Big Twist with Kim Bum in the Upcoming Detective Dee Movie Prequel

Kim Bum may be wasting his time in the currently airing sageuk Goddess of Fire, but unlike leads Moon Geun Young and Lee Sang Yoon, he can swan off and get less screen time (win and win) because he needs to do promotions for the upcoming big-budgeted Hong Kong period fantasy movie Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon. The movie is more like the three Tang dynasty amigos investigates a crazy case, with the three amigos played by Mark Chao as Detective Dee, Feng Shao Feng as elder Detective Yuchi, and Lin Geng Xin as bumbling medicine man Shatuo. Along for the ride is Angelababy as a courtesan and Kim Bum as her young scholar lover. The C-media is already grumbling about Director Tsui Hark making it so that all four guys have the hots for Angelebaby’s character – while Bummie is her boyfriend, Detective Dee gets a crush on her during the investigation, Detective Yuchi is entranced by her sultry aura, and bumbling Shatuo sees her and promptly develops an allergy to the opposite sex that one can chalk up to a clueless dude trying to deal with lust at first sight. I’m rather okay with it because it was clear from the behind-the-scenes footage and the cast commentary that there was way more bromance happening on the set rather than any possible romance with the leading lady. Though gossip has it that Angelababy has the hots for Kim Bum and is breaking up with her boyfriend Huang Xiaoming because of it, to which I say ahahahahahaha OMG I can’t stop laughing. I’ve already posted the cool concept posters, the twelve official posters, and the official long trailer. The production has released a ton of new movie stills that are very pretty, plus the official long trailer has been subbed so I’ve linked to it below as well. It makes a lot more sense when you watch it subbed though the visuals are intriguing on its own. The official movie synopsis has been released and gives away a huge plot twist involving Kim Bum, and I’ve also come across a juicy spoiler picture that confirms said plot twist. This movie is projected to break box office records when it premieres this weekend, what with it getting released right before all of China goes on a 10 day vacation for its national holiday. The movie ought to also clean up in Hong Kong and Taiwan as well – Mark is the hometown wonder in Taiwan and right now Feng Shao Feng can do no wrong over there after his King of Lan Ling was the biggest drama smash in years.

And the big spoiler is – Kim Bum’s character is the titular Dragon King of the movie title! The movie’s English title is Young Detective Dee: Rise of the Sea Dragon, but the Chinese title is different. It’s Detective Dee: Dragon King of the Legendary Capital. I actually thought Kim Bum might be playing a character that needs to be kept under wraps since he’s not in the movie trailer and there are very few movie stills of him. But maybe the movie isn’t trying to keep his character under wraps since a movie magazine write up already identified him as playing the Dragon King. Apparently he suffered the most in the cast filming in the water, since he wore a special suit that was buoyant so the production had to put rocks in it to weigh him down, which in turn caused him to have difficulty coming back up. Poor baby boy.

Official movie plot synopsis:

The young Dee Renjie (Mark Chao) arrives in the Imperial Capital to join the Supreme Court as a district magistrate, a high level government posting with the functions of detective, prosecutor, judge and executioner intent to become an officer of the law. Empress Wu (Carina Lau), who is at the start of her reign, has sent the fiery-haired Detective Yuchi (Feng Shao Feng) to investigate a sea monster that stalks the city at night. By chance, both Dee and Yuchi fight off the creature when it attacks a ceremonial procession carrying the beautiful courtesan Yin (Angelababy) to be sacrificed at a temple to appease the Gods. Suspicious of the stranger, Yuchi has Dee imprisoned. Dee escapes with the help of visiting doctor Shatuo (Lin Geng Xin) and together they discover that the upper reaches of society, including the Emperor himself, are addicted to a poisonous tea produced by Yuan’s (Kim Bum) famous teahouse. Yuan, who was romantically attached to Yin, has been missing for months. Dee shadows the courtesan, who is under Yuchi’s protection, until the sea monster reappears. Just as the two men are about to kill it, Yin reveals that the monster is her lover, Yuan. Yuan has been poisoned by a foreign Prince whose kingdom was overthrown by the Emperor. As the Prince’s army readies itself on a nearby island to attack the capital, a real sea dragon rises from the deep.

