Drama Casting & News
IRIS 2 begins shooting
by | November 19, 2012 | 106 Comments

…film AND guns, as the case may be. Here’s a teensy taste of the first promo images from spy action sequel IRIS 2, with everyone in the cast doing their best action figure poses. They’re gearing up for a big international shoot starting next week, as per the franchise’s usual procedure, and this time they’ll be going to Hungary, Cambodia, and Japan, before bringing the story back home. It remains to be seen if IRIS 2 will actually break the dreaded sequel curse, but the cast sure is purty.

The show has locked in a broadcast slot following KBS’s new Wednesday-Thursday drama Jeon Woo-chi, which puts the premiere in mid-February. Though that seems like eons away, I can’t imagine it’s much prep time for a big-budget action series. The show will pick up three years after the end of IRIS, and the new Team NSS will be led by Oh Yeon-soo, who will make an awesome chief bossypants. She’s just badass in real life. Okay, I don’t really know that, but she SEEMS badass in real life.

Jang Hyuk, Lee Da-hae, and Yoon Doo-joon will be the lead field agents and the primary love triangle, while Lee Beom-soo joins the North Korean side led by the always-awesome-even-if-the-show-is-not Kim Seung-woo. There’s just something weird about this franchise, ’cause Team North Korea is always cooler than South, and so far, the casting doesn’t look like it’s going to change that up anytime soon. Kim Young-chul reprises his role as Baek San, as part of the baddie organization IRIS, and Im Soo-hyang plays an IRIS assassin.

Based on the roles they cast, it seems like it’s going to stick to your garden variety more-of-the-same installment. If it follows in Athena’s footsteps, it’ll be more like less of the same, but maybe the third time’s the charm? The countdown begins now.

IRIS 2 premieres February 13 on KBS.

Via SBS E!


106 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. wyllaya

    OK soooo i never watched IRIS and i probably won’t be watching IRIS 2……… i just dont like these drama………….. buuuuuuut (i’m sure i’m about to say something stupid) i thought ATHENA was the sequel ?????

    • 1.1 BellaMafia

      Athena is not a sequel, but a spin-off.

      • 1.1.1 wyllaya

        oh OHHHHH i see thanks

        • pan2cute

          just don’t watch athenna!
          I can’t even finish those drama!
          the cast is amazing but storyline is a mess and meh!

          and IRIS was amazing!
          one of the best drama that years! ’09 if i’m not wrong
          I get all of the tense and romance in it!
          the only meh thing is the end of the story!

          and why they pick lee dae hee?!?! *shudder*
          I wish they change her with other actress
          never like her~! though some people said her acting is awesome but for her acting is kinda awkward~

          • tberry

            i watch athena only for cha tae won!!!bloody hotness overload!!! >.<

  2. AuntieMame

    This cast is fantastic. I hope the production will make wise use of their abilities.

    I liked Iris, but Athena lost me. So, hoping for the best for Iris2.

    • 2.1 zsa

      yeah…how is it that i’m more excited for Oh Yeon Soo than Lee Da Hae…OYS rocks!!!

      • 2.1.1 smak

        Who is Oh Yeon Soo, never heard of her name before, Lee Da Hae, I heard about her name often.

        • zsa

          Have you heard of ‘ahjussi crush’? She’s the female version ;’ahjumma crush’ hehe….

    • 2.2 skelly

      Did anyone else read the title and think it said “IRISH”?

  3. katiamon

    Hope this drama doesn’t experience the sequel curse…
    Yeah, Kim Seung-woo is always awesome! I love to watch him in 1N2D πŸ™‚

  4. kdj

    Everybody look so pretty!! Is it too much to ask if I want Vic to be resurrected from down under? I need my fix of TOP!!

    • 4.1 mary

      TOP!!! Me too! I </3 when Vic died.

  5. Annie

    “Jang Hyuk, Lee Da-hae, and Yoon Doo-joon”… now which of these is the odd man out? Would it have been so hard to cast a believable second lead?

    • 5.1 Slothus

      It’s a plague. Korean producers are unafraid to compromise the quality of their products in order to cash in on the popularity of idols as much as possible.

