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Writer Han Han announces cast of second directorial featureOctober 28, 2016
The first actor to be announced was Deng Chao, whose own 2014 directorial debut The Breakup Guru featured a cameo by Han Han. Currently, other confirmed cast members include award-winning young actor Dong Zijian (Mountains May Depart), top television actress Zhao Liying (The Journey of Flower), Taiwan veteran King Shi Chieh (Brotherhood of Blades) and actor Ben Yu, whom Han met while working on the Surprise TV series and movie. Singer-songwriter Li Ronghao will also make his acting debut in the film.
Earlier this year in April, Han Han had announced his intention to release two films in 2017 and 2018: Tian Kong Zhi Zao ("Made in the Sky") and an adaptation of Triple Door, his 2000 debut novel that launched him to literary fame. However, he then decided to shoot Cheng Feng Po Lang first. Plot details for Cheng Feng Po Lang have not yet been revealed, but it reportedly revolves around a small-town youth who discovers an interesting side of his father that he had never known before.
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Byun Yo Han & Kim Yoon Seok star in Korean remake of Guillaume Musso novelOctober 28, 2016
Surgeon Soo Hyun (Kim Yoon Seok) saves a girl during a voluntary medical service. To express his gratitude, the patient's grandfather gives Soo Hyun ten magical pills that can bring him back to the past. Knowing that he doesn't have much time due to his terminal illness, Soo Hyun takes the pills in the hope of seeing his lover Yeon Ah (Chae Seo Jin, Overman), who died in an accident. Traveling 30 years back in time, he encounters his younger self (Byun Yo Han). After learning about his future, including the death of Yeon Ah, from his older self, the young Soo Hyun decides to take charge of his own destiny.
Produced by Soo Film, the production house of The Treacherous, Will You Be There also co-stars Kim Sang Ho (Proof of Innocence), Ahn Se Ha (The Lost Choices), K-pop Star 4's Park Hye Soo and Kim Ho Jung (Revivre). The film is slated for release in Korea in December.
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Kang Ha Neul & Jung Woo get a Retrial in new crime thrillerOctober 20, 2016
Set in the city of Iksan, the story starts with the mysterious death of a middle-aged taxi driver. Having seen the real murderers leave the scene, Hyun Woo, played by Kang Ha Neul, becomes the sole witness of the case but he gets falsely accused as the killer. Brutally forced into confessing to the crime despite the lack of evidence, he is subsequently sentenced to ten years in jail. Jung Woo portrays passionate attorney Joon Young who volunteers for a free legal advice group where he meets Hyun Woo. After learning about Hyun Woo's story, Joon Young decides to help prove his innocence.
Apart from Kang Ha Neul and Jung Woo, Retrial also co-stars Lee Dong Hwi (Answer Me 1988) as Joon Young's friend Chang Hwan, Kim Hae Suk (The Throne) as Hyun Woo's mother Soon Im, Lee Kyung Young (The Great Actor) as a law firm representative, and Han Jae Young (A Violent Prosecutor) as the villain character Cheol Gi.
Retrial is set to open in Korea in early 2017.
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A Touch of Green wins top prizes at 51st Golden Bell AwardsOctober 11, 2016
The Best of Youth, PTS's other decade-spanning nostalgic idol drama, won Best Writing. Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Television Series went to Baby Daddy's He Yi Hang and The Day I Lost U's Linda Liu.
In the Mini-Series/TV Movie section, CTI's Chuan Liu Zhi Dao, which had led with 11 nominations, took the top award as well as Best Directing, Best Writing, Best Actress for Ivy Yin and Best Newcomer for child actor Chen Ding Zhong. PTS "Life Story" movie Lost Daughter also garnered two acting prizes, Best Actor for Mark Lee and Best Supporting Actress for Wang Chuan, and The Black Box's Lan Wei Hua won Best Supporting Actor.
In the Variety section, Top Million Star won Best Variety Program while Super Followers' father-duo tag team of Jacky Wu and Sandy Wu won Best Variety Program Host.
