Chungmuro/Film News
Kim Woo-bin in consideration for Friend sequel
by | February 19, 2013 | 77 Comments

Aw yay, this is a casting report to cheer about. Director Kwak Kyung-taek’s legendary besties-turned-foes franchise Friend has been on the hunt to cast a young star to play the son of Jang Dong-gun’s character in the original 2001 film, and Kim Woo-bin has reportedly been offered the headlining role in the sequel. If this is what he wins for ripping my heart out as a gangster-turned-teddy-bear in School 2013, then I guess we’re all winners.

The sequel stars Yoo Oh-sung (Faith), who’s reprising his role from the original film. The basic setup, if you haven’t seen Friend: Jang Dong-gun and Yoo Oh-sung are best friends in high school and they each grow up to become mob bosses of two rival gangs. It’s the quintessential bittersweet bromance-gone-wrong tragedy, which if you’ve seen School, you get immediately why Kim Woo-bin was cast — you could move Heung-soo to Busan and he’d have been one of these kids. That aside, does anyone else think it adorably funny that Kim Woo-bin was the thug who scared the daylights out of Jang Dong-gun in A Gentleman’s Dignity? How not badass mobster father of you.

The sequel will pick up years later, when Yoo Oh-sung is released from prison after having served his sentence. What he doesn’t know is that Jang Dong-gun had a secret son, who’s just biding his time till Yoo Oh-sung is back out. Theirs will be the central relationship in the film, along with a parallel flashback story starring Joo Jin-mo (Coffee) as Yoo Oh-sung’s father, who was the first gangster in this three-generation mob story. I can see it going any number of ways, given how things were left between the friends by the end of the first film. Will we have Redemption Via Spawn of My Friend, or Frenemy Wars: The Next Generation?

Friend 2 starts shooting this spring.

Via TV Daily, Aju News


77 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Francesca


    • 1.1 Francesca

      But wait…secret birth???? Noooooooo

      • 1.1.1 Jae Shin

        Completely out of context with the article/blog post/whatever you bloggers call it these days (^_^)… But have you ever seen the k-drama “Francesca”? Your name reminded me of it.. ^_^

        • Francesca

          Happened to hear about that k-drama but haven’t watched it yet ๐Ÿ˜€

          PS: I like Moon Jae Shin! lol so random!

      • 1.1.2 alwaesboo

        NUOOOOO! Yeah, i had the same reaction too. nuoooo. Don’t do the “I am your father”line. oh noooo

  2. Nokcha

    I just think he, the director, should leave the Friend concept alone. It was amazing when it first came out.

    I won’t watch, regardless of the cast. Sequels, or whatever this will be, pasquel/fuquel, seldom have the same bang.

    • 2.1 Tarrasji

      I second this.

      Also don’t Kim Woo Bin ever get tired of taking on the same roles again and again?

      • 2.1.1 TS

        I know what you mean. But hopefully we’ll see him in a sageuk soon (fans self at thought of Woobie as Goryeo king).

        • JoAnne

          I cheered at this headline. CHEERED. Outloud. In a cubicle. I love my colleagues though. Several of them cheered in response, and NO ONE asked why.

          • Conny

            For some reason that just made me laugh out loud. And I mean LOUD (no cheers for me though, kids are in school.. but hey, they cat purred louder. Does that count?)!!

          • JoAnne

            It made me laugh, too, Conny. I understand completely! And yes the cat counts.

          • alua

            Hahaha JoAnne!

            You always crack me up. That’s a nice office you work in.

          • Jae Shin

            Hahahaha Miss JoAnne and Miss Conny, I’m pretty sure y’all made my day. XDDD Keep up the cheerfulness~

          • JoAnne

            Alua! Hi! I work with awesome people, I’m very lucky that way and I appreciate it very much ๐Ÿ™‚

            Jae Shin ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 2.2 Yunomuna

      Agree. I haven’t watched the Friend, but the character Heungsoo just left so much impression on me. I don’t think I could watch a different movie with same character.

  3. crazedlu

    Really?? Well now, I might have to tune in if he takes the role. Now what is friend Lee Jongseok up to? Kinda waiting for him. Ha. Good news for lots of the School cast.

    • 3.1 keya

      He’s currently filming for a movie called ‘Physiognomy’ a.k.a ‘The Face Reader’.

