‘Carter’ director explains Netflix film’s opening scene, a 20-minute fight shot in one take

The scene was not in the initial script, and was informed by the fact that the film was getting a streaming, not theatrical, release, said director Jung Byung-gil

Carter director and writer Jung Byung-gil has shared how the format of a streaming release on Netflix influenced the movie’s striking opening scene.

The film, which premiered on August 5, begins with a 20-minute-long action sequence – shot in a single take – where the titular Agent Carter (Joo Won) gets into a bloody fistfight while nearly nude in the middle of a public bathhouse.

Jung told The Korea Times in a recent interview that the action-packed opening was not what was planned in the initial script, and was informed by the fact that the film was getting a release on a streaming platform. “The film’s initial script had a different opener. As ‘Carter’ is not a film for theatrical release, I wanted to capture the eyes of viewers with stronger visual images from the start,” Jung said.


“People would watch this show via smartphones or laptops. I wanted to give them a far more powerful impression from the beginning to stay tuned.”

Jung is well-known for his 2017 hit action film The Villainess, which featured a motorcycle fight scene in the start of the movie shot from a first-person point of view.

The ‘one-scene, one-cut film’ Carter, now available on Netflix, follows the titular Agent Carter, who awakens two months into a deadly pandemic originating from the DMZ that has devastated both the US and North Korea.

With no recollections of his past, he finds a mysterious device in his head and a lethal bomb in his mouth. A voice in his ears gives him his orders and he’s thrown into a mysterious operation with the CIA and North Korean coup hot on his heels.

In the same interview, Jung said that considerations that the film would be watched at home also led him to take extra care with its sound design. “Each viewer has different levels of speakers. Some watch content through TVs, smartphones or laptops. So I made the film able to be heard similarly on every occasion,” Jung told The Korea Times.

“If this film has audio for a theatre release, people would have had to control the volume scene after scene because it’s too loud for a laptop or a phone.”