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Lee Young Ae plays two roles in her long-anticipated comeback drama

  August 25, 2016  
Twelve years after the international smash hit Dae Jang Geum (a.k.a. Jewel in the Palace), Lee Young Ae, one of the original stars of the Korean Wave, makes her highly anticipated television comeback in SBS's upcoming time-travel period drama Saimdang, the Herstory. Created by helmer Yoon Sang Ho (Bride of the Century) and screenwriter Park Eun Ryung (Go! Mrs. Go!), the pre-produced drama reinterprets famous Joseon artist, poet and scholar Shin Saimdang's life, love and philosophy on arts. Saimdang, the Herstory also marks Song Seung Heon's return to the small screen following When a Man Falls in Love three years ago.

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.

Text / Pisces

Ha Seok Jin & Park Ha Sun drink together in new drama Drinking Solo

  August 23, 2016  
tvN gathers different drinkers together in the upcoming drama Drinking Solo, a spinoff of the station's hit foodie series Let's Eat. Directed by Choi Kyu Shik (Let's Eat 2) and written by Myung Soo Hyun (Rude Miss Young-Ae), the drinking-themed romantic comedy starring Ha Seok Jin (D-Day) and Park Ha Sun (Temptation) depicts the lives of the lecturers and students of a civil service exam cram school located in Noryangjin, the hub of private educational institutions in Seoul.

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.

Text / Pisces

Bleach manga comes to an end, live-action film announced

  August 22, 2016  
Kubo Tite's action fantasy manga Bleach, which began serialization in 2001, ends its 15-year run on August 22, 2016 in Issue 38 of Weekly Shonen Jump. One of the most popular and well-known manga properties in Japan and internationally, Bleach extends for 74 volumes and has sold over 80 million copies. Along with the end of Bleach the manga, however, comes the announcement of a live-action film adaptation.

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.

Text / Sanwei

Jeon Ji Hyun & Lee Min Ho collaborate in mermaid-themed romantic drama

  August 19, 2016  
Jeon Ji Hyun (You Who Came from the Stars) and Lee Min Ho (The Heirs) collaborate for the first time for SBS's upcoming drama The Legend of the Blue Sea, which marks Jeon's first drama since she gave birth to a son in February. Hit-making screenwriter Park Ji Eun (You Who Came from the Stars ) and director Jin Hyuk (Master's Sun) recreate the ancient mermaid tale from Joseon scholar Yoo Mong In's classic Eou Yadam into a modern love story between swindler Heo Joon Jae and mermaid Shim Cheong. The fantasy romance also features Lee Hee Joon (Yoo Na's Street), Shim Hye Sun (Oh My Ghostess) and Moon So Ri (Hill of Freedom).

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.

Text / Pisces

Chen Kaige's period fantasy with Sometani Shota begins filming

  August 10, 2016  
Chen Kaige's period fantasy epic Yao Mao Zhuan ("Legend of the Cat Demon") began filming in China earlier this month. Six years in the planning, the Chinese auteur's new film is based on Japanese fantasy/sci-fi writer Yumemakura Baku's epic novel series Samon Kukai Tou no Kuni nite Oni to Utagesu.

Spanning four volumes, the Samon Kukai series takes place in the late Tang Dynasty in the capital city of Chang'an where supernatural incidents abound. The story is set in motion by a cat demon that infiltrates the home of an official and prophesizes the death of the Emperor. An enigmatic Japanese monk arrives in Chang'an and gets embroiled in the mysterious turmoil sweeping Tang China. The novel series notably incorporates many famous poets into its story.

Prolific young Japanese actor Sometani Shota (Parasyte) will take on the role of the monk Kukai. Chinese actor Huang Xuan, the star of Blind Massage and hit TV dramas like The Imperial Doctress and Les Interprètes, is reportedly playing poet Bai Juyi who is tasked to investigate the supernatural happenings. Wang Hui Ling, who worked on Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Lust, Caution, serves as the film's screenwriter.

