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Song Seung-heon and Lee Min-ki’s noir remake

Song Seung-heon and Lee Min-ki have been cast as the leads of a Korean remake of Hong Kong noir film A Better Tomorrow, the classic 1986 John Woo crime thriller that starred Chow Yun-fat, Leslie Cheung, and Ti Lung.

The remake, Invincible [무적자], boasts a blockbuster budget of more than 10 billion won and comes from film company Fingerprint, which bought the rights to remake the film in 2006. At the time, director Jang Hyung-soo was attached; he is known for films like Rules of the Game and Everybody Has Secrets. However, now directing is Song Hae-sung of Maundy Thursday and Failan. Director Song and Song Seung-heon are reteaming after having once worked together a decade ago in 1999’s Calla. The film has been invested in by Japan’s Formula Entertainment, making this a multinational production that plans to release simultaneously throughout Asia.

Song Seung-heon will take the role originally acted by Chow Yun-fat, while Lee Min-ki takes Leslie Cheung’s. Ti Lung and Waise Lee’s roles are currently being cast. While the original was set in the Hong Kong gangster underworld, the remake features a North Korean defector who settles in the South and gets caught up in the world of organized crime.

This is Song Seung-heon’s next project after his drama comeback met with widespread success in East of Eden. Lee Min-ki, meanwhile, has had a great year with blockbuster Haeundae (as well as smaller films like Oishii Man) and also put out his first solo album.

Invincible hopes to begin filming at the end of the year in order to release in 2010.

Via My Daily

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WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY dancing eyebrows SSH?!!!!

but YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY Lee Min Ki!

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Oh, thank you, thank you, thank you! I lub him so much.

I'm so glad y'all can't see me right now, grinning like an idiot. :-D

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A Better Tomorrow remake with - My inexplicable k-love Song Seung-heon (I love you, oppa, even though your acting consists of looking really, really, really pretty for the most part) + langdon813's love of her life Lee Min-ki (he's the next Momo, only not) = holy bejesus, I better have my unni on the phone with me when we watch this movie in real time.

ABT is one of my all-time fave HK movies (ABT II is even better), classic doesn't even begin to describe these early John Woo movies.

Let me see - we need to now cast LMK's older brother who is SSH's best friend. I would cast my "I lub you" but he's too tall. Suggestions?

(hee, I would have cast SSH as LMK's brother role - after EoE, I totally see SSH screaming Dong-woooooook at any dude playing his younger brother - plus, SSH looks kinda like LMK in that picture).

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I have the hugest crush on Lee Min-Ki (ever since his Dalja's Spring days).

That's all I wanted to say...sorry for the shallowness :)

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I'm just worthless now. Who could concentrate on stupid boring invoices when that face will be up on my screen for the next several hours (I hope)?

I promise to try not to post like a fiend in this thread. Really, I'll try. But he's so cuuuuuute in his little hat! :-D

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@langdon813
All I can say is : GOOD MORNING langdon813.....I just happened to check to see if YB recap was up and then I saw LMK! I said to myself , I bet $1 million that YOU will be on it...Ha ha ha :)

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Where's the love for my Zettai Kareshi robot? It's not easy being so perfect you know - perfect cheekbones, hair, smile, glint in the eye. I mean, so LMK is all quirkly and smoldering and intensely charismatic. Well, SSH is "perfect." So there. (hee, my obligatory shill for my inexplicable crush).

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Noooooooo! Not Song Seung-heon! The man can't act! And not A Better Tomorrow! That's a Hong Kong classic! Ugh.

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SSH is pretty and there has been improvement, but he's just not for THIS. He can do the robot drama, he would be puuuuuuuuuuurrrrfect.

but thisssss? NOOOO.

again.
mmm... lee min ki.

I did like Failan ... so maybe the filmmaker can do wonders for pretty eyebrows.

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WOW~!

In 1987 'A Better Tomorrow' turned out to be a Hong Kong GEM of a movie. Experienced and seasoned film makers dubbed it as a "Phenomenon".

Some facts you all should know before the movie aired in '87:

1. Director John Woo was having a "sagging career" and once this movie hit the box office (and broke the record multiple times not just in China). It catapult him into probably the most renowned Hong Kong director of all time and now the world.

