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Lee Byung-heon lands role in Terminator: Genesis

Mega Holly- and Hallyu- wood star Lee Byung-heon has been cast as a central character in the reboot of the Terminator series, Terminator: Genesis. While the details around the role are unknown, Lee Byung-heon will collaborate with Arnold Schwarzenegger, who is reprising his role as Terminator, in the fifth film of the franchise.

Schwarzenegger recently worked with South Korean director Kim Ji-woon on the movie The Last Stand (2013), and perhaps it was his favorable experience that led him to work with Lee Byung-heon (who has appeared in three Kim Ji-woon films). At the time, when asked about working with a foreign director, Schwarzenegger said cheekily that he wondered prior to production, “How do you take someone with so much talent and bring him to America and not have the Americans screw him up?”

While Schwarzenegger was discussing the ability of big studios to drastically modify a director’s work, I’ve been impressed with Lee Byung-heon’s ability to connect with American and foreign audiences. He’s successfully navigated from television dramas to Chungmuro to Hollywood and back, and is perhaps the only South Korean entertainer who has paralleled his domestic success in the U.S. and across the globe, resonating with viewers regardless of where they are domiciled.

On paper, his projects and the sequencing of those projects don’t make sense, but collectively, he’s built a global brand, all while maintaining his celebrity status in Korea. In a combination of acting versatility and an eye for quality projects, he followed up his Hollywood debut as Storm Shadow in 2009’s G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra with the drama series IRIS (’nuff said), three Chungmuro films (Gwanghae, The Man Who Became King, Kim Ji-woon’s I Saw The Devil, The Influence), a Japanese miniseries (Diplomat Kosaku Kuroda), and a return to Hollywood with the second G.I. Joe film and last year’s Red 2, which also starred Bruce Willis and Helen Mirren.

Other actors cast in the Terminator reboot include Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke as Sarah Connor, Jason Clarke (no relation to the actress; Zero Dark Thirty, The Great Gatsby) as John Connor, and Jai Courtney (Divergent) as Kyle Reese.

Alan Taylor, director of Thor: The Dark World, will helm Terminator: Genesis. Once the details are finalized, Lee Byung-heon will depart for the States, as filming begins in early May.

Via Newsen, Seoul Economy

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The man's got his act together. I'd like to see him in something where he talks a bit more than in GI Joe.

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I believe it is very hard for Asians to make it into Hollywood. No matter how famous they are in Asia, they always end up playing the Asian stereotypical roles in the films, which doesn't really allow them to shine as an actor and showcase their craft. IMO. Good luck to LBH though. Wonder if he'll ever return to the small screen.

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I'm willing to bet Lee Byunghoon will play the villain.

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even though LBH has been cast mostly as villian role like Storm Shadow in G.I Joe movies, in RED 2 he was given a role as a villian character that turns into a hero character who helps the hero team to fight against the baddies which is not bad, i bet he'll slowly manage to change his image as a villian to a hero, i hope that in the future he is cast in some romance movie or mystery/suspense movie rather than action all the time, in that way he'll be able to show his acting chops, but still i have to hand it to him for being able to impress the big name directors who are casting him into big budget movies, LBH himself said he's going to hollywood with a mindset of a rookie, which means he'll take what he can and try to impress through what he's being given, G.I Joe movies were both high profile movies as well as RED 2 which starred Bruce Willis and John Malkovich, and this movie starring Arnold is not a low profile movie either, i say he's doing very well...

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Both were popcorn action movies but most actors start from the bottom and work their way up.
He is doing the right thing, improving his English (major plus). He is doing well in interviews and seems to understand the questions and answer each accordingly. Rain could use some improvement here.

He is gaining non Asian fans especially with the action/comic fan-boys which is great because they are the one that watches these kind of movies.

He is humble and works really hard to prove himself. He is most likely to succeed but it'll take time.

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Don't count on it.

There are many talented Asian-American and Asian-Canadian actors who haven't broken out of supporting role, if not stereotypical character roles.

As for LBH, don't think he has the right look.

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I think you forgot that Jackie Chan and Jet Li are also Asians.

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But they've been type casted too.. I haven't seen many Jet Li movies (I know I should) but I've watched most of Jackie Chan's (Hollywood's) growing up and even though I liked them, it was always the same role, the same genre

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Ken Watanabe is respected in Hollywood. He gets good roles in good movies with A-list actors, directors, writers etc.

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I agree Ken Watanabe took some interesting roles. I just hope that Asian actors that do go to hollywood get interesting roles or else I think they're better off home then waste their time there.

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While Watanabe has primarily played villains and/or is cast in period films - he has been able to branch out some.

But at the same time - these foreign Asian actors always play Foreigners and/or recent immigrants (unlike the Brits or Aussie actors who play Americans all the time) - and that just reinforces the whole Asians = foreigners/not really Americans stereotype.

