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Lee Byung-heon, potential Joseon king

Lee Byung-heon is currently in the States filming his next Hollywood project, G.I. Joe 2, but a few reports are making the rounds that he’s eyeing a historical film for his next project, I Am the Joseon King.

It would be his first sageuk role, which initially surprised me since you’d figure that anybody who’s been in the business for as many years and projects as Lee has would’ve scored a historical drama or movie at some point. But thinking on it, I’m mostly used to seeing him in action movies or dark thrillers, like A Bittersweet Life, JSA, The Good The Bad The Weird, IRIS, I Saw the Devil…

According to the CEO of Realize Pictures, which is producing the film, the casting is very close to being finalized, with a rep from investor CJ E&M stating that Lee’s casting likelihood was “higher than ever.” (Lee’s side is more circumspect, unsurprisingly, stating that he’s considering the role but hasn’t decided, etc etc etc).

If he takes the movie, Lee would play Gwanghaegun, the 15th-century king also known as Prince Gwanghae… who meets a low-born man who looks exactly like him. Oh, are we literally doing Prince and the Pauper now? I’m fairly certain this would be a dramatic piece, perhaps akin to The Man in the Iron Mask, but I can’t help imagining a bumbling farce replete with the citizen being treated to royal makeover and the king falling in love with a pretty girl fron the village. (No doubt the Cinderella Man mental association doesn’t help, where Kwon Sang-woo played two roles in the modern-day version of the Prince/Pauper.) Hm. Now I’m interested. Can we make this a comedy, please?

Filming scheduling has yet to be determined for I Am the Joseon King; likely it’s contingent on Lee’s busy schedule. He plans to be done with G.I. Joe 2 filming by mid-December, which is looking at a summer 2012 release in the U.S.

Via Newsen

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it would be great but i want him as BAD! lol
I like his bad boy appealing:)
Much more attractive!

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I love him as Bad... Good was pretty smokin' hot too :D

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I have a hard time imagining him in a sageuk, to be honest, but that would be a drama worth checking out, for sure.

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it's a movie,not a drama.

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I stand corrected: That would be a movie worth checking out.

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So excited :)

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Hot Prince meets scruffy hot Pauper. Both happen to have the face of Lee Byung-heon. This will be a remake of Prince and the Pauper that I'd like to check out. Remember that Cinderella Man was actually decent until it turned boring.

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I can not believe he would do a hackneyed old plot like that.

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God, he was so HOT in GI Joe. Ahem- not that I watched that movie for anything but the trainwreck value, because it was on Netflix instant.

And Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

And Christopher Eccleston... anyway, back on topic. Can we PLEASE have a funny Korean Prince and the Pauper? That would make my life a million times better, and I didn't even know it until now.

Thanks for the new, guys!

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Its a shame I've only watched him in GI Joe. And I didn't even know who he was until a few weeks later when a friend and I saw Beautiful Days in a DVD shop and my friend goes "Hey isn't that the guy from GI Joe?"

Little did we know. Oh, little did we know.

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Thanks so much javabeans for writing about this. Appreciate it! ^^

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Not sure I can see him sporting a mane of glory. He seems too modern to me. But who knows? It could be worth a watch just because it's LBH. :)

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If he's showing his abs again in GI Joe 2, I'd be the first in line, summer 2012.

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hated GI Joe. the only reason i watched and stayed throughout the movie was because of him.

tbh, i can't picture him in anything sageuk but i'm still definitely going to look forward to this ^^

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I thought it was terrible but I watched it for him and Channing. No part 2 for me thank you and I dont care who is in it.

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that is just wow being in GI Joe and doing it twice is awesomeness!

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Somehow I can't picture him in anything where his character doesn't pick up a gun and shoot people at some point. He's just so sleek and badass.

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He can pick up a bow and arrow and shoot people :). I don't know if kings do that themselves in saeguks though.

I will probably be watching GI Joe 2, for the eye candy. Don't know if I'd be catching it in theaters though. I do like to support my K-hereos whenever they cross over to real-life Hollywood though. I watched Ninja Assasin for the 50th time last weekend. Is it because I like seeing them shirtless? Nah, I don't think so.

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He was outstanding in "Bittersweet Life"...luved him in "Beautiful Days", "All In", "TGTB and TW" and will probably check out GI JOE 2.

Looking forward to the sageuk.

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His English is really good so I wonder why he's back to the small screen where he does not have to speak it. How many K-characters "lived in the US" but speak horrible or very little English outside of "okay" in the dramas. Now you have a leading man who can actual speak it well.... Alas.

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That doesn't mean anything. My aunt's been living in Boston for 30 years and her accent is horrible.

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Time is telling us whether or not it means anything in the industry....

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hopefully he doesn't pick up this project. not much of a fan of korean historical dramas lol.

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A King who can pick up a sword and fight.. Storm Shadow in Sageuk. ^^

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I totally agree. ~~

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Can't watch anything w/ LBH in it; he just really rubs me the wrong way.

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I don't know why every time I see LBH, even a picture of him, my heart starts racing. I spent half of the time hyperventilating while watching All In because of his smoldering soulful eyes.
I don't want to image what will happen if I ever (*cross fingers*) stand in front of him.
This movie? Of course I'll watch it!

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O! M! G! just looking at LBH absolutely makes my day! Thanks JB!!! I love this picture.. why is he oooozing with sex appeal!!!

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The man of my dreams LBH will be awesome as THE KING. Nice to see him change up the style of roles he takes on. Absolutely adore him in everything he does.

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He'd make a hot Joseon king. No complaints :)

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