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2016 Korea Drama Awards winnersOctober 11, 2016
Mega-hit Descendants of the Sun defeated Six Flying Dragons, Signal and Doctors in the Best Drama race, and garnered an Excellence Award for actor Jo Jae Yoon. Ahn Jae Hyun shared the Top Excellence Actor Award with Doctors' Jang Hyun Sung, and also won the Global Star Award for his role of a playboy plutocrat in the fantasy romance Cinderella and Four Knights. My Daughter, Geum Sa Wol scored double acting prizes for Baek Jin Hee (Top Excellence) and Park Se Young (Excellence).
Best Screenplay went to No Hee Kyung (Dear My Friends) and Kim Jin Min (Marriage Contract) was honored with Best Director. Seo Ha Joon (The Flower in Prison) picked up Best New Actor, while Kim Sae Ron was named Best New Actress for her first adult role in Mirror of the Witch. Despite getting three nominations for Ahn Jae Hong, Lee Dong Hwi and Girl's Day member Hye Ri, the Answer Me 1988 cast was shut out in the newcomer race.
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SHINee's Min Ho and Ma Dong Seok put up a fierce fight in new action noirOctober 7, 2016
Despite its low-production budget, the indie film has garnered attention for its star casting and solid script about the life-and-death struggle between two men. Min Ho takes his first movie starring role of Jin Il, who leaves his family and becomes the leader of a group of teenage runaways that include his girlfriend Ga Young. The four friends live together like a family and earn their living by doing delivery work and selling stolen goods. Ga Young even pretends to sell her body for money, but her trick doesn't get pass karaoke owner Hyung Seok (Ma Dong Seok). She is forced into prostitution at Hyung Seok's karaoke bar and Jin Il fights to rescue her.
After its world premiere at the 21st Busan International Film Festival, No Way to Go is slated for release in Korea in February 2017.
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53rd Golden Horse Awards NominationsOctober 3, 2016
Two relatively small films came up big with six nominations each, The Road to Mandalay and The Summer is Gone. Myanmar-born festival darling Midi Z's The Road to Mandalay, a drama about two illegal Burmese migrants in Thailand, was nominated for Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Actor for Kai Ko and Best Actress for Wu Ke Xi. Mainland Chinese director Zhang Dalei's debut feature The Summer Is Gone garnered nods for Best Film, Best New Director, Best Original Screenplay and Best New Performer. The remaining Best Film contenders are Hong Kong crime thriller Trivisa, which was also nominated for Best New Director and Best Original Screenplay, and black comedy I Am Not Madame Bovary, which also garnered nominations for director Feng Xiaogang and leading actress Fan Bingbing.
Chung, Midi Z and Feng are joined in the Best Director race by Hong Kong representatives Johnnie To (Three) and Derek Tsang (Soul Mate). The latter film, a romantic drama produced by Peter Chan, also scored double Best Actress nominations for Zhou Dongyu and Ma Sichun. Taiwan actress Tiffany Hsu of horror film The Tag-Along completes the Best Actress nominations. For Best Actor, Michael Hui and Kai Ko will be competing against Tony Leung Ka Fai (Cold War 2), Jacky Cheung (Heaven in the Dark) and Fan Wei (Mr. No Problem).
Best Supporting Actor nominations go to Hong Kong veterans Paul Chun (Book of Love), Eric Tsang (Mad World) and Lam Suet (Robbery) and Taiwan actors Na Dow (Godspeed) and Austin Lin (At Café 6). Meanwhile, Wu Yanshu (Book of Love), Liu Bei (Someone to Talk to), Elaine Jin (Mad World), Sophia Li (The Tenants Downstairs) and Lu Yi Ching (Foret Debussy) are nominated in the Best Supporting Actress category. Television star Annie Chen (White Lies, Black Lies) is nominated for Best New Performer along with Tony Wu (Weeds on Fire), Chen Yu (Hang In There, Kids!), Kong Weiyi (The Summer is Gone) and Jin Ba (Soul on a String).
