Drama Casting & News
Kang Ji-hwan gets back on Money train
by | January 3, 2013 | 90 Comments

…By which I mean his drama, Incarnation of Money. Though I guess if all goes well, he’ll get paid too. Kang Ji-hwan has been battling agency lawsuits for quite some time, but is reportedly in the clear and back to acting, and confirmed to star in the new weekend rom-com alongside Hwang Jung-eum, as planned. There are conflicting reports ranging from “still considering” to “confirmed,” but the better news is really that he’s back to being able to sign on at all.

The 24-episode series is the next project from the buzz team behind ratings hits and critical successes Giant and History of the Salaryman — PD Yoo In-shik and writers Jang Young-chul and Jung Kyung-soon. It’ll be the second time they’ve worked with Hwang Jung-eum who was in Giant, and needless to say, all eyes are on them to see if they can hit another one out of the park. With the premiere barely a month out, it’s about time they secured a hero, though they deserve credit for waiting faithfully instead of recasting at the first sign of trouble. Everyone gets a cookie.

The plot sounds even zanier than Salaryman, if you can believe that. Hwang Jung-eum stars as the vicious daughter of a loan shark who grows up knowing nothing but money, and will stop at nothing to collect what’s owed. Kang Ji-hwan is one such unlucky debtor, who for reasons unknown is locked away in a mental institution on an island. First of all, what’s with the Alcatraz for crazy people? Also, now I get why the producers would wait around for Kang Ji-hwan.

So then for reasons even MORE unfathomable, the heroine busts him out of the mental facility… with fake papers saying that they’re married. It’s… so wrong it’s right? Granted, if I had to make sense of Salaryman’s plot on paper without knowing its tone, I’d think it was crazeballs. So I’m not really worried that Money sounds completely insane. The drama promises to be a satire about lobbying, connections, and all the ways money has corrupted contemporary Korean society, all told with a biting wit. Badass.

Incarnation of Money follows Alice in Cheongdam-dong and premieres February 2 on SBS.

Via Star News


90 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Ivoire

    Thank you for the news!

    • 1.1 pabo ceo reom

      I love me some Kang Ji-hwan but I really don’t feel the same for Hwang Jung-eum. She’s steadily improving but have yet to win me over. The story sounds great though lol.

      • 1.1.1 jt885

        I agree, I love Kang Ji- Hawn’s acting, I can’t say the same for Hwang Jung-eum. I’m afraid she might ruin the drama for me. I thought Full house 2 was a total disaster. I’m sure there will people who disagrees.

  2. peachyogurt

    phew! about time i’d say. kang ji hwan your presence in dramaland is deeply missed. and let’s hope hwang jung-eum’s keeping that hair…

  3. browncoat78

    Great news! And I agree, it would be hard to imagine anyone other than Kang Ji Hwan pulling this character off. Sounds awesome!

  4. sponge

    Yes! Kang ji hwan please, history of a salaryman was awesome so i’m definitely looking forward to this, bring on the whacky fun

  5. V

    I’ve never seen him act in anything, but all this drama over him makes me curious about him.

    • 5.1 Moko

      that is sad V, he is one crazy fella πŸ˜€
      watch a movie with him and you might guess how zippy a drama can get inclusive his charm
      …how about “My Girlfriend is an Agent” – that one gets an adaption now with Joo Won (from Gaksital)

      • 5.1.1 pipit

        And Coffee House where you’ll meet one crazy writer ^-^

        • Orion

          I would add ‘Capital Scandal’. He’s good with comedy, but that showed he can handle melo well too. I think he’s a versatile actor, but he’s been choosing a lot of the same types of characters. It might explain why he keeps having troubles with agencies. Maybe they just want him to take up such roles because it sells and he’d like to try different things.

    • 5.2 AAAA

      I would highly recommend “Be Strong Geum Soon” his first lead role, and one of his best. He acts really well in all of his dramas, but I prefer the scripts and costars of mostly these two. The other one ended up being Incarnation of Money!

