John Woo casts Song Hye Gyo in big-budget period romance


Song Hye Gyo made a surprise appearance at Cannes Film Festival on the 20th in conjunction with the announcement that she will be appearing in 1949, director John Woo‘s next film, he of the stylish Hong Kong and Hollywood action blockbusters (Mission Impossible II, Face/Off, Broken Arrow).

Not only that, the screenplay was written by Wang Hui-ling of the much-lauded Lust, Caution and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Song co-stars with Chinese actor Chang Chen, and startled reporters at the press conference for 1949, where she appeared alongside Woo and producer Terrence Chang. (Apparently Song arrived at Cannes on the 17th, but remained hidden in her hotel room until her appearance on the 20th at Woo’s request. Woo had made no mention of Song’s participation in the film until she arrived at the press conference.)

She explained, “John Woo contacted me [in January] after watching Hwang Jini. I’m incredibly honored to be working with a director I admire so much.” (According to a Korean article — so take with a grain of salt, naturally — owing to Song’s popularity in China from her dramas Autumn in My Heart and Full House, the Chinese press in attendance focused their attention and aimed more questions at her than her co-star Chang Chen.)

(Here’s Chang Chen looking modern.)

1949 is described as a “big-budget romance” based on real-life events that took place at the end of World War II and in the last years of the Chinese Civil War.

As for the language issue, the film will be Chinese-language, mixed with English; Song Hye Gyo is currently studying both. She also assures us that 1949 won’t interfere with her participation in director Pyo Min Su’s upcoming drama co-starring Hyun Bin, The World They Live In, as the drama starts in July and will end this year, while 1949 will start filming at the end of the year and aims to release sometime in 2009.

I know I’ve been skeptical of Song Hye Gyo as well as crossover acting roles in general, and John Woo’s had some misses recently, but this one sounds really promising.

Via Star News


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