Pop star luring Thai kids to S Korea

Pop star luring Thai kids to S Korea

The last time we were gossiping about Nichkhun Horvejkul - the Thai guy in the South Korean boy band 2PM - he was muttering something about making a movie in his homeland.

Details were sketchy at the time, but now we've found out where he's heading with this.

The movie is titled "Tae Khob Fah Chalui 2015", and it's a co-production between the new Thai outfit Transformation Film and South Korea's leading entertainment company, CJ Entertainment.

The title hints at a hit movie of 1988 - "Chalui", directed by Adirek "Uncle" Watleela - which told the story of two young upcountry lads who travel to Bangkok to pursue their dreams.

"Chalui 2015" is sort of a remake, but this time Bangkok isn't the destination of dreams - it's Seoul, of course. Suchart Mekwiman is directing. Watching him carefully are Sangar Chatchairungruang, the boss at Transformation, and Uncle Adirek himself.

Nichkhun has a supporting role behind young actors Nachat "Nicky" Juntapan and Mek "Jessi" Mekwattana, and if the latter's surname sounds familiar it's because he's the son of Carabao singer-guitarist Thierry Mekwattana (and actress Utumporn).

Interestingly, though, Nickkhun is playing himself, a role model for the boys because he's a Thai who's made it big in the land of kimchi and K-pop.

The film is also a lunge at the big time for Transformation, which started out on a lower key last year with its debut movie "Tukkae Rak Paeng Mak ("Chiang Khan Love Story").

Next up is "Single Lady Phror Khoei Me Fan" ("Single Lady"), due in theatres on February 5 and likely to be a big draw thanks to its star, Phatcharapha Chaichua, returning to the screen after four years' absence.

CJ is quite a partner to have, as well. It's one of the major showbiz firms in South Korea, spanning film studios and cinemas as well as pop music. "Chalui 2015" is its first investment in Thailand, though it's previously sampled Vietnam and Indonesia.

"Fatherland" lives again

Transformation Film chief executive Sangar Chatchairungruang has another ace up his sleeve, too, in the form of "Pitupoom Promdaen Hang Rak" ("Fatherland"), a movie made three years ago by Yuthlert Sippapak but never released. Sangar's arranged to get it in cinemas soon.

Yuthlert had announced that the picture was permanently shelved after the producer's knees buckled out of fear it could cause trouble. The film's about the unrest in the Muslim-Malay South.

We never did find out who the producer was, only that the stars are Ananda Everingham, Sukollwat Kanaros and Davika Hoorne.

Set in the southernmost end of Thailand, the story is based on the novel of the same name by Police General Wasit Dechkunchorn.

Sangar tells Thai Rath Online that he convinced Yuthlert to edit the more sensitive stuff out of the movie and then screened it for the Shaykh al-Islam of Thailand.

No objections were raised, so they're planning a wide release sometime before June.

Sangar says he told Yuthlert, "The movie you're most proud of should be a movie that the audience likes, not just the director."

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