Cover Here are the biggest news from the Korean entertainment scene this week (Art: Chesca Gamboa/Tatler Hong Kong)

From the Itaewon Class actor’s upcoming place in the MCU to Blackpink’s Lisa’s thoughts on her solo debut and BTS making history (again)—here are the biggest Korean entertainment stories this week

There’s plenty of exciting news from the world of K-pop, K-drama and Korean cinema this week. First, it has finally been confirmed that Park Seo-joon will be joining a Marvel movie, while director Lee Chang-dong has been appointed as the jury president of the upcoming Asian Film Awards in Busan.

In music news, Blackpink’s Lisa shares her thoughts on her solo debut, while NCT 127 and 2PM both release new tracks and music videos. And perhaps it comes as no surprise, but BTS’ Butter has been named song of the summer.

Read our weekly Korean entertainment roundup to stay updated with the biggest news in the industry. Missed last week’s round-up? You can still read it here.

1. Park Seo-joon is confirmed to star in upcoming Marvel movie

After months of speculation, it’s finally been confirmed that Park Seo-joon will be joining the cast of the upcoming Marvel movie, The Marvels. His agency, Awesome ENT, says that the actor is “taking on [a] new challenge with the movie” and will reveal the details at a later date. He was seen leaving for the UK for filming.

His role has not yet been revealed, but fans speculate he will play Amadeus Cho, also known as Brawn, a Korean American character from the comics who is said to be the seventh smartest person on Earth and possess Hulk-like powers.

With this announcement, Park becomes the third Korean actor to star in a Marvel film, following Claudia Kim as Dr Helen Cho in Avengers: Age of Ultron and Ma Dong-seok as Gilgamesh in this autumn’s Eternals.

See also: Son Ye-Jin, Park Seo-Joon and More: K-Drama Stars Going to Hollywood

2. Kim Seon-ho is in talks to star in his first movie

Actor Kim Seon-ho, who is currently delighting K-drama viewers as Hong Du-shik in Netflix’s Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, is revealed to be in talks to star in his first movie. Reports from Naver Entertainment said that the Korean actor has been offered a role to star in Sad Tropical.

The movie follows a Korean Filipino aspiring boxer who heads to South Korea to find his father, who abandoned him. His search is made even more challenging by the characters he meets along the way. Sad Tropical will be directed by Park Hoon-jung who has worked on blockbuster thrillers such as New World, V.I.P. and The Witch.

See also: ‘Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha’ Cast Talks Chemistry, Characters and Working With Each Other

3. Kim Tae-ri and Nam Joo-hyuk are confirmed as leads for new drama

Kim Tae-ri and Nam Joo-hyuk could be teaming up for a new romance drama called Twenty-Five Twenty-Two which follows the lives of two people who first meet as teenagers. While they are attracted to each other, they don’t start their relationship until they’re in their twenties. 

Should Kim accept the offer, it will only be her second Korean drama after Netflix’s Mr Sunshine, one of the most expensive Korean dramas to ever be produced. She will be playing Na Hee-do, a professional sabre fencer on the national fencing team, who is struggling after her team’s disbandment following a national financial crisis.

Nam Joo-hyuk, who recently starred in Netflix’s Start-Up, will be playing reporter Baek Yi-jin, the eldest son and the family’s breadwinner. He, too, struggles as a result of the economic downturn, and resorts to delivering newspapers and working part-time at a bookshop to make ends meet.

Other members of the supporting cast include WJSN member Bona who will play Na Hee-do’s rival, Go Yoo-rim, the youngest fencing gold medallist; Choi Hyun-wook will play Moon Ji-woong, a social media star; and Lee Joo-myung is taking on the role of Ji Seung-wan, the best student at her school, who harbours a rebellious spirit.

The drama will be penned by Kwon Do-eun who worked on Search: WWW and be helmed by that film’s director, Jung Ji-hyun, who also worked on The King: Eternal Monarch andYou Are My Spring. It’s scheduled for release in early 2022.

4. 2PM releases music video for “With Me Again”

After making their highly-anticipated comeback, K-pop group 2PM have released their long-awaited Japanese track, With Me Again. The music video shows a more mature side to the group, with the suited group members lending it a classy vibe.

2PM released their seventh full-length album, Must, on June 28 and it topped the Japanese iTunes album chart on the day of release. The six-member comeback has been five years in the making, with Junho the last member to complete his military service.