  6. Orion

    Also, now I get why the producers would wait around for Kang Ji-hwan.

    He’s a special kind of crazy and I expect this team to use him well. I can’t wait!

    • 6.1 peachyogurt

      lol. his kind of crazy almost doesn’t suit his mean good looks.

      • 6.1.1 Orion

        I know. I love actors and actresses who are good-looking, but not afraid to look like idiots. Anyone can be a pretty doll, but being a good sport and making fun of yourself is something people can respect.

        • peachyogurt

          yeap. it takes someone with insane amount of confidence to let their pretty selves look silly. people like him, jung ryeo won and such are like a breath of fresh air.

  7. Denali

    Wooot!!! So glad that he will be back on our screen.

    *anxiously awaiting the recap on KoD’s ep 17*

  8. rainbow

    wow….Kang Ji Hwan is simply awesome πŸ™‚
    waiting for this…..

  9. inf92

    so no extension for cheongdamdong Alice? Damn it!!!!

    • 9.1 luiz

      Me too! I was hoping for CCDA extension!!

  10. 10 almea

    With this synopsis, my interest-meter for this drama has gone from 2 to 10 πŸ™‚

    Kang Ji-hwan playing an oddball is really fun to watch, and I’m really anticipating his return to the small screen. Also, ditto on @peachyogurt’s comment about Hwang Jung-eum’s hair. Give the poor girl a break, she’s been sporting really terrible hairstyles from her past dramas.

    • 10.1 peachyogurt

      what’s with k dramas almost always end up uglifying their pretty female actress. its like we viewers couldn’t focus or appreciate their acting if they are pretty or something? even worse is when they prettify the second lead bitchy second lead characters. ughh! come on…

    • 10.2 peachyogurt

      what’s with k that sometimes end up uglifying their pretty female actresses? its like we viewers couldn’t focus or appreciate their acting if they are pretty or something? even worse is when they prettify the bitchy second lead characters. ughh! come on…

    • 10.3 peachyogurt

      what’s with k that sometimes end up uglifying their pretty female actress? its like we viewers couldn’t focus or appreciate their acting if they are pretty or something? even worse is when they prettify the bitchy second lead characters. ughh! come on…

      • 10.3.1 risa

        there’s an echo in here…

  11. 11 lili

    I’m so happy for Kang Ji Hwan but at the same it means no extension for Cheongdam dong Alice arghhhhhh

    I hate you Ji Hwan shi but I love you too πŸ˜€

    • 11.1 lili

      typo : at the same time

  12. 12 mommai

    I’m excited. History of a Salaryman was pretty awesomely off the wall, and this one sounds like it will be, too.

  13. 13 Meghan

    Some better news, if you weren’t already excited about this drama, is that Park Ji Bin and Kim Yoo Jung are playing the younger versions of our two characters. May Queen child stars reunited! Lol. All around this is a fantastic cast, so I’m getting more and more excited about it as news comes out.

    • 13.1 akikisetsu

      It’s not Kim Yoo Jung anymore. I was also psyche on Yoo Jung doing this drama, as previously speculated. But I guess her management accepted a different project. It’s now gonna be Seo Shin Ae, one of the 2 child wonders from Gumiho: Tale of the Fox’s Child (Yoo Jung being the other one). It’s been awhile since I’ve seen Shin Ae in a drama. Looking forward to it.^^

      • 13.1.1 Meghan

        Oh really? I was all excited for the Yoo Jung/Ji Bin reunion. Lol. Ah well. I’m sure whatever project Yoo Jung picks, it will be good. I don’t know who Seo Shin Ae is, I’ll have to look her up. Thanks for the tip. πŸ˜€

      • 13.1.2 canxi


        Looks like it’ll be a reunion for them too. T_T So precious.

  14. 14 shin mi rae

    the escaping mental institution part sounds like eugene’s new drama.