Text / Sanwei

Lee Yeon Hee to lead a Paris tour in Korean drama The Package

  August 10, 2016  
Lee Yeon Hee will lead the tour of JTBC's upcoming TV drama The Package which focuses on the friendship among travelers on a guided tour package in Paris. The actress, last seen in MBC's Splendid Politics, will be joined by CNBLUE's Jung Yong Hwa, who returns to the small screen two years after the period action drama The Three Musketeers, as well as Choi Woo Sik (Hogu's Love), Yoon Park (Please Come Back, Mister), Ryu Seung Soo (My Beautiful Bride) and Ha Si Eun (Miss Cherry's Love Puzzle). Directed by Jeon Chang Keun ( What Happens to My Family?) and written by Cheon Seong Il (Secret Couple), the 12-episode travel drama is the first pre-produced drama by K-pop giant JYP Entertainment's production company JYP Pictures.

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.

Text / Pisces

Oguri Shun to star in live-action Gintama from director of Hentai Kamen

  August 5, 2016  
Best-selling sci-fi samurai manga series Gintama will be adapted into a live-action film for release in 2017. Oguri Shun, who has starred in the live-action adaptations of manga properties like Lupin III, Boys Over Flowers, Space Brothers and Nobunaga Concerto, takes on the leading role of silver-haired samurai Sakata Gintoki. The film will be directed by Fukuda Yuichi who previously collaborated with Oguri Shun on the screenplay of HK: Hentai Kamen.

Serialized in Shonen Jump since 2003, Sorachi Hideaki's Gintama is set in an alternate-world late Edo period Japan that has been conquered by aliens. Protagonist Sakata Gintoki is an eccentric samurai who once fought in the battle against the alien invasion. After the defeat of the shogun government, he runs an odd-job service that often involves run-ins with dangerous elements. Gintama has sold over 50 million copies to date and been adapted into multiple anime series and films.

Additional cast members for the film were recently announced including Suda Masaki and Hashimoto Kanna as Gintoki's fellow odd-job freelancers Shimura Shinpachi and Kagura; Nagasawa Masami as Shinpachi's sister Tae; Yagira Yuya, Yoshizawa Ryo and Nakamura Kankuro as members of the Shinsengumi police unit that works and sometimes clashes with Gintoki; Muro Tsuyoshi as mechanic Hiraga Gengai whom Gintoki relies on; and Oguri's Space Brothers co-star Okada Masaki as Gintoki's childhood friend Katsura Kotaro.

Text / Sanwei

Cold War 2 sets Hong Kong box office record

  August 3, 2016  
Longman Leung and Sunny Luk's all-star Hong Kong crime thriller Cold War 2, which opened on July 8, 2016, has set a new Hong Kong box office record. On July 31, its 24th day of release, the film reached box office receipts of HK$61.9 million, making it the highest-grossing Chinese-language film of all time in Hong Kong. The record displaces that of 2011 Taiwan romance You Are the Apple of My Eye, which grossed HK$61,857,826 in its 112 days of theatrical release.

Generating high buzz and anticipation even before its release, Cold War 2 also beat the opening-day record of Stephen Chow's Mermaid, grossing HK$5.38 million on its first day. The film is currently still playing in Hong Kong.

Cold War 2 brings back the original cast and crew of the 2012 police thriller including Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung Ka Fa as high-ranking police brass, and adds Chow Yun Fat as an influential barrister. Eddie Peng, Janice Man, Tony Yang, Chang Kwok Chu, Aarif Lee and Charlie Young also co-star in the film.

