Korean actor trio ride to Western

Kim recruits three top-tier thesps for film

SEOUL — Three of South Korea’s top male stars have signed on for director Kim Jee-woon’s hotly anticipated Korean-style Western “The Good, the Bad and the Weird.”

Production company Barunson announced the Sergio Leone-inspired Western will star hot thesps Lee Byung-heon (“A Bittersweet Life”) as “the good”; Jung Woo-sung (“The Restless”) as “the bad”; and Song Kang-ho (“The Host”) as “the weird.”

Casting of the three top actors turns the pic into the biggest showcase of South Korea’s star system in recent memory.

The ambitious $10 million production will be set in Manchuria during the early 1900s, building off a string of Korean genre films from the 1970s that combined the aesthetics of the Western with outlaw movements aligned against Japanese colonial forces.

However, latest pic is expected to include more humor, along the lines of helmer’s early work “The Foul King” and “The Quiet Family.”

Pic is scheduled to shoot from April to June in China, with delivery planned for early 2008. Seoul-based seller Cineclick Asia will handle presales at Berlin’s EFM.

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