    • 14.1 risa

      Maybe using a fake marriage as a means to escape from a mental institution is replacing time travel as the new trend?

    • 14.2 Mystisith

      Exactly my thought. Let’s hope one is sane and the other really crazy. Just to avoid confusing our minds.

  15. 15 sogazelle

    Good news!

  16. 16 dulcedeleche

    First of all….. *SWOOOON*

    Now that that’s out of the way…..

    I’m in the middle of salaryman right now and I’m in love love love with this show. I think I’m hitting the slow part that everyone warned me about but hopefully it’ll pick up at the end.

    Kang Ji Hwan wears crazy like no one’s business so I’m looking really forward to this. Hope they cast soon though….Feb 2 is mighty close….

  17. 17 sumee

    oh wow..i am banana smilling !

  18. 18 Miky

    Yeaaaaaaaaaaay such a fabulos news…such a good pair,i can’t wait to see it

  19. 19 Robin

    Y’know, when you mentioned his being worth waiting for (because he’s so good at crazy) and the comments came in about how someone that good looking shouldn’t be doing the crazy roles I immediately thought of Nagase Tomoya. They really are 2 peas in a pod; both are incredibly handsome and both do a lot of physical, broad comedy (I highly recommend Nagase in “Tiger & Dragon” or “My Boss My Hero” if you want to see what I mean). KJH has done more “straight” serious work than Nagase, but I guess the latter gets his serious work in performing for TOKIO. They’re both so handsome it seems criminal that they should spend any time not being completely swoonworthy/deeply in love and maybe a little angsty, but when they make me laugh I don’t mind one little bit!

    • 19.1 lenrasoon

      hahaha i love that you mentioned Nagase, he always picks some crazy roles (that he knows it suits him best) so it’s not weird for me at all watching that gorgeous guys like him and KJH acting ~crazy.

    • 19.2 Sajen

      my problem with that comparison is Kang Ji Hwan is a fantastic actor whereas I’ve never seen Nagase Tomoya in a role or show I liked, er wait never mind there was one I can’t remember what it was called but he was a detective and kept falling for the beautiful female criminals.

      • 19.2.1 nakai

        Unubore Deka ^^

    • 19.3 nakai

      My favourite from him is 90 Days’ Time to Love. I must be the only one who likes him better in melo. ^^

      But I’ll watch this. Great team.

      • 19.3.1 nakai

        Opps sorry……I did a mistake on the reply.

    • 19.4 AAAA

      I actually don’t think KJH is that handsome in a classical way. But it’s his charisma, energy, charm, playfulness, intelligence, that captures my heart. And his lips. He has nice soft lips. And I like guys with a small scar by the eye (in real life I’ve also liked someone like that). And his eyes are not that big, or shapely, but they are attractive nonetheless to me. His nose is not refined, sometimes he looks like an ape. Sometimes he even looks ugly. But he’s beautiful to me. Strange.

  20. 20 lenrasoon

    omg YES! i love this plot and Kang Ji Hwan.

  21. 21 fangirlofone

    I can’t stop grinning like an idiot. >_________<

    I'm so happy for Kang Ji Hwan! Awesome start this year!!! I have a feeling that 2013 is indeed his year. Looking forward to this drama and I hope he bags an award come year-end. LOL talk about thinking advance!

  22. 22 Katie

    Yay! I was just re-reading your Dec. post about his agency problem yesterday. Glad there are updates! He’s been off our screens for way too long. I’m excited that he’s having a come back. The plot sounds crazy but really interesting.

    Also…Kim Yoo Jung was supposed to be the young female lead? Aw! I adore her, she’s so cute and bubbly in interviews! I hope she gets to be in more and more things, esp. with Yeo Jin Goo!

  23. 23 kfangurl

    Yay to KJH’s lawsuit woes getting cleared up! And what a bonus, that this show sounds wacky intriguing! Definitely going to check this out πŸ™‚

  24. 24 jomo

    It sounds like something I would like.
    Despite BOTH of them usually sporting really unfortunate hair styles, I like them in these roles.

