The Korean remake of John Woo’s classic Hong Kong noir film A Better Tomorrow (pictured) is set to be directed by Song Hae-sung, with a cast of young stars including Song Seung-hun and Ju Jin-mo.

Song Hae-sung’s previous films include Failan starring Choi Min-soo, death row melodrama Maundy Thursday and Korean-Japanese wrestler biopic Rikidozan.

He replaces Jang Hyun-soo (Everybody Has Secrets, The Rules Of The Game) who was attached as directorafter Korean production company Fingerprint Pictures bought the remake rights to the film from Hong Kong-based Fortune Star Entertainment in 2006.

Song Seung-hun, who gained Asia-wide stardom with his performance on the TV drama series Autumn Fairy Tale, has taken the equivalent of the role played by Chow Yun-fat in the 1986 original.

Ju Jin-mo (200 Pounds Beauty) will play a former North Korean special forces soldier looking for forgiveness from his younger brother, the equivalent of Ti Lung’s role in the original, and Kim Kang-woo (Marine Boy) will play the cop who can’t forgive his older brother, the equivalent of Leslie Cheung’s role in the original.

At a budget of $8.7m (KW10bn), the film is due to start shooting in January with plans to be released in the second half of 2010.

The producers emphasise that the remake will bring only the characters and basic set-up from the original, with a completely different way of portraying them. The script has recently been finished, with the story of North Korean special forces soldiers entering the world of organised crime.

The Korean title is Moojeokja, which can be interpreted as “invincible” or “a person without country.”