      • 5.1.1 Annie

        Is he even a popular idol? I don’t follow Kpop so I’m clueless when it comes to newer groups. My best guess is that there was some sort of bundling deal that was negotiated – i.e. if you want a certain actor, you have to cast another from the same agency as well.

        • Slothus

          Maybe so. But then acting agencies would have to be pushing idols over dedicated actors for a reason. Idols sell.

          • Annie

            *sigh* That’s all I can say.

        • Jackeline

          Isn’t it a bit unfair to not give him a chance? Granted, I’m a bit biased due to my interest in kpop, but his acting doesn’t seem bad, at least according to all his MV appearances and sitcoms. I believe this is his actual drama. Who knows, he might surprise us like how the rookie cast of AM1997 did.

          Also, just to answer a few questions: yes, Beast is popular; they’re not a new group, as they debuted in 2009; I don’t think he’s part of any “bundling deal”, as none of the other actors/actresses are even remotely from his company.

          • Jackeline

            *his first actual drama

          • Slothus

            I would be a lot more comfortable with him had he been cast in a more appropriate role. Competing with Jang Hyuk for Lee Da-hae, as a peer? How absurd. There is a massive gap there that reasonably good rookie acting can’t possibly overcome. But of course, I will do my best to overlook his shortcomings while watching the drama.

    • 5.2 Danna

      Heh…me too….i laughed just reading that line

    • 5.3 SoulsEntwined

      we can already tell who will be on the losing end of the love triangle

    • 5.4 Hipployta

      I like Beast and all but…NO

      • 5.4.1 skelly

        Yet another idol pushed in front of the camera to stumble about and “learn his craft” while we sit and squirm, all in the name of bringing in the money and the fangirls. Sigh. This is the thing I detest the most about kpop – that somehow, because they can somewhat sing and dance, it’s just assumed that they will be talented actors, as well. With no training, and no experience, beyond those minute-long spots shilling beer or chicken or cellphones.

        I don’t mind having idols in the shows that are supposed to be all about newbies – like the Dream High or Flower Boy franchises – no one has expectations for excellent acting, it is just a pleasant surprise when it actually happens. But this is supposed to be a serious drama, with top production values, lots of talent – well, obviously, up to a point. Obviously the Achilles heel for Korean drama – the idol who can supposedly bring in the cash.

        • Orion

          Korean drama has many heels. Product placement becoming the focus, fangirls dying for melo and pretty-boys, the live filming system etc. The whole mindset and gangster-ish cold way of running the industry needs to change before any of those will let Korean drama be more than modern soap-operas.

          I’m hoping the good dramas that do come out once in a while and do get good ratings will be a good example, but money is money and sure money is all these people want.

          • skelly

            It’s too bad, but I really have to agree with you!

  6. nomu nomu nomu

    Spies with Guns are Hot. but, I can’t help thinking this sequel is eons to late. Why can’t can’t they just come up with a new concept instead of riding on the IRIS franchise coattail.

    Regardless, I will still tryout the first couple of episodes to see if it’s worth continuing. I did generally enjoy Iris and Athena, although I can’t say I was really invested in both that much. It was just fun and exciting, without the feel that I’m watching anything new. (I get the feeling of been there, down that)

    • 6.1 nomu nomu nomu

      *been there, done that

      • 6.1.1 Fab

        I’ve been down there too… Never regretted watching Athena simple because of the pretty. How else would they get Su Ae, Jung Woo-sung an Cha Seung-won as the lead?

  7. Slothus

    Yoon Doo-joon is a potential weak link. He would seem to be too young for his tentative role and isn’t in the same league as the other leading actors. Hopefully he doesn’t ruin what should be one of the best dramas ever (owing mostly to Jang Hyuk, Kim Seung-woo, and Lee Da-hae).

  8. Russe12

    Is that Lee Joon I spy?

    Never really got into IRIS, but there’s always some hope for a sequel to be good. It just doesn’t usually happen. I will probably be keeping an eye on this!

    • 8.1 JoAnne

      Yes it is and I am interested – I know he wanted to be an actor, not a singer, and I remember him doing a decent enough job in Ninja Assassin but that was before I really knew who he was – so I’m looking forward to an opportunity to see him in something more than a variety show or concert footage. He IS goofy and can DO intense but let’s see if he can act that way for a sustained period of time πŸ™‚ Go Joon! Aja! Aja!