Picking up where the film first left off, Cold War 2 sees Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) rising to the position of chief commissioner after leading the "Cold War" operation. M.B. Lee (Tony Leung Ka Fai) has decided to retire from the force while his son Joe (Eddie Peng) has been sentenced to prison. However, terrorists abduct Lau's wife and daughter and demand the release of Joe in exchange. As the mysterious shadow powers behind Joe gradually rise to the surface, tensions between the police, the judiciary and the ICAC reach a boiling point, and M.B. Lee gets pulled back into the murky conflict.

Four years ago, Cold War was Hong Kong's top-grossing Chinese film of 2012 with box office receipts of HK$42.68 million. It also swept nine awards at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards including Best Film, Best Director and Best Actor. Directors Longman Leung and Sunny Luk have expressed interest in shooting a third film in the series.

Text / Garden
Translation / Sanwei

Big Bang's Seung Ri to star in his first Chinese film

  July 25, 2016  
After making his Japanese silver screen debut in High & Low: The Movie, Big Bang's Seung Ri is going to hit Chinese cinemas for the first time with Bonjour Les Couleurs De L'amour. World-famous photographer Andrea Klarin will direct alongside a strong production team that includes award-winning cinematographer Christopher Doyle and renowned Hong Kong designer Wing Shya, who collaborated with director Wong Kar Wai in Happy Together, In the Mood for Love and 2046. Starring Seung Ri, Bea Hayden Kuo (Tiny Times series), Michelle Bai (Kung Fu Jungle), Korean musician-turned-actor Lee Hyun Jae (Tiny Times 3) and model Sean Zhang, the romantic fantasy comedy unfolds different encouraging stories about love and friendship. The film will be shot in Saipan, Hong Kong, France, England and the Caribbean Sea.

Bea Hayden Kuo stars as clinical psychologist Tina who has lost confidence in people due to a childhood trauma. Helped by a messenger from above, Tina learns to deal with different relationships and steps out from the shadow of her traumatic past to begin a new life with Winson (Seung Ri), a charming chief marketing officer. Meanwhile, Michelle Bai plays cheerful online writer May who forms a love triangle with an optimistic trainee psychologist (Lee Hyun Jae) and her playboy neighbor (Sean Zhang).

Bonjour Les Couleurs De L'amour is slated to open in February 2017.

Text / Pisces

Ninomiya Kazunari plays a cook in new film by director of Departures

  July 21, 2016  
Production has been announced for Departures director Takita Yojiro's first film in five years, Last Recipe, starring Arashi's Ninomiya Kazunari. Also co-starring Nishijima Hidetoshi, Miyazaki Aoi, Ayano Go, Takenouchi Yutaka, Oida Yoshi and Kansai Johnny's Jr. member Nishihata Daigo, the cooking-themed film is based on a novel by Iron Chef director Tanaka Keiichi, with a script by Hayashi Tamio (Eternal Zero).

Ninomiya will play Mitsuru Sasaki, a modern-day cook with a "kirin's tongue" that allows him to reproduce any taste. With his unique set of skills, he is generously rewarded to prepare last meals for the dying who wish to eat a certain dish for the last time. When Sasaki sets out to reproduce a long-lost imperial full-course menu, his life will become linked to that of another man with the kirin's tongue, imperial chef Yamagata Naotaro in 1930s Manchuria. Portrayed by Nishijima, Yamagata, whose story will unfold parallel to that of Sasaki, devotes his life to creating the best imperial menu. Ayano Go plays Sasaki's only friend who understands him, Oida Yoshi plays a Chinese cuisine chef who asks Sasaki to reproduce the imperial menu, and Miyazaki Aoi plays Yamagata's wife.

Shooting for Last Recipe will take place from July to October. The film is scheduled to open in autumn 2017.

Text / Sanwei

Matsumoto Jun and Arimura Kasumi in forbidden love story Narratage

  July 20, 2016  
Matsumoto Jun and Arimura Kasumi have been cast in the leading roles of director Yukisada Isao's new film Narratage. Best known for the romantic blockbuster Crying Out Love in the Center of the World, this time Yukisada tells a story of forbidden love between a high school drama teacher and his former student.

