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Jang Dong-gun Poised to Take China With 'Promise'

2005/08/11 Source

Korean star Jang Dong-gun stands poised to take China by storm when The Promise, a pan-Asian production surrounded by massive advance hype debuts on some 500 screens there on Dec.15. "The biggest release ever was for "Hero", which debuted on some 400 screens", co-producer and domestic copyright owner Showeast president Kim Dong-joo said. "That the film is being given such a wide release at the height of the Chinese theater season shows just how much confidence the Chinese have in the film's promotion".

The Promise will debut on the same day in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well -- a chance for Jang to secure his position as a major "Korean Wave" star.

The W30-billion (US$30 million) fantasy action film aimed at the world market is directed by Chinese-born heavyweight Chen Kaige. Other leads in the story of love, friendship, betrayal, fantasy and action centered around a mysterious "book of fate" are taken by Japanese actor Hiroyuki Sanada and Hong Kong star Cecilia Cheung. Jang plays the legendary slave Kunlun, who is faster than light and stronger than an ox.

Originally scheduled to debut in Korea on Dec. 15 as well, ShowEast is considering a new date because the blockbuster "Typhoon", also starring Jang, is set for release on the same day.

"The simultaneous release in China, Taiwan and Hong Kong was a contract condition, so it would not be easy to change the release dates and we could suffer great losses", Kim Dong-joo said. "But on a broader level, we are looking for ways to allow both films to survive, so we are looking at either advancing or delaying the domestic release date of The Promise by a week or two".

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