      • 8.1.1 Russe12

        Haha, I just noticed his name on the first poster. Silly me.

        But yeah, I am also interested in seeing him act! I never got to see more than a scene or two of Ninja Assassin, but he seemed to do a decent job in that. If I do end up watching this, it will probably be partially due to him. And, yunno, an interesting plot. Lol.

      • 8.1.2 SoulsEntwined

        I’m rooting for Lee Joon to do well. He did originally want to be an actor and seems to take acting very seriously.

  9. mskololia

    I was not interested in any of the prior spy dramas but I really like Jang Hyuk so seeing him piques my interest in the drama.

    I will await recaps on at least six episodes before jumping onto the series watch though….

  10. 10 Yue

    Pretty cast… Tempting… Very tempting… I might watch it because Lee Joon is in it. I mean, I have no problem admitting that the only reason why I watched IRIS way back when was because TOP was in it. Damn, he was so good at playing villain I had wished they didn’t kill him so they could make a spin off series or something. I seriously was rooting for the bad guy during IRIS, TOP screws my brain hahah… Whatever happens in IRIS 2 is remained to be seen. I hope this won’t turn out to be disappointing. I mean, you got guns and one hell of a pretty cast list – don’t mess this up drama!

    • 10.1 mellowyel

      I’m glad I’m not the only one who’s in this for the eye candy, lol. I didn’t see IRIS, and I only read recaps for Athena, but Lee Joon and Doojoon are my first idol-loves, (though I don’t stan them as much now), so I’ll watch this for them. The rest of the cast sweetens the deal by a lot, but I haven’t actually seen any of their shows (blasphemy, I know, but I don’t have much free time) so I can’t say they’re particularly influencing my decision here haha

    • 10.2 ajj

      You are not alone.I was rooting for Vic the eeeentire time.LOL.

    • 10.3 Katherine

      I’m slightly interested cause of Lee Joon. I heard he was apart of the cast and thought “good for him since his a side character & hence can get some experience under his belt” but now seeing the poster and that still of him *sigh* FREAK he looks hot LOL.
      I don’t think anyone takes Iris seriously as a drama, it’s there more for the pretty than for the substance to be honest so why not enjoy the show for the pretty.

    • 10.4 skelly

      My point is made. The fangirls have arrived.

      • 10.4.1 yukisama69

        If this had a “like” button, I’d press it twice XD

    • 10.5 SoulsEntwined

      yeah I admit I originally watched IRIS for TOP, that was before I started watching dramas regularly.

  11. 11 Arhazivory

    Seung Woo-sshi. <3 Poor me….I'm yet to watch him in anything and I only know (and adore) his ahjussi character from 1N2D.

    Time to watch IRIS, so I can prep for IRIS 2. πŸ˜€

    • 11.1 ajj

      Youre in fo a surprise how badass he can be.I saw him in 71 into the fire,Iris and Ms Ripley and he’s really awesome,I completely flipped when he showed up in 1n2d looking and acting like a petty ahjussi.

  12. 12 cg

    looking forward to it even though i haven’t seen the first part…..

  13. 13 tiny

    from taewoong to joowon to taehyun and now kim seung woo. that kbs baton sure knows how to make its round with our beloved 1n2d cast πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

    • Hmmmm..Then, who’s next? Jongmin? LOL!

      • 13.1.1 luvCCS

        jongmin as lead actor?? I might get stomach-cramped just by looking at his dorky antics..hahaha

        I absolutely looking forward this sequel because they got janghyuk and lee joon!!!

        • tiny

          hahaha well why not?? haha maybe a cameo is enough kkk

      • 13.1.2 Gustave154

        Yessss want to see him in a rom com… His character is himself!

  14. 14 janet


    i’m hoping i’m not the only one…

    • 14.1 JiHwan

      I saw “IRISH” too. I was like, “huh?”

      • 14.1.1 edge

        Me too! XD

  15. 15 Kiara

    Go watch “Skyfall” if you want a really good spy movie. 007 still rules.

