Yeo Jin-gu dealt a blow by Fist Fighting
I feel really bad for Yeo Jin-gu (Potato Star 2013QR3, Hwa-yi) – he’s been let go from the blockbuster production Fist Fighting, and his reps are hopping mad. The movie, a futuristic martial arts thriller which will be written and helmed by director Park Kwang-hyun (Welcome to Dongmakgol), has been mired in issues since we first heard about it in 2011 – it was to have been Jo In-sung’s comeback project after his release from the army, but after several delays, the actor withdrew his participation.
In February, it was announced that Yeo Jin-gu had signed on for the lead in the big-budget film – a joint endeavor by Chinese and Korean companies. However, rumors recently surfaced that Chinese investors, who are funding 70% of the project, were not happy with the casting. A source from the business world said, “China wants a big Hallyu star, and although Yeo Jin-gu is a talented actor and is very popular, he’s not quite at that level yet.”
What fired up the actor’s rep, however, was that it was revealed that Kim Soo-hyun had been offered the lead in March, shortly after the conclusion of You From Another Star, and after Yeo Jin-gu had already signed a contract with CJ Entertainment, the Korean company backing the film. He was rightfully pissed that the production company would approach other stars for the same role after securing his client’s involvement. He blamed them for using the young actor as a sort of insurance policy, and engaging in contradictory activities behind the scenes.
Prior to confirmation that Yeo Jin-gu had been released from the film, director Park Kwang-hyun denied receiving pressure from foreign investors regarding casting, and hinted at scheduling conflicts with Shoot My Heart as a reason why the termination rumors began. Yeo Jin-gu’s rep quickly shot down that notion, stating that there were no scheduling conflicts – Fist Fighting would’ve filmed after the actor’s work on Shoot My Heart had wrapped.
The rep went on to say, “Being let go of is fine, but I don’t understand how they could have contacted another actor without letting us know. What’s the point of a contract? They threaten actors who do not fulfill their obligations but they basically ripped the contract with my client to shreds and stomped on it. What a terrible experience for this young actor to be involved with and to learn from.”
Yeo Jin-gu had already met with the director twice and had been steadily hitting the gym and training in preparation for the role. When asked if the actor’s team would pursue legal action, his rep said he hadn’t discussed with the rest of the management company yet, but personally, he felt it would be a fruitless exercise and would only result in the rewarding of a cancellation fee. He added in a last jab that they wouldn’t want to touch that dirty money.
Kim Soo-hyun’s team, who confirmed receipt of an offer, had said a few days ago that the star was so busy on his Asian tour that he hadn’t had time to review the proposals he had received. In light of these recent developments, however, the actor is said to have quickly turned down the role, as he wasn’t aware that Yeo Jin-gu had been committed to the character and doesn’t want to get involved in the controversy (perhaps showing a little loyalty to his The Moon That Embraces The Sun younger self).
It’s undeniable that Kim Soo-hyun is hot right now, especially in China, and admittedly, Yeo Jin-gu’s most recent film (Baek Pro) was a box office flop – although he was 13 at the time it was shot, and it isn’t his fault the movie took so long to hit theaters. I can see investors insisting that filmmakers cast a sure bet versus a risky alternative, but it is really unfortunate that Yeo Jin-gu got caught up in the crossfire. That said, it may be Kim Soo-hyun’s time right now, but I’m certain Yeo Jin-gu’s will come – they both have that certain something to keep them popular in the industry for a long time, should they so desire.
- Lee Min-ki and Yeo Jin-gu partner up in Shoot My Heart
- Yoon Shi-yoon’s golf movie finally hits theaters
- Yeo Jin-gu in talks to lead fantasy blockbuster
- Oh Snap! Yeo Jin-gu, still jailbait
- Yeo Jin-gu’s photo shoot for L’Officiel Hommes
- Jo In-sung drops sci-fi action film project
- Jo In-sung plans his comeback project(s)