by the real-life Admiral Yi Sun-shin.

Yi is the celebrated late Korean military general known for his victories during the Joseon Dynasty, the Korean peninsula's last and longest dynastic kingdom spanning over 500 years from 1392 to 1910.

The upcoming movie was designated as the "centerpiece film" of the current 2022 New York Asian Film Festival (NYAFF), which runs through July 31 and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Last year's NYAFF opened with the Korean political action thriller Escape From Mogadishu (which was selected to represent South Korea at the 2022 Academy Awards in the best international feature category). South Korea takes center stage at this year's festival, with more than a dozen Korean films featured.

Here's everything you need to know about Hansan: Rising Dragon.

Still from Korean "Hansan: Rising Dragon" film
A still from the upcoming Korean war film 'Hansan: Rising Dragon.' Well Go USA Entertainment

Hansan: Rising Dragon release date

Hansan: Rising Dragon will premiere on July 28 at the 2022 NYAFF. It will have its general release on July 29.

Hansan: Rising Dragon trailer

A short teaser trailer revealed on July 1 by Well Go USA Entertainment (the film's international distributor known for several other major Korean movies, including Train to Busan, Burning and the aforementioned Escape From Mogadishu) begins with a dark stormy backdrop within a large fortress before zooming in on a military general's face as a voice narrates: "We will leverage the enemy's attack and surround their fleet."

"A fortress on the sea? Nonsense!" a voice shouts, as another says, "What is your battle plan?", before a man overlooks a half circle-shaped drawing.

As the scene switches to an overview of Busan Port in 1592, a voice says: "Our conquest of Joseon shall be complete."

The clip then shows a Japanese general who quietly questions, "A monster?", before the scene pans to an explosion on the side of a ship as a voice says: "Joseon's sea monster. We will crush that devilish thing."

Following a sequence of explosive and fiery epic naval battle scenes, the teaser concludes with a voice that says: "What Joseon needs is a decisive victory."

Still from Korean "Hansan: Rising Dragon" film
A still from "Hansan: Rising Dragon," a Korean war pic set in 1592. Well Go USA Entertainment

Hansan: Rising Dragon Plot

Hansan: Rising Dragon is a prequel to the aforementioned The Admiral: Roaring Currents, which forms the first part of director Kim's film trilogy. Details on the third film, Noryang: The Sea of Death, have yet to be unveiled.

The trilogy centers around three key naval battles won by Yi, including the Battle of Hansan (1592), which forms the focus of Hansan: Rising Dragon, as well as the Battle of Myeongnyang (1597), and the Battle of Noryang (1598).

Set five years before the events charted in The Admiral: Roaring Currents, the latest film sees Yi leads a maritime crusade marking the first Korean victory in the seven-year Imjin War against Japanese forces, with the Battle of Hansan Island playing a pivotal role in reversing of the fate of the Joseon Dynasty.

In a statement, director Kim explained: "The Imjin War was an unprecedented invasion, a disaster for Joseon. Although the army was pressed into the defensive, Admiral Yi of the Left Jeolla Navy turned the tide of war through the Battle of Hansan Island.

"The three naval battles differ in their characteristics. The Battle of Hansan Island demonstrated Admiral Yi's wisdom; the Battle of Myeongnyang demonstrated his courage; and the Battle of Noryang demonstrated his insight...capturing these three facets of his character was a great challenge and also an honor," he added.

Still from Korean "Hansan: Rising Dragon" film
A still from the upcoming film "Hansan: Rising Dragon," the second part of a film trilogy retracing the naval victories of Korean Admiral Yi Sun-shin. Well Go USA Entertainment

Hansan: Rising Dragon Cast

Hansan: Rising Dragon features a star-studded cast. Below are some of the film's main cast members.

  • Park Hae-il as Admiral Yi Sun-shin. Park played the starring role in Decision to Leave, the latest film by visionary filmmaker Park Chan-wook, which was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival in May.
  • Ahn Sung-ki as Commander Eo Youngdam, a naval guide overseeing the southern waterways. Ahn will reprise the role in Noryang: Deadly Sea.
  • Son Hyun-joo as the defense-minded strategist Admiral Won Gyun. The veteran actor is crucial in bringing Won Gyun's character to life.
  • Kim Sung-kyun as Wakizaka's military rival General Kato Yoshiaki. The actor is known recently for his roles in the Korean film Sinkhole (2021) and the Netflix K-drama D.P. (2021).
  • Ok Taec-yeon as Lim Jun-young, a scout spying on the enemy's movements. Ok most recently starred in the hit Netflix K-drama Vincenzo (2021) as well as the K-drama Royal Secret Inspector and Joy (2021).
  • Park Ji-hwan as Chief Nah Dae-yong, the man who designs the unique turtle ship for the battle. The actor is known recently for the Netflix K-drama Our Blues (2022) and the film The Roundup (2022).
  • Kim Hyang-gi as Jeong Bo-reum, a young female spy who infiltrates the enemy camp as a courtesan.
  • Gong Myoung as Admiral Lee Eok-gi, a colleague and faithful follower of Admiral Yi.
  • Kim Sung-kyu as the soldier Junsa.
Still from Korean "Hansan: Rising Dragon" film
A still from 'Hansan: Rising Dragon.' Well Go USA Entertainment