Drama Casting & News
Lee Young-ae in talks for Dae Jang Geum sequel
by | May 10, 2012 | 71 Comments

Okay, I’ll believe this when I see it, because it’s going to take a lot to wrangle a star like Lee Young-ae back to the small screen, and in a repeat of the role that has made her beloved the world over, no less. But anyway, the rumor is out that Lee is considering (or reconsidering, technically) the sequel to one of the most popular k-dramas ever, Dae Jang Geum aka Jewel in the Palace.

The original Dae Jang Geum aired on MBC back in 2003-2004, and went on to become one of the most successful k-drama exports, well, ever. It has been exported to nearly thirty countries, translated into multiple languages, and domestically it netted 57% ratings at its peak. Suffice to say, it’s the k-drama juggernaut. The sequel is one of those projects that has been in development since the dawn of time, once postponed back in 2009 when Lee announced that she wouldn’t be reprising her role.

There’s pretty much no Dae Jang Geum without Lee Young-ae, so her return to the project would be the only thing to revive it at this point. The thing is, veteran PD Lee Byung-hoon (who went on to do Yi San and Dong Yi) is gearing up for what people have been saying will be his last drama, another medical sageuk due out later this year. But he has said that he’d delay his retirement for Dae Jang Geum 2.

If Lee does return to acting, it’ll be her first project since 2005’s Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. She has since gotten married and is now the mother of twins.

If the stars align, Dae Jang Geum 2 might hit the air this coming September-October on MBC.

Via Sports Khan

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71 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Mimi

    Oh my! The drama that made me hook on sageuk dramas…

    I love to see lee young ae back on screen, though i never thought that a sequel would be fitting. lolz

    • 1.1 momogi

      exactly, my first-love sageuk it is! I fall in love with her and Ji Jin-hee, their pairing is just so beautiful.
      After Jang-geum, I couldn’t really fall in love with other sageuk, the latest is Princess’s Man, and I haven’t yet watch Tree with Deep Roots.

      I couldn’t picture any other actress playing Jang-geum. Lee Young-ae IS Jang-geum, period.

      I think the ending gives a possibility for next story, truthfully I’m kind of unsatisfied with the ending or maybe that’s just myself who can’t face a farewell with long-time watch.

      YAY for Jang-geum 2.0

    • 1.2 KAI

      WITH JI JIN HEE PLEASE..

  2. deity

    This is GREAT news!!!

    But from what I have read, she will be moving to the countryside this June where she will live with her family till her twins are of school age. So…

  3. megara

    OMG.

  4. mtoh

    OOOO…first Kdrama I watced on my nacional tv…
    Thanks to her I found my promise land…

  5. Fab

    My favourite drama! I’ve only watched it in my native language and haven’t had the courage yet to watch it in Korean…

    But I feel that a sequel would not do my beloved DJM any good. I’m keen to see Lee Young Ae’s comeback but not in this one. Please! I am sure this great PD can make another great drama featuring LYA!

  6. birdscout

    My first-ever sageuk! Marathoning 50 episodes sure was tiring, but so much fun. I don’t know how I feel about a sequel…Dong Yi bored me to tears and I couldn’t finish it ๐Ÿ™

    • 6.1 momogi

      yes, because Dong Yi story is boring and predictable.

      • 6.1.1 bd

        DY was kinda entertaining for during the 1st 15 or so eps w/ the adult DY and when the King was going incognito, but then they started to rehash and repeat the same palace intriques (plus, the overacting by some of the cast didn’t help).

  7. Hagar

    this was the only sageuk drama drama I ever watched and it was my 3rd kdrama to watch ever
    I would be very happy if she really does it ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. tikaa

    what will be the story? I love janggeum in her cooking era *insert janggeum OST

    • 8.1 momogi

      you know the funny thing is for past couple nights I played Jang-geum OST as my lullaby, and here it is the news! Ha

  9. jiajia

    whaaaaaat? this is crazy good.

