Busan: Korean Star Lee Min-ho Makes Chinese Double Bid for Fame

Fast-rising Korean star Lee Min-ho will headline two Chinese movies from Hong Kong’s indie sales and production outfit Fame Universal Entertainment.

Lee stars in “The Bittersweet,” an action thriller now in post-production, and in upcoming “F Team,” a $10 million feature adaptation of a hit reality TV series. Both will be released in the second quarter of 2016.

A Guangdong Radio & Television Station car racing series is the backbone for “F Team.” The movie has already received its shooting permit and is currently in pre-production. Co-directors are Chan Wui Ngai (director of choreographer for Bruce Lee’s “The Big Boss”) and Chan Chung Tai action director on “At The End of Daybreak”.)

The story involves members of the public and celebrities learning to pull together to form a pro-racing team. “We have a great, positive, action-adventure story that is a little different from the TV show, but with Guangdong TV on board we have the ability to use footage from the series,” said Ramy Choi, Fame Universal principal. “Aside from Lee, one of the selling points of ‘F Team’ is a key role for Leona Chin, one of China’s few top female race drivers.”

Production is headed by Zhujiang Film Group, with Fame Universal handling sales and finance. Other finance includes Dongguan City 8mm Phaedra Entertainment, Beijing R&L Cultural Entertainment, and Dizun Group.

“The Bittersweet” sees Lee pitched opposite Zhu Xuan, actress from Yonfan’s “Prince of Tears.” An international crew includes Australian cinematographer Wade Muller (“Elephant White,” “Mindfulness And Murder”) and Taiwanese production designer Chen Po-Jen (“Monga”.)

Lee, a former child star who enjoyed a long TV career, broke through into movies with his roles in “Running Man” and “The Howling.” He is one of several Korean actors and musicians eyeing bigger opportunities in the Chinese market. He recently spent two months taking an intensive Mandarin Chinese language course and performs songs in Chinese and Korean in “Bittersweet.”

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