Chungmuro/Film News
Lee Min-ho up for action noir film Gangnam Blues
by | September 15, 2013 | 96 Comments

He spent a few years going from drama to drama, but now Lee Min-ho is likely headed back to the big screen for his first leading film role. His reps have confirmed that he has received the offer to headline a period action-noir from lauded director Yoo Ha, whose past works include Kwon Sang-woo’s Once Upon a Time in High School in 2004 and Jo In-sung’s 2006 film A Dirty Carnival. No wonder there’s a lot of interest at the thought of Lee Min-ho following in their footsteps in what looks to be another gritty dramatic noir.

The movie is titled Gangnam Blues and is set in 1970s Seoul, when the Gangnam district was just kicking off its real estate and construction boom, with all the shady power plays and corrupt backroom dealings that come with the territory. Given the director’s previous films, I think we can expect lots of stylish action loaded with darkness, which is something I would love to see Lee Min-ho do. He’s done enough mainstream crowd-pleasing roles to secure his place as a top leading man, so it’s a good idea for him to branch out and stretch his wings a bit. (Even if the thought of Lee Min-ho getting too big for television and taking the Won Bin path to a movie-centric career is too sad to contemplate. Don’t take that path, dramaland needs you! Okay, maybe I need you.)

Lee Min-ho is (as we all know, unless there’s a rock you’ve been hiding under all year) busy at work on his upcoming SBS drama Heirs, which will premiere in October. If he signs on to Gangnam Blues, he’ll begin work on that early next year, soon after Heirs wraps.

Via Sports Donga


96 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire

    Thank you for the news!

  2. Joy

    YAY Lee Min Ho in a movie! Too bad korean movies take forever to sub :C

  3. dbsklove

    HAHA I loled at the living under a rock. And wow I didny know THAT was why I hadn’t seen wonbin in recent dramas…. T.T

    • 3.1 Momoi

      Yup. A lot of times actors will seldom go back to the silver screen after making the foray into movies. Less money, longer hours, I guess.

      • 3.1.1 ilikemangos

        There’s an upside to dramas though — greater exposure internationally.

  4. Jushi

    Idk, even if a lot of people hated BOF, that is the only drama of his that I liked him. After that, all of his projects have been major disappointments (my two cents! don’t kill me!).

    Definitely would want him to do some very masculine role because recently, I’ve been getting too much feminine vibe from him and I don’t know why. He is statuesque and kinda of muscular but I couldn’t see him as a hot young man. Why?! Why?! Probably because mine standard has always been towards the dorky once and he’s always been this super put-together, metro sexual type of guy. Be dirrrty Lee Min ho. Be dirrrttyyy. Hahahaha.

    • 4.1 Waiting

      I second this! I need a fully testosterone loaded LMH!

    • 4.2 Gidget

      “Definitely would want him to do some very masculine role because recently, I’ve been getting too much feminine vibe from him and I don’t know why.”

      I so agree with this. To me, it’s that his stylists and handlers have WAY over-managed his image. They took an inherently masculine guy and over-feminized him with fussy clothing choices and (in my opinion) overly-pale and overly-fussy skincare.

      That, plus it seems that he probably has a polite, but also slightly irreverent personality. (This assumption is based on an observation that his best performances all seem to include an element of cheeky irreverence which seems verrrrry natural for him.) However, in his public image they’ve managed him toward excessively buttoned-up, reserved politeness. It’s left him seeming stifled and un-relaxed. In a weird way I’ve started feeling sorry for him about this.

      So I guess what I’m saying is, the more time has passed and the more ‘polished’ they’ve made him, the less comfortable he seems in his own skin. It would be a breath of fresh air if he could be himself a bit more. Hopefully an edgier role will give him breathing room to do this.

      And, although I hate to say this, maybe movies – which don’t need to pander as carefully to shifting, real-time fan opinions – might allow him to relax a bit and would be a better environment for him.

      • 4.2.1 Jushi

        Ooh. I like that…he needs to loosen up a bit. I mean, even if he is the reserved or shy (not that these two means the same) type, he definitely needs to be more comfortable with his own skin. He looks like a product being sold/ endorsed rather than being his own man. I guess that kind of sours him for me the time he became famous. Not that it is all his fault, but somehow it is.