  10. 10 21

    This was the only K-drama so far that I have watched with my whole family and I mean the WHOLE family including my grandparents down to my little cousins. As much as I loved this 60+ episode drama I am pretty much over Dae Jang Geum.

    • 10.1 Kim

      OMG you too!!! I was only in 4th grade at the time but I remember my whole family actually watched this drama together. I remember the ending when the king dies, my mom and I cried.

  11. 11 jun

    Sounds good… Wonder where the sequel picks up from though?

    • 11.1 jasmine

      My thoughts exactly!! I mean don’t get me wrong, I LOVE DJG. It was my first kdrama and the one that got me hooked on kdramas in general. But after 50+ episodes, what else is left to tell? I like LYA, so I hope she does another project besides this one.

  12. 12 KDaddict

    It’d take a lot to pull her away from those very very adorable twins of hers; it’d have to be a project that she can’t say no to, wouldn’t it?
    DJG2? Wouldn’t that be a Been there, Done that, for her?

  13. 13 Teddie

    Can we bring back Han Sang Gung too? I cried so so much for the duo!

  14. 14 Kiara

    WOW, didnt see this coming but I’m soooo glad to see her acting again. DJG was my very first Korean drama. Lee Young-ae such natural beauty and Ji Jin Hee my first Korean crush. Kim Yeong-Hyeon still my favorite sageuk writer and I thank her also for Tree With Deep Roots and QSD. Lady Choi, I thought was unbeatable as the villain until Mishil came along.
    Dae Jang Geum is full of my first time favorites and I’m excited for the sequel. I still have the cds which I bought for over 200 bucks and I have to say it was worth it because every single member of my family have watched it and loved it.

  15. 15 yuyunzzz

    my first and ever sageuk drama in my life. i never watch any sageuk drama after I watch DJG coz I know all of them cannot beat this one. but I’m glad if she come back to make the sequel. If she refuse, I think its better not watching the sequel coz DJG means nothing without LYA

  16. 16 ceire

    This drama was dubbed and broadcasted in Arabic channels worldwide. I never really liked it myself (not my cup of tea, I suppose), but surprisingly enough my mom and younger sister fell in love with it. If this news is true, I know at least two people who will be over the moon, haha ๐Ÿ˜€

  17. 17 Czak

    hahaha I love this drama..!
    And I love the PDs other sagueks, dong yi and yisan…
    This is one of the Saguek shows my dad watched, and my brother knows.
    But I think it would be a bad idea to redo what’s already been done, where do they pick up the story, well they cast all actors from DJG or just her?
    I think as the saying goes, it’s best to end with a bang and they already did that… Not good to go back and have a just okay drama or more disappointing if it flags down…
    But still love her and the PD though…

  18. 18 Eeefu

    If she goes with it, I will watch it! I trust her selection of work.

    I so love this drama that I bought the discs and have watched it like 5 times over the years? Even my hubby commented: this again? don’t you have other things to watch?

    Same question as Czak – which part of the story would the new series develop on?

  19. 19 Dav

    I’m not a fan of Lee Young-ae. Am I the only one? Maybe it was the writing – I just spent episode wondering if I was ever going to feel for the character, or connect with her on any level.

    • 19.1 Tha

      You’re only one…

      • 19.1.1 Dav

        I guess I just have terrible, terrible taste.

        Oh, well.

        • 19.1.1.1 come2noona

          No. You are not the only one.

          I was not thrilled with her acting either. Or maybe I was too busy staring at/waiting for JJH on the screen.

    • 19.2 Phyllis

      I do not know if it was her or the bad directing or writing. If she was told to perform in a certain way it could have been the director. I could not finish this drama or Dong Yi. In my opinion they are both very tiring. The use of the same acting tactics, mundane and colorless characters, and repeated story lines to keep something going is unforgivable.

      There are a few dramas out there that are paced well enough to keep the audience. If I was artful enough I could express why I cannot finish a drama. I watched “The Princess’ Man” and was totally glued.

