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Kore-eda Hirokazu & Fukuyama Masaharu reteam for courtroom suspense dramaApril 28, 2017
Fukuyama plays elite result-oriented lawyer Shigemori, who becomes the assigned counsel for murder suspect Mikuma, played by Yakusho Koji. Mikuma, who already has a criminal record from a murder charge 30 years ago, has confessed to killing the factory boss who fired him and faces a possible death sentence. Though this at first seems like an open-and-shut case, Shigemori begins to have doubts about Mikuma's guilt and thin motives, and tries to undercover the truth.
Besides Fukuyama Masaharu and Yakusho Koji, the film co-stars Our Little Sister's Hirose Suzu as the victim's daughter who holds the key to the story, and Saito Yuki (Ballad: Namonaki Koi no Uta) as the victim's wife. Yoshida Kotaro, Mitsushima Shinnosuke, Matsuoka Izumi, Ichikawa Mikako and Hashizume Isao also appear in the film.
The Third Murder finished filming in March, and is slated to open in Japan on September 9, 2017.
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Choi Dong Hun to remake Hong Kong blockbuster OverheardApril 27, 2017
Directed by Alan Mak and Felix Chong, the original Overheard follows inspectors Johnny, Gene and Max, who are part of a special task force investigating commercial crimes. While probing a case of stock manipulation, Gene overhears an insider stock tip. Desperate for money, he and Max invest heavily in the stock. Johnny discovers their secret but decides to cover for them. Their greed sends them into a cycle of crime that threatens their lives.
The Korean remake will star Lee Jung Jae (Operation Chromite) as detective Ko Chang Seon, the mastermind of a crime group that also includes an investigation team leader played by Yeom Jung Ah (Cart) and a veteran detective played by Kim Eui Sung (Train to Busan). Kim Woo Bin (Master) will portray traffic control officer Park Sang Dae, who uncovers the trio's secret scheme.
Produced by CJ Entertainment, Do Chung starts shooting in August this year and is scheduled for a 2018 summer release in Korea.
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Kim Jee Woon to helm Korean live-action remake of Jin-RohApril 21, 2017
Drawing its inspiration from the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood, the original Jin-Roh follows anti-terror unit member Fuse Kazuki, who is traumatized by the death of a young girl from a terrorist group. Kazuki is punished for the girl's suicide bombing incident and is sent back to academy to receive additional training. When he visits the grave of the girl, he meets her mysterious older sister.
In the Korean version, Kang Dong Won (Master) will star as special force unit member Lim Joong Kyung, along with co-stars Jung Woo Sung (The King) and Han Hyo Ju (Love, Lies). Produced by Warner Brothers, Inrang will begin shooting in the second half of this year and is set to be released in 2018.
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Kitano Takeshi's Outrage series returns with third filmApril 19, 2017
The production recently revealed its first teaser and new cast members including Pierre Taki (Rage), Ikeuchi Hiroki (Ip Man), comedian Harada Taizo (Will You Marry My Wife), veterans Kishibe Ittoku and Osugi Ren, and Omori Nao, who previously appeared in Kitano's Achilles and the Tortoise and Dolls. Outrage Beyond's Nishida Toshiyuki, Shiomi Sansei, Nakada Tatsuo, Mitsuishi Ken, Matsushige Yutaka and Hakuryu will also reprise their roles.
In Outrage 0 Coda, Kitano returns as Otomo, who has been working in Korea for fixer Jang since the great battle between the Sanna clan and Hanabishi clan in Outrage Beyond. While on a business trip in Korea, Hanabishi clan member Hanada (Pierre Taki) kills an underling of Jang, triggering a conflict between the two crime groups. In the midst of this volatile situation, Otomo returns to Japan.
Outrage 0 Coda opens in Japan on October 7.
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Nagase Tomoya stars in I'm Sorry, I Love You J-Drama remakeApril 12, 2017
Starring So Ji Sub and Lim Soo Jung, the original I'm Sorry, I Love You was a big hit both in Korea and around Asia when it aired in 2004. The series reached ratings of 29.2% and garnered top prizes at the KBS Drama Awards.
