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June 27, 2018


Kakao M Confirms Partnerships With Acting And Advertisement Agencies


Source: Soompi by S. Park


Kakao M has officially formed partnerships with entertainment agencies.


On June 27, Kakao M shared an update following reports the day before that it was in talks to acquire entertainment agencies. Kakao M stated, “We signed a contract with BH Entertainment to acquire a portion of its shares and are in the process of establishing a partnership with Management SOOP. We also signed a contract to acquire a portion of shares of J,WIDE-Company and Ready Entertainment.”


Kakao M made strategic investments and created partnerships with three actor management agencies BH Entertainment, J,WIDE-Company, Management SOOP, and Korea’s leading advertisement model casting agency Ready Entertainment in order to globalize its content. It’s reported that Kakao has gained a competitive advantage by securing many famous actors.


BH Entertainment currently houses actors including Lee Byung Hun, Go Soo, Han Ji Min, Han Ga In, Chu Ja Hyun, Yu Xiaoguang, Yoo Ji Tae, Kim Go Eun, Park Hae Soo, Lee Ji Ah, Jang Young Nam, Lee Hee Joon, Jin Goo, Park Sung Hoon, Gong Seung Yeon, Byun Woo Suk, Karata Erika, and Sean Richard.


J,WIDE-Company’s roster of actors includes Lee Sang Yoon, Uhm Ji Won, Kim So Yeon, Kang Ye Won, Baek Jin Hee, Kim Tae Ri, Choi Daniel, and many more.


Management SOOP represents many actors such as Gong Yoo, Jeon Do Yeon, Gong Hyo Jin, Jung Yoo Mi, Nam Ji Hyun, Seo Hyun Jin, Kim Jae Wook, Lee Chun Hee, Yoo Min Kyu, Lee Jae Joon, Jung Ga Ram, and Jeon So Ni.


Kakao M is expected to play an influential role in forming a value chain across all sectors of the visual entertainment industry after its acquisition of actors who are popular at home and abroad. Through advertisement model casting agency Ready Entertainment’s Chinese subsidiary and its global network, Kakao M will also seek different ways to expand its influence.


Kakao will complete its production system and expand its value chain by targeting the global contents market through its acquired Super IP (intellectual property rights) and recruitment of famous writers and directors. The company is expected to make a strong impact on the entire visual entertainment industry.


Actors belonging to BH Entertainment, J,WIDE-Company, and Management SOOP have been consistently active and in-demand in Korea and overseas.


With the combination of the company’s new venture and existing subsidiaries Fave Entertainment, Cre.Ker Entertainment, Starship Entertainment, King Kong by Starship, Plan A Entertainment, Munhwain, and Nylon Korea, it is expected to have widespread influence across the Korean culture industry. Video contents company Nylon Korea will also strengthen its celebrity content and collaborate with Daum to increase its digital media power.


Kakao M CEO Lee Jae Wook said, “Kakao M will maximize profits by completing the value chain that consists of actors, production, and advertisement, and will quickly become the No. 1 K-Contents company. We plan to strengthen our synergy with our partner companies and start IPO [initial public offering].”


Kakao M also currently operates a video production business after running the mobile video production company Krispy Studio since last January and co-investing in the drama production company Mega Monster with Studio Dragon last May. It has also planned and produced various trendy on and offline content about beauty and fashion after it acquired Nylon Korea.


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June 26, 2018


Kakao In Talks To Acquire BH Entertainment And Management SOOP


Source: Soompi by S. Park



South Korean IT company Kakao may be venturing further into the entertainment industry by acquiring two entertainment agencies.


It was previously reported that after Kakao acquired Loen Entertainment and launched Kakao M, it was now looking to expanding further into the entertainment agency with a focus on large, actor-centered agencies.


On June 26, BH Entertainment and Management SOOP responded to reports of being acquired by Kakao.


A source from BH Entertainment said, “It’s true that we’re discussing the acquisition with Kakao, but nothing has been confirmed yet.”


A source from Management SOOP also stated, “Nothing has been confirmed.”


This is in response to reports from those in the investment banking industry who said that Kakao was planning to acquire BH Entertainment and Management SOOP. According to the media, the acquisition is in order to expand the video contents company sector that will be a division of Kakao M.


BH Entertainment currently houses actors including Lee Byung Hun, Go Soo, Han Ji Min, Han Ga In, Chu Ja Hyun, Yu Xiaoguang, Yoo Ji Tae, Kim Go Eun, Park Hae Soo, Lee Ji Ah, Jang Young Nam, Lee Hee Joon, Jin Goo, Park Sung Hoon, Gong Seung Yeon, Byun Woo Suk, Karata Erika, and Sean Richard.


