Drama Casting & News
New star Han Joo-wan cast in Joseon Gunman
by | March 12, 2014 | 36 Comments

New face Han Joo-wan has landed a plum drama lead role in Joseon Gunman, the next series from The Princess’s Man’s PD Kim Jung-min, which are two things that pique my interest because I loved The Princess’s Man and I enjoyed Han Joo-wan’s character in King’s Family (Lee Yoon-ji’s charismatic love interest Sang-nam), inasmuch as I could enjoy any crazy character in that show. Hey, if you had to live in the histrionic world of King’s Family for half a year, I suppose at least the exposure makes it worth it.

Han Joo-wan is the first to be cast in Joseon Gunman, which is set “in the time of enlightenment of 19th-century Joseon.” It stars a hero who is the son of Joseon’s greatest swordsman. Aha, so he takes up the weapon of modernity in the time of modernization—got it, symbolism. He loses his father and younger sister (the descriptions don’t say why, but reading between the lines I’m thinking political conspiracy), after which he trades sword for gun as he embarks on his revenge mission, and in so doing the drama will “depict the pain and courage of the young people of the era.” The plot reminds me quite a bit of The Princess’s Man (political plots, wrongful deaths, sons of minsters on the revenge warpath), but in a good way; the time and the whole gun aspect bring it something of a fresh angle. I’ll be keeping my eyes peeled for more info on this one, that’s for sure.

Han Joo-wan is a prime minister’s son— an illegitimate one, however, which makes his life a lonely one—being a powerful man’s bastard son still brings you privilege, but it’s still a suppressed, excluded existence and he dreams of revolution to upend the status quo.

Joseon Gunman will follow Golden Cross (which follows KBS’s current Wednesday-Thursday offering Age of Feeling); it premieres in June.

Via TV Report


36 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. kakashi

    Don’t know him, but I’m excited for this drama!

  2. kooriyuki

    Awesome that he’s gotten an offer so soon!

  3. Rubysing

    Oooh, his star is rising! So glad for him. LIked him in WF 🙂

  4. mudaepo

    This project sounds very exciting indeed!

    Don’t know how I feel about Han Joo Wan though. He only has King’s Family to his credits and that’s not really the kind of drama where you can display your acting skills.
    Hope to be pleasantly surprised!

    By the way won’t that make three revenge dramas in a row for this timeslot?

  5. Quiet Thought

    They called it that model the Colt Peacemaker for a reason . . .

    “God created man equal, but Samuel Colt MADE them equal.”

  6. Ara


    He must be good to be cast at the lead for this role. Sounds like it will be a good drama and good luck to him.

  7. Zee


    I haven’t seen his acting in weekend drama King’s Family.

    Congratulations for a newcomer like him, he is 30 yrs old. He won the newcomer award at the KBS Drama Awards 2013.

    He is like Joo Won who won newcomer award 2011 for his role in weekend drama Ojakgyo Brothers and soon after that landed a main role for Gaksital 🙂 🙂

    I probably gonna watch this drama, I love the PD previous piece, Princess’s Man.

    Now… who will be the female lead. Huhu.

  8. jenny

    fell in love with him in King’s family – althought i dropped that piece of crazy as soon as I felt the sanity leave the room.

    definitely oozing in charisma and talent – can’t wait for this! I hope you girls recap this!

  9. marie

    ohh that guy in KBS drama special “yeon woo’s summer”. I like him.

  10. 10 oneclearnight

    Wow, nice choice. I’m glad KBS are giving rising young actors a chance instead of going with your typical overrated hallyu star all the time.

    I couldn’t stand Wang’s Family (far too crazy for me) but I did like him in Yeon Woo’s Summer – he’s a natural. Sageuk is pretty challenging for any actor without much experience, but he’s got an excellent PD that will guide him. I would love it if they cast his previous co-star Han Ye Ri as the female lead – they have lovely, understated chemistry, she’s a great actress and would be killer in a sageuk.

    This show sounds so promising. Can it be June already? But hey, at least I’ve got Secret Love Affair to tide me over til then :’).

    • 10.1 Dames

      Probably they will cast someone with experience in Sageuk.

      Lee Yeon Hee? Well, she’s not KBS regular but we never know..

      If we look back at KBS Sageuk/Fusion Sageuk female lead or second lead… As far as I can remember and the one that I watched…

      Moon Chae Won
      Park Min Young
      Song Ji Hyo
      Lee Dae Hee (she’s out – Hotel King)
      Kim Min Seo

      Who else? I can’t remember..

      • 10.1.1 anoe

        As much as I want MCW to join The Princess’s Man’s PD again. I think she is likely to out cause she already accepts a movie “Three men’s woman” which plan to film in June.

      • 10.1.2 j18

        MCW has 3 no.1 dramas with KBS. TPM being the most successful of them all but she’ll start filming “Woman with Three Men” on July. And she is not the type of actor who takes two projects at the same time.

        • j18

          Sorry.. that was supposed to be June not July. And MCW is rumored for a sequel of a sageuk drama.

          • FT

            Sequel of a sageuk drama?

            I thought she will be in a new movie and filming will start somewhere second half of 2014.

            Why do I have this feeling that Park Min Young will be the female lead for this one… Heh.

            I think I will check Han Joo Wan acting.

          • CW1

            Yes. I trust that she won’t take two projects at the same time. It is just not her. Same with the rumored sequel. Three Men’s Woman would be her next project and main priority.

