The first still cut from action blockbuster “Assassination,” starring Jun Ji-hyun, Lee Jung-jae and Ha Jung-woo, was released Monday.

The photo shows Jun intently staring at something during shooting. In the film, Jun plays Ahn Ok-yun, a top-notch sniper who is sentenced to death.

Directed by Choi Dong-hun, “Assassination” follows the assassination of a member of a pro-Japanese party carried out in Shanghai during the Japanese takeover of Korea.

Film buffs have high expectations of the upcoming film, as this will mark Jun’s return to the big-screen after her staggering success with drama series “My Love from the Star.”

“Assassination” is slated for release this summer.

KPOP Herald

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Hallyu star Lee Min-ho’s followers on Chinese microblogging site Weibo hit 26 million on Saturday, reflecting his surging popularity in China.

The-27-year-old heartthrob’s Weibo followers hit the mark after he shared a photo of his big-screen debut film “Gangnam 1970” on Saturday, outpacing top-rated Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (21.7 million).

Lee’s followers on Weibo already surpassed 20 million in March last year and have been gradually increasing.

Notably, the number of followers spiked after the premiere of his film noir “Gangnam 1970” released in Korea on Jan.21.

Chinese news outlets have attributed the increase to the Chinese fan’s anticipation toward his new film.

Meanwhile, “Gangnam 1970” is close to notching up 1 million viewers nationwide since its release.

KPOP Herald

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Performing alone on stage is still new to 25-year-old vocalist Jung Yong-hwa, who debuted as part of quartet CNBLUE in 2010.

“It feels like my real debut. I feel so nervous,” Jung said in an interview ahead of his performance on KBS’ “Music Bank” on Jan. 23.

“Taking to the stage alone doesn‘t feel real. I have no one to play with, no one to joke with,” he said.

The singer-turned-actor released his debut solo EP “One Fine Day” on Jan. 20. Jung composed and wrote all 10 songs on the album.

“One Fine Day” brings him one step closer to his dream, he said.

“It is like a dream to work with superstars I long admired on TV,” he said.

For his 10-track album, he teamed up with veteran rocker Yoon Do-hyun, rapper Yang Dong-geun and established producer-guitarist Peter Malick.

“I am honored that these top stars are giving me a hand for my performance,” he said. “It is just unbelievable.”

Jung, however, has a long road ahead.

“I feel more burden than joy because people think of me as no more than a member of CNBLUE,” he said.

“To dispel the perception, I will continue to broaden my presence with more solo albums.”

KPOP Herald

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Infinite’s Dong Woo and Hoya shared that they have been getting along with each other without problems since they had a big fight three years ago.

On January 26, Infinite H (Dong Woo, Hoya) attended the press conference and showcase for the second mini album Fly Again at AX Korea in Gwangjin-gu. During the press conference, Dong Woo was asked if he had any trouble getting along with Hoya, to which he answered, “No.”

Dong Woo said, “I had a big fight with Hoya about three years ago when we were promoting The Chaser. We haven’t fought ever since. We actually got closer to each other afterwards.”

Hoya also stated that he worked with Dong Woo without any problems, expressing satisfaction with his partner.

Dong Woo and Hoya took the lead in writing the rap for Infinite H’s second mini album Fly Again. On top of that, Verbal Jint, SanE, Bunkey, Phantom’s Sanchez, Lovelyz’ Ryu Soo Jung participated in featuring, making the music more abundant.

Infinite H released the second album Fly Again as well as the title song Pretty on January 26.


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After School’s Nana opened up on her dating history.

The January 27 broadcast of SBS’ Roommate 2 will feature a ‘Girl Talk’ session with Lee Guk Joo, Girls’ Generation (SNSD)’s Sunny and Nana sharing stories on their love life in room one.

The three girls who gathered in room one started sharing their stories related to dating when Lee Guk Joo straightforwardly asked, “Have you ever dated a celebrity?”

Nana, in particular, found Lee Guk Joo and Sunny’s stories interesting and revealed her ideal type saying, “I like guys with aegyo.”

The three girls then started talking about gifts they have received and Nana said, “I remember the handmade photobook the most,” as she reminisced on the past. Then Lee Guk Goo asked her, “Was he a celebrity?” which reportedly surprised Nana.

The show is set to air on January 27 at 11:15 p.m. (KST)


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Lee Jong Suk has been selected as the model of Cheil Industries Inc.’s character casual brand MVIO in Korea and China.

Unlike the existing male clothing brands with formal styles, MVIO newly suggests slim-fit menswear with trendy and witty designs, gaining popularity from young men.

An affiliate of MVIO revealed that Lee Jong Suk has been selected as the exclusive brand model because his outstanding physical traits as a model-turned-actor, his shy smile that captures the hearts of women and acting ability, coincided with the brand image.

Lee Jong Suk has been selected as the model of numerous brands since he starred in SBS’ Pinocchio.

The affiliate stated, “On January 8, MVIO has opened a life style store with a hotel concept in COEX, which has many Chinese visitors, and will be presenting stores with complex cultural space in China as well. We are anticipating that by appointing Lee Jong Suk as the model, who has been gathering popularity as the next generation’s hallyu star with unique acting ability and outstanding fashion style, we can promote the brand not only in Korea but to Chinese consumers as well.”