  25. 25 Kiara

    Damn I would have loved “Faith” if they were able to keep him as Choi Young and the original story. I hope this is for real.

  26. 26 Liz lee

    Wonderful to see him back. Is he cleared just for this one drama or did he reconcile with his management group and thus allowing him to pursue other roles when this drama ends?

  27. 27 bluemoon

    Wonderful. Can’t Wait. It’s going to be awesome.

  28. 28 Nallali

    Took me too long to finally check out what the fuss is all about My GF is an Agent and am so glad i did! This guy can make u piss ur pants laughing cuz when he’s funny, he’s like crazy funny! And if he’s anything along the lines of Lee Beom Soo’s character in Salaryman then this is gonna be huge!

  29. 29 risa

    I say bring on the cray cray!

  30. 30 Trina

    From what I read is that Eunjung will be the other lead. 0.0 I read it from Koala unni blog. I thought SBS fire her from Five Fingers and now she is on this drama…

    • 30.1 Annie

      Nope, it’s going to be Oh Yoon Ah.

      • 30.1.1 Trina

        Thanks. Um.. is that good news or bad news….

        • Annie

          Good, I guess. She’s pretty harmless.

          • hapacalgirl

            But can she act? So far most of her roles have been pretty small. I think Kang Ji Hwan and Eunjung have really good chemistry, kind of disappointed that she’s not a part of this project.

          • Annie

            @ hapacalgirl, I was a fan of KJH/Eun Jung in Coffee House so I get where you’re coming from. From Eun Jung’s perspective, though, it’d probably be a good idea to let whatever resentment from the bullying scandal that still lingers boil over before she returns to dramas.

            Re: Oh Yoon Ah’s acting abilities, she’s competent at the very least. I don’t like her storyline in Childless Good Fortune but she’s doing pretty well in that drama.

  31. 31 iam

    KJH taking on a cray cray role? Why, THANK YOU, dramagods!

    It’s a happy new year indeed! ^_^

    • 31.1 iam

      Btw, GF, how’s JB? Spazzing, I suppose? ^_^

  32. 32 kopytko

    Finally a drama with an off the wall plot, without time travel, magic, mythical creatures, shoe or fashion designers, and more importantly, without idols in main cast. Looks like I am interested. Yay!

    BTW: I don’t care if HJE sports a perm again ;P. It’s ok with me, as long as she portrays her feisty character well.

  33. 33 Mystisith

    I must be one of the few who didn’t succumb to KJH’s charm yet: I think he’s OK but that’s it. For once I will come purely for the crazy story.

    • 33.1 kopytko

      There are two of us. Yay for the insane plot!

    • 33.2 c_gunawan541

      There’s 3. I liked him most in Coffee House but I wished him to end with Eunjung instead of PSY. I’m always meh about PSY though I can’t deny her acting improved vastly over the years…

      • 33.2.1 milkmustache

        Okay, for some reason, when you typed, “PSY”, I literally thought of PSY who sang Gangnam Style and I was like, “when was PSY casted in Coffee House?” Then I realized you were talking about Park Shi Yeon. Woops. ^^”

  34. 34 Noelle

    Good for him. Now bring on the drama! I want fun and zany.

  35. 35 KZ

    I will always be a fan of Kang Ji-Hwan, Sung Yuri and Jang Geun-Suk because the first Korean drama I ever really truly watched was Hong Gil Dong. Great drama that was even though the ending sent me to a spiraling depression haha.

  36. 36 bimbobunny

    Omo. I think I died a little inside.

    Give me a moment please



    Okay, done. ^^

  37. 37 WM

    I am so ready for this show. I’m going to have to start a countdown calendar.

  38. 38 df

    Kang Ji Hwan could get it!