      • 3.1.1 JoAnne

        Wanna rub my hands all over HIS face, yes I do.

        • pogo

          In the words of the gif, I want to rub my face all over his face

          (but I won’t, perv-noona is capable of drawing SOME lines lol)

          • TS


  4. Gaeina Lee

    I’m watching School special at KBSW while reading this article.. Wow, talking about coincidence.. Go KWB, noona will root for you! ^^

  5. Carmensitta

    Haha, guess he has the softie gangster niche for himself now

  6. sajatokki

    NO KIM WOO BIN. It’s time for you to take an alpha male role and kill us with your swoon-worthy everything.

    • 6.1 TS


  7. Hahanzyy

    LOVE kim woo bin. LOVE park heung Soo. But I want kwb to come out of the gangster/bad student-related roles.

    • 7.1 Mystisith

      He is really getting typecasted here… If he sees acting as his main job, I would try something else: He has the acting chops for that.

    • 7.2 eternalfive

      SECONDED. I was really hoping that his next role was going to be something completely different from his past gangster/rebel student ones because he’s really at risk of getting typecasted. =\ I KNOW he has the potential to take on different roles, but I seriously want to SEE it atm. It would be a huge waste if he doesn’t get to show it.

      Hehe, I practically screamed with delight when I saw this post though. If he does end up taking the role, I’ll definitely watch it anyway. For Kim Woo-bin, I’ll watch anything! Heh. ^o^

  8. keya

    Some sequels end up not doing too not sure about this.

    He’s definitely on the rise now though. In my opinion (just my opinion only), he’s the best among current model turned actors.

  9. Selina

    Would be happy with this casting and really hope he gets the role. I’ve liked him since ‘White Christmas’ and sat through Gentleman’s Dignity and Beautiful You for him. School turned like to obsession. He’s talented and has potential. I do hope this role will be more than just gangster rebel, and we can see he has variability in him.

    • 9.1 skelly

      I feel the same way about A Gentleman’s Dignity – he was one of the few bright spots in that mess, and although gangster stories are not usually my faves, I may watch Friends – and then the sequel – if he is in it.

  10. 10 DAEBAK!

    OH YEAH! Producers read my mind when I thought I would love to see Kim Woo Bin in this^^ dancing oh yeah! oh yeah! oh yeah! oh yeah! oh yeah!

  11. 11 cheekbones

    Yay ! Hopefully I can actually watch it. But, it would be at least a year from now. *sigh*

    Btw, thanks gf for the pic ! I love it. *saves*

  12. 12 elmiraaa

    That pic above *swoon*

    I do hope that the sequel won’t do bad, considering there are not many sequels which outperfom the original story. ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. 13 aoiaheen

    OH MY GOD!!!! This is even better than Yoo Ah In. This guy will be A-Mazing in anything gangster related.

  14. 14 Danna

    Yay!!! Lub Him….I’d usually groan at the idea of sequels but Friend is a different story plus its the sameproduction behind all three ventures…this could be a great breakout venture for Kim Woo Bin

  15. 15 dokyunko-chan

    Wait… what? So he’ll be Jang Dong Gun’s son in this? LOL
    though I’d love to see him again soon, but I don’t want him to always have he same roles. He said he will only take a good-warm roles now at an interview. LOL
    But still, I’d watch it if he take the role, I’ll watch everything with him in it! XD
    thanks for sharing the news, and I love the “gangster-turned-teddy-bear” wish I have a teddy bear like him LOL.

  16. 16 Fasr

    aww people will always forget his turn as fluffy goofball alien vampire in vampire idol. i’m actually glad people seem to be sceptical of this? if everyone comes in with high expectations and the sequel doesn’t do the original justice, which is what happens 90% of the time T-T, i’ll just feel bad for him. but if he’s cast and the movie does well it’d be a nice surprise.

    • 16.1 pogo

      Vampire Idol was so cracktastically awesome, it’s a shame it’s largely unsubbed.

      • 16.1.1 TS

        I watch it unsubbed. It’s a pity, because I’m pretty sure Vampire Dong Hyup is downright brilliant in how he plays the Prince and Minions, but since it’s a situation comedy, and since I go a bit soft-headed watching Woobie My Love, no big deal in the end.

