Drama Casting & News
IRIS 2 goes on a casting spree
by | September 19, 2012 | 68 Comments

Well yay for Team (fictional in IRIS-land) North Korea! More casting calls for spy sequel IRIS 2 are under way, and this time they mean business: Kim Min-jong, Kim So-yeon and Kim Seung-woo have all been asked to reprise their roles as North Korean agents from IRIS and/or Athena. I wouldn’t put my money on all three (especially Kim So-yeon who’s in The Great Seer until early February), but they’re all considering the roles. I can see Kim Min-jong signing on for the full show because there’s a lot more to mine with his character, and Kim Seung-woo doing a longish guest run, and if the stars align, Kim So-yeon doing a cameo week like she did for Athena. But even then, it would put me back on the IRIS train, which I really wouldn’t be on otherwise.

Kim Min-jong (if he signs on) would be reprising his role from Athena — North Korean defector Kim Ki-soo, who ran a gambling operation and occasionally dipped his toe back in spy activity. Jung Woo-sung had a great buddy cop thing with him, and Kim Seung-woo brought him back into the fold. So would that make him an ex-defector? I don’t think they have such things in North Korea, but yunno, this is a drama. Mostly, Kim Min-jong was just hilarious as the rusty agent who hated spy work and liked to complain. Sigh, I have an involuntary I-lub-oppa blindspot for the man, but a third season of this franchise is asking a lot. Why must you test me?

Kim Seung-woo played badass North Korean team leader Park Chul-young, and Kim So-yeon played North Korean agent Kim Sun-hwa, who was the most badass of them all. She left the spy life and started a family when we caught up with her in Athena, but then the bad guys massacred her loved ones… and she mistakenly thinks Chul-young was the one who ordered the hit. Dude, thinking about that harrowing episode and that twist on their trusted relationship reminds me how much awesome story there is left to tell for these characters. I won’t hold my breath (and I might fast forward through the rest of the drama) but it would be nice to at least have another short cameo arc from them.

IRIS 2 is currently in pre-production and courting Jang Hyuk and Lee Da-hae for the leading roles. Still conflicting reports on that front — some say they’ve signed on, while others say nothing’s changed and they’re still considering. Daniel Henney is reportedly on that roster of maybes as well.

It’s been two years since Runaway, Daniel Henney’s last drama (Where does the time go?), but this kind of seems like a lateral move for him, as it does for most of the cast so far. I actually had to check to make sure he wasn’t already in IRIS the first time, because he just fits the profile. I guess it was his Runaway character I was thinking of. Perhaps this time he’ll be slightly less billionaire, slightly more gun-toting secret agent man.

Also on the cast list (which they should just officially change to Considering List, the way casting goes these days) are idols Kang Jiyoung of KARA, Yoon Doo-joon of B2ST, and G.O of MBLAQ. I won’t tell you how many things I had to look up to spell in that sentence. Anyway, they’re up for NSS staff roles, likely the young techie crowd. Yoon Doo-joon could probably fit the rookie field agent role, a la Siwon in Athena.

IRIS 2 is gearing up for a February 2013 premiere.

Via Newsen, Sports Seoul, Joy News, Star News


68 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. berry

    How many idols??? O.O

    • 1.1 pabo ceo reom

      3 πŸ˜›

      Did someone say Kim So-yeon? <3 times infinity.

  2. hi-there

    i would watch a drama JUST of THESE THREE! (esp. Kim So Yeon x Kim Seung Woo? so down!)

    as much as i love me some Jang Hyuk…
    i was never too invested into Iris or Athena so i’m still skeptical about Iris 2. we’ll have to see when the trailers and episodes come rolling.

    • 2.1 zsa

      I’d be on board in a flash if Kim So Yeon and Kim Min Jong enter the drama…I read Im Soo Hyang is cast for this, but I can’t imagine her being a badass!!! She’s too ladylike from her previous dramas…oh well!

  3. Karsensis

    I think it was lee-joon from MBLAQ not G.O.
    Either way thats a lot of idol !!!

    • 3.1 Jackie

      It was definitely Lee Joon and not G.O.

  4. Meghan

    I read it was Lee Joon (aka baby Rain) from MBLAQ up for a role, not G.O. I also think it would be more likely for Joon to be in it as G.O. was just in Ghost a few months ago.

  5. Maysoon

    All these idols o_____o. Even if all the Kims mentioned above are part of the cast, I wont watch it. :/. I love Kim Min Jong and Seungwoo but Iris/Athena were both meh to me.

