Choi Dong-hoon (Korean최동훈; born 1971) is a South Korean film director and screenwriter. He ranks as one of the most consistently successful directors working in contemporary Korean cinema, with all five of his films becoming commercial hits -- The Big Swindle attracted 2.12 million viewers, Tazza: The High Rollers at 6.84 million, Jeon Woo-chi: The Taoist Wizard at 6.13 million, The Thieves at 12.9 million, and Assassination at 12.7 million.[1]

Choi Dong-hoon
(해무) VIP시사 후기 영상 (최동훈).jpg
Born1971 (age 48–49)
EducationSogang University - B.A. in Korean Language and Literature
Korean Academy of Film Arts - Filmmaking
OccupationFilm director, screenwriter
Years active1998-present
Spouse(s)Ahn Soo-hyun (film producer)
Korean name
Revised RomanizationChoi Dong-hun
McCune–ReischauerCh‘oe Tong-hun


After graduating from the prestigious Korean Academy of Film Arts, Choi Dong-hoon first worked as an assistant director on Im Sang-soo's Tears (he subsequently appeared in acting cameos in several of Im's films).[2]

After working on the screenplay for two years, Choi made his feature film directorial debut in 2004 with The Big Swindle and single-handedly re-imagined the heist and crime thriller genre into something uniquely Korean. His follow-up Tazza: The High Rollers, a gambling flick adapted from Huh Young-man and Kim Se-yeong's manhwa, was the second highest grossing Korean film of 2006, and producer/Sidus FNH CEO Cha Seung-jae praised Choi as "a genius storyteller for his spectacular ability to develop elaborate stories." 2009's Jeon Woo-chi: The Taoist Wizard was lauded as the first Korean fantasy/superhero blockbuster movie, earning Choi a reputation as an artistically innovative and commercially successful writer-director.[3]

He returned to the heist genre in 2012 with the star-studded crime caper The Thieves,[4] which attracted almost 13 million viewers in 70 days to become the second all-time highest grossing movie in Korean film history.[5][6][7][8] In 2015, Choi made his first period film with Assassination, about freedom fighters during Japan's colonial rule, and it was once again a box office hit, crossing the 10 million admissions milestone on the 70th anniversary of South Korean independence.[9][10]

In 2017, Choi began production on his next film Wiretap, a remake of the 2009 Hong Kong film Overheard.[11] However, production was halted so Kim Woo Bin could undergo treatment for cancer.[12]

Tazza and Thieves leading lady Kim Hye-soo described him as "a genius who also works extremely hard. I think he knows who he is, the exact kind of films that he wants to make, and how to make them."[2]



See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Film auteur Choi sets milestones with well-crafted plots, dialogues". The Korea Herald. 26 August 2015. Retrieved 2015-08-23.
  2. ^ a b Lee, Claire (21 August 2012). "Newsmaker: Director Choi Dong-hun steals show with The Thieves". The Korea Herald. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
  3. ^ "CHOI Dong-hoon". Korean Film Biz Zone. Retrieved 2012-06-27.
  4. ^ "The Caper Film King Is Back with The Thieves - CHOI DONG-HOON". Korean Cinema Today. 10 May 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
  5. ^ "The Thieves Takes Box Office by Storm with Nearly 10 Million Viewers". The Chosun Ilbo. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
  6. ^ Kwaak, Je-yup (23 July 2012). "'Actor and director are like husband and wife'". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 27 July 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
  7. ^ Cho, Jae-eun (13 June 2012). "The Thieves all-star cast set to steal show". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
  8. ^ "The Thieves now 2nd top-selling Korean film". The Korea Herald. 31 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-21.
  9. ^ Baek, Byung-yeul (23 June 2015). "Thieves director returns with thriller". The Korea Times. Archived from the original on 2015-08-02. Retrieved 2015-08-28.
  10. ^ Lee, Hyo-won (18 August 2015). "South Korea Box Office: Local Action Movie Assassination On Top, Becomes Biggest Film of 2015". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2015-08-16.
  11. ^ "Kim Woo-bin considers joining Wiretap's cast full of Thieves and Assassins". 4 April 2017. Retrieved 2019-01-23.
  12. ^ "Kim Woo Bin puts all his projects on hold to concentrate completely on treatment". International Business Times. 6 July 2017. Retrieved 2019-01-23.

External linksEdit