Drama Casting & News
Joo Jin-mo joins Hwatu to romance Ha Ji-won
by | August 8, 2013 | 56 Comments

Casting continues on MBC’s upcoming sageuk drama Hwatu, which is not in fact a drama about gambling despite being named after the flower cards [花鬪]. The series is set in the Goryeo dynasty with Ha Ji-won playing a Goryeo woman who becomes Empress Ki of Yuan (sister of Ki Chul, mentioned from time to time in Faith). Now Joo Jin-mo (Gabi, Invincible) has signed on to play King Chunghye, the male lead, in his first drama in four years (since he headlined boxing drama Dream).

In Hwatu’s timeline, the Yuan Dynasty has political governance over the Goryeo state. King Chunghye ruled three reigns ahead of Gongmin, which is the king Joo Jin-mo portrayed in the movie Frozen Flower (albeit unofficially, since I don’t believe he was ever outright called Gongmin). In the drama, Chunghye is described as intelligent and fierce and determined to free Goryeo from Yuan rule. Not only does he come up against the Yuan emperor as a political foe, but also a romantic rival in the fight to win Empress Ki’s affections. Naturally. This is a K-drama, after all.

There was another rumor making the rounds recently concerning Jang Geun-seok joining Hwatu as well, which would have reunited him with Ha Ji-won after playing her childhood sweetheart in Hwang Jini. However, Jang’s reps have come out to deny the news, so it appears news outlets jumped the gun on those reprts. He stated that he did receive the script and was looking at the role positively, but hadn’t decided to do it. Which makes sense, since Jang is contracted to do a different drama, manhwa-adapted Pretty Man, and would have to either quit that one or receive that drama’s permission to do both, and I can’t see him going that far to take on a non-headlining role in a 50-episode sageuk. Plus, he’s also booked solid with overseas promotions and appearances that’ll keep him plenty busy.

Hwatu, which is produced by the makers of Dae Jo Young, Giant, and History of the Salaryman, will be MBC’s next Monday-Tuesday drama and premieres in October.

Via Maeil, Sports Seoul


56 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. jenny

    this man is so damn sexy.

    • 1.1 Jessica

      And his voice. Wow… I’ve always felt if 007 wanted to branch out he would be perfect for the role.

      • 1.1.1 Deb

        he has a sexy voice too?! oh my damn…*runs off to youtube*

      • 1.1.2 Tamitra

        I agree and I hope his talent is soon recognized internationally. Please visit his Twitter @AsiaPrince_JKS and follow. A hallyu star of this caliber should have at least a million followers. Tweet and RT #JKS1million for support and hopefully, when he reaches 1 million followers, TreeJ company will verify his account (blue logo, white checkmark) and he’ll do the Tok Dance with Princess Suni to be filmed anywhere and posted by video. ZikZin, cri~~~~!!

  2. snow__white

    It’s a 50 episode drama and that too a sageuk….no chance of watching it but I liked Joo Jin Mo in 200 pounds beauty….so this cast looks perfect..

    • 2.1 Jo

      I’m fine with sagueks but sagueks in goryeo period? I am really difficult to appease..

      • 2.1.1 Leila

        IKR! Sageuk Goryeo is really kinda hard but if the story is really good, like Dong Yi or Queen Seondok, I would definitely watch this.

        It’s pretty obvious too that this will be number 1 in ratings, Just because I don’t think “Future Choice” and “The Suspicious Housekeeper” could compete with a historical sageuk drama (with Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo in it too)

  3. MeeisLee

    Gah, being at 50 episodes and a saeguk, my desire to watch the two (awesome) leads is a struggle :(. Maybe if it was about the game instead could I see myself tuning in.

    • 3.1 JoJo

      Me too. I’ve gotten seduced before…50 eps. means 64 or even more…might do a little selective viewing, tho’ if they are not all growling at each other (like most of the men in these dramas).

  4. Elfie

    50 episodes?! Yikes! I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch all of it, but if it’s interesting enough then I might just have to watch it. I really missed seeing Ha Ji Won and Joo Jin Mo just adds to the awesomness factor!

    • 4.1 eny

      i like the cast too, but 50 eps is too long,may be if there’s really good review i’ll check it

  5. crazedlu

    Jang Geunseok. :’/ Man, I used to love the dude. Anyways, I like Joo Jinmo and actually sort of enjoyed Dream because of him. I’ll give it a shot. Maybe.

  6. Annie

    I’m a little confused as to how Chunghye can be the male lead when they’ll probably spend most of the drama physically separated – which is unfortunate, as I think the chemistry would be sizzling. As for JGS, I’m hoping the offer was just a shot in the dark and that we won’t see any of the Flower Boy crew within 200 miles of this drama.

    • 6.1 Kiara

      Well, she grew up in Goryeo and she was a grown woman before she got shipped off to Yuan.