The 53rd Golden Horse Awards will be held in Taipei on November 26.
Miike Takashi directs live-action JoJo's Bizarre AdventureSeptember 29, 2016
Serialized from 1987 to 2004, JoJo's Bizarre Adventure follows various members of the Joestar family who all have different "Stand" super powers and their fight against supernatural adversaries. Set in 1999 Japan, the Diamond Is Unbreakable arc revolves around high school student Higashikata Josuke, the illegitimate son of Joseph Joestar, and the conflicts that ensue when many people in his hometown gain Stand abilities because of enemy meddling. Based on the first volume of Diamond Is Unbreakable, the film will star popular young actor Yamazaki Kento, who played L in the 2015 Death Note television series and the romantic hero of shojo adaptations like Wolf Girl and Black Prince, orange and No Longer Heroine.
Besides Yamazaki as Higashikata Josuke, the film's all-star cast includes Kamiki Ryunosuke as Hirose Koichi, Iseya Yusuke as Kujo Jotaro, Komatsu Nana as Yamagishi Yukako, Okada Masaki as Nijimura Keicho, Mackenyu as Nijimura Okuyasa, Yamada Takayuki as Katagiri Anjuro, Mizuki Alisa as Higashikata Tomoko, and Kunimura Jun as Higashikata Ryohei.
JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Diamond is Unbreakable is slated to open in Japan in summer 2017.
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Gong Yoo, Lee Dong Wook & Kim Go Eun in new drama by Descendants of the Sun authorSeptember 29, 2016
Gong Yoo will star as goblin Kim Shin, who protects souls and guides them to the afterlife. He wants to end his immortal life by marrying a human bride, and eventually walks down the aisle with high school girl Ji Eun Tak (Kim Go Eun), who always remains optimistic despite her painful life.
His cohabitant Wang Yeo (Lee Dong Wook), the Angel of Death who suffers from amnesia, also finds his love: chicken shop owner Kim Sun (Yoo In Na), a beautiful swindler with numerous admirers. Yook Sung Jae will portray Kim Shin's rebellious and troublemaking nephew Yoo Duk Hwa, the eldest grandson of a wealthy family that has served as the retainer of the goblin family for generations. Rising teen stars Kim So Hyun and Kwak Dong Yeon will appear in cameo roles as the Queen and young Wang Yeo, respectively.
Goblin begins shooting in September in Canada and is set to start airing on tvN in December.
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33rd Hundred Flowers Awards WinnersSeptember 26, 2016
Blockbuster tomb-raiding fantasy Mojin - The Lost Legend also picked up two awards, Best Director for Wuershan and Best Supporting Actress for Angelababy who was accompanied to the stage by husband Huang Xiaoming. William Feng beat out "Mr. Six" Feng Xiaogang to take the Best Actor prize for his role in the period blockbuster Wolf Totem. Guan Hu's Mr. Six, however, did garner acting prizes for Xu Qing, who edged out box office queen and past winner Bai Baihe for Best Actress, and for popular young actor Li Yifeng who won Best Supporting Actor for his role as Mr. Six's son.
Legendary actresses Tao Yuling and Xie Fang, screenwriter Liang Xin and late actor Ge Cunzhuang were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards.
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Alec Su completes filming for Chinese adaptation of Suspect XSeptember 23, 2016
Su's film also marks the first Chinese adaptation of famed suspense writer Higashino Keigo's works, which enjoy high popularity throughout Asia. His award-winning 2005 novel The Devotion of Suspect X is part of the "Detective Galileo" series about a brilliant and eccentric physics professor who assists the police in solving crime mysteries. In the case of Suspect X, the protagonist meets his match in a math genius who orchestrates the seemingly perfect murder cover-up.