And oh, it's much easier for Asian actresses (both foreign and non-foreign) to break into Hollywood even if it consists of playing the white hero's love interest.

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Jackie Chan and Jet Li play pretty much the same roles whether in Hollywood, Hong Kong or China. Cookiecutter action kungfu dude. I know of only one Jet Li movie (Ocean Heaven) that wasn't action.

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Not really. I had an asian friend while in college and I remember watching quite a few Jackie Chan non- english movies that were VERY different from his typical hollywood movies.

I was very shocked but he does have a varied portfolio for his asian movies

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I knew someone would mention them, but I did not forget about those two. They're both extremely successful in Hollywood BECAUSE of their genre, respectively. (Kung fu/fighter). However, even in Asia, they're famous for those types of roles already. I never said there weren't any successful Asian actors, I just said they typically have a harder time in Hollywood due to the typecast.

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Chan and Li were stuck doing action/wuxia flicks and even as the "hero" - they never really "got the girl" - but of course, in "Shanghai Knights" - the white hero got the (Asian) girl.

Chan actually got pissed when he wasn't able to move on beyond the action films but really, what was he expecting?

And rather than have foreign Asian actors, I'd much rather see Asian-American and Asian-Canadian actors make it in Hollywood.

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That's definitely why Glenn from the Walking Dead is such a breath of fresh air because he strays from stereotypical/typecasted "asian" roles. It helps that he connects a lot with his korean/american heritage (parents moved to America) :)

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good actor, but terminator???? stop now the four was horrible.

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I knoooow right. Lol. Oh well, at least he's doing well in hollywood. I wonder if he'll have more dialogues...

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and arnold is way too old for this now...its just not clicking...wish lee got a better project..

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Arnold is old but he is not human in the movie. With Cameron back as the writer he is definitely going to explain that. We may see a transformation of an old cyborg to the new and improved killer machine that was in the first movie.

Lee Byung-heon's character might be the first terminator.

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Lee Byung-heon and Emilia Clarke (Yay). I'm not excited about the rest of the cast. Thor was great with Kenneth Branagh. I didn't care for Alan Taylor's Thor. Tom Hiddleston (Loki) was the best thing about the 2nd movie.

Schwarzenegger .....just go away already.

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Tom Hiddleston is really something. He was the villain but you still want to believe him :P

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Yea forget the good guys. I was rooting for the villain cause he was that good.

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Tom Hiddleston is glorious and adorable. The bad-boy complex some of us get is totally understandable, when said bad boys are played by the likes of him.

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It's kind of funny to me that Emilia Clarke is playing Sarah Connor here, when her castmate Lena Headey played the same role in The Sarah Connor Chronicles (which was actually quite good).

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"Thor" was uneven w/ the whole love story angle feeling rushed/forced.

Tom Hiddleston was the best part of the film (and while a smaller part, was great in "The Avengers" as well).

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So what will be his role in Terminator? All the other characters are named already.

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It's a reboot, going back to the beginning before the time-traveling began ( Genesis). I'm guessing Lee Byung-heon's character will be from the future like the main villain.

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It is now April 2nd where I live but somehow this news still sounds suspect.

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after reading this, i just really want game of thrones to premier already.

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Wonder whey they don't just use an Asian American actor. I would think using Lee Byung heon would cost more, since he's something like the highest paid actor in Korea?

I just don't see the hype about him.

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Believe it or not its cheaper to use foreign actors. He is worth a lot in Korea but not in the States.

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Not really - American/Canadian actors would die to get a chance at a role in a Hollywood film.

They cast LBH the same reason why Hollywood is casting more Chinese actors in their films - for the Asian market.

Hollywood basically doesn't care about the Asian-American market b/c they know that AAs basically watch what white Americans do.

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Oh give the guy a little bit of credit. Maybe he works his ass off and is doing a good job and they want him in their movies. He did great with what he was given in his first movie so they resurrected his character so he can return to do more. He was cast in Red 2 by Bruce Willis recommendation and this project by one of the producers from his previous movie.

The box-office success of a film is based on its domestic earnings rather than overseas earnings Why? because the studio doesn't get much money back after all the expenses is taken out from overseas promotions, dubbing cost for over 30+ languages, foreign exchange etc etc etc.

Yes is popular in Asia but that's not the only reason why they keep hiring him and each time they do his screen-time increases.

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Do you think other actors don't "work their arses off"?

And frankly, it doesn't matter that LBH or another Asian actor works their arses off.

He may become the "go to" foreign Asian actor (like Watanabe) when a film has an (foreign) Asian part (just like how Ken Jeong has become the "go to" actor when a film calls for a "funny little Asian man" role), but he won't be headlining any Hollywood film soon.