Set in present-day Japan, the Japanese remake will star Nagase as hero Okazaki Ritsu, who was abandoned by his mother as a child and grew up in tough conditions. After suffering a head injury, he learns that his days are numbered, and decides to use his time to find his biological mother. Ritsu had always assumed his mother had left him because of poverty, but he is pained to discover that she is living a comfortable life and dotes on her son Satoru. At this time, Ritsu reencounters Mita Rinka, a girl who once helped him. Though Rinka is secretly in love with longtime friend Satoru, she becomes increasingly drawn to Ritsu.
Up-and-coming actress Yoshioka Riho, who recently appeared in the TBS hit Quartet, takes on her first drama leading role as Rinka. Ritsu's mother will be played by Otaka Shinobu, and his brother Satoru by popular young actor Sakaguchi Kentaro.
The Japanese version of I'm Sorry, I Love You will air on TBS in July.
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The 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards nominationsApril 11, 2017
In the Television section,Guardian: The Lonely and Great God and Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim both lead with five nominations including Best Drama, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Hit dramas W, Love in the Moonlight and Oh Hae Young Again are the second most nominated with three nods each.
Gong Yoo (Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) will compete for Best Actor against Han Suk Kyu (Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim), Nam Gung Min (Good Manager), Park Bo Gum (Love in the Moonlight) and Jo Jung Suk (Jealousy Incarnate). Last year's Best New Actress winner Kim Go Eun (Guardian: The Lonely and Great God) is nominated for Best Actress along with Kim Ha Neul (On the Way to the Airport), Park Bo Young (Strong Woman Do Bong Soon), Park Shin Hye (Doctors) and Seo Hyun Jin (Oh Hae Young Again).
The Best New Actor nominees are B1A4's Jin Young (Love in the Moonlight), Ji Soo (Strong Woman Do Bong Soon), Kim Min Seok (Doctors), Kim Min Jae (Romantic Doctor, Teacher Kim) and Gong Myung (Drinking Solo). Kang Han Na (Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo), Gong Seung Yeon (The Master of Revenge), After School's Nana (The Good Wife), Girl's Day member Min Ah (Beautiful Gong Shim) and Lee Se Young (The Gentlemen of Wolgyesu Tailor Shop) are in the race for Best New Actress.
The strongest contenders in the Film section, The Wailing, The Handmaiden and The Age of Shadows netted six nominations each, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Kim Min Hee (The Handmaiden), who recently won the Silver Bear for Best Actress at the Berlin Film Festival Award, will compete for the top acting honor against Kim Hye Su (Goodbye Single), Son Ye Jin (The Last Princess), Yoon Yeo Jeong (The Bacchus Lady) and Han Ye Ri (Worst Woman). Kwak Do Won (The Wailing), Song Kang Ho (The Age of Shadows), Yu Hae Jin (Lucky Key), Lee Byung Hun (Master) and Ha Jung Woo (Tunnel) received nods for Best Actor.
Zombie blockbuster Train to Busan scored double nominations for Kim Eui Sung and Ma Dong Seok in the Best Supporting Actor category, which also includes Jo Jin Woong (The Handmaiden), Um Tae Goo (The Age of Shadows) and Bae Sung Woo (Lucky Key). Ra Mi Ran (The Last Princess), Bae Doo Na (Tunnel), Chun Woo Hee (The Wailing), Han Ji Min (The Age of Shadows) and Kim So Jin (The King) picked up Best Supporting Actress nominations.
Seeking her ninth Best New Actress trophy, The Handmaiden's breakout star Kim Tae Ri is up against Girls' Generation member Yoon A (Confidential Assignment), Kim Hwan Hee (The Wailing), Lee Sang Hee (Our Love Story) and Choi Soo In (The World of Us). The Best New Actor nods go to EXO's D.O. (My Annoying Brother), Ryu Jun Yeol (The King), Ji Chang Wook (Fabricated City), Woo Do Hwan (Master) and Han Jae Young (New Trial).
Real-time popularity polls for Most Popular Actor and Actress in both sections are in full swing. D.O. (My Annoying Brother) and Yoon A (Confidential Assignment) dominate in the Film section, while Park Bo Gum and Kim Yoo Jung from Love in the Moonlight currently rank first in the Television section.