2. Lead star Chow Yun Fat was just a mediocre malodramatic actor before this movie aired. Once it hit the box office, Chow Yun Fat became a "certifiable icon."

3. It boasts multiple awards with box office sell outs that change the Hong Kong and Asian cinema landscape instantly.

***

If SSH pulls this one off, he will not only be just a hallyu star but an iconic star that rivals or even surpasses that of Lee Byung Hun or Bae Yong Jun. That's how serious this can get. But of course there's the element of the Korean factor into this production. We won't know until it's completed. SSH's last movie "Fate" didn't do so well. And Lee Min Kee appearing in this movie will just catapult him into more recognition and stardom.

Man, I wish this movie will go to a more "manly" face actor rather than SSH, but I will give him a fair shake, if he hits it out of the park on this movie, I'll take back all the negative stuff i said about Mr. Song =]

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I loooooove SSH! He's the only reason why I started watching Kdrama! He's the best looking korean celebrity- korean guy! I've been waiting for his next movie. yah!

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Lets just cross our fingers and hope this doesn't turn out to be a disaster. I love SSH...he's so hot but to be honest,,,,he has a ways to go on the acting.. So ji sub for the role, yeah.. SSH for the role...IDK... but we'll wait and see. He may suprise us.....

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While I think that SSH is an average actor, I have to admit he is on my very short list of guys that I'd watch do anything. Preferably brush their teeth at my house in the morning. Oops did I type that outloud?

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ahhhhhh songseungheon! hottie! :D
love lee minki too!
wheee.

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TO MY DEAR SONG SEUNG HUN -GOOOOOOD LUCK !!!!
MAKE ALL YOUR'S FANS PROUD OF YOU.
I'M SO THRILL TO HEAR ANY NEWS ABOUT YOU.
SARANGHAE OPPA

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Sigh...just checking to make sure he's still here. And he is! Maybe it won't be a very newsworthy day in KDramaland and he can just hang out at the top of the page all day long!

Only my 3rd post! I'm so proud of my restraint, cause what I really want to say is almost identical to @15...except for the "oppa" part. :-D

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Really cannot picture him in Chow Yun-fat's shoes! I guess good luck to him.

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I really really like Lee MinKi. ;-D

SSH on the other hand, has left a sour taste in my mouth since East of Eden. Ugh.

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first, I'm not greedy.

So I am not putting a claim on LMK. hee.

But more importantly, I'm not sure... I'm not sure.

I really really don't know how I feel about this.

A Better Tomorrow is an epic movie. Epic. Why remake it? Do they think they can do a better job? (extreeeeeeeeemly doubtful). Do they think they can come close to doing as good of a job? (also extremely doubtful - a copy of an epic is generally no where near as good - I know there are exceptions, but even when a copy or an homage is done, it usually falls short of the original, and this includes the The Good The Bad and The Weird).

So, why remake it?

For guys my age, The Killer, Hardboiled, and A Better Tomorrow (and maybe God of Gamblers I and II but not III, Infernal Affairs, Once Upon a Time in China, City On Fire)... these movies should never be remade. Just watched and re-watched.

If it ain't broke, don't fix it....

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No,no, no! I cannot see SSH in the original Mr Cool Chow Yun Fat's role. May I suggest Cha Seung Won? So Ji Sub would be great in the Legend Leslie's role. Or even Park Yong Ha.
SSH is so.......zzzzzzzz. and LMK is too wholesome.

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@19

Samsooki. . . I second all you said....
Some of my favorite movies and I am not even a guy !

plus who can match Leslie Cheung in what ever roll he was in . All he had to do was just stand there a look at you ! what emotions passed over his face...

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marry me samsooki

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I haven't seen the original, I'm embarrassed to say! Heading to Netflix now...

But let me just say, without any hint of snark or sarcasm, that whatever LMK wants to do is fine with me. He can remake The Muppets Take Manhattan and I'll be the first one in line.

Hmmm. Samsooki, are you surreptitiously trying to encroach on my guy? Despite what you say, my LMK radar picked up something sneaky from your post. I've got my eye on you, buddy. ;-)

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@21
Leslie was sublime. He was our Asian Marlon Brando and James Dean and Elivis and then some.