      • 19.2.1 come2noona

        Dong Yi was a bit tiring too… she’s in trouble, she gets out of it, she’s in trouble, she gets out of it, repeat. But once again, I watched for my JJH. Ill watch almost anything with JJH…almost.

        Try Tree with Deep Roots. It is awesome.

        • 19.2.1.1 Phyllis

          I loved “Tree With Deep Roots” until the end. I skipped the penultimate episode and some before it, and never bothered to watch them because the ending disappointed me so much. I cannot believe people (hero and heroine) are dying and the king continues with his promulgation. It is beyond belief and sickens me!

          I loved the characters and did not get why they had to die. The two, So-yi and Ddol-bok, were developed very well and are very fascinating. They had so much more to offer. Their sacrifice did not fit the cause, since we know Hangul did not become popularized until much later. It seems very contrived. I followed the recaps and did not buy all the explanations about the ending offered by others who contributed.

  20. 20 Tha

    OMGoodness!!!! My favorite kdrama ever is having a second?!?!?! IM SO IN!!!

    Im so ready for the continuation of purest love story in DJG. Please have LYA and JJH together again…I can watch their love story over and over!

  21. 21 Lisa

    Oh lord. I’m about to hyperventilate. Dae Jang Geum is my favorite Kdrama if all time.

    I’m not sure about the sequel but I’ve missed Lee Young-ae.

  22. 22 semigemi

    This is actually airing in my country right now lol

  23. 23 sinflower

    Omg..a sequel ?? Dis drama was my first love n started my love for sageuk dramas !! * crossing fingers hoping for d best **

  24. 24 yukisama69

    DJG was my first ever sageuk and I was hooked. But honestly, I don’t think a sequel is a good idea. Leave a good thing as is. But hey, if the drama gods decide to do it, then go ahead and I’ll check it out anyway.

  25. 25 Sho

    This was my second K Drama I’ve watched (1st Sageuk) prior to Country Princess. The only reason I even watched DJG is because when I finished watching CP, I checked out the ratings of the best net K Dramas and DJM was obviously and still is the Top of the Top.

    DJG was indeed good, as it got me hooked onto watching Sageuks for the next couple of years and then getting me into watching modern K Dramas now as well.

    I can’t really see what the story of the Sequel can be though. She’s already accomplished so much that it’s hard to see what there can be talked about that can’t be done in a few episodes. If anything I can’t see DJG2 last more than 20 episodes with how much story you can talk about

  26. 26 Cynthia

    Jewel in the Palace wasn’t my first K-drama watch but it was the first sageuk featuring a female subject. I loved it, and loved her in the role.

    As far as a sequel? Sequels are always debatable, especially those following a blockbuster original. The stars (both figurative and literal) have to align for success.

    LYA was wonderful 10 years ago but many moons have passed and her life has gone in a different direction – her last screen project was in 2005, and then she was gone. To appear again in a sequel would be like trying to capture lightning in a bottle. I don’t think she should do it. Another, totally different project? Yes. I’d love to see her, either on the small or big screen because she’s a wonderful actress.

    • 26.1 Cynthia

      “Jewel in the Palace wasnโ€™t my first K-drama watch but it was the first sageuk featuring a female subject.”

      Sorry – meant to say it was the first female oriented sageuk that I watched….

  27. 27 purexorange

    why a sequel? it was perfect as it was . and plus i don’t think she’ll accept it because she said she wanted to spend time with her twins.

  28. 28 anna

    This was also my first sageuk as well! I actually sat through 50 episodes of this. It’s amazing actually because usually I couldn’t sit through 16 episodes. I don’t know how the sequel is going to work though. It’s perfect the way it is.