Official Trailer (English-subbed):

The movie looks fun and all, but after seeing the below official video of the filming, I actually want more to watch an entire movie about them filming this movie. This cast is adorable and looks like they had so much fun! You can also witness the growing bromance between Mark and Lin Geng Xin.

Fun official behind-the-scenes of the movie filming:


Big Twist with Kim Bum in the Upcoming Detective Dee Movie Prequel — 24 Comments

  1. Adding video to favorites – Thank your for making my Cleaning Saturday brighter!

    How freaking cute is that, are THEY? My face hurts from smiling. Everything looks like they put a ton of cash into it. I hope it is a big hit for them.

    I tried not to read your spoiler in hopes that some day, some how I will be able to watch this subbed…It would be cool to watch it on the big screen over here in Northeast America or Southern Ontario. It could end up in Toronto.

    • I’m sure the movie will be dumb as bricks in terms of predictability, but it’ll be PRETTY. Like, INSANELY PRETTY. And are you still pinching yourself? That not 2, not 3, but 4!!! of your fave young’uns are in ONE movie together. XD This will be a collector’s item for you, I foresee.

      • I would buy it, yes. To study Chinese history which is showing my intelligentness and cultureness. 🙂

        Ooooh! It got a good review from somebody at MOVIEXCLUSIVE.COM

        “And once again therefore, Tsui Hark is back at the very top of his game with yet another outing of this Tang Dynasty sleuth. Coupling a finely spun mystery with splendid visuals and spellbinding martial arts action, Tsui cements his ‘Dee’ franchise as Asia’s answer to Guy Ritchie’s ‘Sherlock Holmes’. Indeed, the title of this movie is a befitting metaphor of Tsui’s own work here, he the metaphorical sea dragon that has risen from the depths of his own doldrums to set the gold standard in blockbuster entertainment for Chinese cinema.

        Movie Rating: 4 Stars

        (The rare sequel – or more accurately, prequel – that is even more riveting and enthralling than its predecessor, Tsui Hark’s return to Asia’s Sherlock Holmes sets a gold standard in blockbuster entertainment for Chinese cinema)”

  2. Please forgive my ignorance: did KB had to learn how to speak Chinese (or would that be Mandarin Chinese?) for this movie, or did he just have to learn his lines and learn how to pronounce them right? I am curious about how they go about the language aspect, when they have non Chinese (or people who do not speak it fluently and well) actors and actresses in their movies.
    Thank you in advance for any explanation that would help me understand…
    I have also read of actors being dubbed in Chinese movies. Does that mean that they don’t say their lines, or say them in their language of origin, and then their voices are dubbed? Thanks again for any explanation.

    • My guess is that they probably had KB speak Korean during the filming then dubbed his voice afterwards. From what I read in the past interviews of Korean actors who worked in China, they would have their own script in Korean; during the filming, they would usually come up with some kind of cues to mark their turn to deliver the dialogues. Of course, they had translators to help them out too.

    • Kim Bum apparently spoke his lines in Mandarin. That is what the cast revealed, he didn’t have a lot of lines so he just wrote in the pronunciation and spoke it just to have his lips match with the dub. But the rest of the cast is dubbed in this movie even if they all speak Chinese.

      For Chinese actors, they will say their lines in Mandarin or whatever regional dialect they speak, depends on the person, with the understanding that they will be dubbed over. Almost everything is dubbed. Ariel Lin in King of Lan Ling was dubbed, she simply did her own voice dub. There is no drama or movie where the voice you hear is the one that is recorded at the scene of the filming. Too much side noise, everything is cleaned up afterwards.