Higashino's most acclaimed work to date, The Devotion of Suspect X has sold over two million copies in Japan, and was awarded the Naoki Prize and Honkaku Mystery Award. The novel has previously inspired a 2008 Japanese film starring Fukuyama Masaharu and Tsutsumi Shinichi as well as a 2012 Korean film starring Ryoo Seung Bum and Jo Jin Woong.
The cast of the Chinese adaptation of The Devotion of Suspect X still remains under wraps. The film is expected to open in 2017.
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Korea remakes 2013 Chinese blockbuster Silent WitnessSeptember 23, 2016
Choi Min Sik will play a finance mogul whose celebrity fiancée (Honey Lee) is found dead. His daughter (Lee Soo Kyung) is suspected of murder so he hires an attorney (Park Shin Hye) to defend her. Park Hae Joon will co-star as a prosecutor who uncovers the shocking secrets behind the case with the defense lawyer. Ryu Jun Yeol will portray a new character that provides a significant key to solving the case.
Fei Xing's Silent Witness dominated the 2013 China Image Film Festival with four prizes, including Best Movie, Best Actor and Best Young Director. It also garnered multiple awards at the 2013 China International Film Festival London, the 32nd Hundred Flowers Awards and the 30th Golden Rooster Awards.
Produced by Yong Film Inc., the production house of Chang's The Target and Park Chan Wook's The Handmaiden, Silent Witness begins shooting this year and is set to open in early 2017.
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Zhang Lu's A Quiet Dream to open 2016 Busan International Film FestivalSeptember 15, 2016
Shot in black-and-white, the comedy humorously depicts the love story between a young woman and her suitors. Han Ye Ri, who appeared in Zhang's 2015 experimental anthology film Love and…, takes the lead role as a bar hostess who is looking after her paralyzed father. She is pursued by three men who compete for her affection while comforting each other at the same time.
A Quiet Dream co-stars award-winning filmmakers Yang Ik Joon, Yoon Jong Bin and Park Jung Bum as the three suitors, each of them reminiscent of their roles in their debut features: the violent debt collector in Breathless, the private in The Unforgiven and the North Korean defector in The Journals of Musan. Strong cameo appearances are made by Shin Min Ah (Gyeongju), Yoo Yeon Seok (The Royal Tailor), Kim Eui Sung (Train to Busan) and Kim Tae Hoon (Snow Paths). Following its fest premiere, A Quiet Dream is slated to open in Korea on October 13.
To be held on October 6-15, 2016, the Busan International Film Festival will screen 301 films from 69 countries with 96 world premieres and 27 international premieres. This year's notable films such as Park Chan Wook's The Handmaiden, Na Hong Jin's The Wailing and Ben Younger's Bleed for This will also play at the fest. Several films from rising Asian directors including Lim Dae Hyung's Merry Christmas Mr. Ho and Wang Xuebo's novel adaptation Knife in the Clear Water will be featured in the New Currents competition. Iraqi director Hussein Hassan's The Dark Wind will serve as the closing film for the fest.
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A Touch of Green leads 2016 Golden Bell Awards nominationsSeptember 9, 2016
Romantic idol drama Marry Me, or Not? also made a strong showing with nominations in six categories including Best Television Series, Best Directing, Best Actor for Roy Chiu, Best Actress for Alice Ke and Best Supporting Actress for Joanne Tseng. Roy Chiu scored another Best Actor nomination in the Mini-Series/TV Movie section for his episode of Rock Records in Love. Youth army drama Ba Ji Teenagers, Cheng Wen Tang's multi-generation nostalgic drama The Best of Youth and Hakka TV's Sunset based on the life of Taiwan's top coroner round out the top five contenders for Best Television, Series, Best Directing and Best Writing.
The Day I Lost U earned acting nominations for Kingone Wang (Best Actor), Nana Lee (Best Actress), Andy Chen (Best Supporting Actor) and Linda Liu (Best Supporting Actress). Ba Ji Teenagers and Sunset also garnered Best Actor nods for Fu Meng Po and Shan Cheng Ju, respectively, and Gail Lin (Life is Full of Beauty) takes the last Best Actress spot.