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wow SSH looks a decade younger in that pic! I'm also embarrassed to say that I haven't seen it, but I've definitely heard about it and this movie is on the syllabus for some asian cinema/modern chinese culture classes. I have to say that it won't have the same effect as the original. for me, gangster/cop movies are the HK domain (guess it helps when a good portion of the entertainment industry is run by mobsters), while horror and sentimental/relationship movies are the korean domain

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Do I miss something? But why are there so many remakes lately in K-movie industry? *sigh*. Again, this movie is one of my fav. I don’t know if they can pull it off with a remake.

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Leslie Cheung was beyond sublime, I concur Sonam. His music, oy vey, his voice is to date my fave male pop singer in Asia.

MV of Chase from He's a Man, She's a Woman (most fun to watch Leslie movie with Anita) - YB lovers, see similarities?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_LmHKbIUEI

Anyways, Leslie's role in ABT (the one LMK is gonna portray) is...how should I put it....the most annoying person on screen until the last few scenes of the movie. It was written that way, no reflection of Leslie's portrayal. I hope they tone down the self-indulgent, holier-than-thou asshattery in this version (if only for my langdon-unni).

Okay, I've had 5 hours to decompress after seeing SSH's face - and I must say, it's befuddling, really, production company? - he's to play the k-version of Xiao-Ma Ge (the iconic role that made CYF, and in fact, CYF was referred to as Xiao-Ma Ge for pretty much a decade everytime he was referenced, I kinda forgot his name was Chow Yun-fat, I thought his name was Xiao-Ma Ge (literal translation Little Horse Brother)

The k-version of Xiao-Ma Ge IMHO was MADE for So Ji-sub. And Ti Lung's role as the older brother (which was the lead actually, Ti Lung was a much bigger star in the early 80s in HK, but CYF stole the show), I can see Hwang Jung-min (or Kang Myung-min).

I agree with samsooki, even HK has refrained from updating this movie 20 years later (and HK keeps remaking, reupdating their most popular movies and dramas). Just like I don't trust anyone to ever re-make Oldboy), I'd rather now they just Invincible a movie loosely based on ABT.

@ langdon-unni

You're in for a real treat - ABT was definitely on the syllabus of an Asian movie class I took in college, it's something special is all I can say.

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@langdon813 -

You know, there are very confusing rules with respect to this.

FIRST RULE:

All is fair in love and war.

commentary: this means that by hook or by crook, everything is permissible. and why not? love is worth the effort, and certainly obsession is worth the prize. jb likes KJH. Then hjkomo makes a play for jb's KJH. But then KJH ends up with me. what can I say? can't change the past. why should I give up my KJH just because jb and hjkomo couldn't hold onto "their' man? i refer them to the ancient and still good case of Finders vs. Keepers, 130 F.Supp 33.

SECOND RULE:

An eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.

commentary: this is true too. where does it end? what happens if ockoala comes along and gets her mitts on my KJH or just as bad, on my Binnie? can this kind of theft ever be truly justified? love is not a victimless crime, just look at MiSA or any number of k-dramas. what happens if everybody turns into a raving lunatic and tries to steal YKS from jb? Would there even BE a dramabeans if that happened? I shudder at the thought. LEAVE YKS TO JB PEOPLE! YKS IS OFF-LIMITS.

THIRD RULE:

Do as I say and not as I do.

commentary: This, really, is the bottom line. That's why the US can industrialize and spew out an awful carbon footprint for a 100 years, and then criticize China for trying to industrialize without green technology. Or why US alcohol distributors can sell and advertise alcohol legally but marijuana growers are banned in most states outside of California and is still illegal from a Federal law standpoint. And why big banks can force checking account / saving account customers to fork up outrageous fees for over-drafts, but ask the US Government for bailouts when they are "over-drawn" with their investments.

***

Therefore, in light of the above rules and the combination of them in some form or another, I hereby renounce my rights on Lee Minki for now. hehe. =)

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Hard to imagine this remake. They have huge size shoes to fill.

As much as I adore the prettiness that is SSH he is not Fat Gor calibre in acting chops. As for Leslie RIP no one can replace him. As samsooki said ain't broke don't fix it.

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"All is fair in love and war."

