Korean actor Lee Joongi – also known as Lee Junki – will be starring in a new Chinese film called Under the Sicily Sun (西西里艷陽下).
The movie is described as a romantic melodrama about a Chinese woman and a Korean who fall in love despite their cultural differences. The film will depict their travels between Shanghai, China, and Sicily, Italy. Chinese actress Zhou Dongyu, who rose to fame in Zhang Yimou’s film Under the Hawthorne Tree, will play Lee Joongi’s girlfriend.
This Chinese movie will be Lee Joongi’s first production in China. Since his casting announcement, Joongi has expressed his happiness at being able to work with respected filmmakers Lin Yuhsien and Stanley Kwan. Lin Yuhsien is well-known for his feature film debut Exit No. 6 and the 2011 film Jump Ashin!, while Stanley Kwan is an award-winning director-producer who helped produce last year’s So Young.
Director Lin Yuhsien wanted to cast Lee Joongi so much, he had personally flew to Korea to persuade the actor to accept the project.
Meanwhile, Zhou Dongyu has said that she is looking forward to her first on-screen “transnational romance”, and hopes to display chemistry with Lee Joongi.
Under the Sicily Sun will not be Lee Joongi’s first on-screen “transnational romance”. He previously acted in the Japanese romance film Virgin Snow with actress Aoi Miyazaki.
Film crew members have already started scouting film locations in Shanghai, and general pre-production is well underway. Director Lin Yuhsien updated his Weibo today to say script modifications have been fully completed. The film cast and crew for Under the Sicily Sun are expected to hold a press conference in Beijing on December 10 before filming starts this month.
Check out some of the proposed filming locations below! Lin Yuhsien has been generously providing regular updates on the film status on his Weibo.