Himalaya revived, now starring Hwang Jung-min, Jung Woo
This is an interesting re-casting, given that I had just assumed the movie Himalaya was dead once its two leads, Kim Myung-min and Lee Min-ki, dropped the project last year when its production was delayed. But now the project is back on track, having cast Hwang Jung-min (A New World, Veteran) and Jung Woo (Answer Me 1994) and now gearing up for production.
Himalaya is based on the true story of a 2004 expedition to Mt. Everest in which one team member died and another, the team captain, risked his life to retrieve his body. Jung Woo will be playing the part of deceased climber Park Mu-taek; Hwang Jung-min will portray the leader, Uhm Hong-gil.
I’m always fascinated by roles that get replaced by other actors, particularly if the actors are very different—such as Lee Min-ki and Jung Woo in this case. But I can also totally see how both pairings would have worked together, and I find this new pairing just as strong as the original (which isn’t always the case when a project struggles and then brings in new talent). Dare I say that I even find this new pairing even more brimming with potential for conflict and emotional expressiveness? (Imagine Hwang Jung-min crying. Now imagine Jung Woo crying, then dying. Are you crying?)
Himalaya will be directed by Lee Seok-hoon, who has enjoyed recent success with the blockbuster summer action movie The Pirates (hm, I wonder if its box office success helped revive this film) and previously worked with Hwang in the hit comedy Dancing Queen. It’ll enter shoots in November and plans to release next year.
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