In the year following the 2006 KBS2 drama Infamous Chil Princesses, Lee Seung Gi has mostly worked on his singing career. His upcoming MBC drama as the titular hero Iljimae, scheduled to air sometime in the first half of 2008, is to be his acting comeback.
But MBC is finding it difficult to meet that timeline and has pushed back its projected broadcast yet some more. Despite what seemed to be an initial mad dash to claim the telling of the folkloric Iljimae, MBC’s and SBS’s versions of the drama will not be airing at the same time. The SBS version starring Lee Junki and Han Hyo Joo has a fixed airdate, set to begin broadcasting in April, despite the fact that they were working without the benefit of the original source material, a well-known graphic novel/book series. MBC had secured the exclusive right to adapt that material for its version.
Currently, MBC’s drama is still trying to finish casting the series, as well as scouting out locations to film. PD Hwang In Roi, or, as I call him, That Guy Who Did Goong, is busily looking at possible filming locations in China. One source from the Iljimae production side said, “Rather than rushing into production, the producers agree that it’s more important to be better-prepared.”
So, fans of the balladeer may just have to wait a little longer to see Lee Seung Gi back onscreen. In the meantime, there’s always Lee Junki’s take on the heroic character — I just hope SBS’s series doesn’t take all the excitement and anticipation out of the MBC one, although I suspect they’d probably love to do just that.
SONG OF THE DAY
Lee Seung Gi – “왜… 가니” (Why… are you leaving?) from his most recent (third) album.
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