The 53rd Baeksang Arts Awards will be held on May 3 in Seoul.
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Ha Jung Woo & Cha Tae Hyun to star in Take Off director's fantasy satireApril 10, 2017
Inspired by the Joseon dynasty Buddhist painting Ten Kings of Hell, the award-winning web comic is composed of three episodes: "Afterlife," "Life" and "Myth." Separated into two films, the first part of the adaptation focuses on the "Afterlife" episode about a man's journey to hell, where the deceased are tried and sent to different courts of hell to spend their afterlives. Cha Tae Hyun will take the lead role of Ja Hong, who faces seven trials in 49 days along with his defense attorney Kang Rim (Ha Jung Woo), the leader of a grim reaper trio that also includes Deok Chun (Kim Hyang Gi, Thread of Lies) and Hae Won Maek (Ju Ji Hoon). Though grim reapers are not allowed to interfere in the earthly world, they are inevitably drawn into human affairs due to the death of Ja Hong's brother Soo Hong (Kim Dong Wook, Take Off).
Produced by Realize Pictures, the production house of Masquerade, the star-studded adaptation also co-stars EXO's D.O. (Unforgettable) as fragile and sensitive soldier Won Il Byung who died in a misfortunate accident, Ma Dong Seok (Train to Busan) as a house guardian god, Oh Dal Soo (Tunnel) and Lim Won Hee (The Advocate: A Missing Body) as judges. Kim Ha Neul (Don't Forget Me) and Kim Hae Suk (The Handmaiden) will make special appearances.
The first part of Along with the Gods is set to open in December 2017, and its sequel will have a summer release in 2018.
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Trivisa wins top prizes at 36th Hong Kong Film AwardsApril 10, 2017
Veterans emerged victorious in the acting categories. Kara Hui won her third HKFA Best Actress prize for her role as a woman dealing with dementia symptoms in Happiness. In her acceptance speech, the actress tearily talked about the role's significance to her as she spent many years taking care of her dementia-stricken mother, who passed away a few months ago.
Eric Tsang and Elaine Jin were named Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress for their roles in Mad World. The drama about mental illness also garnered director Wong Chun the Best New Director prize.
Baseball youth drama Weeds on Fire won two awards, Best Original Film Song and Best New Performer for baseball player Tony Wu. The Wong Kar Wai-produced comedy-drama See You Tomorrow picked up technical prizes in Cinematography and Art Direction, while The Monkey King 2 was recognized for Costume and Make-up Design and Visual Effects.
Derek Tsang's Soul Mate, which had led with 12 nominations, was shut out of all categories except Best Original Music. Cold War 2, which received 10 nominations, also took only one prize in Best Sound Design. Best Action Choreography went to Stephen Tung for Operation Mekong.
Taiwan black comedy Godspeed won Best Film from Mainland and Taiwan. Veteran actress and Cantonese opera star Fong Yim Fun was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Snowpiercer director Bong Joon Ho hits Hollywood with new sci-fi fantasyMarch 30, 2017
Okja revolves around teenage girl Mi Ja (Ahn Seo Hyun) who lives in the mountains with a massive animal named Okja. Corporate scientist Nancy Mirando (Tilda Swinton) and zoologist Dr. Johnny Wilcox (Jake Gyllenhaa) seize Okja and transport her to New York. Mi Ja embarks on a dangerous adventure to save her dearest friend. However, her rescue mission becomes a daunting task when people from different parties compete to control the fate of Okja.
Produced by Brad Pitt's Plan B Entertainment, the sci-fi fantasy also co-stars Paul Dano (Swiss Army Man), Steven Yeun (The Walking Dead), Giancarlo Esposito (Money Monster), Lily Collins (Rules Don't Apply), Yoon Jae Moon (Missing You), Choi Woo Sik (Train to Busan) and Byun Hee Bong (The Host). Life of Pi lead animator Erik-Jan de Boer serves as the movie's animation director.
Okja is set to have an online premiere on Netflix and a theatrical release in Korea in June 2017.
