Operation Kromite: Starring Liam Neeson as General MacArthur

Liam Neeson said that America’s Korean War hero General Douglas MacArthur shared “supreme confidence” with WWII savior Oskar Schindler, who he previously portrayed in the 1993 Oscar-winning Schindler’s List.

Neeson promoted in Seoul the launch of Operation Chromite his debut role in a Korean-made movie.

Inspired by real events in 1950, the first year of the Korean War, Operation Chromite focuses on a 24-hour, life-and-death mission ‘X-Ray.’ With eight Korean operatives, MacArthur led the marine landing at Incheon.

Directed by John H. Lee (“A Moment to Remember”), the movie stars Neeson as MacArthur and Korea’s Lee Jung-jae as his lieutenant.

The picture releases in Korea on July 27 through CJ Entertainment, two weeks ahead of the U.S. on August 12.

The $14 million project was produced by Chung Taewon (“Iris,” “71 Into the Fire”) through his production company, Taewon Entertainmen.  Taewon struck a license deal with Kino 33. The release will be handled by CJ America for Kino 33.

“I can’t believe John (Lee)has finished this film. When we were shooting, it seemed like a mountain to climb,” said Neeson.

“I always had an interest in the Korean War, even before I became an actor, mainly because it is a forgotten war in America,” said Neeson. “John’s film has a wonderful script— a very complex story, but easy to follow for the audience. It is also very emotional and touching.”

Neeson said that a particular scene near the beginning caught his eye. McArthur is asked if he ready to go through with the decision that he made. “Everyone, military commanders all over the world, say ‘this idea of yours is absolutely crazy,’ and McArthur is asked by his subordinate—We’re here, this is ready, do we proceed? It’s the decision he has to make.  I don’t know if I would do it, but as an actor, it was interesting. I had to make it a faithful decision,” Neeson said.

“I played General McArthur, who is a legendary charismatic figure, and also very controversial, in many ways.  It is always difficult to portray someone real, because as an actor you want to get it right, but also its fiction as well because you’re trying to portray the director’s vision of the character. You want to show, for example, the tiny little things like always wearing his hat at a rakish angle, which pissed off other commanders, and smoking his pipe, because he felt it gave him a certain authority.  He was an interesting man to portray.”

Comparing MacArthur to Schindler said they were two “very different people,” but “their supreme confidence is what they shared.”