Lee Byung-hun

By Seo Dong-shin
Staff Reporter

Actor Lee Byung-hun will likely play a Hong Kong gang leader involved in crime and drug businesses in an upcoming film by a renowned Vietnamese-French director.

Yonhap News Agency reported from Cannes, France that the 37-year-old actor will star in “I Come With the Rain,” a film scheduled for 2008 by director Tran Anh Hung.

Tran’s previous works include “The Scent of Green Papaya” and “Cyclo” among others. The upcoming $18 million-budget movie will become the first English-language film by the director.

The film stars Josh Harnett, of “Black Hawk Down” and “Pearl Harbor” fame. The American actor will play the lead role of a former Los Angeles cop who comes to Hong Kong on a mission to find a missing son of a high-ranking Chinese businessman.

Lee’s role, a gang leader called Su Dongpo, will support the plot along with the role of Meng Zi, a Hong Kong cop and a long-time friend of the American.

The film is expected to be Lee’s debut on the world stage. Lee is currently filming “The Good, the Bad and the Weird” by director Kim Ji-woon, and is reviewing the proposal for the role in Tran’s film, sources close to him were quoted as saying by the local media.

Variety.com reported that the film will feature music from Gustavo Santaolalla, who composed the music for “Brokeback Mountain.” The film shoot will last 10 weeks in Los Angeles, the Philippines and Hong Kong from July 9, and will premiere in the United States, Canada and France, according to the report.