        I don’t know him outside of his dramas but that’s the vibe I get from him. I may be wrong.

    • 4.3 Femari

      I liked him in City Hunter and Personal Taste. I hope he can show more of his acting skills in the new movie. I think he only needs a good director, he is a pretty decent actor.

    • 4.4 catiechan

      Well havent you seen LMH in City Hunter? That, for me, was the best.

  5. Abbie

    I would LOVE to see him do something like this. I’m not too familiar with the genre, but it sounds interesting. I just love Lee Min-ho period. My love for him really grew with City Hunter, since I wasn’t too impressed with Boys Over Flowers overall. He was about the only good thing in that drama, for me. So, he can do action, but something as dark as this would be excellent for him to branch out. I really hope he continues to do dramas, since I have limited access to Korean movies in general. The movies I see are mostly on Netflix. I’ve only seen Won Bin in two things, The Man From Nowhere and Mother, so that does affect how much I like him. So I hope Lee Min-ho doesn’t take that route. But, I hope he does the film, and does well in Heirs. Lee Min-ho, fighting!

    • 5.1 redfox

      this seems like just the perfect project to finally pull him out of the high schooler parts.

      I am sure he can carry it and I really hope the action & direction is good.

  6. SH

    I’m with you JB — please don’t take the Won Bin path; I need to see him on my screen at least once a year.

    • 6.1 ilikemangos

      Yeah, that’s his usual schedule — a drama once a year, ever since he did boys before flowers.
      Makes me wonder though, if he’s doing a movie in 2014, does that mean he won’t be doing a drama in 2014? I wonder.

      • 6.1.1 linda

        I need to see him on my screen at least once a yearㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠㅠ I kind of sad of this good news. I am already miss him on my small screen.

  7. snow_white

    I love that he will be doing a movie but I don’t want him to do only that….we need you in dramaland!!!!

  8. saranga

    and i’d recently been thinking it was curious he hasn’t done any films since BOF! (which was already four years ago…)

    • 8.1 Laura

      just 4 years ago? Really? I feel like it was ages ago (especially when we remember BOF as an antique). On the other hand, it was not a film…

  9. Briana

    In a perfect world he will do this movie and as filming starts he is offered another role for a drama. I need to see him once a year or I go crazy.

  10. 10 kit

    Ooooh. I like the premise. And he’d do well in it. Can we actually see the reality of the rise of chaebol companies then.

  11. 11 bains

    I wish him success in movies but also don’t want him to go away from dramaland.
    He must do one drama per year.

  12. 12 Dukdam

    Am I the only one that had a ‘why no pretty pictures, javabeans?’ pout upon reading this post? 😉

    • 12.1 Mawiie

      buwahaha you are not! I scrolled down and was like “Where is the pics spam D:”

    • 12.2 Momoi

      haha i had it too.

      • 12.2.1 Jiji

        Looooooool same here 😀 thanks JB for the news

  13. 13 Dukdam

    Argh! Stoopid phone! I see the pretty now! Many thanks!

  14. 14 lily

    well he has to go to the army soon so he’s probably going to try and do as many dramas/movies as he can in the next 2 years.

    • 14.1 SH

      Welp, lalalalalalalalalalala can’t hear you 😥

    • 14.2 ilikemangos

      I’m wondering if Heirs and this noir film are going to be his lasts, given that alot of celebs try to leave to the army on a high-note with their projects. Heirs is obviously going to be super popular. If i were him, i’d leave for the army right after these.

      • 14.2.1 Maricel

        Nooooo,don’t be mean. Don’t say that u.u

      • 14.2.2 maldita

        Yes, please. After “Heirs,” I really hope Lee Minho says goodbye to high school student roles because he’s way part that already. More roles like what he had in “City Hunter,” please! And yes, it’s past time he dabbles in movies again.

    • 14.3 Joy

      NOPE NOPE NOPE he can’t go to the army yet NOPE

      • 14.3.1 LoveIt


  15. 15 Minoz Marjan

    OH MY GOSH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    OH MY GODLESSNESS!!!!!!!!!!!