  29. 29 Arhazivory

    I guess I should watch this then. So I can be ready for the sequel. ^^

    • 29.1 Tha

      You can watch it now…

  30. 30 Danna

    See if this true then this totally is the year of comebacks and the year everybody gets a drama….i approve of a LYA comeback but just not with this drama….i dont think kdramas have done good sequels ever…also very skeptical about LYA making a comeback when her kids are this young….especially with a drama…i could see her doing a movie but not a drama with all its crazy scheduling

  31. 31 Biscuit

    Dae Jang Geum 2 or not, I want her in any drama!

    Think of how it would be if Go Hyun Jung come back and would do a drama during the same time slot. There’d be CHAOS within the entertainment industry.

    *Sigh* Only in dreams….

  32. 32 Hungirl

    Wow, this was the first k-drama which aired in Hungary, and also the first which i saw and then became addicted! It would be so nice to see a 2part, a little nostalgic…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. 33 Yuchan

    Oh no! JJH is supposed to be in another drama around that time. Does this mean JJH won’t be able to reprise his role?

  34. 34 Compass Wise

    LYA is my all favourite actress. But, I really hope she will let some other actress to have a chance. My prefer choice of actress to replace her in the sequel is Choi Jung Won who looks like the younger version of LYA, and has quite good acting skill, as demonstrated in her last drama – Brain.

    BTW, LYA is now building a house, and I guess it will be ready sometime end of this year. With the twins, and a new house, I guess it is best for LYA to focus on building a cosy home for her family, rather than return to small screen.

    In the case of LYA, I think she should take on some role like the Korean version of Oshin for a change and show her endurance during WWII or Korean wars. It is no fun to have same image. Most importantly, I sincerely hope she will give some other actress a chance, and of course, whoever replace her needs to perform. Otherwise, it is best not to take up the project.

  35. 35 Compass Wise

    Sorry, it should read all time favorite.

  36. 36 funยฒ

    Would love a sequel too… but what got my attention was that she had twins!

  37. 37 gg

    noo…. to be honest, korean drama sequels hardly turn out good (think of dream high 2 and goong S), though that’s my personal opinion of course. i think they should just let the success of the first drama rest and move on, instead of recycling similar material in the hope of repeating a success like the first one was.

  38. 38 MORE

    Its not always good to mess with a good thing! they should leave it ALONE. Or make the drama in advance so that there are no mis haps

  39. 39 belleza

    I’d LOVE to see another Lee Young Ae project, but I would be against doing a DJG sequel. Can they realistically give us another 50-60 episodes after the point where she became the royal physician? And if you do a next generation story, do you really want to see Jang Geum die?!? Our entire family would freak out if that happened!

    Then again, they could have Jang Geum jump 300 years into the future and . . .

  40. 40 John

    I don’t know if a sequel would work, but Jewel In the Palace is the show that hooked me on K Dramas.

  41. 41 kit

    CHOKING. WHAT.

    …….. All I can think is ‘Ji Jin Hee better be back too with Lee Young Age or I’m not going to be impressed’. I just think of all those horrible films where they end up with a different male interest for the sequel and it’s like but u m eg Miss Congeniality 2. I know it seems like a petty thing to say, but it’s like, have the whole cast back or don’t make the sequel because everyone’s going to be devastated.

    Or if they do like a ‘Oh my husband’s off doing something for the king and is only going to cameo once in this 40 episodes drama’ I will throttle someone.

    (Is my bias for him showing … this was the first ‘romance’ of a kdrama for me okay cough).

    Seriously, though. I trust her. If she’s back on, I’m hoping that the old pd-writer is back or people just as good. And with her star power I guess other veteran actors will come too.

    What will this be about though. Cutting people up?

    … Wait. That is a medical sageuk. Hm.

  42. 42 Fanboi

    Those were the days when even lazy sleepers would watch late night to see Jang Geum Cooking–>Nursing–>Healing (‘coz in the Philippines, ratings don’t normally top 40 % if your show is in the 11pm onwards slot). This was the show that probably pulled me to watch other KDramas.. Would really love to see it one more time.. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope Lee Young Ae would agree and Ji Jin Hee would reprise his role as well..