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In Korea, one of the world’s most wired and tech-savvy countries, music and entertainment mingles with futuristic gimmicks.

Holograms and virtual reality technologies are being increasingly deployed as an alternative to live performances as Seoul seeks to entertain the burgeoning group of K-pop fans visiting the home country of their idols.

Although it may sound creepy to some, hologram concerts and virtual spaces where fans can digitally interact with their idols are a real business here, with the government planning to invest 240 billion won ($222 million) by 2020 to nurture related industries.

“Holographic concert venues are a wonderful example of the creative economy, as they combine K-pop, the mainstay of hallyu, and digital technologies to create a new revenue source,” said Yoon Jong-rok, vice minister of Korea’s Ministry of Science, ICT and Future Planning.

Illustrating how K-pop embraces futuristic technology is SMTOWN@coexartium, which SM Entertainment, one of the country’s top K-pop idol generating agencies, opened with much fanfare earlier this month.

Located in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul, the five-story complex is a one-stop shop for all things SM Entertainment, K-pop memorabilia and the latest in hologram programing.

Opened on Jan. 14, the complex is a K-pop fan’s paradise come to life, with every inch of the space oozing K-pop splendor. Not surprisingly, it has already become a must visit site for K-pop pilgrims.

Much more than just a location to purchase albums, the building features an in-house virtual reality studio, a cafe, a K-pop merchandise shop and a hologram theater.

One of the complex’s main attractions is the SMTOWN Studio, a virtual space where guests can experience first-hand what it’s like to be a star.

The studio allows visitors options to receive a total makeover prior to a professional photo shoot. Fans can also have the one-of-a-kind chance to meet their favorite SM artists ― or more ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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Ha Jung-woo is a versatile entertainer, challenging himself in acting, directing and even painting. He has received much public acclaim since debuting in entertainment in 1988.

But the 37-year-old actor has never attempted to take on two roles at the same time - until recently when he directed and starred in “Chronicle of a Blood Merchant,” a film based on best-selling Chinese novelist Yu Hua’s book of the same title.

“I prayed every day that the movie would work out well,” Ha told the JoongAng Ilbo, an affiliate of the Korea JoongAng Daily, in a recent interview.

The movie, which opened on Jan. 14 in domestic theaters, is a family drama set in the 1950s. It features actor Ha as Heo Sam-kwan, who sells blood to earn a living for his family, including his beautiful wife Ok-ran (Ha Ji-won) and three children. They lead a happy life - until Heo realizes that his first son is not his own.

In the movie, Heo is an immature adult who refuses to be called “father” when it is revealed that his first son is not his. But that immaturity becomes hard to hate when Ha plays the character, infusing him with a good dose of vitality and humor, backed by a fluent local dialect.

“In my directorial debut ‘Fasten Your Seatbelt’ [2013], I realized that I made a movie that was only enjoyable to me, which in part was because my directions to the actors were insufficient,” he said.

“Since I was the actor in ‘Chronicle,” there were no such misunderstandings.”

Being prepared to the fullest as a director prior to shooting was Ha’s strategy in pulling off his acting role. He revealed that he shot 70 percent of the movie with a handheld camera by himself before production began.

When asked about any difficulties he went through ..... (article cut to save bandwidth)

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The Korean film “Han Gong-ju” was chosen as the best domestic film of last year by the nation’s journalists.

The Korean Film Reporters Association said Monday that 67 journalists who cover film selected the independent movie as last year’s best local flick. The low-budget film set in a high school is based on a true story of a teenage girl who was the victim of gang rape.

Although the actual award ceremony will be held on Thursday night at the Korea Press Center in central Seoul, the association unveiled the full list of winners Monday.

Actress Chun Woo-hee, pictured left, who played the lead role in “Han Gong-ju,” grabbed the best actress award while Choi Min-sik of “The Admiral: Roaring Currents” earned the best actor award.

Best supporting actor went to actor Yoo Hae-jin of “The Pirates” and best supporting actress went to Jo Yeo-jeong of “Obsessed.”

Singer and actor Park Yu-cheon, a a member of the K-pop trio JYJ, was selected as the best new actor for his role in “Haemoo.”

Meanwhile, indie film “My Love, Don’t Cross That River,” which set a record by bringing in more than four million moviegoers, received the indie film of the year award. “Interstellar,” which attracted 10 million moviegoers, received the foreign film of the year award.

JoongAng Daily

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K-pop boy group B1A4 topped the Oricon Singles Daily Chart on Monday in Japan with “Shiroi Kiseki,” according to its agency.

According to WM Entertainment, the boy group’s agency, the album was originally released on Jan. 21 in Japan, but it topped the chart five days after the release of the group’s album.

“Shiroi Kiseki,” meaning “white miracle” in Korean, was composed and written by Jinyoung, the lead vocalist of the group.

“It is quite meaningful to rank first on the music chart because five days have passed already since its release in Japan,” said an official from WM Entertainment.

Jingyoung is also leading a prolific career outside the music scene. He is currently starring in the drama series “Persevere, Goo Hae Ra.”

JoongAng Daily

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