    • 15.1 Aya


    • 15.2 skelly

      YES. and Judi Dench rocked it.

      • 15.2.1 Kiara

        Dame Judi (tears) plus Adelle singing Skyfall in the begining was awesome (heart.. heart and more heart). Loved everything and all the actors, from Daniel, Javier, Naomie, Ralph down to the supporting casts. Oh and director Sam Mendes did a fine job. So good I want to watch it again.

  16. 16 jomo

    CSW and JSW couldn’t even tempt me to watch Athena, and I tried.
    But for some reason, JH seems to be pulling me in.
    It’ll all depend on how I feel about LDH, though.
    My annoyance threshhold for her is very low – don’t know why. I liked her in MG, but EoE, yergh.

    • 16.1 sally_b

      @jomo – re: “It’ll all depend on how I feel about LDH, though.
      My annoyance threshhold for her is very low – don’t know why.”

      agreed. I can’t quite put a finger on it, but Da-hae’s face never seems to *move* enough to convince me she’s doing anything more than attempting to look haughty, or alternately, fragile.

      It’s like she’s got Zoolander’s-one-look that has different names…Blue Steel or LeTigre. hehee. πŸ˜‰

      …I’ll probably check out the first few epi’s.

    • 16.2 zsa

      I have low tolerance for LDH too…and I can’t explain why either…she just doesn’t excite me when she appears on screen and I feel guilty about it…but I can’t help it…sigh…

  17. 17 Orion

    I love the fairness of the first compilation of pictures. All the guys look ready for a fight and all the girls look pretty and sulking, like they’re giving their boyfriends the silent treatment.

    The non-sexist version would be a hilarious “opposite” of all the guys looking sulky and the girls holding the guns.

    • 17.1 mary

      I’d watch that drama. O_O

      • 17.1.1 Orion

        That drama would rock, if they did stick to their guns and didn’t go all melo fragile creatures after a few episodes, with the guys turning into heroes of comfort and security.

        There are some nice examples of strong female characters in kdrama too, but if ‘IRIS’ is anything to go by, this won’t be the case here. I’m at episode 5 and the agent who is the friggin’ leader of her group has been doing nothing other than looking pretty and vulnerable and crying and worrying.

        So yes, I can see this happening here too. All the guys will be fighting over their testosterone quota and all the girls will be fighting to keep their hair pretty and make up perfect while they kick people in high heels in-between having prolonged “vulnerability attacks”. πŸ˜›

  18. 18 maltreti

    A love triangle??? Again??? Is that really all you can come up with?? Please drama concentrate more on the spy action unless you want to be as boring as your “Hyung”.

    The most annoying of IRIS was the love triangle! Whenever second lead guy or the lead actress were on screen i sure couldn’t stop to roll my eyes. That’s why I skipped those parts and went directly to the last three episodes. Well some of the badass action was pretty good… But i can’t help to think: Good Lord why was this drama rated so high?

    I guess I can live without an IRIS 2. Thaaank you…

    • 18.1 mary

      On the flipside, you have the OTHER love triangle with Lead Guy + Second Lead Girl.

      Kim So Yeon had oodles of chemistry with Rising Cobra Guy…

  19. 19 HeadsNo2

    Jang Hyuk, Lee Beom-soo… *breathes into a paper bag*

    • 19.1 Monona

      Lee Bum Soo is rocking my socks off. That is one seriously attractive man XD

      • 19.1.1 Orion

        I think getting bombarded with so many pretty boys who’d look better in our clothes than we do gives us a whole new appreciation of men who actually look manly. Thankfully, Korean entertainment has those too.

  20. 20 Mari

    Lee Da-Hae…. Wow.. I had not seen her in anything since Hello miss.. She either aged into a different face or had a lot of work done.. Wow… I’m still slooowly making my way thru Iris I seem to just replay the parts with TOP over & over. That’s why is taking me forever.. Hopefully I be done by February..

  21. 21 Minnetter (aka: Min)

    not a fan of slick spy dramas or movies… so nope not going to invest time in this one.

  22. 22 Matt

    I wonder if I would like this.. Haven’t tried Iris yet but I love spies at least in america.. Jason Bourne is one of my favorite characters of all time BUT I need some heart… Will say the girl in this looks badass and mega hot so that is a plus..