      • Thank you, helpful answer. So did Ariel Lin do her own voice dubbing because her accent was the one required/appropriate for the drama (I am assuming King of Lan was a drama?)
        And the other actors were dubbed by other voice professionals(are they called voice actors/actresses, or coaches? I am not sure, I am just curious).

      • Dear Ms. Okoala, love reading your blogs and respect your opinions greatly. We are just disgusted with these dubbing in Chinese filming industry. Have gave-up watching Chinese movies/dramas precisely due to dubbing. Ariel dubbing her own voice which is a recognizable voice to her fans, made her role more endearing and charming… The actor’s voice is part of his/her whole make-up as an actor. Morgan Freeman has such a distinctive voice, he can just do a voiceover in a commercial without announcing his name.

        Everyone in China and Taiwan speak Mandarin Chinese, a required national language, esp. If one went to school as these actors all have. Period dramas need them to speak Beijing Mandarin, so dubbing is tolerable, but modern dramas should allow them to speak with their own voices. Have started watching Korean dramas and love reading your blogs. Lee Min Ho and Jang Geung Seok both have their own distinguished and recognizable voices. Dubbing is our pet peeve… We only watch foreign films in their original languages with subtitles, like Bergman’s even Miyazaki’s animated films.

      • @ Pirie,

        I don’t like dubbing either but it’s a fact of the Chinese filming industry due to the breadth and scope of the vast expanse of the hundreds of spoken dialects that make up the Chinese language. There is no need to be disgusted, though its fine being a pet peeve of yours. I think you may miss out on C-dramas or movies if the reason you don’t watch is purely because of the dubbing.

        I’ve heard tons of people bitch that Ariel dubbed herself in King of Lan Ling. Her Taiwan Mandarin/very modern inflection was critically split between those who liked to hear her real voice vs. those really annoyed that her real voice took one out of the character she was playing. So real voice dubbing is not always good. It depends on the situation/character/dialect of the actor or actress in question.

        Taiwan is a very small island, it’s much easier to enforce the national language as Mandarin. But even then, 80% of the island DOES NOT speak Mandarin as their first language. Everyone CAN speak it and WILL understand it, but if you leave Taipei and head South, the majority you encounter will be speaking Taiwanese with a smaller group speaking Hakka.

        Mainland is larger than the US in size and the regional dialects are so ingrained in the culture of cities, regions, provinces for thousands of years. Even if Mandarin is the “official national language”, if you go to any city not one where Mandarin was the local dialect, everyone is speaking their local dialect even in government offices!

        And not all actors went to film school and received proper voice training. Even those who have when they speak Mandarin it’s pretty noticeable they have an accent. It’s cute but for uniformity in dramas and movies, quite a distraction for local viewers.

        I also don’t like dubbing but it’s not done to annoy. Just trying to clarify that there is no way to force people to go to language training for years to create an industry where everyone can speak their own lines.

  3. NOT FOR MOI if they dub their voices AGAIN… Come-on China, no dubbing please… Besides Kim Bum, have your Chinese actors learn to speak proper Mandarin, then no need to cover-up their real voices. One of the reasons we could watch LangLingWang is due to Ariel Lin acting with her own real voice. Imagine if Sean Connery didn’t learn to speak American English while playing Harrison Ford’s father in Indian Jones and the Last Crusade, and had his voice dubbed by a freaking American voice actor, UGH…

    • Uh, no, not anywhere near the same distinction between British English (which has tons of accents between cities) and American English (also tons of accents between regions). It’s the same spoken language that is intelligible to those who speak with different accents.

      The variations of spoken language in Mainland China is hundreds of dialects, which is NOT simply the varying of accent. It is a completely different and at times unintelligible to each other spoken word in both sound, vernacular, and syntax. It’s like learning a foreign language to learn to speak proper Mandarin for many of the regional dialects.

