The Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure, the spiritual sequel to the 2014 film The Pirates, has finally dropped on Netflix on Wednesday, March 2—a month since its premiere in Korean theaters.
The Pirates 2 tells the story of pirates who go on a quest to search for the final treasure of the royal family that disappeared without a trace. The film features a star-studded ensemble cast including EXO’s Sehun, Kang Haneul, Han Hyojoo, Lee Kwangsoo, Chae Soobin, and Kwon Sangwoo, among others.
As we sail back in time to the Joseon Dynasty, here’s a fangirl guide on the swashbuckling film.
The Pirates 2 doesn’t feature the original cast
The action-adventure film may be a spiritual sequel to The Pirates, however, it doesn’t feature the original cast members Son Yejin and Kim Namgil. While Yejin and Namgil were originally part of the sequel’s cast, Star News reported that filming was canceled in May 2019 due to scheduling conflicts.
As per Star News, the film’s story was modified for 10 months and the final cast was confirmed in June 2020.
Director Kim Junghoon says he always wanted to make a family adventure film
Since The Pirates 2 revolves around pirates in search of a missing treasure, director Kim Junghoon told News1 that the film fulfills his goal of creating adventure films “you can watch with your kids.”
“As a father of two children, I’m attracted to adventure films that you can watch with your kids. I was part of the generation that grew up watching adventure movies since I was little, so I always wanted to make a family adventure film, and The Pirates 2 scratched that itch for me,” Junghoon said, as per a translation by Soompi.
Junghoon also admitted that he feels “pressured” due to the success of the first film but he hopes it would “entertain audiences.”
The Pirates 2 is a success in South Korea
In a report by Soompi, the adventure film has been a success since it has gone on to become the first Korean film to reach one million admissions.
Sehun is a member of EXO—one of the biggest K-pop groups to date
Before making a name for himself as an actor, Sehun debuted as the lead dancer, lead rapper, visual, and maknae (youngest member) of the South Korean-Chinese boy group EXO. The nine-member group has gone on to be one of the biggest groups in South Korea, releasing chart-topping tracks like Growl, Kokobop, Monster, The Eve, and Love Shot, among others.
Sehun also debuted as a member of the sub-unit EXO-SC with Chanyeol in 2019. The duo released its first album 1 Billion Views in 2020 which also includes Sehun’s solo track On Me.
Haneul, Hyojoo, Kwangsoo, Sangwoo, and Soobin are big stars in South Korea
Like Sehun, Haneul, Hyojoo, Kwangsoo, Sangwoo, and Soobin have also made a name for themselves in South Korea. The five actors boast an impressive lineup of films, which you’ve probably seen some of it at least once.
To recall, Haneul broke fans’ hearts when he starred as eighth Prince Wang Wook in the period time-traveling series Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo. Meanwhile, Hyojoo has appeared in K-dramas like W, Spring Waltz, Shining Legacy, Dong Yi, and Happiness.
Kwangsoo has been a household name for K-pop and K-drama fans as a popular cast member of the variety show Running Man. Sadly, he bid farewell to the show in June 2021.
On the other hand, you might remember Sangwoo as Jungseo, Jisoo, or Cholo (at least in the Philippines) in Stairway to Heaven.
Soobin earned recognition after starring as the second lead in the period rom-com Love in the Moonlight. She soon moved into lead roles with I’m Not a Robot, Where Stars Land, and Rookie Cops.
Hyojoo did stunt training for three months to prepare for the role
Since Hyojoo plays the role of a ship captain in The Pirates 2, she went through rigorous stunt training for three months to prepare for her character. She explained in an interview with Star1 that she trained intensely because she “really wanted to play the role well.”
“I wanted people to feel that an actress taking on stunts wasn’t awkward but refreshing and done well. I became really ambitious about this. I requested that I begin stunt training early because I really wanted to do well. I did it for about three months,” Hyojoo added, as translated by Soompi.