    AND DANIEL HENNEY *__* He’d be a perfect agent ho ho ho.

  6. Kiara

    The Henney! I’ve heard that he was awesome in “Shanghai Calling” with Bill Paxton.

    • 6.1 Village Mrembo

      ha ha! @ ‘THE HENNEY’ ; )

    • 6.2 D

      yup yup, it’s THE HENNEY..

  7. ricky

    Kim so yeon needs to be in it to finish off kim sun hwa’s storyline from iris and athena. If not, maybe they can make a spin off just from her story arc.

  8. yoyoyomonkeysss

    Isn’t it Lee Joon of MBLAQ???

  9. Farhana

    G.O was recently in Ghost – it most definitely is Lee Joon (Ninja Assassin, now cast in WGM) being considered for the role. Can’t wait to see him in a real drama – he has awesome acting skills for a rookie! πŸ™‚

  10. 10 haneul.

    I thought it was Lee Joon from Mblaq not G.O? I was excited… despite all of his variety show antics, I think he’s a really amazing actor. Those of you who have seen Jungle Fish 2 can probably agree with me.

    • 10.1 Sue

      I agree!

  11. 11 j

    It’s Lee Joon actually πŸ˜‰
    And also you forgot to mention Oh Yeon Soo and Im Soo Hwang confirmed for IRIS 2 ^^

    • 11.1 zsa

      now Oh Yeon Soo can be mean when she wants too…so that’s all good

  12. 12 Stardust

    “Kim Seung-woo played badass North Korean team leader Park Chul-young” Oh nooes, I am afraid after seeing how hilarious and adorable Kim Seung Woo is on 1n2d, I am not sure if my mind can be set to believe he is a serious spy LOL..

    I was never that fully commited to watching Athena, but Kim Min Jong was my one bright spot in that grey drag of a drama… LOL yes him and not Choi Si won, cos Siwon was just playing a rookie and though he was intense ( looking back) his storyline didn’t do him any favours as the puppy loving the noona who is involved with the lead haha… But yes back to Kim Min Jong! YAY ! I like him even more after gentleman’s dignity..

  13. 13 Noelle

    I can see Daniel Henney in this. He was in Wolverine being a badass but like most people in that movie, he got sliced and diced and went BOOM!

    I really wish the main focus was the North Koreans. They are the most interesting and plus I love KSY. She’s just the bees knees and for some reason I just see her as being badass all the time. Like acting must be her day job.

  14. 14 Yue

    DANIEL HENNEY?! Yes please, with a cherry on top! I won’t even care how the story would be like, if they cast Daniel Henney, I would so be on board that crazy train~!

  15. 15 Ruky

    Yes he will be great but he speaks ENGLISH. Noting is wrong with that, but something does bother me when i watch his drama.Its like going back and forth between languages put me off. It just take away the feeling of connecting with the guy. I don’t mind him playing the bad guy. He could be Mr Black. That would make sense but please not the lead

  16. 16 Anne

    Been trying to find a stream link for Shanghai Calling. Failed.

    I love me sa Mr. Henney.

    As for this series, meh.

  17. 17 7258salt

    Too many idols for my liking… and couple with the dullness that was athena?
    Meh, i think i’ll pass…

  18. 18 jomo

    LOL at this:
    I won’t tell you how many things I had to look up to spell in that sentence.
    That is me most of the time on these boards.

  19. 19 Arhazivory

    Why is grumpy ahjussi holding a gun and looking badass?
    ,With all the hype over Iris 2, it probably means I should watch Iris.

  20. 20 Danna

    Wow that’s a lot if people….also I’m extremely amused that despite tge long list, you have chosen 1 big (and beautiful) pic to top the post….lol…looks like your oppa crush is still very real

  21. 21 crazedlu

    omdude! please get Kim So-yeon and Kim Seung-woo back to flesh out awesome. that would be sooo great. and what’s up with the idol casting? looks-wise doojoon fits, but acting, meh. and i just don’t like the ‘tude he carries. i don’t suppose that matters though. if they get the casting down, i’m up for a watch.

  22. 22 Slothus

    Taewon Entertainment is doing everything right here. Half-measures will not suffice – especially not after IRIS set the bar so high, Athena fell a little flat, and interest in a true sequel has naturally waned over time. They really have to go all out on all fronts, and it seems like that’s what they’re doing. Unlike girlfriday, I would put my money on all three NK cast members returning (at least in some capacity), because they (or their agencies) will recognize how strong this production is shaping up to be.

