If you wanna see Yoo Ah-in (
Fashion King, Sungkyunkwan Scandal, The Man Who Can’t Marry, Antique Bakery) back on your television screens (or, let’s be real, computer monitors), start the rain-dancing and bargaining-with-gods now: He’s in talks to take the role of Kim Tae-hee’s leading man in the SBS drama Jang Ok-jung. This comes with the usual caveats—it’s not final, he’s still just considering, he hasn’t committed yet, blah blah blah.
If you don’t immediately recognize the name Jang Ok-jung, perhaps you’ll know the infamous concubine-turned-queen’s other moniker: Jang heebin, aka the scheming temptress oft-portrayed as a murderous villainess for usurping Queen In-hyun’s place, only to be usurped right back after King Sukjong regretted dethroning his first wife.
Only, this drama purports to take a twist on the usual telling of the tale. It’ll reinterpret the familiar story and characters by incorporating a “modern flair”—it’ll still be sageuk, but Kim Tae-hee’s version of Jang heebin has previously been described as a Joseon fashion designer. And since she’s the heroine, who knows how they’ll reimagine Queen In-hyun, always portrayed as kind-hearted and meek to a fault. Will she be the villain?
The role Yoo Ah-in has been offered is of King Sukjong and he is the main lead, so we’re definitely going to be taking some liberties with history as we know it. (SPOILER ALERT? It IS history, but in case you don’t wanna know…) After Queen In-hyun died, Sukjong suspected Jang heebin of having a hand in it, and she was executed by poisoning. So… maybe we can expect just a little bit of melo here.
On the upside: Welcome back, Sageuk Hair. Rawr. On the downside: We’ll just have to imagine the mane’s glory from our glimpses of neat royal topknot. Aw man. Can the king at least get a shower scene? Maybe a fight sequence where a sword slices open his robes and his hair tie, juuuust as a jug of water flies overhead, overturning to douse him?
It’s a drama. Drama is fiction. IT COULD HAPPEN.
Jang Ok-jung will follow Yawang, which puts its premiere in the vicinity of March.