  39. 39 tapioca pearl

    Yes! Kang Ji-hwan and HOTS team?! If there ever was a perfect pairing, it’s this. I’m just glad all that agency hoopla is done with and this man can do what he does best again.

  40. 40 Kdramafan89

    I LOVE the writers who made Giant and Salaryman and I love hwang jun eum so I’m super excited. Kang ji hwan hasn’t done a decent drama yet so I’m glad he picked a drama that guarantees him a hit cause he really is an amazing actor he just has problems with picking dramas

  41. 41 Lukas

    Eunjung will be the other leader?

  42. 42 Taiba

    the synopsis sounds great! this time the girl is rich; finally a change. and i looove crazy characters. cant wait!

  43. 43 pipit

    Besides Kang Ji Hwan, what I love most in a drama is when it takes a different approach to what already almost stale story molds in kdrama land. So, I’m all for a crazyness.

    Not saying that I don’t love the old patterns we all familiar with – fot that what made us love kdrama in the first place – but sometimes the bandwagon thing is really too much. I love time travel but last year time travel stories were rather disappointing. I love fake marriages too but I can’t seem to recall which drama with this plot that stands out.

    I really wish that this Incarnation of Money will deliver something good. More like King of Drama in tone and atmosphere perhaps.

    • 43.1 Annie

      I’m a total sucker for fake marriage story plots but there have actually been precious few in Korean/Japanese/Chinese dramas of late. I get my fix from Thai lakorns but the drop in quality is jarring, to say the least.

      • 43.1.1 iatetoomuch

        Fellow lakorn watcher here. Sharing your frustation on lakorns. Great storyline on paper, very good looking actors, shitty execution 99% of the time, yet I keep on coming back in the hope of finding the ‘one’ that will melt my heart.

  44. 44 Solyn

    KJH is crazy , watched Runway cop at work,from the first snort tolast muffled giggle I was asked to leave the office and at home my roommate asked to me watch it in my room
    its funny and stupid but its KJH

    I like you KJH to quote a line from the Runway cop

    looking forward to this

    • 44.1 Orion

      The scene where he was high was a hoot. Probably one of the few parts I did enjoy, since it recycled a lot of humor from ‘7th Grade Civil Servant’ and it felt embarrassing they didn’t come up with new stuff.

      But Kang Ji Hwan acts nuts when the character is relatively normal and if the drugs scene in this is any indication, someone certifiably insane and on psycho-meds is going to be the ultimate character for his type of crazy. And written by Jang and Jung? I can’t wait…

      • 44.1.1 AAAA

        Movie screenwriters are mostly disappointing and less talented than drama screenwriters, in my experience watching Korean dramas and movies. They never get in depth, they don’t deal with emotional depth, too many stereotypes instead of actual people, too much wanna be Hollywood action flick, too little creativity/uniqueness, and too much testosterone (e.g., girls are almost always boring, shallow, 2-D characters, short skirt, just for hot bed scenes)

  45. 45 kilmenyanne

    Oh YEAH, Salaryman brought me back to drama-fold when I was just about to give it up.

    Expectations are sky high now. Please be awesome.

  46. 46 asianromance

    I’m crossing my fingers that Kang Ji Hwan will stay clear from lawsuit problems and we’d really get to see him in this drama through completion! The drama sounds awesome and I’m really excited that it’s from the History of a Salaryman team!

  47. 47 JD

    please give her good hair, please give her good hair, please give her good hair

  48. 48 Fab

    Eeeey I love KJH! Super happy for him getting back on the money train…

  49. 49 Stephanie

    Usually I don’t like him. Because he is meant to be crazy. When he’s melo, he’s boring. So I can’t wait for this!

  50. 50 leeylos

    i’m really happy for him come back in the drama,please change her hair style and improve her look…i think KHJ oppa really awesome in “lie to me” in terms of look,hair style and dressing…please,please,please…i love KJH oppa so much, keep fighting oppa! really eager to watch your new drama, i can’t wait! surely this drama gonna be amazing!

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