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Just as fans of Hollywood’s biggest movies and TV shows flock to Comic-Con to see stars like Jennifer Lawrence and Ben Affleck, devotees of Korean entertainment will get a chance to meet its hottest stars at KCON later this summer.
The Hollywood Reporter has learned that actors Kim Soo-hyun, Ki Hong Lee, Daniel Henney and Son Ho-jun are confirmed to appear at the convention’s July 31-August 2 Los Angeles event. KCON will also host drama sessions headlined by top writer Park Ji-eun (Producer, My Love From Another Star) and director Jin Hyuk (Master’s Sun, Doctor Stranger).
KCON, produced by Seoul-based conglomerate CJ E&M, has steadily grown from 10,000 attendees at its inaugural 2012 staging to more than 43,000 fans last year. In response to growing demand, this year the convention will move from the L.A. Memorial Sports Arena and take over the Staples Center and L.A. Convention Center, and also expand to the east coast with a second installment at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Kim is arguably Korea’s most popular actor right now, thanks to his star turn in the 2014 drama My Love From Another Star, which shattered ratings across Asia (it was streamed more than 2.5 billion times in China). Last September, THR exclusively reported that ABC had handed out a script commitment for an American adaptation of the fantasy romance. Kim’s latest drama, Producer, is already one of Korea’s highest-rated for the year.
The Korean-American Lee has been enjoying a rising profile in the past year. After co-starring in The Maze Runner, he was named one of People’s “Sexiest Men Alive.” The actor, who got his start as a regular on ABC Family’s The Nine Lives of Chloe King, plays Ellie Kemper’s love interest on Netflix’s Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and will return to the big screen in The Stanford Prison Experiment and Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials.
The biracial Henney was raised in Michigan but began his acting and modeling career in Korea. After breaking out as a handsome surgeon in 2005’s hit drama My Lovely Sam Soon, he has scored gigs on both sides of the Pacific, including roles in X-Men Origins: Wolverine and Big Hero 6. He’ll be a series regular opposite Gary Sinise in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders, which CBS ordered to series in May.
Son scored multiple Best New Actor nominations in Korea for his role in 2013’s nostalgic coming-of-age drama Reply 1994, whose final episode set a cable ratings record. The singer and actor has since parlayed that success into further dramas as well as appearances on Korea’s variety TV circuit.
More than 90 celebrities are scheduled to attend KCON this year, including a star-studded lineup of K-Pop acts for concerts on both coasts. Those artists include Girls’ Generation, Super Junior and AOA.
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