    GREAT NEWS FROM Minho oppa back 2 back!!!
    A DRAMA CALLED “The inheritors”!!!
    A MOVIE CALLED “Gangnam blues”!!!

    Am I dreaming????? am I awake??????
    It is action!!! OH MY GOSH!!!
    THIS WHAT I WANT!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. 16 Yep

    When I saw the title I was like, “Finally! You sexy mother******”

    • 16.1 megels7719

      Thumbs up!!!! x a million

    • 16.2 Mar


      “Finally! You sexy mother******”

      That pretty much covers it. No further comments needed. 😉

  17. 17 mj

    anything noir is up my ally so I love that but I need him in dramas movies take just as long to film but we only get an hr and a half instead of 16 plus hours =(

  18. 18 katiamon

    Heirs???? Never heard about it…. gotcha! Hahaha

  19. 19 raindrops1

    I this is great news. I’m glad that he has kept himself busy this year and will continue to work (if he accepts the offer) beginning of next year because it gives is the opportunity to see him on screen. Yes, don’t go the exclusively movie route, dramaland needs you.

  20. 20 raindrops1

    @Dukdam, I also thought: where is the picture, I need to see a pretty pic. Yep, it was my dumb phone…I hit refresh and all there was the pretty picture *happy*

  21. 21 bains

    I’m already nervous about Song Joong-ki not returning to dramaland after the success of werewolf boy and now Lee Min-ho too.

    • 21.1 SH

      Lee Min-ho is different though; for an actor, he has a very large fan base living outside of Korea, and dramas are probably the best way to reach that audience. Don’t be nervous, I’m sure he’ll continue doing dramas and fan meetings 🙂 Commercially it makes sense to him and his agency.

      • 21.1.1 seersucker

        This kind of relates…speaking of his US fanbase, what happened when he was over here filming for Heirs? I was thisclose to driving to LA to stalk him. Did a lot of people go out to see him? Did he meet with fans at all?

        • SH

          Yes, fans went to see him at LAX

          This one from March when he was in LA for a Toyota sponsored fanmeeting

          He looked a little startled, lol.

          • LoveIt

            I felt really bad for him in this video. After such a long space, the fans showed no respect for his personal space. He is a human being, not an object.

        • SH

          This one from Sept 2nd at LAX when he arrived for Heirs filming

          • ilikemangos

            hah. love how he’s practically towering over all of them.
            and lol at the end when you see those paps asking the fans who the celebrity is! Lee Min Ho! Korean Actor! Boys over flowers!
            haha, to which they asked, “did you touch him?”
            My favorite is the woman towards the end who said my daughter touched him and called him lee mo him but she still squeels like a typical fangirl. Love!

          • KS

            The fans need to give the guy some space. He looks tired and a bit overwhelmed.. where the heck were his bodyguards ??

          • Laura

            I do not know whether he likes all this “crowded attention” but it makes me cringe… I would dream nightmares about monsters armed with mobile telephones and carrying my faces around, If I got surrounded by such demanding fans all the time. And he still smiles and interacts with them, how does he even manage… uh…

          • LoveIt

            * I made a mistake, this is the one that made me sad.

          • redfox

            oh my gawwwwd. those flippin mobile phones. our age is horrifying. everyone a paparazzi. wtf why do they need to do this. just google, there be plenty of nice official pictures.
            gawwwwwd. how can he stand this. I would just run.

        • SH

          Sorry, I’m responding in pieces. They are still filming in LA. If you head over to Soompi Heirs forum or twitter verse, you’ll see all those fan-snap shots of the filming.

          • seersucker

            Thanks for all the links and whatnot! Honestly I feel so uncomfortable watching those videos….poor LMH.

        • adette

          my friend took a picture of him on our local university campus :p (about an hour outside of LA)

  22. 22 seersucker

    Despite its silliness Lee Min Ho got pretty dark in City Hunter, and I liked it. I want even darker. He’s playing an anti-hero in this, right? Please say yes.

    • 22.1 KS

      Ditto.. loved LMH in City Hunter so I was hoping he would do a movie in a similar role. I’m excited — hope he signs on.