    • 6.2 mabelle

      Jang Keun Seok might be a Flower Boy, but the skills equal the looks. He is a very talented actor so bashing him just because he is one of the pretty boys is a bit unfair.

  7. tanya

    I never watched a saeguk drama before 🙁 and a 50 episode one is challenging as much as I love Ha Ji Won.
    And I wished that JGS took this instead of Pretty Man. He’s been doing too many pretty boy dramas for my liking.

    • 7.1 bd

      Please, no Korean Bieber.

  8. KimYoonmi

    I’ll watch the first few episodes…

    =P How is the drama not about Go Stop when it has flower cards in its title. Full Pi… *slam cards to intimidate.* Ajaaa~! Asseo!

    =P The cards are cheap to buy too.

  9. Kiara

    I just cant picture Ha Ji-won as Empress Ki after watching Kim Hye Ri portrayed her in Shin Don. That show was well written with memorable performances. It’s hard to watch any kind of remake of it’s characters.

    I’m excited for Joo Jin-mo because he is awesome in sageuks. King Chunghye treated women like shit but it sounds like they are going to make a saint out of him in this drama lol.

    • 9.1 True2U

      “King Chunghye treated women like shit” And that’s where I’m having a problem. I accidentally watch (Skipped all the *.* scenes) and the way he treated his wife was like -_-. So reading about him being a love rival for the empress, was a surprise. It seems like a complete different person all together.

      • 9.1.1 True2U

        In addition to what is recorded in history. The guy was a ******

        • Kiara

          Ikr? There is nothing heroic about him imo.

  10. 10 Gaeina Lee

    Joo Jin Mo… *rawr*

  11. 11 themugen

    Jang Geun-seok always looks weird to me. Just don’t like his face. Or his hair.

    • 11.1 owl

      Huh. I love his boyish looks and killer grin (thanks for the close-up pic, javabeans). But he’s not a handsome hottie like Joo Jin mo. For example. Still, I always fall for JGS’s bad boy-turns-adorable smile and non-conformist style. I’m looking forward to seeing him in Pretty Man 🙂

      • 11.1.1 min

        I love watching him act too. I just don’t get why people need to always make it a point to comment how much they dislike him. Just ignore his news and shows.

    • 11.2 bd

      True that.

  12. 12 Dukdam

    There’s been some fuss in the Korean internet sphere since the king is recorded as being an utterly vile character – the rapist to rule them all apparently. I think he’s he one that stabbed Young’s teacher in Faith. It t you wonder how they’re going to manage to make him male lead material…

    • 12.1 Kiara

      Yep that was him, King Gongmin’s older brother.

  13. 13 Abbie

    Wow, I just watched Joo Jin-mo in 200 Pound Beauty, and he was really good in that, although for most of it I didn’t like his character. So I may check this out just for him.

    • 13.1 myra

      just watch A FROZEN FLOWER to really see his power and charisma

      • 13.1.1 Peeps

        Oh but Frozen Flower… My eyes are scarred forever…

        • True2U

          Add me to the eyes scarred, After accidentally watching that and skipping certain scenes. I can’t seems to make my heart throb for Joo Jin Mo again. And I used to love him in 200 Pounds. Man, a role can sometimes turn me off. How I wish I knew what was the summary before watching.

          • beautiful enough

            Maybe you can try “Gabi”/”Coffee”? He was sexy in that film. 🙂

            For me “Frozen Flower” really showcases his acting ability and made me love him more.

            Joo Jin-Mo: the forever husky, sexy actor. <3

      • 13.1.2 Abbie

        I’ve seen clips of A Frozen Flower on Youtube, and I can tell you right now, there is no way I’m watching it. Song Ji-hyo and Jo In-sung are both in it, and still, I won’t watch it. Anything else with Joo Jin-mo that you’d suggest I watch?

      • 13.1.3 bd

        JJM was better in “Musa” (The Warrior).

      • 13.1.4 Waca

        I don’t get what is the problem with you guys with A Frozen Flower…personally I really liked that movie. The actors are great, the setting is great, the choregraphy is great, the music is great, and the plot is heart-breaking.
        Is your problem about the sex scenes? It didn’t seem shocking to me. They’re naked and stuff, but we don’t really see anything. Just curious about your opinion?

  14. 14 too_late_the_hero

    OMG. HJW and Jo jin mo of the frozen flower sounds really PROMISING.

    but the plot sounds is meh. >_> and 50 episodes?! who watched this stuff!

  15. 15 Lee S G

    Wow! Sexy man and sexy n beautiful Ha Ji Won…gorgeous couple

  16. 16 cimori

    when ever i see Jo Jin Mo then he will remain me a lot with his “skill” on frozen flower

    i never forget his rawwwrrr on frozen flower.hahahahaha

    forgive me to say that 🙂

    anyway 50 episode , wow , i have to buy a new hardisk external . anything i will do for ha ji won onnie, i never regret watch her drama. her drama and her movie are worth to watched and collected on my pc.