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I Am Not Madame Bovary wins top prize at 11th Asian Film AwardsMarch 22, 2017
Asano Tadanobu was named Best Actor for his role as a dangerous houseguest in Fukada Koji's Harmonium. The Japanese star, who won Best Supporting Actor last year for Journey to the Shore, joked that he wants to return next year as well.
Na Hong Jin beat out Feng, Fukada, Derek Tsang and Lav Diaz to win Best Director for his horror thriller The Wailing. Among other Korean cinema contenders, Park Chan Wook's The Handmaiden won four of the six categories it was nominated in – Best Newcomer for Kim Tae Ri, Best Supporting Actress for Moon So Ri, Best Costume Design and Best Production Design – and The Age of Shadows picked up Best Original Music.
Hong Kong veteran Lam Suet thrilled the hometown crowd with his victory in the Best Supporting Actor category for Trivisa. Asghar Farhadi's Oscar-winning drama The Salesman won Best Screenplay, though the director was not present to receive the award. The remaining technical prizes went to Shin Godzilla (Best Visual Effects), Singapore's Apprentice (Best Editing) and China's Crosscurrent (Best Sound).
Three special awards were also presented at the ceremony. Mermaid's breakout ingénue Jelly Lin was named a Rising Star of Asia, while diva Sammi Cheng received the Excellence in Asian Cinema Award. Legendary Hong Kong filmmaker Tsui Hark was honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award.
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Yeo Jin Gu & Kim Kang Woo to solve mysteries in alien-themed sci-fi dramaMarch 22, 2017
Circle is separated into two parts: "Beta Project" and "The Beautiful New World." The story follows a group of aliens from 2037 who learn advanced technology from their kind in 2017 and build a beautiful future world that includes two Earths – the disease and crime-ridden Ordinary Earth and Smart Earth, a highly sophisticated world without crimes, illnesses and pains. Believing that human emotions are the key to a better future, the outer space beings control people's minds. Present-day university student Woo Jin (Yeo Jin Gu), a mysterious hacker nicknamed Bluebird in "Beta Project," and detective Kim Joon Hyuk (Kim Kang Woo) from the future Ordinary Earth in "The Beautiful New World," together investigate the ensuing mysterious events after the alien intrusion.
Jung In Sun (Naked Fireman) and Gong Seung Yeon (The Master of Revenge) will play Woo Jin's schoolmates in "Beta Project," where Ahn Woo Yeon (Strong Woman Do Bong Soon) portrays Woo Jin's twin brother. Highlight's Lee Gi Kwang returns to the small screen in the role of Ho Su, a government official in the Smart Earth of "The Beautiful New World," which also features Kwon Hyuk Soo (Lucky Romance) as a detective and child star Jung Joon Won as the young version of genius hacker Dong Su, played by stage actor Oh Eui Sik (Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok Joo).
Circle is scheduled to air in May 2017.
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Sun Entertainment announces productions by Pang Ho Cheung and makers of SPLMarch 15, 2017
Pang Ho Cheung is the busiest with three productions on the slate. He produced the offbeat romance A Nail Clipper Romance, directed by his frequent collaborator, cinematographer James Kwan. Based on Pang's same-titled short story, the film follows the relationship between an amateur surfer and a quirky girl who declares that she only eats nail clippers. Pang explains that the story explores the theme of trust in love. Starring Golden Horse-winning actress Zhou Dongyu (Soul Mate) and Taiwan actor Joseph Chang (Wild City), A Nail Clipper Romance opens on April 14. Pang is also producing a remake of the German suspense thriller The Good Neighbour, to be directed by Fresh Wave director Liu Ming Yin, and is planning a TV version of his 2015 romcom hit Women Who Flirt.
