Oguri Shun has been a busy busy boy in 2012. First he gets married to long time lady love Yamada Yu, then he decides to return to his romantic leading man roots in Rich Man, Poor Woman. I have no complaints that one of the original pretty boys of J-ent decided to capitalize on his good looks for once, but paired with his amazingly acting skills. I had forgotten that Yamada Yu held their marriage announcement press conference alone because Shun was overseas making a C-movie, but all that came rushing back when I saw the official released stills of the upcoming Chinese-Japanese collaboration period movie Yang Gui Fei (Consort Yang), about the famed life of one of the Four Beauties of Ancient China (the other three being Xi Shi, Wang Zhao Jun, and Diao Chan). The movie stars Fan Bing Bing as the titular Yang Gui Fei, with a cast of male leads consisting of Leehom Wang, Nie Yuan, and the seemingly really randomly placed Oguri Shun. He plays the Prince of Shou of the Tang Dynasty, a man by the name of Li Mao, who was Yang Gui Fei’s first husband. They apparently were very compatible and in love, but when the Prince’s dad the Emperor lost his favorite wife, turns out his daughter-in-law bore a resemblance to that favorite wife so the Emperor stole Yang Gui Fei from his own son and made her his wife.
Yeah, that’s about as messed up as it gets. Family dinners were probably nearly as awkward as Jason dining with Medea. The story gets even funnier with how the Emperor did the stealing – he was afraid of public censure, so he first decreed that Yang Gui Fei had to become a nun, and after a few years at the nunnery, he then allowed her to leave and made her his wife. LOL, I’m sure that made his son feel so much better about it. Looks like movie will turn out to be all flash and sizzle and no substance, especially since Fan Bing Bing about as resembles the real Yang Gui Fei as if casting a giant to play Napoleon (she’s lithe and slender, the real Yang Gui Fei was apparently extremely chubby but her chubbiness are prized as beautiful back in the days when only poor peasants without enough food to eat were skinny). This movie has been plagued with behind-the-scenes shake ups, with the original director being the Korean PD of the movie My Sassy Girlfriend quitting midway with rumors of discord with his leading lady. The Yang Gui Fei story never interested me in the least, but I will be sure to watch this for the hotness that is Oguri Shun as a Tang Dynasty warrior prince. Rawr!