South Korea’s Showbox/Mediaplex has picked up A Dirty Carnival director Yoo Ha’s upcoming Gangnam Blues starring rising pan-Asian star Lee Min-Ho.

Lee has been garnering pan-Asian popularity with hit TV series such as The Heirs and City Hunter. Gangnam Blues will be the first feature film in which he has a leading role.

The action thriller is set in Seoul’s Gangnam district in the 1970s – a time of socio-political and economic upheaval in Korea. Lee plays an ambitious young gangster who gets caught up in the conflict between political powers and gang organizations developing real estate in Gangnam.

Kim Rae-Won, also popular from TV and films such as Insa-dong Scandal, plays a childhood friend of Lee’s in the film.

Yoo has previously made period films such as Spirit Of Jeet Keun Do – Once Upon A Time In High School, also set in the 1970s Gangnam area (although technically not in the Gangnam administrative district), and historical costume drama A Frozen Flower.

Produced by m.o.vera pictures, the film is set to start shooting in April and is due for local release this coming winter. Showbox is investing and distributing.