      There is a reason why dubbing exists and its not because of laziness by the actor to learn the speak proper Mandarin. Most already speak proper Mandarin since that’s the official national dialect but with their regional dialect accents their Mandarin will naturally sound very different with one another. That is distracting when playing a character who might be a native Beijinger but the actor is from Shandong and speaks Shandong-accented Mandarin, albeit fluently, it’s still jarring to the viewer because it negates their character’s background.

      • Oh WOW!!! That is so informative! Thank you Ms. Ockoala. I tend to be curious and interested in details like that, about the filming and making of movies and dramas. I appreciate your response, and the comment that elicited it.

    • Sean Connery did not speak American English in Last Crusade. His Scottish burr was very apparent & was a disconnect for a professor from the MidWest.

  4. I, too, want to see the BTS full-length movie. They looked like they were having a blast in what appears to be a rather physically demanding shoot. Just like Jomo, I found myself smiling during the entire video!

  5. Am I the only one that noticed Kim Bum’s name was ‘Ian Kim’ during his introduction in the trailer??? Haha. Anyone know why? It just seems kind of strange to me.

  6. Yeah i’m very excited to watch that movie (but i’ll have to wait for quite a long time).
    Kim Bum is a key character in this movie, because of his relationship with Angelababy, but i doubt he’s the “Dragon” mentioned in the movie title.
    From what i read, there are two monster : The huge dragon which is terrorizing the chinese capital, and a strange human-reptilian guy(Kim Bum).

  7. I just saw the movie like 6 hours ago ^___^ it was pretty good brainless entertainment with lots of action sequences, pretty sceneries, decent cgi and quite good 3D effects. Only went to see it for the 4 guys! Hehe. *spoiler alert* but I was a bit disappointed that Bummie’s gorgeous face got so little screen time (90% of his screen time he was in a freaking green monster getup! WTH is up with that?!?! Such a waste of his pretty face! Me think tsui hark purposely gave him that role so that his gorgeous face doesn’t overshadow the other 3 leading Chinese actors… Don’t get me wrong, I luv LGX and FSF but Bummie totally wins in the looks department compared to them IMHO) anyway, rant over =P
    Now everyone go and see the movie and just have fun 🙂 I loved LGX’s ackward and girl-shy character, perfect sidekick for detective dee. FSF’s eyes and hair looks off to me in this movie. Mark was spot on as Dee. Weird thing is I couldnt figure out WTH is Chen Kun’s cameo? I must have blinked n missed it. Haha

    • Aww I desperately want to watch it too. The movie’s premise has piqued my curiosity right from the start. Unfortunately, it looks like it will take ages before I get to see it. I badly need some spoilers to satisfy my desperation hahahaha. There’s this one question that’s been running in my head for quite some time now. To those who have seen the movie, was there any kissing scene between Kim Bum and Angelababy?

      • *spoiler alert*
        @belle: sorry to burst your bubble but for me technically there is NO kissing scene between Bummie and Angelababy, there is a scene where Bummie In his awful green monster getup did kinda give Angelababy an underwater “kiss” (I think he was more trying to give her air) but I do NOT treat that green swamp thing look-alike as Bummie, cause where da-f is his gorgeous face?!?!? Aaaargh! Oh, but there was this weird “sex” scene where their kinda naked bodies were entwined together bit totally LAME and made me go “huh?!”. So yeah, just go for the action scenes and the bromance, those are the good parts of the movie 😉

      • @Okitat Really? Lol, it turns out my instincts served me right all along. I dunno, but I had this gut feeling that the production team was just building up the hype by spreading all these stuff about a so-called passionate scene between the two. So about the weird “sex” scene, are you saying that it wasn’t as steamy as how the media made it out to be? 🙂

  8. Not to be smug or anything but I kinda guessed something like that will happen cause his character seemed too low key, they could get other actors but they got Kim Bum which signify his character has some importance in the movie. So yup 🙂 But thanks for the confirmation 🙂

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