    The idols bother me a bit, but they draw a certain audience, and not having the previous writer back is a bummer, but Taewon will have to try mighty hard to go wrong enough with the story and script to ruin IRIS 2 given a cast like this, and I’m guessing they have the money and skill to do just fine.

  23. 23 Irene

    Why does Kim Min Jong look so feminine?

  24. 24 Fasiris Fay

    Aww Daniel Henney! I’ve got a soft spot for him, ever since he was in MNIKSS, even though he was kind of atrocious in that. ^_^
    And yes, for a second, I too thought he had been in Iris or Athena…but that was Runaway. Silly me…

  25. 25 dramaqueen

    “I won’t tell you how many things I had to look up to spell in that sentence. ”


  26. 26 kit

    I’ll … tune in for an episode …

    Although I loved the first of Athena and look how that turned out sigh.

    Not going to lie, I love the kpop side of the industry, more wary of them being thrown into the mix of kdramas, but I can see why the three were chosen from the rest. They have a look to them.

  27. 27 coconut

    kim so yeon PWEEEEZ!!! β™₯

  28. 28 Iviih :)

    ” the way casting goes these days) are idols Kang Jiyoung of KARA, Yoon Doo-joon of B2ST, and G.O of MBLAQ.”

    I feel bad, now idols get any small roles, so rookie actors really don’t get their chance. Even have actors who never got their lead roles while Idols get it not just once but twice!

    • 28.1 Iviih :)

      *get all the small roles

    • 28.2 Anne

      I agree. Which is why i appreciate Faith for casting ALOT of rookie actors for the warriors.

      Basically now all minor rolls in dramas are given to idols. Which makes it really difficult for rookie actors to get a headstart on their careers.

    • 28.3 eargasmto_trace_bundy

      all these idols/singers who has the opportunity in acting might one day end up as your favorite/popular actors… example Jung Ji Hoon (Rain), Yoon Eun Hye (Baby Vox), Sung Yuri (Fin.K.L), Yoon Kye Sang (G.O.D), Lee Seung Gi… etc…

      not all idols/singers are bad actors and not all “pure/non-singer”actors are good either.. everyone is entitled to pursue their dreams… luck definitely plays a role but talent will take one far.. ^_~

      • 28.3.1 Meghan

        Thank you for saying this. People tend to forget a lot of popular actors nowadays were idols in the 90’s/early 2000’s. Some idols actually want to be actors, that’s their real dream, and being an idol breaks them into the industry. I say, good for them. Do what you have to do to achieve your dreams.

        There’s far to much idol-actor prejudice lately. People need to go into things with a much more open mind i think. :l

  29. 29 saranga

    what has daniel henney been doing? he does seem to fit the bill! he seems like he’d be able to do sweet/romantic as well as dark and mysterious/sexy.

    i just wish he’d speak more korean and less english. he strikes me as being shy about speaking korean, probably because he feels he’s not very good… but i say you can’t improve unless you keep talking it, making mistakes, letting others have a friendly laugh at your efforts sometimes πŸ™‚

    • 29.1 saranga

      ps. i’m also sick of seeing idols in dramas… what does it mean when i can sort of tell in a drama when an “actor” is actually an idol-actor? no way do i know all these idols by their faces (or names), but they usually have an “idol look” going on.

      in big, i thought the boy who played kyung-joon was originally an idol, then i thought he wasn’t (and got all excited), then later found out my original suspicions were right. sigh.

  30. 30 song pong

    I’m side eyeing all the “idols steal work from the REAL actors”!

    Idols, unless hilariously miscast in main roles in terrible, 5% ratings dramas, ( two come to mind ) are always a positive addition to a drama. They have a fan base that buys the DVDs, OSTs, creates a lot of buzz for the drama, even if they don’t make the ratings per se. For smaller roles, they are almost always a better choice than an unknown actor.

    What comes to my mind is a certain young actor whining about this situation for years now in every interview (“why are you handing those roles to idols, gimme one!) when he himself needs some serious acting lessons.

    • 30.1 goro

      Are you refering to Lee Min Ho ?

      • 30.1.1 song pong

        indeed I am πŸ˜‰

  31. 31 mary

    THE KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIMSSSSSS… oh yes, we wantsss them… my precioussssssss…

  32. 32 appreciate

    girlfriday, you really love Kim Min Jong πŸ™‚

  33. 33 row.an

    I was curious as to Jiyoung’s age, and her wikipedia page has her casted in IRIS 2 with a character name and everything. whoa.