Management SOOP represents many actors such as Gong Yoo, Jeon Do Yeon, Gong Hyo Jin, Jung Yoo Mi, Nam Ji Hyun, Seo Hyun Jin, Kim Jae Wook, Lee Chun Hee, Yoo Min Kyu, Lee Jae Joon, Jung Ga Ram, and Jeon So Ni.


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June 27, 2018


Creators Talk About New Blockbuster Period Drama


Source: The Chosun Ilbo

Scriptwriter Kim Eun-sook and director Lee Eung-bok have teamed up once again to create period drama series "Mr. Sunshine." which starts airing next week.


The duo behind the hugely successful "Descendants of the Sun" and "Guardian" on Tuesday talked to hundreds of reporters who packed a press event for the show in Seoul.


"There are many TV dramas and films about Korea under Japanese colonial rule, but not many on the militia who were active just before Korea was annexed by Japan," Lee explained.


The plot starts with the 1871 U.S. expedition to Korea. A son of a slave goes to the U.S., becomes a marine officer and returns to Korea, and the plot unfolds as he meets members of militia in the final days of the Chosun Dynasty.


The producers did not disclose the budget, but industry insiders estimate that the series cost at least W40 billion (US$1=W1,116). Filming took place all across the country, including Busan, Daegu, Gokseong, Gyeongju and Hapcheon. Over 10,000 extras were recruited for a realistic portrayal of the battle scenes.


Korea's first studio solely devoted to the early 1900s setting of Korea was built on a 20,000 sq.m site. "It was hard to recreate buildings in the style of the early 1900s as almost nothing remains. We had to do archival work in the U.S. and museums to be as accurate as possible," Lee said.


The director and cast of "Mr. Sunshine" attend a press event in Seoul on Tuesday. From left, director Lee Eung-bok, Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung and Byun Yo-han


Actor Lee Byung-hun (48) plays his first role in a TV series in nine years. "There was no reason why I shouldn't do this when it's a new work by Kim Eun-sook," he said. His paycheck caused some controversy as he reportedly takes home W200 million per episode, and W4.8 billion overall. He is also 20 years older than his partner in the series, Kim Tae-ri. 


"We don't feel it is a problem. He has a great sense of humor, and he treats me in a way that makes me feel comfortable," said Kim Tae-ri, who plays the daughter of a prominent family who fights for her country as a member of the clandestine militia.


It will be worth seeing whether Kim Eun-sook will avoid her stereotypical pattern of creating Cinderella-type fairy tales. The writer said last year, "In my next project, I will write about an independent and proactive woman who doesn't depend on a rich man."


"Mr. Sunshine" will also be streamed on Netflix, which paid a reported W30 billion for the rights, and be available in over 190 countries.


The weekend drama starts airing on cable channel tvN on July 7.

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June 27, 2018


Lee Byung-hun stars in wartime romance

Star drama writer unveils 'Mr. Sunshine'


Actor Lee Byung-hun, second from left, and other cast members of upcoming tvN drama "Mr. Sunshine" pose during a press conference in southern Seoul, Tuesday./ Yonhap


By Park Jin-hai The Korea Times


What can possibly go wrong with the new blockbuster drama penned by a writer whose long track record includes pan-Asian smash hits "Descendents of the Sun" and "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God?"


The two dramas ended with 38.8 and 20.5 percent viewership ratings respectively, and the latter reached an all-time record-high viewership in the history of cable dramas. 


The star writer Kim Eun-sook and producer Lee Eung-bok duo's much-anticipated third project "Mr. Sunshine," following "Descendants" (2016) and "Guardian," (2017) was unveiled, Tuesday.


The overriding mood at the first press event for the drama has not been the question of if but how this drama can reach surefire success.



Drama writer Kim Eun-sook


The 24-part drama, starring veteran actor Lee Byung-hun and rising star actress Kim Tae-ri, set in Korea in the late 1800s and early 1990s before the nation was colonized by Japan, tells the wartime romance between a Korean-born American Marine Eugene Choi and Ko Ae-shin, a daughter of a family who fights against Japan's invasion of Joseon (1392-1910). 


"Mr. Sunshine" was inspired by historical events concerning a U.S. expedition to Korea in 1871, the first American military action on and around Ganghwa Island, which killed over 200 Korean troops. It forced the regent Daewon-gun to strengthen his policy of isolation until Korea established a trade treaty with Japan, after Japanese ships approached Ganghwa and threatened to fire on Seoul in 1876. Korea's Treaties with European countries and the U.S. soon followed.


