Confession of a Wandering Soul

Jeon Ji-hyun criticized for “Hollywood debut”

Posted by diopatra on May 15, 2009

source: my daily
translations: Javabeans@dramabeans.com

Jeon Ji-hyun’s Hollywood debut has been buzzed about for practically two years, and although previews have finally come out for Blood: The Last Vampire, there has still been no official U.S. release announced (July has been mentioned as a tentative possibility). It seems that Korean fans and netizens are growing weary of the hype without an actual product, and have started to voice their suspicions, dissatisfied with the exaggeration of her role and accusing her of false advertising.

The movie has been touted all along as a “Hollywood film,” by Jeon herself as well as the promotional machine. Sidus HQ, Jeon’s management, explained: “When Jeon Ji-hyun spoke of it as her Hollywood debut film, she didn’t mean that it was made in Hollywood but that it would be released in America. The point is that it is the first step in the Hollywood system.”

The source article points out that even though the film wasn’t made by Hollywood, this wouldn’t be an issue if it had received investments from American film companies. However, the production budget was not furnished by Hollywood, financed instead by companies in four other countries, making it a co-production between Japan, Hong Kong, France, and Argentina. The film has a French director, Chris Nahon, and is based on a Japanese manga.

I think this is rather harsh on Jeon (and really, Blood kinda looks awesome, much better than the other so-called Hallyu-to-Hollywood debuts), but it has a very valid point, which is to take the press and management companies to task for being too eager to label any and everything a “Hollywood debut.” For instance, the media was quick to blare the trumpets for Han Chae-young’s “Hollywood debut” in the horror film Soul Mate, which was a Korea-New Zealand production that had no traction in Hollywood. Han Go-eun’s supposed Hollywood project was a Korea-Canada co-production.

On the other hand, there are projects that can be legitimately called Hollywood debuts, such as Daniel Henney’s recently released X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Lee Byung-heon’s upcoming G.I. Joe (which releases in August), Rain’s upcoming Ninja Assassin (November), and Jang Dong-gun’s The Warrior’s Way (which was previously called Laundry Warrior).

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