The Ministry of National Defense on Sunday confirmed plans to produce a Taiwanese version of the popular South Korean military television drama Descendants of the Sun, aimed at improving the military’s image and morale.
Ministry spokesman Major General Chen Chung-chi (陳中吉) said that bidding for the NT$12.8 million dollar (US$419,300) series had been completed, and the series, tentatively titled The Best Choice (最好的選擇), would have a total of 16 episodes and would be helmed by award-winning director Liang Hsiu-shen (梁修身).
Liang said he plans to start filming in the middle of next month, with a large opening ceremony being held before filming starts.
While he would not reveal casting specifics, Liang said the male lead would be someone who is in top physical shape, as he is to play the role of a special forces soldier.
Some actors are currently in the military, including female officers in the military’s news agency and political warfare divisions, he said.
“We have created a vivid story that is lively and romantic. It is not a stereotypical drama,” Liang said, adding that he is deeply grateful for the ministry’s support.
Responding to a question from Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Tsai Shih-ying (蔡適應) at the legislature’s Foreign and National Defense Committee meeting yesterday, Colonel Chen Yu-lin (陳育琳), director of the political warfare department at the Matsu Defense Command in Lienchiang County, said the series would be available for viewing online through the ministry’s Facebook page and other social media sites, in addition to cable and over-the-air TV broadcasts.
Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Johnny Chiang (江啟臣) voiced skepticism, saying the military’s problems are rooted in its leadership and discipline, and that the TV series would not be helpful in improving the military’s image.
DPP Legislator Chuang Ruei-hsiung (莊瑞雄), pointing to a photograph of Descendants of the Sun lead Song Joong-ki that he brought to the meeting, asked Minister of National Defense Feng Shih-kuan (馮世寬): “Is he more handsome than you were back in the day?”
“Not quite,” Feng answered, eliciting laughter when he responded similarly to another comparison with Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro (金城武).
Feng later said he was only joking with the legislators.
Chuang said he hoped the series would not turn out to be a “Regret of the Sun,” playing on the Chinese word for “regret” (hou hui, 後悔), which shares a character with the word “descendant” (hou yi, 後裔).
Liya Chu (朱如茵), whose parents are New York-based Taiwanese restaurateurs, has been crowned the champion of US television cooking competition MasterChef Junior, after wowing the judges, including celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, with a feast of fusion cuisine. In the finale of the show’s eighth season, broadcast on Thursday, Chu walked away with US$100,000 after serving a spread of spiced duck breast with scallion pancakes and miso eggplant, followed by coconut pandan panna cotta with a passion fruit coulis and sesame tuille. Chu, who was 10 years old at the time of filming three years ago, faced off against then-11-year-old Grayson Price from
A university student has gained the spotlight for an interactive map he designed detailing all of China’s military bases and installations throughout the Indo-Pacific region. Soochow University music student Joseph Wen (溫約瑟), who calls himself an amateur military enthusiast, said he created the map to “help people better understand the cross-strait situation.” Wen originally posted the map online on June 14 last year, but it gained greater attention after he mentioned it during an appearance on a China Television talk show. On the show, Wen said he had gathered information on the locations from publicly available Web sites, as
GLOBAL STRATEGY: Indo-Pacific alliances need reinforcement to prevent Chinese occupation of Taiwan, which would threaten Japan, Hawaii and Australia, Pompeo said The US should officially recognize Taiwan as a free, independent nation and establish official diplomatic ties, former US secretary of state Mike Pompeo told an event at the Hudson Institute in Washington on Friday. Every US president since Harry Truman has considered Taiwan’s existence to be of utmost importance to US national security, Pompeo said. Taiwan is a principal US partner in technology and economic matters, and if China were to capture Taiwan’s semiconductor supply chain, it would severely hamper the US economy, Pompeo said. Should China occupy Taiwan, it would severely weaken US influence in the Indo-Pacific region and its surrounding areas,
Opening-day ticket sales for a horror exhibition at the Tainan Art Museum were suspended twice on Saturday as the show attracted too many visitors. Titled “Ghosts and Hells: The Underworld in Asian art,” the exhibition runs until Oct. 16. It is the local version of a show that debuted at the Musee du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac in Paris. It was planned and curated by Julien Rousseau. The Tainan museum said that within an hour of its doors opening, more than 1,000 people had entered the exhibition. By noon, 3,000 physical and virtual tickets had been sold, while the museum had more than 4,000