"Although that period had a maelstrom of sudden changes, not many dramas tell the stories of that time," said Lee during a press conference in southern Seoul, Tuesday. Lee plays Eugene Choi, a servant boy who boarded a U.S. navy ship after his parents were killed by his master and returns to Korea as captain of U.S. Marine. "My character is very interesting in that he is an American who harbors hard feelings toward his own country Joseon." 


The upcoming drama is Lee's welcome return to the small screen in nine years after mostly appearing in movies including Hollywood films "G.I. Joe" "Red 2" and "The Magnificent Seven." Actress Kim, who shot to fame appearing in Park Chan-wook's film "The Handmaiden," will act as Choi's love interest Ko, a daughter from a noble family who turns into a patriotic assassin gunning down those who sided with Japan and betrayed the country. The drama will be her first small screen debut.


The Saturday-Sunday drama series, a production with an estimated 40 billion won budget, will be broadcast through Netflix to reach its global fans as well. "Though I have starred in Hollywood films, it is my first time to be in a Korean production that will be showcased around the world," said Lee expressing his excitement. Asked about the concerns about how the international fans, not familiar with Korean history, could respond to the drama, Lee said,


"Many of the global viewers may watch the drama with limited knowledge of that historical time period. But drama is about the unfolding of human relationships in the end.


"So, although the series is based on Korean history, foreign viewers will be able to understand the feelings and emotions through the characters and their relationships." 


"Mr. Sunshine" will premiere on July 7 at 9 p.m.


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Published on June 27, 2018 by Netflix Asia


Mr. Sunshine | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix


In 1905, a Korean American U.S. marine officer returns to his homeland on a diplomatic assignment. Coping with his painful past in Korea as an orphaned servant boy, he finds himself in a complicated relationship with an aristocrat’s daughter. From the creators of Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, Mr. Sunshine premieres July 7 on Netflix.



June 28, 2018


Netflix Releases Key Art and Trailer for ‘Mr. Sunshine,’ a New K-drama from the Creators of ‘Descendants of the Sun’ and ‘Goblin’


by Blog Feature // Starmometer

Netflix has released both key art and trailer for its latest Korean Original offering, the k-drama Mr. Sunshine, from writer Kim Eun-sook and director Lee Eung-bok, who previously worked together on the global hits Descendants of the Sun and Goblin.


Based in Shinmiyangyo, or the U.S. expedition to Korea in the late 19th century, Mr. Sunshine tells the story of a Korean boy born into a family of a house servant running away to board an American warship, later to return to his homeland as a U.S. marine officer. He ironically falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and discovers the dark scheme to colonize the country that he once ran away from.


Lee Byung-hun, who was Storm Shadow in the G.I. Joe series and Han Cho Bai in Red 2, takes on the role of U.S. marine officer Eugene Choi, while Kim Tae-ri, who came into the spotlight with The Handmaiden, will play the aristocrat’s daughter, Go Ae-sin. Yoo Yeon-seok, Kim Min-jung, and Byun Yo-han also join the cast playing key roles within the story.


The 24-episode series launches on Netflix on July 7.

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June 28, 2018


Kakao to Invest in Talent Agencies


By Jang Hyeong-tae The Chosun Ilbo


Kakao M, a subsidiary of dotcom giant Kakao, is taking steps to buy three entertainment management agencies.


Kakao already owns Melon, Korea's No. 1 online music-streaming site.


Kakao M said Wednesday it will buy a stake in BH Entertainment, which has among its stable of actors Lee Byung-hun, Ko Soo, Yoo Ji-tae and Han Ga-in. It will also acquire a partial stake in J,Wide Company, which manages Lee Sang-yoon and Daniel Choi. It did not say how much it is paying. 



It also signed a strategic tie-up agreement with Soop Entertainment which manages actors like Gong Yoo, Kong Hyo-jin and Jeon Do-yeon.


The move is aimed at tapping into the resurgent Korean Wave and using the entertainment business as a bridge to access overseas markets.


Kakao M plans to spin off its contents business into a separate unit. Lee Jae-wook, head of Kakao M, said, "We will take the new unit public next year."


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Source: tvN


On June 29 (Friday) at 11:40 pm, a special episode "Mr. Sunshine: The Beginning of History" will be broadcast ahead of the first episode on July 7th. This special airing is expected to bring excitement to the audience with the interviews of the five leading actors including drama highlights featuring scenes of Lee Byung Hun, Kim Tae Ri, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Min Jung and Byun Yo Han. ( ~ could be the compilation of film-making footage, behind-the-scenes and interview videos that tvN took down from Youtube recently?)