    Yay or Nay from experienced viewers? Help a newbie out.. I did love City Hunter but from just reading a few comments, this lacks the heart ?

    • 22.1 Kiara

      Yea we have been spoiled with really good spy movies. Lately “Skyfall” is my favorite so far this year. Bourne Legacy wasn’t that good imo although I love Jeremy Renner. I still prefer the previous 3 with Matt Damon. I hope they’d bring him back in Bourne Betrayal.

      I watched 4 eps of City Hunter and dropped it so I’m not qualify lol. I love Kim Sang-Jung but the rest did nothing for me.

  23. 23 jyyjc

    Seeing Yoon doojoon in the love triangle feels jarring. I can understand if he’s a supporting character…but the second male lead AND in the main love triangle? Weird….

    Anyway, not really excited for this drama. I couldn’t really stick with the first one, I’m sure it was great all the way through, my attention just kinda waned less than halfway through idk why.

  24. 24 tapioca pearl

    And so the cast of 1N2D will continue to carry the KBS Wed-Thurs timeslot. I love that! I wonder if the KBS producers realize that.

    I got halfway through Iris and stopped when I realized I wasn’t gonna get anything more than ACTION! I’d love to finish it just for Kim So-yeon and Kim Seung-woo, though.

  25. 25 Nokcha

    Not much of a fan of the Iris project…looks like they don’t heat their offices.

  26. 26 DaDa

    Please don’t suck like Athena…

  27. 27 Jhyl

    “and the new Team NSS will be led by Oh Yeon-soo, who will make an awesome chief bossypants. She’s just badass in real life. Okay, I don’t really know that, but she SEEMS badass in real life.”

    somewhat true…haha..*die-hard fan here. lol

    • 27.1 mary

      She seems like a slightly older Kim So Yeon from the first Iris. πŸ˜€

      I bet I’ll have a girl-crush on her too. *sigh* Why do I always end up watching for the non-leads?

      • 27.1.1 zsa

        Oh Yeon Soo is already in her early 40s…so she is much much older than KSY….she’s just one of those who became awesome after forty…maybe you remember her from ‘Bad Guy’? The lady who got to smooch Kim Nam Gil…

  28. 28 MissLenis

    idol as a second lead?? yeahhh like that could work

  29. 29 whitethorns

    After watching the disappointed Athena, I thought action spy drama would never appeal me again. But anything Janghyuk always gets me up my seat. Hopefully this is going to be as badass and good (or even better) than first IRIS. And hopefully they will clear up some unfinished business from IRIS 1. If they are going to make this into IRIS 2 as the description says (and not some totally the same title but with completely different story like what they did in Athena), they better find connection to LeeByunghun’s and Kim Seo Yoon’s character.

  30. 30 MissLenis



    • 30.1 Orion

      Thanks for that. Damn, Jang Hyuk sure is bendy. It’s not exactly a show-saver, but good moves are always appreciated.

  31. 31 graceface

    STACKED CAST. crossing my fingers that IRIS 2 will follow through until the end. IRIS and Athena both seemed to go downhill in the latter parts :/

  32. 32 Silverteem

    Firstly, I enjoyed watching IRIS, Athena just lost me… but this sequel, as tempting as it maybe seems just too late… so they just killed Lee Byung Hyun’s character like that, at the very least I had this story up in my mind that IRIS2 would be Kim Tae Hee’s character avenging her man. But then, bam, complete recast….

    What is IRIS w/o TK1?

    I mean really!?

  33. 33 Kelinci Biru

    I just finished watching La Dolce Vita. Agree with Girlfriday here, Oh Yeon Seo seems badass.

  34. 34 aliya

    Ok I need to get this off my chest: howwww did Doojoon get cast as the 2nd male lead? Is he a good actor? Call me biased but I feel like Lee Joon would have been better..he was so good in ninja assassin. Ok fine I’m a little biased lol. I’m just hoping that this love triangle doesn’t grate on nerves ._. I’ll tune in for Lee Joon but I may end up staying for the other great cast and the plot (maybe).

