Drama Casting & News
Han Chae-ah and Namgoong Min cast in Heo Jun remake
by | January 17, 2013 | 73 Comments

MBC’s got a new drama in the works, and it’s a remake of one of their biggest hits from 1999/2000 — the medical sageuk Heo Jun, about the life of the legendary doctor and historian. The remake’s title will be Gu-am Heo Jun, to include Heo Jun’s pen name, Gu-am. Han Chae-ah (Gaksital, Oohlala Spouses) has been cast as the heroine, and Namgoong Min (Can You Hear My Heart?) is up to play the second lead. No word yet on who will play Heo Jun.

The 1999 version starred Jeon Gwang-ryul (I Miss You, Light and Shadow) as Heo Jun and hit an astounding 65.3% ratings peak in its heyday. That one was already an epic (at 64 episodes), but this time the remake is going for 120 episodes, to be aired as a daily drama five times a week. Really? I know this is MBC, the station that knows no other genre but the medical sageuk, but still. That’s a LOT of medical sageuk. I wonder if this is why they axed sitcoms, because they should’ve just said they were going to replace comedy with more Joseon docs, and we would’ve all said, Well, sounds like you.

The drama will tell the life story of Heo Jun, from dramatic childhood to royal physician. He became a court physician during the reign of King Seonjo (latter half of the 16th century), and went on to write what would become the defining text of traditional Korean medicine. The groundbreaking thing about it at the time was that he wrote it in Hangul, so that medicine could be understood and learned by commoners, as was his hope.

Han Chae-ah will play Lady Ye-jin, and Namgoong Min will play Yoo Do-ji, a doctor alongside Heo Jun in the court. The remake will be penned by Choi Wan-kyu of Light and Shadow and Jumong, and directed by PD Kim Geun-hong of Kye Baek. So despite being a daily drama in its airing schedule, it’s probably going to be closer to a bigger sageuk production — Kye Baek without the war, Horse Healer without the horse… you get the picture.

Gu-am Heo Jun is preparing for a March broadcast. The hunt for a hero is on.

Via Oh My News


73 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Meeyeong

    Choi Wan Kyu of the original Heo Jun, too. That’s a pretty important detail you missed.

    • 1.1 JO

      Daily drama though? That kind of asserts for me that the quality will be compromised. Also, the original Heo Jun absolutely brings back memories….:)

  2. MsB

    Why second lead??!! So unfair!

    • 2.1 Mystisith

      Agree! Again…

      • 2.1.1 trotwood

        This is exactly what I thought. Not the second lead again. I really like him and think he deserves to be in front. But 120 episodes?!?! Pehaps if he is the second lead, he won’t have to do much in the middle portion when he is sent off to another province and is presumed dead (for about 8 weeks) only to return a chastened man willing to give up revenge for devoting his life to the people? That woiuld leave time for him to be the lead in a very happy 16-episode rom-com as the lead, right? Right?

        Okay, I am know I am stretching the imagination. Who am I kidding? *trying to concole herself* I don’t have time to watch more dramas anyway.

        • Ennayra

          Haha. Even if this is a stretch, I want it your way.

    • 2.2 come2noona

      I know, right?!

    • 2.3 ryoko

      I was ready to write my own comment expressing those exact same thoughts, but I see that practically every other comment here is already lamenting the same thing. lol

      • 2.3.1 jazme

        i’m glad he’s got many supporters here like me who expressed their views & thought he shld finally get this lead role!

    • 2.4 Yasmin

      i know right! I had this big goofy smile when i read he was in a new drama and thought that finally he would be the male lead! Alas, he is the second lead ๐Ÿ™ when will he get his breakout role? He was brilliant in can you hear my heart?

    • 2.5 Lisa-Loo-Loo

      Agreed! You took the thought right out of my head.
      (how’d you do that?! ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    • 2.6 Yer

      For a split second, i thought he was finally gonna get his lead role break out Argh!!

    • 2.7 LC

      I agreed, why 2nd lead. So unfair!! Such great actor, love him in Can’t you hear my heart

    • 2.8 anna

      IKR?! I saw his face headlining and I came straight in, ready to scream that OMFG! FINALLY! HE’S FINALLY THE MALE LEAD! Then I read, second lead. Sighhhhhhhhhh.. one day, one day you will shine.

    • 2.9 YY

      I feel your pain, sisters….I was so happy to see his face and thought: Finally! He’s the lead! Yayyyyy!!! then read GF’s last line: “The hunt for a hero is on” and I was like what??????