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Finally, BHMJ sighting as shared by YB rock band's vocal on Instagram. The celebrity-(musical) buddies gathering photo released on June 29.


June 30, 2018


Lee Byung Hun-Lee Min Jung gathered with friends


Source: ybrocks via My Daily / Newsen ++










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June 29, 2018


June Movie Star Brand Reputation Rankings Announced


Source: Soompi by E. Cha





The Korean Business Research Institute has revealed this month’s brand reputation rankings for film actors!


The rankings were determined through an analysis of the consumer participation, media coverage, communication, and community awareness indexes of 50 popular movie stars using big data collected from May 28 to June 29.


Newcomer Kim Da Mi made her debut in the rankings at No. 1 for June. The rookie actress, who is starring in the newly released film “The Witch” (literal title), scored a brand reputation index of 4,485,075. Her highest-ranking related terms for the month included “strong,” “refreshing,” and “looking forward to her.”


Actress Kim Tae Ri took second place in this month’s rankings with a brand reputation index of 4,258,941, marking a 42.95 percent increase from her April score.


Kim Sung Ryung, another new addition to the rankings, came in at a close third with a brand reputation index of 4,047,457 for June.


Check out the top 30 below!


1. Kim Da Mi
2. Kim Tae Ri
3. Kim Sung Ryung
4. Ryu Jun Yeol
5. Kwon Sang Woo
6. Jo Min Soo
7. Lee Byung Hun
8. Sung Dong Il
9. Han Hyo Joo
10. Kang Dong Won
11. Lee Jung Hyun
12. Jo Jin Woong
13. Son Ye Jin
14. Gong Yoo
15. Jang Dong Gun
16. Choi Woo Shik
17. Kim Hae Sook
18. Park Hee Soon
19. Kim Hee Ae
20. Park Sung Woong
21. Song Ji Hyo
22. Jung Joon Ho
23. Lee Yong Nyeo
24. Kim Hwan Hee
25. Jung Woo
26. Ha Jung Woo
27. Cha Tae Hyun
28. Lee Jong Suk
29. Kim Soo Hyun
30. Lee Kwang Soo




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Top Photo Credit: Xportsnews


June 30, 2018


Not sure when this photo was taken, seems like a gathering to celebrate the South Korean win (over Germany) in World Cup? I think.. 


Source: alstjd_10


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Thanks to the highlight at MR.SUNSHINE thread, didn't realize that Malaysian media attended the press event last week. 


July 3, 2018


Lee Byung-hun's return to drama in Netflix's "Mr. Sunshine"

Source: Cinema Online



Lee Byung-hun at the press conference of "Mr. Sunshine" in Seoul.


South Korean superstar Lee Byung-hun has been making his mark in Hollywood in the past few years, so it was about time he returned to the very medium that started it all for him back home. 


Netlfix's upcoming "Mr. Sunshine" sees the 47-year-old Lee playing one of his most complex characters to date. 


As Eugene Choi, he is a cynical man resulting from his pitying childhood in the late 1800s after his family of servants are killed, thus forcing him to run away from Joseon to board an American warship. 


Years later, having been Americanised, he is sent back to his homeland as a vengeful US marine officer where he finds himself faced with a double-edged aristocrat's daughter (played by Kim Tae-ri) against a historical backdrop of political turmoil. 

If the plot of the drama sounds great, that's because the USD 36 million produced drama is 24-episode epic that is created by the writer-director team of Kim Eun-sook and Lee Eung-bok; the great minds that produced the 2016 hit, "Descendants of the Sun", and following that, "Goblin". 


With audiences around the globe having seen Lee in recent Hollywood blockbusters like "G.I. Joe", "Red 2", "Terminator: Genisys" and "The Magnificent Seven", thanks to Netflix they can now keep seeing him via "Mr. Sunshine", as it premieres worldwide in over 90 countries this Saturday. 7 July! 


Cinema Online flew to Seoul, South Korea to meet with the man himself who told us more about the ironically named "Mr. Sunshine", and why he finally returned to drama.


The cast of "Mr. Sunshine": Byun Yo-han, Lee Byung-hun, Kim Tae-ri, Kim Min-jung and Yoo Yeon-seok.


Cinema Online: It has been nine years since your last television series, "Iris", and since then you've been busy making movies in Hollywood. What made you decide to star in "Mr. Sunshine"?