      • 16.1.2 sally_b

        Vampire Idol was cracktastic indeed. I loved it– watched every episode unsubbed, because that was the only way.

        Woo Bin and Soo Hyuk made my eyes VERY happy… and Woo Bin’s aeygo was squeeee-worthy.

        Yes….he CAN and DOES do cutey-pie faces. (love) โค

      • 16.1.3 mysticmalady

        Youtube has chinese subs…if you can understand chinese in the first place. But Vampire Idol was soooooo darn awesome!! I started watching it 1 random weekend, kept clicking the next episode…and finished the whole series that weekend before even realising it ><

  17. 17 djes

    Why suddenly Jang Dong Gun’s “secret sons” start appearing one by one?

    If I’m Go Soyoung ( I wish!) I think I should start to worry… ๐Ÿ˜€

    • 17.1 Lilian

      omg..your comment is so damn funny! I just had to reply to say good one =D haha….

    • 17.2 Bengbeng

      hahaha, i found your comments funny too =)

  18. 18 jandoe

    I understand the concern of getting typecasted, but this sounds like a really meaty role that I think will only benefit him in the long run, both acting chops and popularity-radar. On one hand i do think the Friends story has been beaten to death, but then again there ARE so many different takes and approaches to the story that I think this movie still has the potential to shine as something new. I say … do this Kim Woo-bin, then do something completely different! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 18.1 wits

      I concur wholeheartedly! How can you pass this up? Seriously! So, even if KWB did imply duiring a recent interview that he did not want to be typecasted (by hopefully playing another type of character), I understand why he would take this on (if he ever does).

      This can be his breakout role. I hope the writer crafts a totally awesome character that would require a whole range of emotions. I am so excited because I know KWB has IT, the talent, the charisma and the gravitas.

      Can’t wait!

    • 18.2 canxi

      True, true. Plus it’s a LEAD role. Which means the spotlight and that would be awesome for him. If he takes it and does well I’m sure a lot of good things will come from that.

      Besides, I think a lot of great korean actors go through that phase where they’re playing different types of gangsters. It certainly won’t be the only roles he gets.

  19. 19 TS

    Oh Woobie, I’ll take anything you do!

    But next time, please, a sageuk. And lots of shirtless scenes whatever you’re doing. And a hot kiss scene so I can imagine it’s me.

    • 19.1 pogo

      I know, I’m hoping that him having a lead role will —-> love interest (hopefully someone who can match him in the acting department and not just be a pretty face)

      • 19.1.1 TS


      • 19.1.2 JoAnne

        I want Woo Bin being serious and a bit scary with Kang Sora being cute and fierce, and then he graduallly gets all lovey and cute the way he did with Nam Soon.


        But not in a sageuk. I mean he can do one but I don’t want that one to be one.

        • pogo

          I’ve never seen Kang Sora in anything but if she’s a match for Woobie, let the sparks fly I say! (and antagonism followed by squishiness gets me every time lol)

          • TS

            Kang Sora? Did I miss something here?

          • pogo

            @TS – ask Joanne! I have no clue lol

          • JoAnne

            you didn’t miss anything, I was just dreaming out loud. She’s an actress, not an idol/actress. If I got the name right, I mean. The girl from Sunny.

  20. 20 Abbie

    So awesome. Kim Woo-bin would be perfect in this. Also, is Jang Dong-gun going to be in it? I’ve not seen the first Friend movie, so I don’t know how it was left with his character.

    • 20.1 JoAnne

      I started watching the movie but something happened, I didn’t finish…anyway, no, JDG couldn’t be in this. Unless there were flashbacks…and in that case they could just use footage from the original?

  21. 21 wits

    Didn’t he die?

  22. 22 MariD

    I love this kid… I guess he is getting type cast, but he is rather good at being the rebel. I think it does not help that he has that amazing facial structure that makes him look like a bad guy. TOP also has the same look & he also always gets this type of roles. Anyways they are both hot to me ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll watch them in anything.

  23. 23 Tazzo

    Two things stuck me when I read this:

    1. Jang Dong Gun son’s role? hahaha he did scare the living daylights out of jang dong gun’s role in AGD!

    2. i saw in him ADG first, then in school. and both are kinda the same type of roles. an now another gangster role. i would really love to see him in sth esle, perhaps romance or bromance or saguek or sth, give me anything.