And no, Hollywood is increasingly relying on foreign ticket sales - that's why they are releasing fewer films w/ more of them being action films (since that's easier to sell to the int'l market).

It's the same reason the producers of the remake of "Red Dawn" (this time w/ the baddies being Asian) went thru the trouble of digitally altering the Asian invaders from being Chinese to N. Koreans.

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Never heard of a lazy actor but you seems to apply that he is hired only because he is popular in Asia.

Domestic earnings > overseas earnings, end of story.

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Also a reason would be to foreign market, while he may not be well known in U.S. in Asia he is well known and these U.S. movies some times do better over seas than here...and having LBH would be a plus than an unknown Asian American actor...I agree with Kiara...they are getting some one who is highly marketable and they probably not paying as high...

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his agent will make sure the pay is comparable to what he can command in a similar project in Korea. plus, working conditions are plush in the US compared to East Asia. you get great catering, great trailers, set working hours, etc. I heart Jay Chou gush about his experience working in Hollywood on a Taiwanese talk show, and it was def. superior compared to home conditions.

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Yeah, I remember that Maggie Q talked about how surprised she was, when she got her own trailer while filming.

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Unfortunately, that's why Asian-American/Canadian actors remain so unknown.

The best known is Lucy Liu (yuck), probably followed by John Cho (basically for the "Star Trek" reboot).

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I've never been a big Terminator fan, and my favorite Schwarzenegger movie is Jingle All the Way, to be honest. (If you haven't seen it, you should, it's hilarious!) I did see The Last Stand and, while it was really corny, and not all the actors were great, I did enjoy it. I watched it with my family and my dad loved it. Daniel Henney was also in it.

Lee Byung-heon is a phenomenal actor, and one of the best parts about the first G.I. Joe movie (I've not seen the second). I'm looking forward to seeing him in RED 2, as well. I think he's done a remarkable job in transitioning into Hollywood, better than most South Korean actors and actresses that I can think of off hand which is, like, one actor: Rain. I hope Lee Byung-heon has an amazing career playing more than just typical Asian characters, because he is deserving of so much more. And I get the feeling that he may play another Terminator, whatever those things are called. I just think he will. I hope I'm wrong, though.

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I haven't seen any U.S. films LBH has appeared in, but he's been in supporting roles (with big name U.S. actors/directors=higher chance of box office hits) whereas Rain and Jeon Ji Hyun tried to transition into Hollywood in lead roles which is more difficult.

Not that LBH doesn't deserve all the credit given above, and I think it's smart that he's humble about his transition and slowly building his reputation, but I'll truly believe it when he's in a lead role (which I hope will happen in the future).

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I am asking this out of curiosity: how successful were Rain and JJH in transitioning into Hollywood in lead roles? Did their movies do well? (And I am aware that a movie doing well is not the sole responsibility of the lead actor and lead actress)
Are they likely to have lead roles (in Hollywood) in the future again?

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I think it would be hard for any well known Asian actors to break into Hollywood (or the West) in a lead role and have a box office hit if English is their second language. Both Jackie Chan and Jet Li, as mentioned above by other commentators, are rare exceptions regardless of their English speaking skills b/c they were already very well established domestically and internationally for their signature action style/martial arts films. They had a strong following in the West and their martial arts talent were easily marketable.

I don't know the exact numbers for Rain and JJH's films, but what LBH did differently from them was that he started in supporting roles, chose films that had potential to be box office hits (i.e. G.I. Joe film is based on the popular G.I. Joe toy franchise, Red 2 is sequel to box office hit Red), and worked with well known directors and A-list actors (i.e. G.I. Joe: Retaliation and - can't go wrong starring with Bruce Willis, Red 2 - Bruce Willis and star studded cast).

It seems like Rain will be in a 2014 film called The Prince with Bruce Willis and other A-list actors, which is a smart move. But if he wants to continue working in Hollywood, he should also improve his English speaking/comprehension skills in interviews.

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Rain's Ninja Assassin made $38,122,883 (domestic) and $23,478,397 (overseas). It was produced by Warner Brothers with a 40million budget and it was shown in over 2,500 theatres.

JJH's Blood:The Last Vampire was a not a Hollywood production and it was only shown in 20 theatres so it didn't make much at all, only $257,412 in the US but it made $5,617,118 overseas.

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Thank you news and Kiara for the info. I appreciate it.

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I hope they give him a good role, not just a typical soldier type with less talking...because he was great in IRIS...

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I have no hope for this movie. Arnold being terminator is beyond ridiculous,at his age. It would have been better if he was the new terminator. You don't need to say much in that role. Just look cool and aim right.