All is fair, and love is war. ;)

"I totally see SSH screaming Dong-woooooook at any dude playing his younger brother "

DONGA!!! HYUN!!! DONGA!!! HYUNUUU!!! BEGGAR AJUSHHI!!!!

Oh sweet President Shin Tae Hwan, how I miss you so! *sigh*

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Two mental lapses in my earlier posts (caused no doubt by SSH-itis):

1. ABT II is no way better than ABT I - I was actually thinking of GoG I and II (God of Gamblers). ABT II has Chow Yun-fat in it as well - and for those who have seen ABT I, well.....that's all I'm gonna say.

2. YT vid is to the movie He's a Woman, She's a Man (not the other way around, which I wrote earlier by mistake - even though it makes perfect sense).

@ samsooki

While I'm probably the least upstanding DB citizen when it comes to respecting calls of *Mine* (Jung Woo-sung is mine and any challenger better be prepared to bring it - I even own The Restless and watched it a few times just for him), but you needn't worry about me encroaching, even hypothetically, on KJH (possession yet to be determined) or your Binnie.

I think we ought to all stand by the rule of *Firsts* (i.e. whomever calls it first). Easier than your rule of three mumbo jumbo. Btw, did you shepardize you case? Finders v. Keepers may very well be overruled by the case of Mine v. La la la, I can't hear you.

(I know, I know - lame lawyers inside joke, sheesh, not everyone is as creatively fertile as you). Oh, and congrats on the proposal. Nice!

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@Samsooki
Hey buddy, uuhhhh, does the Missus know you have all these marriage proposals?? Being the "honorary" aunt of your precious son, I will "keep" an eye on all your fans here in kdramaland, he he ;)
I have to agree with @ockoala here; it's not fair for you to start spewing legal statues/mumbo jumbo on us...I almost choked on my lunch here when I read ockoala's "Mine v La la la, I can't hear you"... Good one, girl...go get him ( he deserves that ;b

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SSH don't have Chow Yun Fat's charisma-come on, don't they have better actor for this. Luckly there is LMK.

SSH, you only good in lobbying,... I can feel he just want more screen time...... nothing else.

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@ langdon-unni

"Maybe it won’t be a very newsworthy day in KDramaland and he can just hang out at the top of the page all day long!"

Your wish appears to have been granted. ;-)

@ belleza

My head exploded, but thanks for the reinactment. (Since Dong-chul and Dong-wook were not blood related, part of me wishes both men would have admitted their love for each other transcended gender and family and just picked each other at the end, that Grace girl be damned - then the DC going to heaven scene would have been a thousand times more meaningful).

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Has anyone got dibs on Kim Rae Won around here, because if not, I'll call dibs on KRW really really fast!

Ahem! Yes! Well!

Back to the topic at hand. Why remake A Better Tomorrow? Why? Why? Is this the week to announce remakes?

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@28, samsooki

Great post! Well thought out, concise...very commendable. You make many valid points.

But let me just remind you that I am a Southern woman. I can admire your shoes, ask after your mama, plot your demise and make a casserole for your funeral without blinking an eye or breaking a nail.

Just sayin'. :-D

Speaking of...where are my manners?

Thanks for keeping LMK up all day, JB! I know it wasn't just for me, but I enjoyed looking at him all day long (when I wasn't giving the stinkeye to samsooki, that is).

You rock!!

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Am not sure how I feel about this...ABT is a classic, and I agree w/samsooki, "if it ain't broken, don't fix it."

Yay! for Lee Minki though. He has a lot to live up to, and it'll be interesting to see him act in something so different from the roles he usually does. I haven't seen any of the director's work, but I heard Failan was good?

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Hmm... they should remake Leslie Cheung's Happy Together instead... ;)

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I just don't see how SSH will have the same presence and charisma as Chow. But good luck to him anyway.

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I'm not going to pretend to actually watch this film for its content, directing, acting, etc. Song Seung-heon has never impressed me with his acting, and the whole 'remake' idea makes me wince.

So I'm probably going to download this without subtitles (which is necessary for me to understand.... anything), place the video on mute, and take screenshots of Lee Min-ki and Song Seung-heon and the gorgeous 'cinematography' which I think will be the only thing worth watching. LOL.