  23. 23 whilethemusiclasts

    Sounds interesting. I will anticipating this… Even if yes, Korean movies take forever to sub.

  24. 24 motskee

    Noir? Oh please, don’t make him die! Just dont.

  25. 25 Joy

    I went and watch the filming yesterday at hollywood and vine, Lee minho is nice as well as Park Shin Hye the scene requires too much running you can tell that they are really tired but because they want to give us a good drama they are working really hard. They are both really pretty I haven’t recovered yet from LMH smile.

  26. 26 Anxiously Anticipating Heirs

    I’m not sure I read right, but I think it was a newsletter I received from dramafever, anyway, I heard Lee Min-ho was headed to the army, along with Kim Hyun-joong, Jang Geun-seuk and some other people. But if he’s going to be shooting a movie, I guess it’s not true then.

    • 26.1 messi

      I also read that he will be enlisting with his buddies Jung Ilwoo and Kim Bum.

      • 26.1.1 redfox

        I guess they canceled it for the army-abs overload the fans would have to face. think when they all come out at the same time. ….no, don´t think. no, you may. no, wait. have vitamins just in case…. and an IV

  27. 27 messi

    OPPA GANGNAM BLUES!! (doing the horse dance) 🙂

  28. 28 cheekbones

    I like both movies the director did, although Once Upon A Time In High School had more impact for me. So, yay ! for Lee Min-ho getting casted in a Yoo Ha movie.

  29. 29 gayu312

    For a change movie is a good idea and he is hurrying with filming back 2 back as he is gonna enlist soon. May be at the end of 2014 🙁 :'( I want Hyesun to take the female lead.The couple’s chemistry was awesome in BOF. Miss them. I want to see hyesun with Minho.

  30. 30 kDkiddo

    Oh honeyhe is working hard this year ! I want him in so many projects aince im not gonna see him in two years as he inlists in the army ong my oppa I wont stand that !

  31. 31 epikish

    I love noir movies. Chungmuro needs more of them. Though I don’t think LMH’s acting can pull this off. There’s always a lot of depth and duplicity in noir characters. Lots of subtle nuances are needed and unfortunately I don’t think his acting is up to par. But I should hold of my judgements.

    • 31.1 epikish


    • 31.2 Kiara

      Yea you can really see how limited he was in his first sageuk. This will make it more obvious but goodluck to him.

      • 31.2.1 LoveIt

        How does one drama translate to him being limited? Also how does that experience translate to him being weak playing a drastically different character?

        If his character in City Hunter is any indication, he will do well with this character. Since, YS is more comparable to the character description of the Gangnam Blues character, than say CY. I would also go on to say, that his portrayal of the character probably is one of the reasons they want him for this role.

        • Kiara

          Most of his dramas were fluffs. He hasn’t shown much range or dept in anything. Kim Sang Joong, Chun Ho Jin,Kim Sang Ho were worth watching CH for. I just couldn’t get into LMH’s acting.
          A gritty dramatic noir film is more heavy weight and Korean movie actors are on a different level than your usual K-drama flower boys.

  32. 32 Pops Mission

    Um, yes please!!!

  33. 33 lara

    just stick up with drama -_-

  34. 34 Matinsoleil

    Bring it on more Lee Min HoT!!!!

  35. 35 kpoppin'

    JB, you certainly aren’t the only one needing a dose of Lee Min Ho(t) every now and then. 😀 If he gets more movie opportunities I’ll be happy for him, but I do hope he’ll still appear on the small screen every now and then for us fans XD

  36. 36 fun-lugha

    Guess he’s cramming them in before the millitary beckons 🙁

    • 36.1 Waiting

      If he is the only son and had past injuries, will he be required to go? I get the impression he does not have to go but I could be wrong. I think it would do him good if he did, however. At the moment I can’t picture him in a really gritty film like My Way. City Hunter is the only work that seems to break that dapper image he usually has going on. For once I love to see him play someone poor who stays that way.