On the action side, the makers of the SPL series have two new films, Wilson Yip's Paradox and Jonathan Li's The Brink. Yip reteams with producer Paco Wong and action director Sammo Hung 12 years after SPL for an action thriller starring Thai action star Tony Jaa and Louis Koo, who plays a father searching for his missing daughter in Thailand. Hong Kong Film Awards Best Supporting Actor winner Zhang Jin (Grandmaster, Ip Man 3) takes his first leading role in The Brink co-starring Shawn Yue, Gordon Lam, Wu Yue and Janice Man. Zhang revealed that the film's underwater action scenes were a challenge for him, because he originally wasn't a great swimmer and had to especially learn diving for the film. Yue commented that it was fun to take on his first completely antagonist role
Director Jacob Cheung and screenwriter James Yuen announced their plan to adapt Jin Yong's wuxia novel The Book and The Sword. Vincent Kok, meanwhile, wants to aim only for laughter and entertainment with Keep Calm and Be a Superstar, which he promises will be a "very shallow action comedy" about an undercover cop and an action superstar. Cold War director Sunny Luk will continue in his pet genre with the crime thriller Schemer.
See photos from the Sun Entertainment press conference on YesAsia Facebook.
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Sil-Metropole announces new films starring Sean Lau, Louis Koo & Gordon LamMarch 15, 2017
Directed by realist filmmaker Lawrence Lau (Tales from the Dark 2), the most highlighted film Dealer/Healer is based on the inspiring story of former mobster Chan Shun Chi, who was selected for the Ten Outstanding Young Persons award in Hong Kong in 1987. Sean Lau (Heartfall Arises) will star as the gang leader, who guided his brotherhood that includes Louis Koo (Shed Skin Papa), Gordon Lam (Trivisa) and Zhang Jin (SPL 2: A Time For Consequences) to turn over a new leaf.
Sean Lau will also participate in My Pet Is an Elephant set in Xishuangbanna, an autonomous prefecture in Yunnan, China. Inspired by a real-life story, the fantasy comedy delivers the messages of love and environmental protection through the delightful story of an elephant circus owner and an extreme animal protectionist played by Sean Lau and rising Chinese actress Una You (The Legend of Qin), respectively. The movie is helmed by Shao Xiaoli (Fake Fiction).
Another picture adapted from real events, House of the Rising Sons will show how the legendary Hong Kong band The Wynners rose to fame in the 70s and 80s. The band's drummer Anthony Chan is at the helm of the musical drama about six teenagers pursuing their music dreams. Simon Yam (The Tenants Downstairs), Kara Hui (Happiness), Dick Liu (Weeds on Fire), Elaine Jin (Mad World) and Chin Siu Ho (Happiness) will star in the movie alongside up-and-coming singer-actors Carlos Chan, Yu Tian, Ng Hok Him, Eugene Tang of Taiwan group GTM, Sing Lam of Hong Kong quartet PlayTime and singer-songwriter Jonathan Wong as the young versions of the famous band and former member Nat Chan. The Wynners members Alan Tam, Kenny Bee, Bennett Pang, Danny Yip and Anthony Chan himself will also make cameo appearances.
Action blockbuster Undercover vs Undercover marks the directorial debut of experienced screenwriters Lui Koon Nam (Insanity) and Frankie Tam (Robbery). Leading actors Vanness Wu (Monk Comes Down the Mountain), Andy On (League of Gods) and Philip Ng (Wild City), who is also the film's action director, reunite for the first time since the 2003 Star Runner. Produced by Gordon Chan (The Four), the crime thriller will feature exciting gun fight and chase scenes with breathtaking visual effects.
See photos from the Sil-Metropole Organization press conference on YesAsia Facebook.
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41st Hong Kong Film Festival to open with Love Off the Cuff, close with Giddens thrillerMarch 15, 2017
Director Pang Ho Cheung and stars Miriam Yeung and Shawn Yue of the previously announced opening film Love Off the Cuff also revealed more about their film at the press conference. The third installment of Pang's hit romantic comedy series will see the quintessential Hong Kong couple tackling more mature problems as they deal with relationship issues, conflicting value systems and the arrival of the heroine's father.
Hong Kong director Herman Yau is premiering two anticipated films at the fest: 77 Heartbreaks, an urban love story that reteams him with Sara star Charlene Choi, and the gory horror thriller The Sleep Curse starring Anthony Wong. The festival program also features the latest works of world-renowned and award-winning filmmakers like Olivier Assayas, Agnieszka Holland, Asghar Farhadi, Lav Diaz, Christian Mungiu, Ishii Yuya and Andrei Kochalovsky.