5. NCT 127 drops music video for “Lemonade”

NCT 127 has released the music video for their new song, Lemonade, the fourth track from their upcoming album, Sticker. The release follows their other B-side tracks including Dreamer, Magic Carpet Ride and Road Trip. As you might hope from a song of that title, the concept for Lemonade is refreshing and cheerful.

The group will be promoting the song, as well as the album’s title track on various shows ahead of the record’s September 17 release.

6. Lee Chang-dong is the Jury President for the Asian Film Awards 2021

South Korean director Lee Chang-dong has been appointed as the jury president of the 15th Asian Film Awards (AFA) which will take place on October 8 in Busan. Lee has been at the forefront of advancing Korean cinema onto the world stage.

He has received numerous awards at international film festivals including the Silver Lion for Best Director at the Venice Film Festival 2020 for Oasis, the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Screenplay in 2010 for Poetry and the Cannes 2018 Fipresci Award for Burning.

He was also the recipient of both the Best Director and Lifetime Achievement Awards at the 13th Asian Film Awards. Burning was also shortlisted in the Best International Feature Film category at the Academy Awards. Lee and the AFA jury will choose the winners of 16 prizes including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress and Best Actor.

See also: Asian Film Awards 2021: Full List of Nominees

7. BTS’ “Butter” is officially the song of the summer

Fresh off their induction into the Guinness World Record’s Hall of Fame, BTS’ chart-topping hit, Butter is now officially Billboard’s song of the summer after dominating the charts all season. The song held the top position for the duration of the chart which runs from June 13 until September 11.

The song remained at the number one spot for 10 weeks straight. It retook the top spot in the Hot 100 chart this week, backed by the remix which features Megan Thee Stallion. The smash-hit is the first single by a group or duo to clinch the title of song of the summer in a decade. The last time this happened was in 2011 with LMFAO’s Party Rock Anthem featuring Lauren Bennett and GoonRock.

See also: Billboard Music Awards 2021: BTS Performs "Butter" for the First Time

8. Seo Ye-ji and Park Byung-eun are in talks for a new drama

After dropping out of the drama, Island, following the controversy concerning her ex-boyfriend Kim Jung-hyun, actress Seo Ye-ji is looking to make a comeback. She’s reportedly in talks to star in the upcoming series, Eve's Scandal, which is scheduled to air sometime in early 2022. The It’s Okay to Not be Okay actress will be playing Lee Ra-el.

The drama is about a rich couple’s two trillion Korean won divorce lawsuit. It will be penned by Yoon Young-mi. Also in talks for the series is Park Byung-en for the role of the CEO of the number one corporate group in the financial world. If he accepts the offer, it will be his first-ever leading role.

9. f(x) members celebrate their 12th anniversary

Members of K-pop girl group f(x) have shared throwback photos on Instagram to celebrate the 12th anniversary of their debut. Their first broadcast was on September 5, 2009, on Music Core to promote their debut single, La chA Ta. Since then, they’ve released other popular songs such as Nu Abo, Hot Summer, Red Light and 4 Walls.

Amber posted a photo with all the members while Krystal shared photos of their studio album, Pinocchio. Luna shared an old magazine photo and Victory posted the album cover for Red Light

10. Blackpink’s Lisa shares thoughts on her first solo mini-album

Blackpink’s Lisa is the third member of the group to make her solo debut with the mini-album, Lalisa. During the press conference, several hours before the release, the rapper revealed that she feels nervous and still over the moon about her long-awaited solo debut.

“I’m delighted to be able to show my first solo performance, and I hope that Blinks [Blackpink’s fans] will look kindly on it,” she said. “Thank you so much to the Blinks who waited for my solo debut for a long time. I worked hard to prepare.”

The album title is the star’s real name, and she said she chose to use it to express the “coolest“ side of herself. “I wanted to show myself, Lalisa, exactly as I am.” She revealed that the music video for the title track includes elements of her heritage. “I wanted Lalisa to have a Thai feel to it. The set and outfits also capture that Thai vibe well,” she said.

Known for her Cleopatra fringe, Lisa also said that her fans will see a new side of her as she debuted a different look for the first time during the shoot for the album jacket. “Because I wanted to show something new, I made up my mind and finally bared my forehead,” she adds.

See also: Blackpink’s Lisa is Officially Making Her Solo Debut This Summer

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