      • 2.9.1 jazme

        me too i feel it for him

    • 2.10 Njay


      it’s really really unfair

    • 2.11 SaJ

      agree, it’s hi time he gets the lead what were they thinking?

    • 2.12 Wendilynn

      very true!

  3. Emilia

    Han Chae Ah!!!!

    • 3.1 apple

      Ikr!!! She is beautiful and I am so happy for her. How about Joo Won as the lead?!

      Ok ok maybe that’s not in.
      Hmm hmmm who is there, Kim Rae Won? Kang Ji hwan?
      Yeon Jung hoon?

      and Namgoong Min is a hottie. Why can’t he be the lead?!

      • 3.1.1 ranaway

        Kim Rae Won? … he won’t do it.
        Kang Ji Hwan? … already signed on and shooting for a drama.
        Yeon Jung Hoon? … he has season 3 of vampire prosecutor to do later on in the year.

      • 3.1.2 ilovedramas

        JOO WON!

        • Stina

          He already acts in an upcoming drama “7th Grade Civil Servant” and this drama is a sageuk, I think Joo Won’s face is too modern to fits in a sageuk. I hope Kim Nam Gil will be the lead.

  4. gratisetamore


    after all he was the JUMONG penned by same writer of this drama .

    Its about time SIG returns to sageuk dramas where he excel .

    Hey PD’s are you paying attention ???

    • 4.1 Gaeina Lee

      I second you.
      I miss SIG soo much.. Would be great to see him grace the small screen again.

      • 4.1.1 gratisetamore

        Actually I don’t know if he will agree to such long winded drama .

        In Jumong he didn’t even want it extended -well another 20 epis added to 40 wasn’t a joke.

        But I guess if he knows in advance the length …maybe he will agree

        That is if they even approach him . But they will be blind to not to do so.

    • 4.2 Ennayra

      I’m watching him in Fermentation Family right now, and I really like him. It’s the first drama I’ve seen him in. Hmm, does this mean I need to go back and watch Jumong???

  5. Annie

    I hope they go for a very experienced actor for the lead role but I can’t imagine anyone willing to film a daily sageuk…

  6. Amberscube

    Im so excited for Namgoong Min… But second lead? Whyyy?

    • 6.1 houstontwin

      I know. I am ready to see him as a leading man. Maybe he needs a new manager.

      • 6.1.1 jazme

        that’s what i thought too…a new manager for him!

    • 6.2 ryoko

      I got my hopes up that he might finally have been cast as the lead, but no, it’s second lead again. ๐Ÿ™ And on top of that, a 120 episode project is going to tie him up for a long time, meaning no chance of hearing news of him being cast as a main lead in a different project for months. So frustrating.

  7. Ash

    Oh, Namgoong Min. I know I wanted you to be in more drama, and this is… Well. It’s definitely more drama. A lot of drama. Pretty much all of the drama ever.

  8. comradeS

    Awwww…. I was hoping that Nam Goongmin would be the lead. *hopes shattered* Oh wells. It’s not like I have time to watch a drama like this anyways.

  9. Rashell

    I like these two actors, but I don’t know about 120 episodes and medical/saguek. That’s just A LOT! I barely made it through Jewel in the Palace/Dae Jang Guem and that was only 54. Let’s wait and see who gets cast as the lead. If it’s someone awesome maybe I’ll check this one out.

  10. 10 bluemoon

    I think it’s time for Nam Goongmin to get a first lead role. He’s been here long enough, and he’s proven himself to be a good actor nonetheless.

  11. 11 AuntieMame

    From my recollection, 2nd lead was the bad guy, who was jealous of his skills and coveted the admiration of the female doctor.

    Daily dramas are usually half-hour episodes. And the original 63 one-hour episodes is equivalent to 126 half-hour episodes. So, the announced 120 episodes may not be excessive, in comparison to the original. (Although 63 episodes was way long enough.)

    How well it turns out remains to be seen.

    • 11.1 fan

      How well it turns out remains to be seen.- Indeed!
      I loved drama HurJoon and have my own video collection – yes, it is bulky, taking up some room in my shelf. When it aired back then, I remember there were some protest/conflicts going on by doctors in Korea for some change in prescription policy or something, and I was sighing, thinking doctor like HurJoon only exists in dream. It was such an awesome drama, and personally I doubt they can top that.

  12. 12 snow_white

    120!!!! too long…..