    And I know they’re going with the ‘young, techie crowd’ thing… but when I saw Jiyoung being considered for a role I thought she might be too young. Or perhaps that’s just me being biased since I know her real age and cutesy image in KARA and all…

    BUT! I’m pretty excited to watch Lee Joon acting again.

    • 33.1 row.an

      oh, and I forgot to add, the prospect of Team NK coming back is all sorts of awesome πŸ™‚

  34. 34 Irisian

    That’s right, Lee Joon has been offered a role, not GO.
    Joon has a hollywood movie under his belt and has a very good track in this field as her was also in Jungel Fish2 etc., and was also the voice actor in Gnmeo & Juliet. His acting never disappoint me, however, that also means that this role is too small for him!

  35. 35 Denia-Marie

    I’m not sure about these idols but I have seen Lee Joon in movies and dramas, also some MVs. I think he is made for action roles, either saeguk or modern. Since he is a trained actor and dancer, all his fighting scenes looked so real and expressive. IRIS2 may get more interesting if he joins the NK team.

    • 35.1 yi ying


  36. 36 kdrama

    why in all kim min jong photo, he always toucher his lips.. here, in AGD poster, wikipedia profile.. it just everywhere.. he’s good, but any oher pose please πŸ™‚

    • 36.1 JoAnne

      Yoonie oppa!

      He wasn’t my favorite, but…I’d let him touch my lips.

  37. 37 matinsoleil

    Can we just have a drama with the North korean team?? Just askin’… Not excited about all those idols. Not excited about Lee dae-hee in this either…

  38. 38 Jhyl

    yey!~~~I sooo love it Oh Yun soo is casted ….( γ……γ…Šγ…… )

    ..another highly anticipated drama~~whoot!whoot!

  39. 39 Denia-Marie

    I love Jang Hyuk!!

  40. 40 MissLenis

    Lee Joon is on bord!!! he will play a hacker.. other idol idk. but Joon can act!! watch jungle fish 2

  41. 41 Penelope

    thank you gf,

    Please employ actors ! and not idols .

  42. 42 Rach^^

    If Yoonie oppa is in, I’m in. But does this mean I have to watch Athena? πŸ™ I only caught bits and pieces of IRIS.

  43. 43 Lizzie

    Why can’t we change the drama to “The Kims” instead? I definitely would enjoy seeing the North Korean spys and Daniel Henney’s story more than anything else they could come up with. Maybe if we say please more often? Please, pretty please? πŸ˜‰

  44. 44 Meghan

    I really dislike this bandwagon prejudice against idol actors. Need I remind everyone that loved Reply 1997 that the 3 main leads were all idols with limited acting experience. For Jung Eunji (Siwon) and Hoya (Junhee) it was their first drama. And yet, you all loved them and the drama.

    Give the idols a chance before you start slagging them off, generalizing really isn’t fair to a lot of talent idols out there. If rookie actors are good enough, they will get roles. There’s plenty of dramas coming out every year that have no idols in the cast.

    There’s a reason why idols are cast. They bring with them an already assured fanbase which maybe won’t boost ratings much, but will bring in money. Look at To The Beautiful You, which is an idol drama through and through. The ratings stink, but yet the OSTs are doing very well and making lots of money for the production company. Also, it’s already been sold overseas to other countries, once again, guaranteed money. That’s what production companies and networks want. money money money. Rookie actors with no fanbase are not going to pull in the same type of funds.

    • 44.1 Kiara

      We all love them?. Please, most of them suck….yes MOST. Thats why some are complaining.

      • 44.1.1 Meghan

        I was referring to the specific idol actors in Reply 1997. I never heard a bad word said about any of them.

  45. 45 onewcondition

    Well hello there awesome cast XD

  46. 46 jenna

    I will watch it for Kim So Yeon. But NO Lee Da Hae pleaseee

  47. 47 goldeng

    yoonie oppa!! i mean, min jong oppa!! it would be too much if I say I love him?!! *—* i know nothing about iris or Athena… i was going to watch months ago but i dunno what happened… lol do I have to watch those before watching this one? i still have time to watch but yeah :S

  48. 48 miodanbo

    Omooooo~ i’m looking forward to this.. XD

  49. 49 jUL

    I see almost nobody from previous season is in. Specially Kim So Yeun, and after spin off Athena, the most interesting hang up was to know how this character follows with her unstable life.
    So the drama lost all my interest. Is not a second season from nothing, due nothing continues indeed.

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