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SEOUL — After a two-year ban, Tang Wei, the heroine from an espionage thriller “Lust, Caution,” will star in an ambitious English-language remake of Korean classic “Manchu” (working title) with the actor Hyun Bin (“I Am Happy”).
Co-produced among Korea’s Boram Entertainment and Washington-based North by Northwest, the film by Lee Man-hee — literally meaning “Full Autumn” in Korean — by Kim Tae-yong (“Family Ties”) will start shooting later this month in Seattle, and will travel to other cities across the United States, the Korean producer said.
The original film, which was a sensational hit when it was released here in 1966, is an ephemeral love story between a runaway suspect for counterfeiting money and a well-behaved prisoner during her holiday. The film was remade twice, first in 1972 by a Japanese director with the title of “Promise,” and later in Korea starring Kim Hye-ja (“Mother”) as the film’s heroine. The original print of the film has since been lost.
In the remake, the setting and the story’s plot will be significantly altered to suit the contemporary context. But Boram, the Korean producer, remained unusually careful about the heroine’s role in the film, given the watchful eyes of the Chinese government, who blacklisted the actress after explicit sex scenes in her critically-acclaimed performance in Ang Lee’s film.
“Five years ago, we first visited the United States for location hunting, hoping to find a niche to communicate this film for global audiences,” said Lee Joo-ik, the head of Boram. “We’re very moved that the film is ready to go into shooting.”
The film will be released later this year.
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