In the Mini-Series/TV Movie section, CTI's Chuan Liu Zhi Dao leads with 11 nominations. PTS "Life Story" movies Lost Daughter, The Cat in the Closet and Coin Boy as well as Hakka TV's The Black Box are also in the running for Best Mini-Series/TV Movie. Roy Chiu and Chuan Liu Zhi Dao's Cheng Jen Shuo are joined by Mark Lee (Lost Daughter), Michael Chang (The Thin Blue Line) and Joe Chang (The Black Box) on the Best Actor shortlist, while Best Actress nods go to Ivy Yin (Chuan Liu Zhi Dao), Jacqueline Chu (The Black Box), Kelly Ko (The Cat in the Closet), Mei Fang (Laugh 24 Hrs) and Hsieh Ying Hsuan (The Sweet Place).
In the Variety section, 100% Entertainment and music shows Vulayan, Global Chinese Music, Top Million Star and Music Viva Viva 3 are nominated for Best Variety Program. Global Chinese Music's Mickey Huang looks to repeat last year's Best Variety Program Host win against the presenters of Music Viva Viva, Three Stars, Super Followers and Top Million Star.
The 51st Golden Bell Awards will be held in Taipei on October 8.
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Joo Won and Oh Yeon Seo start a new "Sassy Girl" trendSeptember 2, 2016
Director Oh Jin Seok (Yong Pal) relocates the story to the Joseon era. Joo Won will play knowledgeable yet cold-hearted Kyun Woo, while Oh Yeon Seo will portray a troublemaking princess. Kyun Woo and the princess fall in love and together uncover the truth behind the disappearance of the princess' first love. The youth period drama also co-stars CNBLUE's Lee Jung Shin (Temptation) as a multilingual envoy, Kim Yoon Hye (Vampire Detective) as a powerful official's daughter, and Jung Da Bin (Flower of Prison) as Kyun Woo's younger sister.
The romcom classic My Sassy Girl starring Jeon Ji Hyun and Cha Tae Hyun is adapted from Kim Ho Sik's best-selling novel published in 2000. The film brought Jeon Ji Hyun her first Best Actress trophy at the Grand Bell Awards, and Cha Tae Hyun won Best New Actor at the Blue Dragon Film Awards. Ranking second on the list of the highest-grossing films in Korea of 2001, My Sassy Girl inspired remakes in different countries like America, Japan and China, as well as the sequel My New Sassy Girl released early this year.
Produced by Sim Entertainment and production house RaemongRaein, My Sassy Girl is set for simultaneous release in Korea, China and Japan in early 2017.
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Lee Young Ae plays two roles in her long-anticipated comeback dramaAugust 25, 2016
Taking on the challenge of playing two different roles for the first time, Lee Young Ae portrays art history professor Seo Ji Yoon, who jumps back to the Joseon period and becomes Shin Saimdang. After publishing a thesis about a 500-year-old painting, Seo Ji Yoon gets fired due to the painting's doubtful authenticity. She then discovers Shin Saimdang's diary which unveils the secret behind the painting and the love story between Saimdang and multitalented artist Lee Gyum (played by Song Seung Heon). The drama also includes Oh Yoon Ah (You're All Surrounded), Kim Hae Suk (That's The Way It Is), Yoon Da Hoon (Bong's Happy Restaurant) and former After School member Lee Joo Yeon.
Co-produced by Korean production company Group Eight 8, Hong Kong-based Emperor Entertainment Group and China's Mango Entertainment, Saimdang, the Herstory is set to start airing simultaneously on SBS and Taiwan broadcaster GTV in October 2016.