To mark the 20th anniversary of Hong Kong's Handover, the HKIFF will present a program, titled "Paradigm Shift: Post-97 Hong Kong Cinema," that showcases 20 representative local films of the past two decades including Fruit Chan's Made in Hong Kong, Stephen Chow's Shaolin Soccer and Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's Infernal Affairs. To commemorate the tenth anniversary of Edward Yang's death, seven of the Taiwan auteur's restored classics will be screened for the retrospective "Edward Yang, 10-year Commemoration."
The 41st Hong Kong International Film Festival will be held from April 11 to 25, 2017.
See photos from the HKIFF press conference on YesAsia Facebook.
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Nagase Tomoya to star in film adaptation of Ikeido Jun novel Soratobu TireMarch 10, 2017
Soratobu Tire has sold over 1.2 million copies since 2006, and was previously adapted into a 2009 WOWOW TV series starring Nakamura Toru and Tanabe Seiichi. The film version will be helmed by Samurai Hustle director Katsuhide Motoki.
Nagase Tomoya plays protagonist Akamatsu Tokuro, who runs a small transport company. One day, a tire flies off one of his company's trucks on the road, resulting in a fatal accident. Poor maintenance is cited as the cause of the accident, and Akamatsu's company soon stands on the brink of bankruptcy. Akamatsu, however, investigates further and discovers that the accident was caused by a manufacturing defect in the truck. For the sake of his family and company, Akamatsu stands up to challenge the large corporation that manufactured the truck.
Soratobu Tire is expected to be released in Japan in 2018.
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Godzilla Resurgence sweeps 40th Japan Academy PrizeMarch 6, 2017
Sato Koichi claimed his second Best Actor prize after 22 years for his role as an aged police officer investigating an unsolved kidnapping case in Zeze Takahisa's crime suspense 64: Part I. Miyazawa Rie and Sugisaka Hana, who played mother and daughter in Nakano Ryo's Her Love Boils Bathwater, won Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress, respectively. Lee Sang Il's suspense drama Rage, which had led with 12 nominations, ended up with only one prize, Best Supporting Actor for Tsumabuki Satoshi in the role of a gay advertising executive who becomes suspicious about his new lover.
As previously announced, Sugisaki Hana, Takahata Mitsuki, Iwata Takanori, Sakaguchi Kentaro, Chiba Yudai, Mackenyu, Hashimoto Kanna and Sakumoto Takara all received Best Newcomer prizes. Clint Eastwood's Sully was named the Best Foreign Language Film.
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Sandara Park to make Korean movie debut in Begin Again remakeMarch 3, 2017
Dara plays convenience store part-timer Si Hyun, who loses her memory after a car accident. After being discharged from the hospital, she moves to her friend Ji Won's (Hong Ah Reum) home. Every night, Si Hyun hums a strange melody in her sleep and the music interests Ji Won's brother Woo Hyuk (Han Jae Suk), a once famous songwriter. Woo Hyuk turns the melody into a score hoping that it can recall her past memories. Rock guitarist Jee Il (Cho Dong In) comes across the score and helps complete the song with Woo Hyuk.
Kim Soo Jin, who participated in the soundtracks of hit dramas Six Flying Dragons and Let's Eat, serves as the music director of the movie produced by MCC Entertainment, the production house of the Dae Jang Geum soundtrack. One Step is set for a local theatrical release in April.
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BoA to host male version of Produce 101February 27, 2017
To be hosted by pop diva BoA, this season will feature 101 male trainees from different agencies and the top 11 contestants selected through online voting will form a limited-time K-pop boy band. The trainer lineup includes SG Wannabe's Lee Suk Hoon, former BEAST member Jang Hyun Seung, choreographer Kwon Jae Seung and former After School leader Kahi, who was one of the trainers in the previous season.
Jellyfish Entertainment, Pledis Entertainment, Cube Entertainment and Fantagio will send trainees again, while Mamamoo's agency RBW and hip-hop label Brand New Music, which houses rappers San E and Verbal Jint, will take part in the show for the first time. Though most of the participants are trainees, some recent idols are said to have joined the competition.
The second season of Produce 101 starts shooting on February 26 and is set to air in the first half of 2017.
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