Lee Yoon-ji joins The Great Seer, Go Soo leaves
Casting additions and subtractions for the upcoming historical drama The Great Seer, aka Dae Poong Soo, due out this fall. The drama stars Ji Jin-hee, Kim So-yeon, and Song Chang-eui, and originally cast Go Soo in the lead role as the great seer. But he had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts, leaving the drama in search of a new hero. At the top of the show’s hero wish list is Ji Sung, who’s reportedly “considering the role.” Meanwhile, Lee Yoon-ji (The King 2 Hearts) joins the cast as a woman with a complicated past who ends up being the mother of a future king.
The Great Seer is a late Goryeo-era sageuk that begins during the reign of King Gongmin, aka the same king in current fantasy-fusion drama Faith. But despite being about seers, geomancers, divinators and the like, this drama is less about the fantasy and more about the political movers and shakers — people who had the power to advise, and therefore control, kings. Ji Jin-hee plays Yi Seong-gye, the general who led the overthrow of Goryeo and established the Joseon Dynasty, becoming its first king.
The hero is the seer/geomancer who backs General Yi and effectively shapes the future of Korea as we know it. Kim So-yeon plays a healer whose destiny is tied to General Yi, but she falls in love with the seer. And Song Chang-eui plays the rival advisor. Lee Yoon-ji joins the cast as Ban-ya, a woman who was sold off as a gisaeng at a young age, but becomes a concubine to King Gongmin’s advisor, and bears a son. King Gongmin takes in that son as his, and the boy becomes King Woo of Goryeo — the king that General Yi (Ji Jin-hee) dethrones in a coup d’état.
It’s all fascinating stuff if you can keep the history straight, but I suppose it’s also just going to be an interesting story give or take the history. I’ve always preferred the stories that focus on the people behind those in power, and the setup here is rife with that sort of political conflict, while being set in the pivotal Goryeo-Joseon turn of the tide.
The 36-episode drama will be directed by PD Lee Yong-seok of Iljimae, and is set to premiere in October on SBS. That is… if it can secure a hero…