Aw, my favorite nerdy vampire has a new (drama) home: Hong Jong-hyun (Vampire Idol, White Christmas) is the newest addition to the drama Jeon Woo-chi. (Notice I didn’t say favorite vampire overall; that would be like asking which child do you love more. Some days you’re in the mood for broody, and some days you just want a nerd spouting scientific facts a hundred miles a minute.)
This won’t be Hong’s first time in a sageuk—Hong was in Warrior Baek Dong-soo—though this time he’ll be playing the king’s man, not the king himself. He’ll be on the opposing side of our leading man, though, playing a warrior who pursues Jeon Woo-chi (Cha Tae-hyun). Based on the setup I’d call him an antagonist to the hero, but not an outright villain; we’ve got other characters for that. His conflict with the hero seems pretty clear: Jeon Woo-chi lives in the (fictional) idealist nation of Yuldo established by righteous bandit hero Hong Gil-dong, and comes to Joseon on a revenge mission after losing his mentor and his love. While he’s undercover in Joseon, he’s moved by the plight of the people and becomes a hero to them. Which, naturally, makes him an enemy of the Joseon state.
There’s more info on UEE’s character, which sounds pretty interesting: She’s the granddaughter of Hong Gil-dong and the woman Woo-chi comes to love, who falls prey to dark Taoist magic. The sorcery makes her lose her emotions, and she commits a violent murder. But once a month, the spell weakens its hold on her and she recalls her former self, calling for some anguish and misery. Pretty meaty stuff.
On the villain side, we’ve got Kim Gab-soo joining the previously cast Lee Hee-jun, and they’re on the side of the dark Taoist magic-doers. Lee Hee-jun is Woo-chi’s direct nemesis, but Uncle Kim Gab-soo ought to add some heft to the opposition lineup as a cold-hearted baddie.
Great casting, since Kim Gab-soo is just about the best villain in dramaland. He’s never just a straight guy; he twists evil around, makes it unnerving and charismatic and fascinating to watch. And then he’ll flip a switch and be so warm and sweet and welcoming that you wonder how he can manage to be both the doting father in Cinderella’s Sister and the freaky evil father in Hon.
So we’ve got fictionalized history and revenge and romance and magic—and, since this is Cha Tae-hyun we’re talking about, I’m expecting lots of comedy mixed up in all that fusion sageuky goodness. If the (unrelated-but-based-on-the-same-source-material) movie showed us anything, it’s that this premise is all about the action-comedy thrills.
Jeon Woo-chi premieres on November 21, following Nice Guy.
- Cha Tae-hyun and UEE headline Jeon Woo-chi drama
- Jeon Woo-chi drama enters pre-production, courts cast
- White Christmas: Episode 1
- Interview with the Vampire (Idols)
- Sohn Ye-jin and Kim Gab-soo as father-daughter pair
- Vampire Idol: Episodes 1-3
- Action-fantasy film Jeon Woo-chi gets a drama series
- Kim Gab-soo’s awesome Secret Garden parody
- Joseon X-files: Episode 1