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Ha Seok Jin & Park Ha Sun drink together in new drama Drinking SoloAugust 23, 2016
Drinking Solo includes Hwang Woo Seul Hye (Glorious Day), Min Jin Woong (The Advocate: A Missing Body) and Kim Won Hae (Modern Farmer) as members of the school's teaching team. 5urprise's Gong Myung (The Entertainer), Kim Dong Young (A Hard Day), plus SHINee's Key and DIA's Chae Yeon in their small screen debuts, are cast as students and will use their real names for their characters. SHINee's Min Ho, Ha Yeon Soo and Let's Eat 2's Kim Hee Won will also make cameo appearances in the drama.
Ha Seok Jin takes the lead role of star lecturer Jin Jung Seok, an arrogant and egotistical Korean history teacher who loves drinking luxury wine for relaxation. Played by Park Ha Sun, anxiety-ridden Park Ha Na is a newbie Korean lecturer who relies on canned beer to release her stress. Despite the contrasting lifestyles and drinking habits, their relationship becomes closer when they drink together.
Drinking also cements the relationship of three friends: Gong Myung, Seok Jin's immature younger brother who has been jobless since his military discharge; Ki Bum (Key), a rich and eccentric student who has studied for the exams for three years and chooses to live in poverty to experience the life of an ordinary student; and Dong Young, a poor student who works multiple part-time jobs.
Drinking Solo is set to air on tvN on September 5.
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Bleach manga comes to an end, live-action film announcedAugust 22, 2016
Slated for release in Japan in 2018, the live-action Bleach will be directed by Sato Shinsuke, who has plentiful experience adapting manga into films including Gantz, Library Wars, Death Note Light up the NEW World and I Am A Hero. Fukushi Sota, one of Japan's hottest young actors and the star of manga adaptations like As the Gods Will and Strobe Edge, has been cast in the leading role of Kurosaki Ichigo.
In the original story, Bleach begins with the fateful meeting between blond-haired high school student Ichigo, who has the ability to see ghosts, and soul reaper Kuchiki Rukia who is tasked with bringing departed souls from the living world to Soul Society. During a dangerous run-in with evil spirits known as Hollows, the injured Rukia transfers her powers to Ichigo and sets him on the path to becoming a soul reaper.
Bleach has spawned an entire franchise of media including an anime series, four animated films, video games and stage musicals.
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Jeon Ji Hyun & Lee Min Ho collaborate in mermaid-themed romantic dramaAugust 19, 2016
Eou Yadam is a representative classic text of the Joseon dynasty. Published in the late 19th century, the satire collection features different folk tales and strange stories that reveal Joseon's cultural traditions and the lifestyles of ordinary people. In the original story from which The Legend of the Blue Sea is based, magistrate Kim Dam Ryoung stays over at the house of a fisherman on his way to office. Served with food, he asks the fisherman what kind of meat he is eating. The fisherman answers that the meat is from mermaids. Dam Ryoung then sees a very beautiful mermaid curled up in a ball outside the door. Despite the fisherman's opposition, he saves the mermaid and brings her back to the sea.
The Legend of the Blue Sea has already gained great attention from Chinese media platforms. One broadcaster has reportedly offered a distribution price of approximately US$500,000 per episode, breaking the record set by mega hit Descendants of the Sun. The drama will start filming in Spain in September and is slated to open on SBS in November.
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Lee Yeon Hee to lead a Paris tour in Korean drama The PackageAugust 10, 2016
Lee Yeon Hee stars as Yoon So So, who studies abroad in France and becomes a tour guide. Led by So So, the tour includes San Ma Roo (Jung Yong Hwa) who takes the trip alone after getting dumped by his girlfriend, office worker Kim Kyung Jae (Choi Woo Sik) who has been in a relationship for ten years, a mysterious man (Yoon Park) who joins the tour to follow So So, Jung Yeon Sung (Ryu Seung Soo) who never reveals his relationship with his traveling companion, web designer Han So Ran (Ha Si Eun) who agonizes about whether she should get married, and Oh Gab Soo (Jung Kyu Su) who is very stubborn and aggressive.
The Package is set to air on JTBC in 2017.
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