Chungmuro/Film News
Kim Soo-hyun takes role of pretty-boy spy
by | April 28, 2012 | 56 Comments

Kim Soo-hyun has picked his next project, after hitting it big with The Moon That Embraces the Sun, which netted him a recent Baeksang Award, and it’s a spy movie with an entertaining premise called Covertly, Grandly. That’s the literal translation; perhaps a better-sounding English title will be released later.

It’s an adaptation of a popular webtoon series on Daum by writer HUN, and Kim will play the lead, Won Ryu-hwan. He’s a 24-year-old secret agent from the North who’s dispatched to South Korea with an airborne unit. Once he infiltrates a remote town, he assumes a new name and the cover of, essentially, the village idiot. Heh. Fluent in five languages (including English and Russian) and an expert sniper to boot, Ryu-hwan gets to know the villagers and gathers intelligence on their political and military leanings, which he reports back to the North.

But wait, there’s more! He’s not just a spy, but an idol boy spy. Haha, way to incorporate all of Kim’s past roles; his assumed identity is an idol wannabe, and he comes with two comrades from the North. Together, they make up a “flower boy idol trio.” Oh man, now I’m picturing two stiff soldier types as his sidekicks, like The King 2 Hearts’ Shi-kyung as an idol boy, or maybe Ryu from Myung-wol the Spy (who are cut from similar cloth). Or better yet, both.

On top of that, the film will be directed by Jeon Hae-hong, who directed the tense thriller Poongsan starring Yoon Kye-sang, which also dealt with the North-South divide.

Sounds like a movie to keep our eyes on. Covertly, Grandly begins filming in July.

Via TV Report


56 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. cherkell

    OMG this has EPIC WIN all over it!!! But yes, please come up with a better English-translated title, because your International Viewers would greatly appreciate it!! 🙂

    • 1.1 JoAnne

      ok I only read the first paragraph but I have the better English title: Secretly Big

      apparently…Gong Yoo will be co-starring.

      • 1.1.1 Jules


        Although, given Gong Yoo’s recent ‘tattoo’ pics, I don’t think it’s much of a secret.

        • cherkell

          Nate and Naver are both reporting the title has been slightly changed to “Secret to Greatness.” Boy, if that isn’t Truth in Advertising there…

          Is it Release Time yet? 😉

          • JoAnne

            Oh lets just call it ‘Pretty Big’

  2. gg

    ARHHHHH my pretty boy KSH!!!! love him so much, he can basically play any role with ease. And i saw a video of him when he was still studying theatre at joongang university, he was already a pretty boy then <3 <3 can't wait for this movie to be out!!!!!

  3. JoAnne

    Ok. Now that I have read the rest, no jokes: I am watching this. I don’t care who else is in it.

  4. Arhazivory

    Well, this definitely sounds interesting.

    • 4.1 ilikemangos

      def. i shall be tuning in~

  5. Anna

    This sounds like epicness waiting to happen. Can’t wait to see who the supporting cast will be.

    Here is to hoping that his love interest won’t be an idol girl. I think it’d be a lot more interesting if there was a spunky village girl that kept him on his toes!

  6. foraredrose

    OMG YES!!!! I can’t wait!!!! Something to look forward to after Thieves 😀 😀 😀

  7. jen

    pfft this sounds pretty amazing LOL

  8. Cynthia

    So he’s a super spy – village idiot – idol flower boy?
    Color me interested, but really confused.
    Is this a comedy? It can’t be overly serious considering the lead’s character description.

  9. coffeevamprie

    This sounds epic. Count me in!

  10. 10 purty.sunshine

    Aw, it sounded amazing until the Jeon Hae-hong part. Bummer. I’m not a fan of his movies.

  11. 11 sjkwifey

    How does a village idiot becomes qualified to become a idol star?? I’m intrigued about this premise and the crazy hi-jinks it will ensue. It also sounds very entertaining and funny which is good because I miss him in a light-hearted role.

  12. 12 Ani

    North-South shows have been around a while, but they’re coming on almost at full speed now aren’t they? Hmmmm.

    • 12.1 909

      I know right, it’s now the new trend I guess…goodbye time travelling “sageuks?” HELLO North-South dramas/movies. The plot line seems a bit lacking but we’ll see, it’s either a hit or miss….

  13. 13 KitKat

    i am SO looking forward to this movie 🙂

  14. 14 Ilog

    Kim Soo Hyun as an idol star? I AM SO IN!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Despite being a North Korean spy, I hope he lets down his hair and acts as a prissy, haughty, uptight idol in this persona. Lol.

    When is this wish-come-true-gift-to-all-womankind movie gonna show? WHEEEEEEEEEN?!

  15. 15 lulu

    why do all spies come from the North?

  16. 16 sita

    okay, can’t wait 🙂

  17. 17 Lolly

    Flashes of suave-ness and cute-ness alternating of kim soo hyun, i’m in!!!!