  43. 43 mellisa

    not really looking forward to a sequel to this drama. I like the story, but it was quite dragging. when it aired in my country, i would watch the monday episode, miss the tuesday to thursday episodes, when i take it up again on friday, the story seems never to have moved at all!

    the story, in general, is ok. the acting is nothing spectacular, just ok. the love story is very peripheral. i felt it was just added for the sake of having a romantic line. after all, what is a kdrama without romance? but it was very peripheral for me, i tend skip scenes of LYA and JJH. they bored me to tears. i was more into the court intrigue, the political manuevering, the food aspect of the drama, etc.

    as for villains, the evil queen mother in yi san (she’s also in DJG) is the scariest villain i have ever encountered in kdramaland. not even madame choi and mishil combined can measure up to the actress who played queen mother in yi san.

    she is the only villain who was able to make me so scared to the point that my heart would beat so fast from fear just thinking what’s she’s going to do next. even when she was banished from the palace and was confined to her quarters, i can still feel her malevolent presence. her delivery is perfect, so subtle, no overacting (which GHJ as mishil did in QSD) at all. i wonder where she is now. i don’t see her in dramas these days. or maybe i am watching the wrong dramas?

  44. 44 Elizabeth

    I think the drama work back then, but I will be abit concern if the pace is still the same. 10 years has past and they will really need a good story in place, with great directing. Nowadays there are alot more choices to watch on TV.

  45. 45 Sana

    My very first Korean drama, and one that even today, two years after it first aired here in Bosnia, brings tears to my eyes. I teard up right now, just seeing Lee as Jang Geum… Dunno why… It made me love Korean culture and started my love affair with Korea ๐Ÿ™‚

    Still, I wonder could the sequal ruin some of the magic? Or would it be as amazing as the original?

    Love DJG, no matter what…

  46. 46 lara

    lee young ae and ji jin hee was epitome of true love me. djg means nothing without them.

  47. 47 novembertwentyeleven

    I loved DJG so much I bought the dvds for the memory. It was the first kdrama I watched and the only one so far I have watched in full.

    Lee Young-ae was beautiful and was believable as JG; it was through her I got interested with the Vengeance movies and my current favorite director, Park Chan-wook. Kyeon Mi-ri acted despicable and yet her character’s death moved me. Hong Ri-na character’s was sad and I wanted so much for her to be good but she moved to the dark side, pardon the pun.

    I was fascinated about the history backdrop and have made more of an effort to cook rather than just relying on instant foods.

    I didn’t believe the love story though but it was ok – they didn’t waste a lot of time with the lovers mooning at each other.

    I am against a sequel. What is left to do with DJG? Court intrigues, medical firsts? Not very interesting in my opinion.

  48. 48 bd

    Haven’t seen LYA in anything so can’t comment about her acting.

    She, however, is often on most beautiful K-actress lists and I just don’t see it.

    Not saying LYA isn’t pretty, but there are a heck of a lot of actresses that I would put in front of LYA.

    And no, this isn’t due to “personal preference” – there are actresses who aren’t “my type” but that I can objectively state have attractive features.

  49. 49 asiandaddict

    OMO!!! I Was sooooooooo excited when I saw this good news. Dae Jang Geum was my first saguek drama, the very first kdrama that made me a Korean Drama Addict and my fellow filipino would raise their eyebrow when I say that this is my all-of-time favorite. During the peak of friendster season, I had created an account especially dedicated to JG/LYA and I even use the pseudo name Jewel_in_IRC in MIRC channel. These were just the few of the things I’ve done to show my affection to the character and LYA.

    I am so happy hearing a news bwt LYA and happy for her life now. But, after giving more thoughts about Dae Jang Geum Sequel, I am more afraid of what it will give to the audience. Let’s just see what will happen. Hoping for the better!!!

  50. 50 mayar

    ji jin-heโ€™s character in dae jang geum was make me hooked up with saeguk drama. definitely i don’t want to see this drama without him.

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