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THE WARRIOR'S WAY

JANG DONG GUN (Yang) has starred in two of the highest-grossing box office hits in the history of South Korea. The first, Friend, earned Jang widespread critical kudos for his portrayal of a troubled high school kid who turns to a life of organized crime. Jang took home the Best Supporting Actor award at the 2000 Asia Pacific Film Festival for the role. The second of Jang's seminal hits came in 2004 with Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War, a groundbreaking Korean epic that found him portraying one of two brothers drafted into military service. Jang's powerful performance landed him the coveted Best Actor prize at that year's Blue Dragon Awards.

Having conquered his native land, Jang next set his sights on other parts of Asia, breaking into Chinese cinema in a big way with a lead role in the 2005 martial arts-romance The Promise. The $30 million, Golden Globe-nominated production, directed by the Golden Palm-winning filmmaker Chen Kaige (Farewell My Concubine) required the actor to deliver all of his lines in perfect Mandarin. Jang also starred that same year in Typhoon as a modern-day pirate betrayed by both North and South Korea.

With his dashing good looks, screen charisma and athletic build, the Seoul-born star quickly emerged as a teen idol after making his acting debut in the 1993 Korean TV drama series Our Heaven. By the late 1990s, Jang was one of the most popular film personalities on Asian soil, his fan base and appeal extending far beyond South Korea's borders. It led to his starring in such well-regarded features as The Anarchists in 2000 before making his breakthrough in Friend. That was followed in 2002 by the action blockbuster 2009 Lost Memories—which required him to speak Japanese—and that same year, by the low-budget The Coast Guard for controversial director Kim Ki-Duk (The Isle).

Jang recently provided Korean narration for the documentary feature Earth, which was released by Disney in the U.S.

The Warrior's Way marks his U.S. film debut.

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