Drama Casting & News
Jin Yi-han and Jung Woong-in join sageuk epic Hwatu
by | August 13, 2013 | 47 Comments

So many interesting actors, so little interest in this drama. Aie! I hate when this happens.

Jin Yi-han is the latest addition to MBC’s upcoming 50-episode sageuk drama Hwatu, which will star Ha Ji-won as a Goryeo-born woman who becomes Empress Ki of the Yuan dynasty, and Joo Jin-mo as Goryeo’s King Chunghye, who wants his nation to find its independence from Yuan interference.

Jin Yi-han’s character is a serious intellectual, a scholar who from an early age respects and follows the uncle who was like a father to him. However, he falls for Empress Ki’s tricks and betrays that uncle to then become prime minister. He plays a large role in the advancement of Yuan, apparently displaying a firmness of character and flashes of greatness along the way. (But… the betrayal… she said naively.)

I love Jin Yi-han, who has admittedly acted in a bunch of mediocre stuff but has, at least, done a great job in them. An abridged list: Dr. Jin, Hooray for Love, You’re Here You’re Here You’re Really Here, A Good Day for the Wind to Blow, All My Love, Who Are You. Most recently he cameo’d in Episode 1 of Master’s Sun. He was good in that. He should get more leading roles. In good dramas. Where he sings a lot. (He’s a former musical actor with a nice set of pipes and also friends with another former musical actor, Kang Ji-hwan. They should do stuff together. Playing besties. You know, since I’m just listing stuff I want now.)

Jung Woong-in is another new addition to the cast, who is currently enjoying a wave of unexpected popularity after playing the creepy murderer on a revenge mission in I Hear Your Voice. It’s certainly not the only hit drama he’s been a part of, but it came at a great time and provided him with a nice boost, so much so that his oft-growled phrase “I’m gonna kill you!” became something of a catchphrase. I… don’t know whether that’s amusing or unnerving.

Perhaps thanks to Voice, Jung Woong-in will be playing another villain’s role in Hwatu. His character is born a Goryeo man, but his ambition to advance his status compels him to work for the oppressors instead, carrying out evil deeds and defying both King Chunghye and Empress Ki. Go forth and hench, man.

(It’s not a bad idea to strike while the iron’s hot, although I have to admit it’s a bit weird for me to see Jung Woong-in going all crazed and creepy after watching him play so many bumbling fools, with the occasional nice guy thrown in the mix. He’s so good at being the dork!)

Hwatu will follow Goddess of Fire Jung-yi as a Monday-Tuesday drama and will premiere in October.

Via Mk.co.kr, TV Report


47 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. ilikemangos

    Min Joon Gook, i will see you soon.

    • 1.1 pogo

      yeah, before that it was First Oppa but now he’s Min Joon-gook to me forever.

      • 1.1.1 alua

        Oska is still Oska though.

        • fangirl98

          Right?! He will always be Oska to me.

          I’m so glad someone else feels this way! LOL 😀

    • 1.2 hawaiianseoul

      Hahaha If db has a like button, I’d probably upvote your comment a billion times.

    • 1.3 VV

      I miss Jung Woong-in as nice guy like he played Hwang Tae Sik in Ojakgyo.
      But love to see him as villain again.
      I’d love to hate him again.

  2. Wink

    Seems like an interesting enough drama, but I just can’t handle ones that are longer than, say, 30 episodes.

    • 2.1 canxi

      I can never sit through a saeguk. I dunno why. I can sit through 2 hrs if it’s a movie and enjoy it, but more than that I just tune out, lol.

      • 2.1.1 pearl3101

        I have the same problem… I have never finished a single saguek. My highest record is TMTETS ( uptill episode 14) Even tree with deep roots could’nt get me to finish!! 🙁

      • 2.1.2 Sab

        same here….for some reasons, saeguk juz switches me off..maybe it’s the dialogue.

  3. adette

    that picture with the green costumes, though.


  4. canxi

    Awww Jin Yi Han. I remember him as that kind of jerky boyfriend?/talent scout? dude in What’s Up and he was good there. And I think I’ve seen him in other things–small roles–but the dramas he actually has a role in I don’t even feel like watching, LOL. Sad days. I hope this drama does well and he should get leading roles or at least a role in awesome things–I feel like he would carry. It’d be sad if he was another Nam Goong Min D’: Why, Dramaland, Why????

