is swooping down on the domestic film market again after a brief hiatus involving her latest effort to expand her career outside Korea.
Jeon, who has built her Asia-wide fame with "My Sassy Girl
" (2001), is playing opposite Hwang Jung-min
in a new film, "A Man Who Was Superman
", to be released early next year.
The 26-year-old fashion icon's return to the domestic cinema scene follows the completion of "Blood: The Last Vampire
", a film that critics said marks her full-fledged debut in Hollywood. She joined the shooting of "Blood", directed by Ronny Yu, in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The film, a remake of a Japanese animation with the same title, is also expected to be released in 2008.
Jeon is using "Gianna Jun" as her official English name to increase the familiarity for English-speaking audiences, following advice that her original Korean name is hard to pronounce.
In the new Korean film project, Jeon proved her star status. In July when the shooting for "A Man Who Was Superman
" began in southern Seoul, the streets were filled with people trying to get a glimpse of Jeon.
On Wednesday, a shooting session in Haeri, Geyonggi Province, was open to the local press, and Jeon held a press conference where she said the role was harder than she had originally imagined.
"I am feeling a lot of pressure since I'm coming back to the domestic film industry", she said. "In this film, I'm depicted as a person who does not put on any make-up, which is very different from my well-known image, but in fact that's closer to my real image".
In the film, Jeon plays a documentary producer who helps out a man (played by Hwang) who believes that he is a superman who used to have, well, super-power.
But there are still concerns about her chance to prove her box-office power. Except for the blockbuster hit "My Sassy Girl
", which represents the advent of the Korean Wave throughout Asia, Jeon has not impressed the local audiences that much.
For instance, "The Uninvited
" (2003) was not so inviting, after all, with tepid reaction from the local moviegoers. In 2004, "Windstruck
" was released and the expectations were almost at a sky-high level because the film seemed to be perfected designed to maximize Jeon's charm as an innocent yet provocatively sexy girl. But the results were equally disappointing.
In 2006, Jeon tried her luck again with "Daisy"
, but despite the huge media attention toward her, the film did not make any strong impression on the local market, raising questions about her acting talent.
Even though Jeon is the most sought-after fashion icon who wins one lucrative television ad contract after another, her acting seems to have hit a plateau since "My Sassy Girl
", and critics are keeping their eyes on whether she can show any improvement in "A Man Who Was Superman
By Yang Sung-jin