  17. 17 hjw

    How interesting! After perhaps the most unremarkable half year in recent kdrama history Fall is now going to have two big shows going head to head. Who will come out on top? Kim Eun Sook’s glamorous teen idol fest, or this serious A-list sageuk? Hmm. Will be exciting to see this little kdrama drama play out.

  18. 18 Perry

    I knew that name sounded familiar! I watched Frozen Flower a few weeks ago and boy was his performance amazing! Really enjoyed him in there and honestly he has the best mane of glory to me. Great cast so far, writers of most of my favorite dramas… idk if ill be able to commit to it (can never commit to saeguks) but I will check it out if its subbed.

  19. 19 Gidget

    LOL. Ki Chul lives on…

  20. 20 Ugh

    I was all ‘OH YEAH’ until I scrolled down and saw JGS’ picture.

  21. 21 Trina

    It has been a while for me watching 50 episodes sageuk drama. My last one is Queen Seon Deok and Giant. But, I might watch this one for Joo Jin Mo and Ha Ji won and the writernim. However, are we still have that PD from Dr. Jin? Then, maybe not. Unless, we have another PD which will be fantastic.

  22. 22 sara17

    I love this cast! I feel the chemistry already. Both are so fitting together, the only thing I’m doubting about is the PD! I just don’t want this drama with this anticipated cast ruined by the PD whom is….well can’t really find the word but why is he doing this 50 ep sageuk drama!

  23. 23 oomiak

    Joo Jin Mo was BRILLIANT in Frozen Flower….. I expect he’ll be BRILLIANT in Hwatu as well…. can hardly wait!!!

  24. 24 Sabelita

    Well, in frozen flower there would be a pair of hunk guys like Jo in sung whose glorious bodystill remains in my apple eye and our Soon yoon ki without doubt one of the best triangles of desire …

  25. 25 Sabelita

    Well, in frozen flower there would be a pair of hunk guys like Jo in sung whose glorious body still remains in my apple eye, and our Soon yoon ki, without doubt one of the best triangles of desire …

  26. 26 Audrey

    He is such a delight to watch. He can just stand there, and doesn’t even have to speak, the way he looks at his female co stars…oh..dreamy. I loved his chemistry with Lee Bo Young in Queen of The Game, 200lbs Beauty was funny, and A Frozen Flower showed that he deserved the awards that he won. He was the only saving factor of Fashions 70’s. I can’t wait for him and Ha Ji Won to have insane chemistry together. As much as I loved King 2 Hearts, Lee Seung Gi isn’t doesn’t have the same acting chops as Ha Ji Won, so I am excited that, this time, Ha Ji Won is opposite an actor that is of her caliber.

  27. 27 anonymous

    I love Ha ji won and I also like Joo jin mon especially in the “name of the game.I’ll be watching this drama.I just wish that they change the PD.I’m wishing the other male lead will also be a seasoned actor.How about Jo in sung?

  28. 28 Lee S G

    Sexy JJM and bautiful HJW..definitely a perfect couple, cant wait to see them burning in love…Hahaha

    I’m glad Jang Geun Seok is out of this, he’s a bad actor n weird!

  29. 29 Leila

    Joo Jin Mo… I’m excited!! 50 episode drama is OK with me, I’ve watched “East od Eden”, I did not finished it though.. But Dong Yi and Queen Seondok is really good! So I’m looking forward for this drama.

    I really want to know who’s going to be the Yuan emperor… Too bad Song Joong Ki will enlist soon… I don’t think TOP could do a 50 episode drama too. I hope he is one of my favorite k-drama actor..

  30. 30 Katie

    Joo Jin-mo..! My man! He’s one of me favorite Korean actor.

  31. 31 Reizel Santos

    Joo Jin Mo…Wang Yu in Empress Ki! Gosh! He’s really a handsome man.. He’s the only korean actor that I truly admire..ang gwapo! Of course..all casts of Empress Ki are really good actors and actresses….Tal Tal (Jin Yi Han) is also gwapo (handsome)..Ha Ji Won (Seung Nyang) is definitely beautiful and Ji Chang Wook is also a good looking guy..(The childish emperror of Yuan who also loves Seung Nyang) ..

  32. 32 Reizel Santos

    Empress Ki is really a must-seen korean drama…two men loves only one woman. Wang Yu made lots of sacrifices just to help her Seung Nyang ..he even gave his life just to save his Seung Nyang…The emperror who also loves Seung Nyang did everything also to help the love of his life…but in the end he also dies..

    Wait Tal Tal also helps Seung Nyang…Ah ..those three men are really handsome and very good actors…

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