  13. 13 Pluto

    Second lead again??
    Waeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Nam goong Min Waeeeeeeee?
    I was so excited when I read the headline,I was thinking finally he’s going to be the lead and then when I clicked and read the news Second lead,seriously I was agitated.
    He should really be in the lead now!

  14. 14 Lovebug

    Maru Oppaaaa!!! I concur with all of the request that he finally get a lead role. What else must he do in order to get this. I will probably not watch this drama, I hope it increases his popularity so he can finally get the girl in atleast one drama (and not turn evil as well! though he does it well!)

  15. 15 dorie

    Kye Baek without the war, Horse Healer without the horseโ€ฆLOL!!!

  16. 16 becca_boo

    Ooh, I’d love to see Han Chae-ah in a saguek. After seeing her performance in Gaksital, I’m sure she can pull it off. As others have mentioned 120 episodes is a lot, but I’m willing to at least give it a shot.

  17. 17 browncoat_78

    Why 120 eps???? I would love to watch this but seriously! I mean, I made it through Jumong (81), Seon Deok (62), Sea God (51), Dong Yi (60) and Dae Jang Geum (54) – yep, I can kick some epic sageuk butt! But 120??? Are they nuts?! Also, the idea of locking up these two great actors for that long just seems like a sin to me, not to mention whomever they get to play the lead. I hope they mean 120 30 min eps since it will be daily. That would make sense.

  18. 18 Cup Cake

    I swear that pix of Han Chae-ah looks like that girl in City Hunter Park Min Young.

  19. 19 crazedlu

    she was good as rie, but i still haven’t really warmed up to her. and 120 episodes of medical sageuk? no.

  20. 20 Rashell

    Okay, so who should play the lead people?

    Lee Seo Jin – seems too old for the role.

    Jang Hyuk- will be filming Iris 2.

    Ji Jin Hee – filming great seer.

    What about Jung Il Woo? Too young? Won’t want to do another Seguek after Moon?

    Or Kim Soo Hyun? Too high profile for this role now?

    Who else is a sequek actor that would work?

    • 20.1 Annie

      Lee Seo Jin and Ji Jin Hee are the same age and both are way too high profile to do a project like this.

      I’m guessing that the production will have to settle for someone not so famous or young which is a real pity. I’ve never really liked the phenomenon of casting young kids in mens’ roles but, as I said in my previous post, I can’t imagine any actor with leverage in the industry going from prime time minis to a daily, even if it’s by Choi Wan Gyu and backed by the MBC president (another strike perhaps?).

  21. 21 Birdie

    Why are there so many remakes these days? Are writers running out of ideas? Remakes of movies, previous dramas, jdramas, etc. ….Yawn!

  22. 22 chasen8888

    I just finished watching the original which was good and had me crying in almost every episode. I wonder if they plan to include his loyal and steadfast wife Dahee (gave up her social status to marry him), best friend Yangtae and related side characters.

    Since I just completed a marathon, I have no intention to run another one anytime soon (exhausted). Wish them luck with it esp. with 120 episodes. I however suggest they space these similar type dramas further apart esp. this is a little bit after Horse Healer e.g. 6-9 months. Saguek watchers need recuperation time and the basic similarities tend to get annoying.

  23. 23 JC

    Second lead again?
    I keep waiting for him to get the lead role in something.

  24. 24 exquisitemelody

    NO NO NO NO NO NO NO ;lkdsjf;alskdjfa ;WHYYYYYYY I got so excited thinking he was finally the lead…and then my hopes were dashed. why why why why whyyyyyyy

  25. 25 MyLincoln12

    I would love to see her as a leading lady.

  26. 26 Kdramafan89

    His manager officially sucks! NGM can out act any of the idols getting lead roles. I’m waiting for the day he gets to be 1st lead…

    • 26.1 jazme

      i cldn’t agree with you & the others here who also think that nam goong shld be the lead & after all these yrs we’ve seen his potential as a good actor but i don’t u/stand why he’s always given 2nd lead? this is just incomprehensible again what does it take for him to be the lead? should he need to show his bare buttocks like others who are now on the pedestal bcoz of that? this is really sad, he’s one of my top k actors since seeing him in one fine day! then now in alice where after epi 2 he was sent to brazil? it’s heartbreaking indeed!

  27. 27 fuyuko

    I saw the original a long while back. And truthfully, as I watched it, I grew to dislike the male lead character. Even to the point I gave up watching.