    But hey can’t complain, at least we get to see him! eye candy anyday man!

  24. 24 pogo

    So this means….a lead role?!!!!!!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!

    (I do hope he gets to play something other than softie gangsters sometime though, he’s talented enough for it and shouldn’t be typecast so young)

  25. 25 Noelle

    Holy, a leading role for Woo Bin! I don’t want him to be pigeonholed though. I like him to much for him to remain a problem child/gangster/any other type of delinquent. Hopefully this will only lead to more leading roles with a wider character range.

  26. 26 mysterious

    I welcome ANYTHING that has KWB, especially if it is a leading role. BUT I don’t want him to be typecast in this type of role. Granted he plays it well with his looks, stature and deep voice, but he has the potential for so much more. School really showed his acting chops; he can be angry and yet vulnerable at the same time – that takes skill. My precious Woo-bin-ah, don’t get bogged down with the same image over and over! You have so much potential!

    (Side note: All this talk about KWB makes me want to go back and watch School again. Off I go! hehe)

  27. 27 bjharm

    school myth lives on, in making those young actors staring in the series more famous and opening the door to bigger things. I sure we hear more of the cast getting breaks also.

  28. 28 hanie

    Right now, I’ll take anything related to Kim Woo Bin. But I’m afraid that KWB would be type cast in this iljin character. If that happen, I’ll be sad. He has so much potential.

    GF, are u gonna do a post on Woo Bin’s countless magazine spread? (please say YES….) If it is a NO….
    If I beg earnestly, would it change you mind? Please? *sending lots of love*

  29. 29 noanao

    Omo omo omo omo omo!!! Woo Bin ah!!! I’m sure he’ll rip my heart out again with this movie -happy tears-

  30. 30 denise

    I don’t care what he’s in JUST LET HIM BE ON SCREEN. HEHE ๐Ÿ™‚

  31. 31 ladymoxie

    Took me a long time to realize that there’s actually an article to read after that top photo. I was just grinning back at KWB the whole damn time!!! Too much pretty for my brain.

    • 31.1 eternalfive

      It took all my willpower and then some to actually scroll down and read. Heh. ๐Ÿ˜›

  32. 32 Penny

    AWW at Kim Woo Binโ€™s SMILE in the picture above. Iโ€™ve been so used to seeing his face with rage, angst and tears that moments (or photos) like this never fails to bring a smile on my lips too.

  33. 33 luna

    Aw, yay! I just emailed you guys this the other day. I really really really hope this is true. I hope he goes for it! PLEASE OPPPAR!! I know he said before that he didn’t want to be typecasted as the “bad guy” but he did also say that if it’s a good role, he wouldn’t mind it so much. I think this role would do wonder for him, and it’s a LEAD role! You can do heartwarming, gentle guy in your next one, Woo-bin, but if you really want gentle guy, that’s only second lead territory.

    • 33.1 luna

      Ohhh, it’s a movie? lol My reading comprehension is weak. I thought it was drama, a bit confused with the Hyun-bin’s ver. I wish it was a drama instead, more screentime. 2hrs aren’t enough, plus the wait time for the movie to be released and add that to the wait for it to be out for d/l (estimate wait time: next year) It’s too much for this fangirl’s heart.

  34. 34 anvesha

    I see him and I see the perfect cold-but cuddly male lead of kdramas. Obviously, he is still young for the full-blown lead role, but he is one of the actors on my radar along with his on-screen buddy Lee Jong Seok.

    I don’t know much about the original.. But seems like it is still the same type of role he did before. I guess, he can hit it off in a big scale drama before trying other things.

    • 34.1 anvesha

      I mean, big scale movie..

    • 34.2 TS

      Oh yes, I totally want to cuddle him.

  35. 35 Ennayra

    I love seeing Kim Woo-bin act. I first saw him in White Christmas, and really enjoyed his character. I even think he worked the bright red hair. He was seriously underutilized in A Gentleman’s Dignity, so I was happy to see him with a meatier role in School 2013. And now he gets to play the lead role in a movie? I’m glad things are looking up for him, and that I’ll get to see him in more roles. Well… when the movie eventually makes it over here ๐Ÿ™‚

  36. 36 jenny

    omg first thought from that image is he looks like jiro wang from farenheit boy band =D

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