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'Promise' Takes Korea's Jang Dong-gun to the World

2005/05/15 Source

Jang Dong-gun, the winner of last year's Blue Dragon Award for best leading actor, stepped on the international stage when The Promise by world-famous Chinese director Chen Kaige premiered at the Cannes International Film Festival to a packed house. The promotional party for the pan-Asian fantasy epic on Friday at the Chateau de la Napoule gave guests a 15-minute video sneak preview that triggered a storm of applause from some 300 film distributors from all over the world.

Jang is in the spotlight along with director Chen Kaige and co-stars Cecilia Cheung, Hiroyuki Sanada and Nicholas Tse. Guests said Jang showed international caliber and with his charisma proved himself a perfect fit for the starring role.

Dubbed an Asian "The Lord of the Rings", the epic film of a fateful triangle between legendary slave Kunlun (Jang), imperial concubine Qingcheng (Cheung), and General Guangming (Hiroyuki Sanada) unfolds across vast battle fields in ancient China. Three years of planning and production costs of US$ 30 million have been invested on the film, a joint production between Korea, China and the United States. Korean producers Showeast put up 10 percent of the total.

If the film had been made in Hollywood, it would have cost more than US$ 140 million. But thanks to support from the Chinese government, which even built roads for the shooting of the film, the production crew were able to save both money and time.

Jang suffered sunstroke several times during filming but displayed great enthusiasm for the movie until the very end, learning Chinese to record his dialogue himself. The Promise, a thrilling story on a grand scale, is scheduled to debut in Korea and China simultaneously in December.

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