  5. HeadsNo2

    Jin Yi-han! I hope this drama does well, just because he needs a good breakout role. He’s too talented to be so underrated.

    • 5.1 pauper

      I concur wholeheartedly! I got to know him through a daily drama and even then, he was amazing. There was a scene in it which he snapped at his baby mama, I was so impressed that I still remember it to this day.

  6. snow__white

    Wow….I really liked Jin Yi han’s performance in the cameo role in Master’s Sun…

    And Jung Woong in has always done a great job in variety of roles….Last scandal, Coffee House and IHYV….

    But this drama is a sageuk with 50 episodes….have to skip this one.

    • 6.1 pearl3101

      My personal fav is his role in OB.. Well I haven’t watched IHYV yet..!!

  7. tanya

    Min Joon Gook! Not a big fan of saeguk but I will definitely try this one out.

  8. simplevi

    “Most recently he cameo’d in Episode 1 of Master’s Sun. He was good in that. He should get more leading roles. In good dramas.”

    aaaa….agreed with you on that.

  9. Amberscube

    Min Joon Gook… Escaped from prison and time travelled to Goryeo era for another killing spree!

  10. 10 redfox

    oh, shikes. can´t say I exaclt MISSED Min Joon Gook. I don´t think anyone ever again calls the actor by his real name.

  11. 11 chickenwing

    This reminds me of Faith. Will the villain have a skinny pointy moustache too?

    • 11.1 redfox

      oy, no villain can ever be as chilling as Ki Chul. quite literally. (aaand every time he is mentioned I just crack up. too funny!)

  12. 12 kellie

    Back to sageuk for JWI? I always think of him as Misaeng from QSD. So many children he didn’t know what to do. His scenes with sister Mishil are among my favorite scenes in all sageuk. Villains with a sense of humor are so hard to come by in K-drama. I don’t suppose this new one will be one of those.

  13. 13 shiva

    Have you seen the trailer for the Special Drama with Jung Woong-in and So Hee? I thought it was soooo weird to have them paired up together. But it looks cute.

  14. 14 jyl

    Gah, I love Jin Yihan. More leading roles, pretty please!
    And LOL @ the frog costumes.

  15. 15 Ceecile

    I actually like Sageuks but for 50 episodes? I can’t see it being enjoyable.

  16. 16 news

    I love Jung Woong-In. I’ve seen him play all sorts of characters and he’s always been good – charismatic 2nd lead in Last Scandal and cowardly villain brother in QSD immediately comes to mind.

    I’m glad he’s getting the attention he deserves.

  17. 17 Kiara

    ‘So many interesting actors, so little interest in this drama’


    • 17.1 Milly

      But why little interest in the drama? Because it is 50+ episodes? or is it because that period in Korean history not interesting enough?

      just really curious….

      • 17.1.1 ravens_nest

        I adore sageuks and Ha Ji Won…and Ha Ji Won in sageuks, plus I don’t mind 50+ eps or whatever, but I’m also a little trepidatious about this drama. The main lead character is a king who’s well known as a sociopath who kidnapped, raped, and murdered women a ridiculous amount (though once would certainly be enough to make me vomit).

        I just…how are they gonna spin this guy in a good light such that I’d want him to be with my Ji Won? Make it seem like he was wrongfully maligned and nothing in the Goryeosa is true? Aight, homies. :/

        • Kiara

          I don’t mind the 50+ eps either because I’m a sageuk junkie but they just had to pick the worse king in Goryeo’s history and make him a saint then pair him up with the power hungry empress who didn’t give a shit about her country so what’s the point? It may have been ok for a side story but for 50 eps? No not for me.

          I’ve seen Shin Don and that’s the best sageuk out there based on the later Goryeo period.

    • 17.2 Windsun33

      I don’t like Saeguk dramas, but aside from that I can think of several reasons.

      (1) First off, you will have about 15 episodes worth of various conspirators wearing funny hats sitting around a big table in a whorehouse, all lying to each other.
      (2) You will have about 5 episodes of a bunch of people with big swords doing all kinds of impossible stunts.
      (3) There will be at least 2 episodes worth of flashbacks.

