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LEE Byung-hun to star as King of Joseon

Nov 18, 2011
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Top Korean star LEE Byung-hun is set to play the lead in CJ E&M Pictures’<Masquerade>(working title). Lee’s management agency BH Entertainment announced that he is confirmed to star in the historical drama to be directed by CHOO Chang-min (<Late Blossom>) and written by HWANG Jo-yun (<Old Boy>).
At the moment, Lee is playing the role of Storm Shadow in the Hollywood productionG.I. Joe 2: Retaliation which is shooting in New Orleans. He played the same character in the 2009 film G.I Joe: the Rise of Cobra. His other credits include starring in KIM Jee-woon’s<The Good, the Bad, the Weird> and <I Saw the Devil>, as well as PARK Chan-wook’s<Joint Security Area (JSA)>.
With a hot fan base in Japan, Lee is due to return to Korea and prepare for a Japanese arena tour where he will meet with an estimated 60,000 fans at the end of the year.
Choo previously directed the hit comedy <Mapado: Island of Fortunes>(2004) and the romantic senior citizen drama <Late Blossom> which became a sleeper hit through word of mouth after it was released in February this year.
<Masquerade> is a sort of “The Prince and the Pauper” story where a commoner of the lowest class takes the place of the ruling monarch Gwanghaegun and comes to realize all that the position entails. The Korean title translates as “I Am a/the King of Joseon”.
Lee will act in both the roles of the charismatic king and the sympathetic commoner, with a romantic connection with the queen as well.
Formerly, director KANG Woo-suk (<Silmido>, <Glove>) was reported to be attached to the project but Choo is now set to direct. 
The film is due to start shooting early next year with a budget of US$8 million.
Nov. 18, 2011
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