  35. 35 Dara

    Didn’t watch IRIS but for some reason I trust JH on this one cuz he’s good being freaking badass in the name of justice, will def check this one. Thanks ^^

  36. 36 Aya

    Kim Young-chul is the only relevant one

    why are they still trying, it looks like a trainwreck

  37. 37 canxi

    HOL’ UP.

    Oh Yeon Soo is in this. Bossing people around. Just gonna get to polishing her crown now, because she’s the queen bee up in this.

  38. 38 miley

    wow!!!!jang hyuk ……all for the love of him i will watch tghis drama.

  39. 39 Katherine

    From the poster you would actually think the love triangle/square would be between Oh Yeon Soo – Jang Hyuk – Lee Da Hae – Lee Bum Soo = Are the makers trying to trick us into thinking that ?!! LOL.
    I totally get the apprehension and “WHY ?!!!” with the casting of Doo-joon as the second lead in this triangle but I’m hoping that the love angle is kept at a minimum & won’t be of too much importance to the show *fingers-crossed*.

  40. 40 Rach^^

    Where is Kim Min Jong??

    • 40.1 Rach^^

      Did he pull out of this drama or something because he’s not in the promos either.

  41. 41 Abbie

    I’m watching Chuno at the moment, so I’ve grown to like Jang Hyuk and Lee Da-hae. The others I don’t recognize, though I probably have seen before. And I’m willing to give the idol a chance. He may surprise us. Tentatively looking forward to this.

  42. 42 AJ

    Hm, I actually really liked Athena. What was so bad about it guys?

  43. 43 JJ

    w/all due respect, i prefer to watch this Iris 2 if the original cast were in it, i luv kim seong woo & glad he’s back but nice to see if kim ta hee, lee byeong & kim ? were part of it!

    • 43.1 Silverteem

      You’re not alone.

      Like I said, what’s IRIS w/o TK1?

      This is basically just another ATHENA. I’m very apprehensive. Some people criticize Kim Tae Hee as a mediocre actress, but it’s not as if Lee Da Hae is phenomenal either. I really would have rather had Kim Tae Hee back and continue on their storyline to solve TK1’s death.

      We need closure dammit.

  44. 44 jadetaia

    I’m not the only one who read the movie poster as “IRISH”, right? I mean … I was kind of jazzed that there was a korean movie about Ireland … before I realized that I had it totally wrong.

  45. 45 J

    Hm, let me guess the plot:

    1) Jang Hyuk as roguish, ultra badass with slightly bumbling personality spy

    2) Lee Da Hae playing one of the bad guy masquerading as the good guy/vice cersa who then gets conflicted between love and professionality

    3) Oh Yeon Seo doing her best M impersonation, who may or may not betray her organization as a last ditch plot “twist”

    C’mon IRIS crew, you’re not doing anything remotely interesting here. Between 2009 and today, the world’s seen higher quality action on TV (Homeland, Sherlock, etc) you should learn a thing or two.

    Love triangle? MEH to the nth degree.

    • 45.1 mskololia

      OMG, I’m dying for new episodes of Sherlock in 2013. πŸ™‚

  46. 46 hu

    that nice they are coming my country (Hungary) I hope one day just walk next to them πŸ™‚

  47. 47 angeline ong

    i enjoyed Iris but the main lady lead in iris was too soft. now in iris II, they are putting a soft lady in a strong role again. phew! don’t hike up your hopes, ladies. in fact, i prefer the second leading lady in iris. she was much cooler. i am also wondering why they need to insert idols into their drama; reading your comments, now i kindda understand. idols can’t really act. for iris, the idol selected was cool in his action but when it came to lines delivery, it was delivered weirdly. just my two cents, TOP fan, no offense intended. yes, he was good, but still lots of room for improvement.

  48. 48 Liana

    Can’t stomach Yoon Doojoon tbh! I love Im Soohyang and Kim Seungwoo though! And good spy dramas are always welcome.

  49. 49 Violet

    the reasons IRIS2 worth to watch are Kim Seung Woo and Lee Beom Soo in it. so disappointing Kim So Yeon and Kim Min Jong not joined… I hope there’s still Athena 2 and focus on Kim Seung Woo , Kim Min Jong and Kim So Yeon (Triple Kim) they awesome in Athena ..

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