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Well they tried with Christian Bale in Terminator Salvation but it ended up being an epic fail in the box-office. Nothing beats the 1st one. Maybe they just need to s t o p making more unless James Cameron write/direct it.

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It's the Austrian accent we're stuck on. Get some strapping farm boy in a small Austrian town to come to Hollywood, and we're gold.

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I'm tired of him though but the truth is, he is The Terminator.
A bit of good news, James Cameron is going to be one of the writers.

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I love LBH…I respect his Asian and his American works. He is an amazing actor and brings so much depth and realism to each of the characters that he portrays.

HOWEVER.

I am a more than a *little* concerned. As much as *I* may love LBH, he is entering into the American Movie Making (*makes horrible gagging noises*) Machine, and this has me feeling uneasy for many reasons.
A few are that:

1.) Most Asian men are either the "BAD GUY" (Is it because he looks or sounds…different? Well, EVIL he must be!)
2.) Or, he is type cast as the Second (or lesser) male lead. A side-kick type character of little or no real character depth.
3.) He is immediately expected to be a martial artist. No character probing here. He is either motivated by good or evil. And he knows martial arts. Thanks Hollywood.
4.) He NEVER gets the girl.
5.) EVER.

So, Lee Byung Hun. Please change these things. I know it is an enormous (and utterly unfair) request to make of you. But I believe THAT MUCH in you. THAT much.

I lub you.

Best of luck!

MissDVM

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You're talking about Jay Chou, basically.

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Totally agree. It's such a shame too. I wish they would just ignore Hollywood and aim to make better films in their Asia.

It would be great to see more pan-Asian collaborations as well. Anything that can challenge Hollywood stereotypes will be good.

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While it's improved a little over the past 2 decades - we see a lot more roles for Asian males such as in "The Hangover" films, the "Oceans 11" films (short, heavily accented Asian character), "The Matrix" (whole series is filled with martial arts and we get some old Asian guy with keys?), "Fargo" (desperate lonely Asian guy), not to mention on numerous TV shows such as "2 Broke Girls."

Kinda amazing that we don't ever see an Asian-American couple on TV (if they are Asian and a couple - they pretty are much foreign such as on "Lost" and even there, the writers had to be talked out of having Sun leave Jin for the black guy).

And speaking of that - there have actually been more American BM/AF couples on TV shows than AM/AF - "ER", "Grey's Anatomy."

Not that there's anything wrong w/ that but it's a rarity compared to Asian-Asian couples in the US - but that's what you get when the default gender for blacks on the screen is male and the default gender for Asians is female (the one racial group where females actually get more parts than males).

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I saw him in both G.I Joe films & Red 2. I thought he was awsome. Especially in Red 2. He had a cute (in a manly way. Lol) bromance with Bruce Willis. Hope he gets another good role there. My only criticism is that his english line delivery isn't as fluent. But over all Goodluck to him! Fighting! ?

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OMG OMG OMG I love Jai Courtney! I love Terminator! I love the Mother of Dragons!!! So awesome he's in this! Is there gonna be a Comic Con panel??? I will crash CC for this panel. Who's with me!? \(*0*)/

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LBY is overated. and yucks, Arny in his reprising role in the Terminator?? America will 'crucify' him! LOL

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Well it says it is a reboot, so, I'm guessing Arny is not going to be the terminator, we have a young Sarah Connor cast for this, and an older John Connor, that means, the first movie with a normal Sarah Connor being chased by the T100 and flashes from the future showing John Connor, I think LBH might be the terminator.

"Sarah Connor?" - "yes" .... *booom!! there goes the lady*
I can easily see LBH on that role.

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Eh, LBY is a great actor but too bad that Hollywood is typecasting him in action movies only. His English is pretty good; so he can pull off comedies and other genres.

Nevertheless, good for him. Hopefully one day Hollywood will give him a chance to truly showcase his acting prowess.

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Soooo happy for him ! I hope this opens korea more to hollywood and other actors can be too ! Ive heared specially this year of a lot of american korean cooperation in this industry maybe to cover up political stuff !
Hope this get my oppa lee min ho to Hollywood some day *after magically leaning english ofcourse*

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I am a huge fan of LBH and have watched his whole career grow and flourish. He is doing in Hollywood as he did in the beginning of his career in South Korea, getting his foot in the door. When he started out as an actor he took roles that would be laughable today. He kept at it until he was on solid ground and was recognized as the amazing actor that he is. Over the years, he's been more careful of the roles he chooses and excels in everything he touches. He just keeps getting better and better. He's not going to be Tae Kwon do guy forever in America, mark my words. By the way, he's completely fluent in English with no discernible accent.

Plus, he's still a hottie. Great picture!

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LBY is a talented actor but always thought he was a bit of a "fish face" - like Lee Jong-suk and McCauley Culkin,

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