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.
Tags: Lee Byung-heon