Narratage is based on a romance novel written at the age of 20 by Shimamoto Rio, the youngest ever recipient of the Noma Literary New Face Prize. Published in 2005, the novel has sold over 350,000 copies to date. Yukisada expressed that he has wanted to adapt the novel ever since he read it, and is now finally able to do so ten years later.

In the film, Arimura Kasumi plays Kudo Izumi, who has long had a crush on her high school drama club advisor Hayama Takashi, played by Matsumoto Jun. During her second year of university, she is invited back to her alma mater by Takashi to participate in a drama club performance. When the two meet again, they fall into a forbidden love. Matsumoto Jun and Arimura Kasumi previously collaborated in the 2014 TV drama Shitsuren Chocolatier in which they played siblings.

Narratage began shooting in early July and is set to open in Japan in autumn 2017.

Text / tabo
Translation / Sanwei

Gong Yoo fights zombies in Yeon Sang Ho's Train to Busan

  July 18, 2016  
Inspired by the MERS epidemic that swept Korea in 2015, award-winning animation filmmaker Yeon Sang Ho (The King of Pigs, The Fake) created the horror animated feature Seoul Station to criticize the impotent government and different social problems through the story of a father searching for his missing daughter during a zombie outbreak. The rare zombie-themed animation received the Silver Raven at the 34th Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival. Yeon follows up on Seoul Station with the thematically related Train to Busan, his first live-action film which premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.

In the zombie apocalypse film, Gong Yoo (A Man and a Woman) takes the role of single father Seok Woo, a workaholic fund manager who sets off for Busan with his daughter Su An (played by child star Kim Su An) to visit his ex-wife. Also on the train are the pregnant Sung Kyung (Jung Yoo Mi, Our Sunhi), her wrestler husband Sang Hwa (Ma Dong Seok, The Chronicles of Evil), high school girl Jin Hee (former Wonder Girls member Ahn So Hee) and baseball player Young Guk (Choi Woo Shik, Set Me Free), as well as an infected teenage girl who turns the train into ground zero by spreading her zombie virus to other passengers.

Train to Busan opens in Korea on July 20.

Text / Pisces

Takizawa Hideaki to star in Shimizu Takashi-directed J-horror film

  July 14, 2016  
Johnny's artist Takizawa Hideaki will take on the first leading film role of his career in Japanese horror director Shimizu Takashi's new work Kodomo Tsukai. Though Takizawa regularly stars in stage and television productions including the currently airing TBS drama Seisei Suruhodo, Aishiteru, Kodomo Tsukai marks his first film appearance since 2000's Kawa no Nagare no You ni.

Best known as the creator of the Ju-on: The Grudge series, Shimizu Takashi offers a twist on the scary children trope with Kodomo Tsukai. Takizawa plays a mysterious man who can manipulate children's spirits to place curses on adults. He suddenly appears before children, controls their souls and takes them away. When the children return, the adults with whom they interact die after three days. Takizawa's labelmate Arioka Daiki of Hey! Say! JUMP co-stars as a journalist investigating the strange deaths and actress Kadogawa Mugi (Lover's Whirlpool) plays his girlfriend.

In a comment posted on Kodomo Tsukai's official website, Takizawa notes that the film is not only scary but also humorous, and encompasses many themes and stories of how people grow up. He hopes to bring audiences a "completely original new genre of horror film."

Kodomo Tsukai begins shooting in July and will be released in 2017.

Text / Sanwei

YG Entertainment's new girl group Black Pink to debut in late July

  July 13, 2016  
Seven years since 2NE1's debut, YG Entertainment is launching its second K-pop girl group Black Pink. Combining "black" and "pink," the group name contradicts the common perception of "pink" as a symbol of prettiness to highlight the members' talents rather than their beauty. Reportedly originally planned as a nine-member group, Black Pink now debuts with four members: Jisoo, Dutch member Jennie, Rosé from Australia and Lisa from Thailand.

