By Lee Hyo-won
Heartthrob and hallyu megastar Jang Dong-gun
, 35, will star opposite Kate Bosworth in his Hollywood debut "Laundry Warrior" ("The Warrior's Way
"). Barrie M. Osborne, maestro producer of "The Matrix" and "Lord of the Rings", will produce the "ultra-futuristic" Western movie that brings together top Hollywood talent, according to reports by "Variety" magazine Tuesday. A Korean firm involved in the movie's publicity also confirmed the news.
In "Laundry Warrior" ("The Warrior's Way
"), Jang plays the role of a mysterious Asian warrior assassin who ends up in a sleepy, American Mid-Western town near a desert, where he struggles to find peace, contentment and even love. A Korean who teaches at the New York Film School wrote the script -- Sngmoo Lee
(also known as Lee Sng-moo) will also direct the movie, which is scheduled to begin shooting in New Zealand, mid-November
In addition to starring Kate Bosworth, famous as Superman's lover onscreen ("Superman Returns") and Orlando Bloom's former girlfriend off-screen, as Jang's love interest, the movie boasts other stellar cast members such as Geoffrey Rush, the Academy Award-winning, apple-munching captain from "Pirates of the Carribbean", as an alcoholic cowboy.
Previous reports said Jang would be working with Chinese star Zhang Ziyi
("Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon") but she was unavailable due to scheduling conflicts. The Hollywood actress was chosen as the heroine since the lead female character was changed, the firm said. Another veteran Hollywood actor is reported as completing his contract for the role of the bad guy.
According to "Variety", the film has a $40 million budget through Sad Flute, a company set up by Osborne and Michael Peyser ("Speed 2").
"We drew on two great genres, the Samurai movie and the Western", Peyser was quoted as saying according to the entertainment magazine. "We will deliver a stylized, partly anime feel, with the techniques of `300', but a look that is brighter".
The production will employ extensive green screen techniques, and special effects gurus like Christian Rivers ("King Kong") from New Zealand-based Weta Digital and Michael Pangrazio, who created the visuals for "Star Wars" and "Sin City", will take part in the filmmaking. For post-production, talents behind "X-Men 2" (Jason Piccioni) and "Lord of the Rings" (Dan Hennah) will participate.
Three-time Academy Award-winning costume designer James Acheson ("Spider-Man") will be in charge of completing the look of "Laundry Warrior" ("The Warrior's Way
Jang, Korea's iconic pretty face, gained status as a certified actor through his breakthrough role as a tough guy in the film "Friend"
, and has starred in some of highest grossing local films such as "Taegukgi
: Brothers of War" and "Typhoon
". He rose to hallyu superstardom through TV dramas like "All About Eve
", which was highly popular in Central and South America.