  18. 18 jubilantia

    So, we’re finally getting a guy as the Northern “enemy”? Rock. H

    ave we noticed that all leads from North Korea have been women? Like the Gong Yoo movie, and King 2 Hearts AND Myung-wol the Spy? Anyway, anything with “idol” in the premise must automatically be awesome and hilarious, so bring it on.

  19. 19 BLee

    Huh in the webtoon only one of the trio wanted to be an idol, not the main character himself. But the series is written incredibly well, I’m looking extra forward to this!

    I remember when the series was running most people wanted Won Bin to be the main character cause of his past roles in Mother and Ahjussi, a perfect blend of the characters that fits the main character well.

  20. 20 tikaa

    so samdong is originally a north korean,, hihi

  21. 21 bus

    YESSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i’m looking forward to this movie!!!

    great!!! <3

  22. 22 M

    does anyone have a link to the site where i can read the webtoon? i wanna check it out 🙂

  23. 23 M

    does anyone have a link to the website where i can read the webtoon? i’d like to check it out 🙂

  24. 24 Lilian

    haha..just the plot itself is damn attractive already. With Kim Soo Hyun it seems like it will be a blast!

  25. 25 Fab

    Oh, he is so fit to the role. The Pretty is written all over him, and he is talented too! :>

  26. 26 Cam

    Wow ~ Bravo-Bravooo Kim Soo Hyun! 😀

  27. 27 LeiDiAngelo

    Whats with North-South stuff ? and Idol-Spy thingy ? is it like a new trend or something ? o.O

  28. 28 Thatgirl

    Ok, what’s up with all these North Korea spy dramas? Is it be cause of Kim Jong Il’s death? It’s almost as common as the Time traveler dramas….

    • 28.1 jessly

      It is a movie.

  29. 29 crazedlu

    hee. sounds good.

  30. 30 h311ybean

    I initially read “expert sniper” as “expert stripper,” but now I’ve finished my breakfast and am not as sleepy :-p

    • 30.1 JoAnne

      oh but now you’ve got me really wanting to watch that drama…

  31. 31 Di

    I can’t wait for this, I’m so excited *-*

  32. 32 cherry

    excited very much!!!! can I be the leading lady? =]

    good luck oppa!!!!! love you!!! <3

  33. 33 Alysanne

    Hurray for a new KSH project!

    Also, OMG, the mental image of K2H’s Shi-kyung as an idol boy. OMG. *dies laughing*

  34. 34 Delona


    if you feel kim soo hyun is not a good actor. you better do not post articles about/news kim soo hyun. you do not deserve.

    • 34.1 Lolz

      I agree with you.he will become the most amazing actor of asian in the future. I really want to watch this movie. he wil speak english and russian in this movie i cant wait……….

    • 34.2 jessly

      I guess having rabid fangirls do show his popularity explosion too.

  35. 35 chaisy

    This movie must be humurous I looking forward for it and wondering who is the lead actress, I do mind a noona actress as long as she is beautiful with good acting skill like KSH.

  36. 36 nonski

    LOLS, the premise is awesome, can’t wait… KSH!

    and add Ryu and Shi-kyung molds to the cast awesomeness of EPIC proportions!

  37. 37 loleja

    translations are wrong! Kim Soo Hyun’s role is a spy and he is acting as a village idiot only. There is another spy and he is an “idol wannabe” that always signs up for auditions but fails, and the third spy is a high school student.

  38. 38 kira


  39. 39 Junipooh

    OMG. This webtoon. is SO FREAKING AMAIZNG. It’s so hilarious and so amazing and touching at the same time. this webtoon is just fabulous. I cried after finished this. It just has such a deep and powerful story that just made me laugh and cry thoughout the whole series. I can’t even say it. I’m too scared that the movie will ruin the original story (idol wannabe? I don’t remember that on webtoon) but still. It’ll be absolutely hilarious seeing Soo-Hyun pooping on the street.

    Oops. Spoiler alert (am I too late now?)

  40. 40 Echo

    I don’t really like him as an actor. Still think the child actors were better than the adult actors in TMTETS. But, he does have potential to become better.
    In TMTETS his character portrayal was very wrong….
    Instead of me feeling sorry for the King and his long lost love, his suffering etc…..every time KSH came on screen I wished his character would be killed off…..that’s how much I hated the character.

    • 40.1 Boohoo

      Yes, sudden success n shot to fame! Fans like his big ears n small eyes. Won’t last.

  41. 41 Carinne

    I need to watch Thieves first. Oh, will this movie be his debut as a lead male in a movie role?

  42. 42 21

    Sounds very interesting! I will definitely keep my eyes out for this one!

  43. 43 hanna

    after watching dream high and moon-sun, i can’t get enough of him..i want moreeeeee of kim soo hyun!

  44. 44 Skyblaze77

    I heard that jo Jung suk(Shi kyung) is really joining him as the other idol-spy, and Lee Hyun Woo will be the third idol-spy. Is it true? I read it on several websites, and I’m really praying hard that it’s for real, but I think it’s kinda doubtful…

  45. 45 hnineindraoo

    I like u’re movie:-)

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