      Have not even gotten to all the makjang common in these long episodes, and already you have used up 22 episodes worth of time 😀

      • 17.2.1 pearl3101

        You crack me up!! ^_^ But seriously, I have the same problems when it comes to sagueks…!!

      • 17.2.2 Mar

        @Windsun33-You listed really important reasons why I also cannot generally stomach sageuks! I’d also add creeper facial hair as a big turn off for me.

        And let’s not forget the marvel of how the heck did they have all those perfectly wrinkle free clothing before the days of steam pressing and hey, let’s be real, Wrinkle Releaser. I spend a lot of time thinking about that and get distracted (read bored with the conspiracy in the court and my mind goes places) when I am supposed to be paying attention to the conspiracy machinations.

        Even in Queen Inhyun’s Man. I gave up after Boong-do started sporting the hoodies and beanies, I totally gave up only watched the modern times scenes. I mean really, did I miss anything?

        And how many lice would be in one of the women’s wigs back in the day, ya know? That is what happens when I watch sageuks. 🙂

  18. 18 Cam

    Owowoohhoo! Look so so so *sizzle sizzle* Babababadada….KKKAAAA CHOW~!!!

  19. 19 Altari

    Yay! Love Jin Yi-han.

    I heard rumors that they were having a hard time casting the male lead because he would have to sport the shaven head/pig tail. lol

  20. 20 eny

    jung wong in act in many interesting drama that i watch : Queen Seundeok, Coffee House, Ojakgyo Brother, I Hear Your Voice etc
    I love the cast so far but 50 episode is tooo long

  21. 21 djes

    I found new admiration to Jung Woong-in after IHYV.
    I liked him before, but sorta took him for granted? I mean he mostly played as third lead or something, and mostly also as dorky nice guy…but he was convincingly creepy as Min Jongkook, that’s…awesome.

    I agree with you, jb, so many interesting casts ( Joo!Jin!Moo! I love him ), but I don’t really into saeguk ( and moreover 50 eps of it )… 🙁

  22. 22 whilethemusiclasts

    Now if only this weren’t a 50-episode sageuk…

  23. 23 zsa

    Min Joon Gook is a great actor…if he doesn’t win any award this year, we’ll have words, SBS!!

  24. 24 Trina

    I adore Jin Yi-Han but I want him as the male lead in a drama not this drama. However, it will be a reunion with the Pdnim with that Dr. Whatmallcallit. As for Jung Woong In, I love him in Queen Seon Deok as in Mishil little brother. He was really funny and great.

  25. 25 Aleena

    Omo. It’s Min Joon Gook. o.o

  26. 26 maymay

    He was irritating and evil in QSD …his character I mean…so actually my impression of him is also almost always a baddie…but he’s good at what he does so all is swell.

  27. 27 Valleydale

    I love Ha Ji Won, but really have a hard time getting into sagueks. And 50 episodes?! Windsun’s post had me weak with laughter, it sounded so spot on. Plus, what about that other sageuk, the action one with all the comedic elements Ha Ji Won was supposed to be featured in? In it she is supposedly the leader of a squad of kick-ass women, if I recall correctly. Any word about that one? I was actually kind of looking forward to it.

  28. 28 Mar

    “He was good in that. He should get more leading roles. In good dramas. Where he sings a lot. (He’s a former musical actor with a nice set of pipes and also friends with another former musical actor, Kang Ji-hwan. They should do stuff together. Playing besties. You know, since I’m just listing stuff I want now.)”

    This. I am totally onboard for this idea. Drama gods, are you paying attention to Javabeans here? Because, you know, hey, this thing she wants, good idea.

  29. 29 Lilian

    Just discovered Jin Yi Han. After watching episode 1 of Master’s Sun I went to google the name of the actor! Based on that episode, it seems like he is underrated, he should really get larger roles. Any chance he will appear again on Master’s Sun?

  30. 30 QueenHJW

    even though sageuks are such a bore,i’m still going to watch this one! WHY? some of you people might wonder.. BECAUSE IT’S A FREAKING HA JI WON DRAMA! that’s a 100 % guarantee that this sageuk is going to be awesome! hwang ji yi was perfection but empress ki( hwatu is not the title anymore people) is going to surpass it’s success! the anticipation is killing me already! ha ji won is going to win awards for this one! you go girl!

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