Prior to their debut, the Black Pink members have already worked with many YG artists. Rosé collaborated with G-Dragon for "Without You," while Jennie featured in Lee Hi's Special, Seung Ri's GG Be and G-Dragon's Black. Jisoo, on the other hand, exhibited her acting talent in the hit drama The Producers and appeared in the music videos of project group Hi Suhyun's "I'm Different" and Epik High's Spoiler.

Starting from July, Black Pink will continuously release various songs from their debut album along with music videos. Their debut album was produced by Teddy, the creator of 2NE1's Fire, I Don't Care, Can't Nobody and Lonely.

Text / Pisces

Nicholas Tse and Lau Ching Wan reunite in crime thriller Heartfall Arises

  July 12, 2016  
Four years after The Bullet Vanishes, Lau Ching Wan and Nicholas Tse team up again in the anticipated crime thriller Heartfall Arises. Produced by Wilson Yip and helmed by first-time director Wu Pinru, the film integrates both action and psycho drama into its story about a police officer and criminal psychologist investigating a massive serial murder case. Besides the two award-winning Hong Kong actors, the film also co-stars actresses Tong Liya and Mavis Fan and up-and-coming actor Gao Weiguang.

In the film, Nicholas Tse plays hotshot detective Ma who is critically injured while pursuing a serial killer known as "General." With his life on the line, Ma undergoes a heart transplant. A year and a half later, numerous murder cases similar to General's cruel methods continue to occur around the world, even though General is supposedly dead. Ma, despite not being fully recovered, teams up with Lau Ching Wan's criminal psychology professor Che to investigate the serial killings. However, in the course of the investigation, the two begin to engage in a tense battle of wits. Ma discovers that Che is harboring a secret while Che displays especial interest in Ma's heart transplant.

Heartfall Arises opens in China on August 19.

Text / Sanwei

Park So Dam, Jung Il Woo & Ahn Jae Hyun star in Cinderella and Four Knights

  July 12, 2016  
Produced by HB Entertainment, the creator of hit Korean dramas like You Who Came from the Stars and Yong Pal, tvN's upcoming drama Cinderella and Four Knights is adapted from author Baek Myo's 2011 novel about a high school girl who works in a mansion where she lives with three young masters and a bodyguard. The Master's Sun director Kwon Hyuk Chan teams up with rookie screenwriters Min Ji Eun and Won Young Sil for the fantasy romance, which stars the fresh young cast of breakout actress Park So Dam (Because It's the First Time), Jung Il Woo (The Night Watchman's Journal), Ahn Jae Hyun (Blood), CNBLUE's Lee Jung Shin (Temptation), Choi Min (Riders: Catch Tomorrow) and Apink's Son Na Eun (Twenty Again).

Park So Dam plays high school student Eun Ha Won, who dreams of becoming a veterinarian. She works part-time to save money for university tuition, and one day she happens to meet a CEO who offers her a high-paying job. She ends up living in a mansion together with bodyguard Lee Yoon Sung (Choi Min) and the CEO's three grandsons – the lonely but warm Kang Ji Woon (Jung Il Woo), playboy plutocrat Kang Hyun Min (Ahn Jae Hyun) and top singer-songwriter Kang Seo Woo (Lee Jung Shin).

Cinderella and Four Knights starts airing on August 12 on tvN.

Text / Pisces

Kim Woo Bin and Suzy return to small screen with Uncontrollably Fond

  June 28, 2016  
Three years since their last dramas, Kim Woo Bin (The Heirs) and miss A's Suzy (Gu Family Book) return to the small screen with KBS's Uncontrollably Fond, which marks their first collaboration. Following the hit Descendants of the Sun, Uncontrollably Fond is KBS's second drama to be completely pre-produced before its premiere. Directed by Park Hyun Seok (Spy) and written by Lee Kyung Hee (The Innocent Man), the romantic drama unfolds the love story between a documentary producer and a top star who meet again after years of separation. The drama also co-stars Im Ju Hwan (Oh My Ghost) and Lim Joo Eun (What's Up).