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@38, Snikki

LOL!

Oh, I can't go there, not with my LMK. Others maybe, but not him. I'd be all "My eyes! My eyes!"

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A Better Tomorrow should never be re-made, period. I'm totally with Samsooki on this one.

I can still remember going to the premier mid-night show of A Better Tomorrow in 1987 when I was then living in Hong Kong. The excitement and thrill when coming out of the cinema that evening was still so vivid in my mind. Those were the golden years of Hong Kong cinema as shortly after that, we had Tsui Hark's Peking Opera Blues (a bit like a female period piece of ABT).

ABT is well-loved by Koreans. I once met an American Korean guy a couple of years ago with whom I started a courteous diplomatic discussion about our fields, but it all became passionate movie talk once A Better Tomorrow was mentioned.

Anyway, it will be interesting to see a remake but SSH is definitely a no-no for me although LMK may pull out Leslie's role.

My ideal cast:

Chow Yun Fat - either Lee Byun Hun or So Ji Sub. We need a badass boy here with loads of charisma. I always think LBH's A Bittersweet Life is in many ways a variation of ABT.

Lselie Cheung - LMK could do it...... but how about Jang Geun Suk?!?!? Ockoala, you are right: ABT is more a vehicle for CYF and TL but less so for LC.

Tik Lung - Jung Woo Sung, no dispute.

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@ epyc

I said above that I would cast my "I lub you" in the big brother role (I'm referring to Jung Woo-sung of course) but his height might be distracting, but hey, more JWS is always good with me. But my I lub you is making a Wuxia movie next year so is not available. But yeah, the more I think about it, the less it's a good idea unless they don't copy it frame for frame.

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wow this sounds AMAZING!! I love them both so much!!!

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Is he going to meddle with the script again ?

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Ok it's a toss up for me, I luv LMK and I don't know if I want a remake of A Better Tomorrow. But I still root for LKM. :)

It's been a long day so what a happy surprise for me to see LKM and YAB recap up. Thanks JB.

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Thye should have chosen SJS than the stiff expression SSH.

SJS will have easily nail the role blissfully.

Still can't forget how MBC can give SSH the Daesang last yr. What a boo boo .

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I'm always intrigued when other Asian countries remake another Asian film because I feel there's a greater respect to the original material when compared to Hollywood remakes.

Also, because many Asians have either already seen the original or they'll watch it because they like the remake.

So I'm actually curious how this remake will turn out.

However, like ockoala & epyc mentioned, I'm a little wary of Song Seung-heon.

Don't get me wrong, I love SSH, but this character needs a "bad boy" type of person. Someone you can look at and feel completely safe with because you know he's going to kick the bad guys ass.

SSH has more of a, let's-sit-down-over-there-and-stare-into-each-other's-eyes-type vibe :)

But I think Lee Min-ki is talented enough to pull off Leslie Cheung's role---of course in his own style.

@ ockoala #27

I LOVE THAT MOVIE!!!

I actually just started to watch YB and when someone mentioned in Episode 7 that the piano scene reminder her of that movie I felt the urge to re-watch it again immediately :)

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I JUST SAW THE MOVIE BECAUSE I WAS CURIOUS WHAT THE HELL ALL OFF YOU TALKING ABOUT. THIS IS A CLASSIC MOVIE BUT I DON'T UNDERSTEND WHAT SO GREAT ABOUT THOSE ACTORS ( CHOW AND LESLIE) THAT SSH CAN'T GET INTO THEIRS SHOES????
I"M TALKING AS A MOVIES AND DRAMAS FREAK.
I"M SURE THAT THIS REMAKE WILL BRING US A DEVELOPMENT PLOT THAT
REFLECTING OUR DECADE (LIKE "IRIS") .
MY DEAR SSH I"ll CROSSFINGERS TO YOUR'S SUCCESS.

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wait, so it this going to be a movie or a drama? Either way, I am uber excited. I love both boys (ESPECIALLY the handsome mr. 숱검댕이) and it's kind of weird to imagine them in something together.. I dunno why..

but it's interesting because I was introduced to both of them through SITCOMS (남자셋 여자셋 & Rainbow Romance) so I just constantly have funny images of them in my mind :/ haha I miss 남자셋 여자셋!

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