Well, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it. MBC’s upcoming sageuk epic Empress Ki (formerly called Hwatu and now just named for its heroine, likely because everyone kept thinking the drama would be about gambling) is getting back on the casting bandwagon, after early rumors that Jang Geun-seok might star. Ji Chang-wook (Five Fingers, Warrior Baek Dong-soo) is now being courted to star, with reports ranging from “confirmed” to “favorably considering.”
The 50-episode historical epic will be MBC’s Monday-Tuesday drama for the bulk of fall and winter, and takes place in the Goryeo era. Ha Ji-won stars as as a Goryeo woman who gets taken to Yuan to be a royal consort, later to become Empress Ki of Yuan. Joo Jin-mo stars as King Chunghye of Goryeo, an ambitious ruler determined to free Goryeo from Yuan control.
If he signs on, Ji Chang-wook will play Yuan Emperor Togon-temür, who eventually takes the heroine as his royal concubine. We’ll meet him when he’s a prince, during his exile in Goryeo (banished while the throne went to his uncle and then his own younger brother). It’s as high-stakes as a love triangle can get, with two kings, one nation fighting for its freedom from the other, and one woman caught between them. I was a little worried about who they’d cast as the younger Yuan emperor, but I’m happy about Ji Chang-wook. He’s talented, and knows his way around a sageuk. They keep casting people I like in this drama, and I’m starting to look forward to it despite its monstrous episode count.
The drama comes from the writing team behind Giant, History of the Salaryman, and Incarnation of Money, and the PD of Dr. Jin. It follows Goddess of Fire Jung-yi and premieres in October on MBC.
Via TV Report
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