        • CW1

          Actually, ratings wise, Good Doctor was slightly better than Princess’ Man..but only by 0.+% and Nice Guy also very close. But I would say, in Korea.. she received more hype for Good Doctor

          • j18

            The problem for some international fans is that their definition of successful drama is based on ratings. Apart from ratings, advertising revenues,international sales,industry impact and critical acclaim (domestic and international, note: I’m talking about critics and award giving-bodies). Good Doctor and Mental Disability, but where is the suppose impact on the society? The answer none. TPM is far by the definition of a successful drama. MCW’s sucess is a halo-effect of the success of TPM. TPM completely change her career (unless there is another work that can rival the career resurgence brought by TPM).
            Hoping that Han Joo Wan will have the same luck as MCW. I have faith in the director.
            [Not a fan of MCW but I do watch her works. For the simple reason that she can act. She is one of those actors that you knew can be very successful and someone who deserves more than the accolades she’s receiving. Sadly, the entertainment industry values image more than talent.]

          • oneclearnight

            Actually, TPM ended on a ratings high of 23.8%, neither NG or GD scored higher – their peak ratings were 18.3% and 21.5% respectively :’). Very close, but TPM came out on top.

            I totally agree with j18 – TPM was the turning point for Moon Chae Won’s career and personally I still think it’s her best performance to date (sageuk is her natural habitat imo). I have no idea if she received more hype for GD, but she performed far better in both TPM and NG, imo.

          • CW1

            We are talking of the average ratings and not the one ep rating break.

            She didn’t get much hype Internationally for Good Doctor but domestically, she reached wider audience for GD than any of the other two dramas.

            And as performance wise plus TPM as her best project, let’s agree to disagree. I personally think her best performance was for Nice Guy where you can really see her acting range, not TPM. And when speaking of publicity, popularity and stuff, this drama set a wider fanbase than TPM. Don’t forget War pf Arrows also helped boast her career and not only TPM which people tend to forgot.

  11. 11 Waiting

    So glad! He did a good job WF. If he is cast in this it makes me really curious to know more about what else he can bring. I am tuning it!

  12. 12 Fab

    That is a nice new face! Never seen him in anything, but I am excited for this drama.

  13. 13 Robin

    Great! I watched that drama for him (shallow me) and I was constantly struck by how much he resembles Hyun Bin in all the best ways. I’ll bet that others thought so too and the casting group said, “Hyun Bin’s moving on to movies, let’s get/build/make the next Hyun Bin.”

  14. 14 j18

    TPM change the careers of its two leads. I hope that by working with the same director it will also do the same for Han Joo Wan’s career. And hats off to the production team for casting him instead of going the easy route of choosing a popular and/or rating-magnet actor.

    • 14.1 Dames

      Just like the classic success story.

      Cast an unknown star to lead a drama. Turn out to be a good one and boom, birth of a new star.

      I have high hope for this drama. Like the storyline, please be good drama.

  15. 15 taro_milktea

    He can act, that’s for sure. And the chemistry he had with Lee Yoon Ji in King’s Family was totally awesome. It will be interesting to see how he adjusts to a sageuk since this drama will be his first, but I believe he’ll have no problem.

  16. 16 ananke23

    I need more coffee. Read heading Gunman as 건만, thinking what the heck…

  17. 17 Jen

    I really wanted Joo Won for this role but i’m glad they cast him, I really like him in TKF.

  18. 18 Chandler

    Oooo I’m excited for this one! Looks like this summer is gonna be good!

  19. 19 Thea

    I don’t know him and I never watch Wangs Family/The Kings Family. Because for me, family drama not the kind of drama that can show your best act its like what we always do in real life. I’m not excited too with the story, like another mysterious hero mixed with revenge drama (omo did Golden Cross and Big Man too) in saeguk version. The only one reason why I want to watch this drama was the PD. I really like TPM even it just another Romeo-Juliet stories but the writer and the PD gave a magic touch and I hope this drama get it too. Now just waited our leading lady I hope shes great like Big Man cast. Even LDH not my fave but shes awesome on her latest drama, so I hope they cast an actress like her so I can hanging with this drama more over.

  20. 20 Xexe

    Never watch any of his drama. After reading this article, I watched some clips on YT.

    He looks young, I thought he is in his mid 20s, he was born in 1984. His acting did not really ‘grab’ my attention, I think I should watch more later.

  21. 21 Sadie

    sounds interesting…i’ve never seen him before though…will keep a look out though 🙂

  22. 22 coffeenlucia

    Yep I’m watching. Anything by the PD of The Princess’ Man is a YES from me

  23. 23 Cam

    Oooowwwhhhoooooo….!!! 😀

    I am so so so happy that he really made so far after he worked so hard in that drama “King Family”! Also, he still have the power of charisma….ohohoo….he’s really something… I meant, that’s so amazing!

    I hope he will try hardest for THIS drama to success! *claps* Keep it up, man!

  24. 24 Makoto

    I was regular watcher of Wang’s Family (though it was very painful to watch) and watched Yeon Woo’s Summer too. So I know him a little and glad to witness his star rising. I watched him in Happy Together, such a humble person. He even still takes public transportation comfortably.

  25. 25 Clara

    Hmm, I think you are right. At least the fact that Han Joo Wan was cast for the role of Kim Ho Kyung while male lead’s name is Park Yoon Kang, is something I read on Movie Daum.

    Perhaps Han Joo Wan will play the role opposite to the male lead.

    Now Im more curious about who will be cast as Park Yoon Kang.

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