Lee Byung-hun: As you probably know, I started my career through TV dramas and of course I've done a lot of films as well, but I've always been open to more TV. I am always interested in a good TV project like "Mr. Sunshine".


Are you worried that "Mr. Sunshine" might remind people of the director and writer's previous popular works?


It's the first time for me to work with the director and writer, but I think "Mr. Sunshine" is different from all the other stories and characters they have created. This series has its own feel and I'm really looking forward to the output.


Both you and your heroine Kim Tae-Ri come from different acting backgrounds, what was it like coming together to film this. Do you guys already know each other before this?


I've worked with a lot of actors throughout my career, but I think it was really special working with Tae-ri because, although this is her debut in a TV drama, it doesn't really seem like it at all. She is really great at expressing her emotions and she is also very intellectual. She left a good impression with me. 


Did you have to undertake the learning of any special skill or knowledge in order to successfully play the role of the Korean-born American soldier Eugene Choi?


Preparing for this, there was a lot of action and a lot of drama, of course. There's also an exotic backdrop. I didn't try to learn anything specific as I think it's all about perspective. I had to gain the perspective of my character - of running away from Korea at the age of 9 to the US and trying to become an absolute American. So, the way I thought of things had to be very Americanised and the opposite of what life like is in Joseon, so that was something interesting.


"Mr Sunshine" features a great romance between Lee Byung-hun and Kim Tae-ri's characters.


Personally, what was the biggest difference for you between shooting for film and TV?


I think the biggest difference between TV and film is the production process. For a film you have a 2-hour or so running time and filming runs for a couple of months. You have time to discuss the scenes and to come up with new ideas. Drama is not like that. You're shooting a lot for a short period so it requires a lot of time investment, not only for the staff, but also the actors. The shooting process is also quite intensive, but the impact a drama delivers is particularly larger, especially since this will also be on Netflix and thus shown in 90 different countries around the world. It should leave a big impression. 


Apart from its historical significance, what do you want viewers to realise about love after watching "Mr. Sunshine"?


If you generally look at the drama, it is based on historic times and turmoil, so obviously politics plays a huge importance in the backdrop. Me and Tae-ri both play the role of independent fighters and so there is a lot of complex emotions involved. There is hate and love, as well as friendship and rivalry. Unfortunately, there is a lot pain and inevitability in this story, and this is a good representation of what people of that time had to go through. 


What in your opinion is the key standout feature of "Mr. Sunshine"? 


I think the interaction, conflict and tension really stands out. Particularly our character's first interaction. When me and Tae-ri's character first meet each other, both of us have masks on and have guns pointing at each other. It is that kind of tension that makes this drama so great. 


"Mr Sunshine" will premiere exclusively on Netflix this 7 July 2018.

Writer: Naseem Randhawa

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July 3, 2018


Lee Byung Hun posted the following photos at his Weibo account today with the following message:  "At the production press conference"












Source:  LeeByungHun712@Weibo



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July 3, 2018


tvN Responds To Report That Lee Byung Hun Is Being Paid 150 Million Won Per Episode Of “Mr. Sunshine”


Source: Soompi by S. Park



tvN has commented on the reports of Lee Byung Hun’s salary for “Mr. Sunshine.”


In response to a report that Lee Byung Hun is being paid 150 million won (approximately $134,700) per episode, tvN told the Seoul Economic Daily Star, “The payment of the actors is something that we can’t check.”


According to the report, Lee Byung Hun will be receiving a total of 3.6 billion won (approximately $3.2 million) for the 24 episodes of “Mr. Sunshine.”


Even before its premiere, “Mr. Sunshine” has continued to gain a lot of attention for its large-scale production and cast. It was revealed that 40 billion won (approximately $35.9 million) was invested into the project’s production cost.


In addition, the drama is written by Kim Eun Sook with a cast that includes Kim Tae Ri, Yoo Yeon Seok, Kim Min Jung, and Byun Yo Han. After the high production cost of the drama was revealed, many naturally begin to wonder about the payment of the actors.


“Mr. Sunshine” is a historical drama about a Korean man who returns to his homeland as an American soldier after leaving for the United States on a warship in 1871.


The drama will premiere on July 7 at 9 p.m. KST as the follow-up to “Lawless Lawyer.” In the meantime, check out the latest teaser here!


Source (1)


MR.SUNSHINE Art by oneday0712

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  • rubie changed the title to Lee Byung Hun 이병헌 Byunghun Lee :: THE MAN STANDING NEXT ::

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