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Are Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, Lee Jong Suk And Kim Woo Bin The New Hallyu Kings?

BY Adrienne Stanley | Mar 05, 2015 07:09 PM EST

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On March 3, an article published by OSEN explored the career trajectory of young Hallyu actors Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Min Ho, Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin.

The article examined the strong box-office performance for the stars and their ability to deliver viewers to Korean dramas. Kim Soo Hyun and Lee Min Ho were noted as Hallyu stars who have attracted the interest of fans in China and Japan, prior to experiencing explosions within their careers.

Kim Soo Hyun, Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin have had several successful movies along with their Korean drama roles. Kim Soo Hyun experienced a surge in his career following “My Love From The Stars” after capturing the interest of fans with his role in the drama “Dream High” followed by his successful espionage film, “Secretly Greatly.” His K-Drama return will come through his role in the upcoming series, “Producer.” With “Producer,” he will reunite with the screenwriter of “My Love From The Stars.” Although, he has taken the past year off from filming, he has spent the time establishing strong bonds with numerous endorsement deals.

Lee Jong Suk and Kim Woo Bin have been on a similar trajectory since starring in “School 2013.”
Kim Woo Bin has emerged as a guaranteed box-office draw through films such as “Friend: The Legacy” and “The Technicians.” In March 2015, his coming-of-age film “Twenty” will deliver the star into the uncharted territory of the gross-out romantic comedy genre. While he has experienced success with movies, audiences are eagerly awaiting his return to Korean drama, following his portrayal of Choi Young Do in “The Heirs.”

Lee Jong Suk has developed into a desirable boy-next-door in Korean drama. Like Lee Min Ho and Kim Woo Bin, he successfully paired with Park Shin Hye for television. His role in “Pinocchio” is one of recent examples of success. Since his starring role in “School 2013,” fans have remained with him for “I Can Hear Your Voice” and “Good Doctor.”

While the other members of the new Hallyu Kings have risen to fame in recent years, Lee Min Ho captured the attention of international audiences with his role in “Boys Over Flowers.” “The Heirs” served as another shining role for the actor, who has just started to take on meaty film roles.

Which other stars were previously considered the 4 Hallyu Kings?

OSEN examined the first wave of successful actors who emerged from Asia, particularly the film stars of Hong Kong. These actors from the '80s and '90s included Hacken Lee, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung and Aaron Kwok. Their success in the Asian market caused the stars to be dubbed the 4 Kings.

The article also focused on previous actors who were referred to as the 4 Hallyu Kings: Jang Dong Gun, Lee Byung Hun, Won Bin and Song Seung Heon.

The previous quartet of Hallyu Kings are aging or have experienced set backs in their careers. Jang Dong Gun is a married father with two children who led the cast of “A Gentleman's Dignity,” a drama which focused on the trials and tribulations of men in their 40s. In 2014, he led the action-packed thriller “No Tears For The Dead,” a movie from acclaimed director Lee Jeong Beom.

Lee Byung Hun continues to be an action star but recently experienced a career setback with his blackmail scandal. However, he plays an integral role as T-1000 in the upcoming film “Terminator Genisys.” His off-screen role as an eligible bachelor has completely been diminished as he is an expectant father.

Won Bin was also known as one of the 4 Hallyu Kings. His last major film role was the 2010 hit “The Man from Nowhere.” In 2013, he confirmed his relationship with “The Fugitive: Plan B” star Lee Na Young.

Song Seung Heon continues to have the of the most lucrative careers of the original Hallyu Kings. In 2013, he starred in the MBC drama “When a Man Falls in Love.” His has held on to a strong film career, with “The Third Love” and “Wonderful Nightmare” in 2015.

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