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From Itaewon to Hollywood

‘The Marvels’ director Nia DaCosta contacted Park Seo-joon after watching ‘Itaewon Class’

Park Seo-joon stars as Prince Yan in “The Marvels”. PHOTO: MCU via ANN/THE KOREAN HERALD

(ANN/THE KOREAN HERALD) — In the forthcoming American superhero blockbuster, “The Marvels,” director and co-writer Nia DaCosta shared her inspiration for casting Park Seo-joon, which stemmed from her experience watching the popular 2020 TV drama “Itaewon Class” during the pandemic.

Park Seo-joon takes on the character of Prince Yan of Aladna in “The Marvels,” marking his grand debut in both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and Hollywood.

“I was really into Korean dramas, films and K-pop when I was younger at 17, 18 and I just fell in love with this Korean pop culture. I watched a lot of variety shows as well. Whenever I’m asked who is my favorite Korean star I would answer Yoo Jae-suk,” DaCosta, 33, told reporters during an online press conference held Tuesday.

It was during the pandemic that she came to know Park Seo-joon.

“I hadn’t watched many Korean dramas in years but it was during the pandemic that I watched ‘Itaewon Class.’ Months after watching that drama, I got this job (to direct ‘The Marvels’) and I thought Prince Yan’s character really fits him. So we reached out to see if it worked and it did,” she said.

While very little information on Prince Yan has been disclosed, DaCosta said he is one of the very significant characters that Carol Danvers — Captain Marvel — meets as she travels to the past.

“I purposefully didn’t give too much information about Carol Danvers and Prince Yan (prior to the movie opening). They both care a lot about the people they’re protecting and that’s where they connect,” she explained.

How was Park on set? Director DaCosta said she loved his energy.

“He is a great actor with great energy and he is very funny. Everyone fell in love with him onset,” she said, adding that in Prince Yan’s world, everyone has to rhyme when they speak, hinting at how Park will be the protagonist of a musical sequence.

“His screen time is short, but he is a very impactful character throughout the storyline,” she added.

“The Marvels,” based on Marvel Comics, is a sequel to the 2019’s “Captain Marvel” and follows the story of characters Carol Danvers, Monica Rambeau, and Kamala Khan.