Uncontrollably Fond stars Suzy and Kim Woo Bin as former lovers No Eul and Shin Joon Young who separated due to an ill-fated relationship. Years later, No Eul becomes a documentary producer but gets involved in a corruption case that severely tarnishes her reputation. The terribly depressed No Eul then re-encounters her first love Joon Young, who has turned into an arrogant superstar. Joon Young unconditionally transfers the ownership of his reality show's copyright to No Eul, which leads to speculation about Joon Young being threatened by No Eul who will earn substantial revenue from the rights. However, No Eul gives up all the rights and disappears.

Uncontrollably Fond is slated for simultaneous release in Korea, China, U.S., Taiwan and Hong Kong on July 6.

Text / Pisces

Andy Lau and Bai Baihe crowned at China Huabiao Film Awards

  June 27, 2016  
The 16th Huabiao Awards, one of China's top film awards, was held in Beijing on June 24. Andy Lau and Bai Baihe were crowned Best Actor and Best Actress for their respective roles as a father searching for his missing son in Lost & Love, and a terminally ill comic artist in Go Away Mr. Tumor. Following wins at the Golden Rooster Awards and the Hong Kong FIlm Awards, Tsui Hark received another Best Director prize for his period action-adventure The Taking of Tiger Mountain.

Lost & Love and The Taking of Tiger Mountain also both made the top ten shortlist of Outstanding Feature Films along with Jean-Jacques Annaud's period epic Wolf Totem, Wu Jing action film Wolf Warrior, war film The Hundred Regiments Offensive, fantasy blockbuster Monster Hunt, Dante Lam's cycling film To the Fore, crime drama Saving Mr. Wu, Peter Chan's Dearest and animated hit Monkey King: Hero is Back. Meanwhile, Go Away Mr. Tumor was recognized with the Young Filmmaker Creation Award.

Land Records, a drama about rural villagers resisting land encroachment by real estate speculators, won Best Screenplay. In the technical categories, Zhang Yimou's Coming Home picked up Best Music and John Woo's The Crossing 2 won Best Cinematography.

Text / Sanwei

Kubota Masataka to star in Tokyo Ghoul live-action adaptation

  June 27, 2016  
Ishida Sui's dark fantasy manga Tokyo Ghoul will be adapted into a live-action film starring Kubota Masataka, who recently played the lead role of Yagami Light in the 2015 Death Note TV series.

Set in a world in which super-powered ghouls that subsist on human flesh secretly live amongst humans, Tokyo Ghoul was published in Weekly Young Jump from 2011 to 2014, and its sequel Tokyo Ghoul:re has been serialized since 2014. The Tokyo Ghouls series has a combined circulation of over 18 million copies, and it has already inspired an anime, stage plays and video games.

The protagonist of Tokyo Ghoul, Kaneki Ken, is a normal college student who turns into a half-ghoul after surviving a near-death encounter with a ghoul. At a loss over his newfound powers and appetite for flesh, he gets taken in by the proprietors of a ghoul cafe and gradually learns how to adapt and survive in the company of both ghouls and humans. He also gets drawn into the battle against the government force tasked with wiping out ghouls.

Besides Kubota Masataka as Ken, Shimizu Fumika from HK: Forbidden Super Hero and NHK morning drama Mare has been announced in the female lead role of Kirishima Toka, a ghoul who reluctantly helps Ken acclimate to his new existence. The Tokyo Ghoul live-action film will mark the directorial debut of Hagiwara Kentaro, who previously directed commercials, music videos and short films.

Tokyo Ghoul begins filming in July, and is slated for a summer 2017 release.

Text / tabo
Translation / Sanwei

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