  28. 28 addylovesbwood

    I was swooning until i saw the word “sageuk”

    I luv Han Chae Ah for her role in gaksital. Rara!!!! Congrats on your lead role!!!!

    And the dude Maru from Can You Hear My Heart and CD Alice!!!
    I’m so mad hes not lead!! Doesnt matter cuz I already ship them.

    Not big on medical or historical dramas but i hv to support these two actors!!!

    • 28.1 addylovesbwood

      I need to start reading b4 jumping to comment.
      WHAT!!!! 120 EPISODES!!!!! I already kno DramaFever-Viki aren’t gonna follow it… crap!!

  29. 29 shbeckles

    I really adore this casting (although WHY can’t darling Maroo-oppa get a leading role, I ask you?) but there is not a face in the world pretty enough to interest me in another medical sageuk, even if it wasn’t daily.

  30. 30 Trina

    MBC you should be in the corner!!! time out for u!!! Why a remake plus medical saejuks and daily drama of 120 episodes. That is like the rest of 2013 and part of 2014. Nam Goong Min why did you take second lead!!! You should be a male lead with mane of glory and HOT abs with it….

  31. 31 Jill

    oh my goodness it is the first drama I ever watched! hope this remake will be awesome!

  32. 32 King B.

    Han Chae Ah!<33

  33. 33 YY

    Why are all my favourite actors in second leads? First Kang-ah, now Namgoong Min….I’m so sad.

  34. 34 AnaBanana

    In my daydream world, Heo Jun role goes to none other than… PARK KI WOONG! YES! He and Chae-Ah can recreate their Shunji/Rie magic. And if PKW was in it, I’d totally tune into the show ALL 120 EPISODES.

    But sadly, this is just a make-believe world of mine and in this place we call the “real world’, I’m sure they’ll get someone older to play Heo-Jun — preferably someone who’s already served in the army ๐Ÿ™ Phooey. 120

    • 34.1 tamagoxyaki

      Hah If park ki woong does somehow get cast as the lead I’d watch every single episode as well :).I’m curious as to who they are considering for the male lead role though..

  35. 35 Njay

    I’m So happy when read this article..
    But Why NGM oppa just 2nd lead..


    His acting is so cool and expressive…

    Oppa.. Be patient!!

    You must show your skill more and more again!!!

    Fighting Oppa!!!

    • 35.1 jazme

      i second you as well as the others who thought our nam goong shld get the lead this time… i was so happy seeing the headline fr hancinema & when i read here he’s again 2nd lead? what does it take for him to be the hero or lead in any drama? does he need to strip like some before he gets to the top? gimme a break!

  36. 36 Emaan

    second lead? Again?! I Saw his face on the news and came straight in and was expecting that he is the main lead this time. but…
    Such a fine actor and people do not give him a chance .

    • 36.1 jazme

      i agree w/you when i saw his photo i thought gr8 he’s gonna be the 2nd lead & now i’m reading this & kinda disappointed again coz he’s a gr8 k actor & that’s really sad!

  37. 37 jazme

    i really don’t get it, why is nam goong min always a 2nd lead? grrrhhhh he’s got potential & good looks so i just don’t u/stand why he’s not the lead? that’s so awful of them to always give me either a cameo on alice in cheongdam dong where he could play more air time there! wae wae

  38. 38 jazme

    i’m so glad i’m not the only one who thinks that nam goong shld get the lead this time but still this mind-boggling question as why he’s being passed on & being cast as 2nd lead all the time? a big why???? he’s got potential & talent as an actor but the directors/producers/writers are prejudice if i may say so! i’m really upset with what they’re doing to him!

    @DB or GF – any input or feedback on what you guys think about nam goong being ignored by these producers? does he need to hire a new manager perhaps? or does it take for an actor/actress in korea to strip & show their bottom to get on top? ๐Ÿ™‚ thanks for any ideas u may have or opinions on this!

    • 38.1 korfan

      My sentiments exactly, especially about the manager situation. If this is his manager’s doing, then perhaps he/she needs to be replaced. Then again ….. and this is a big IF ……. I wonder if this is the way Nam Goon-min likes it. Perhaps something about being the main lead in drama productions doesn’t appeal to him, for whatever reason. Of course, I have no idea what it could be but maybe, just maybe, this is what’s going on. Of course, if things were up to me, he’d definitely be the main lead ASAP because he’s great! Loved him in CYHMH!

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