      • 36.1.1 lemondoodle

        He has to go if he wants to continue his career. Trying to get out of your MS ruins careers and images forever. It’s a big deal. If he’s injured (is he?) there is always public service, but considering how active and seemly healthy he is that would be pretty looked down upon.

  37. 37 Oluchi

    But there will be no hottie on TV if lee min ho, Kim bum, Kim Hyun joong and the rest Of his buddies head to the army at the same time.

  38. 38 Waiting

    I have been waiting for him to do this and really s-t-r-e-t-c-h as an actor!!!! I really want to see what he can bring and will be excited to watch.

    Well, if we do lose him in dramaland, hopefully he will crank out movie after movie.


    • 38.1 Waiting

      I forgot to add… I am already trying to imagine the hair and clothes…oh please, no BOF hair!! The bell-bottoms should be fun to see!

    • 38.2 SH

      He’s s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g here

      I’m kidding 😆

      • 38.2.1 Waiting

        LOL 🙂

  39. 39 PeterRabit

    Hura for good news that my favourite actor is offered new project right at the beginning of current project. It’s evidence of his talent recognized well in a busily competitive industry. I support his choosing projects that help him to vary his acting skills in various styles. A movie is good for him to take a refreshing break from several continuous years hoovering in dramaland. Really following him since Personal Taste untill now, I lay some praise for his diverse choice of projects while he still keeps his symbol style, well I should say, of caring-warming heart-covered-by-stoic-awesome look. I love you LMH because of that.

    I also agree with javabeans for him should not follow Won bin path. I with many comments above that I always looking forwards to him in dramaland.
    Anyway, it’s just news about offer, not his confirmation of taking it yet.

  40. 40 Kdramas

    I would love to see him in this role. Even though it normally takes forever for Korean movies to get subbed, I don’t think we will have this problem with a Min Ho movie. His international demand overrides all those delays and his dramas are normally subbed very quickly. I expect the same for the movie!

  41. 41 Thursdaynexxt

    Would love to see things get really gritty – am thinking along the lines of The Beat My Heart Skipped w Romain Duris (it was the shady real estate dealings that sounded familiar). Real estate and thuggery. C’mon, LMH, bring it! 🙂

  42. 42 LoveIt

    I really don’t want to get excited about this, because I am going to be really irate if he doesn’t accept this role. After watching Cruel City, I am in love with this genre, and would love to see LMH in this role.

  43. 43 Mar

    This is totally shallow, hey it happens. I do not know about in Korea, but in the States, the fashion in the 70’s was atrociously ugly. More to the point, men wore much more fitted clothing. Just saying.

  44. 44 Luzie

    Still don’t get the hype about this guy.

  45. 45 Stuart

    Isn’t there a good chance that this film, if he does it, could be his last project before military service? If so, I hope it’s a hit, both in terms of quality and commercial success

  46. 46 PPasun

    Based on what he says and how he acts not only on screen but off as well, LMH is a mature, thoughtful and considerate person. And his maturity comes from the difficulties he went thru when he was young. He was really serious about being a pro soccer player, but had to give up that dream when he was injured at a young age. He was in a pretty bad car accident in his early 20s which required him to be hospitalized for over a year and at some point, he didn’t even know whether he could ever walk again. Even now, I hear that he cannot use one of his legs too much (so in CH, all his kicks were made with the leg he could use). He has overcome all these difficulties and grown into a beautiful actor and person.

    As a fan, I would cheer for him whatever role or genre he decides to take on. I think he is very wise when it comes to career choices.

  47. 47 passingby

    i’ve been living in a rock…but there’s ‘rough play’ i’m interested in. is it an indie film?

  48. 48 lily

    I like him! He has good reputation

  49. 49 Faith

    Ahhh finally Minho is going to be a gangster!! I loved him in city hunter but I think he talent truly shined as Choi Young in Faith. CY still remains my favorite character of all time but I get the trekmy that this gangster with a tragic life will come pretty close 😀 anyway whatever he is in I’ll support him (afterall I lived through heirs just for him) you are AWESOME Min ho!! Keep it up!

Add a Comment

Stay civil, don't spoil, and don't feed the trolls! Read the commenting policy here.

 characters available. Comments will be truncated at the word limit.