Drama Casting & News
Webtoon adaptation Misaeng courts Moon Geun-young
by | April 9, 2014 | 37 Comments

New movement has been spotted in the development of the webtoon-to-drama adaptation for Misaeng, or Incomplete Life, with the possibility being raised of Moon Geun-young (Goddess of Fire Jung-yi) taking a lead role, with Lee Sung-min (Miss Korea) as a potential castmate.

Misaeng is the tvN project that is based on a very popular webtoon about baduk, a strategy-based board game using black and white pieces on a grid. The drama’s main character is a failed pro baduk player who then takes up a job at a large conglomerate, struggling to make a name for himself amidst the corporate masses. But he finds baduk strategies aiding him in real-life situations, which makes me think it’s a sort of baduk-as-metaphor approach to a slice-of-life drama.

Misaeng is also the name of a baduk piece which, in the game, is apparently “not completely alive.” (I don’t know the finer points of baduk, but is what the internet tells me.) The tagline of the webtoon reads, “Misaeng: The one who is not yet alive.” It’s in keeping with the story’s depiction of corporate malaise and feeling lost in the workplace grind, which apparently resonated with the populace, making Misaeng one of the most popular webtoons last year.

As we previously mentioned, attached to direct Misaeng is PD Kim Won-seok of Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Monstar, with writer Jung Yoon-jung of Arang and the Magistrate and Monstar. Both names are reason enough to pique my interest in this show.

Moon Geun-young’s reps confirmed that she’d been extended the offer and had seen the treatment for the project, but as the script is not yet out, she is not ready to make a decision. Lee Sung-min is reportedly considering favorably.

Misaeng is being planned for an October broadcast.

Via Newsen, IS Plus


37 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Coolrepiblica

    As I was reading this and I saw baduk, I was like I know that game from bride do the century. I surprised myself by being so excited I knew something.

    Tvn is a very confident station they are not shy about asking big stars to star I their dramas. I guess they want to be the Hbo of Korea.

    • 1.1 Fab

      Oh there it is, I was just thinking I know that game but I could not come up with Bride of the Century… (great way to bond with FIL)

      • 1.1.1 mudaepo

        It’s called baduk in Korea, but it is really go (as in go in the manga/anime Hikaru no Go).

        For those who don’t know the rules, the goal is to have as many “alive” stones as possible. When you put a stone on the board, it can become dead or alive (alive meaning without any chance to die until the game ends). Misaeng refers to the status when you don’t know the fate of the stone, when it can either live or die depending on your next moves. I guess it is a suitable metaphor fot the life of a salaryman.

        Casting, story, writer, PD, everything looks awesome. I hope Moon Geun Young will accept the offer. But it looks like the main character will be male. Wouldn’t it be strange for an A-list actress like her to accept a secondary role in a tvn drama? Or will they make a change from a male lead to a female lead?

        • Gidget

          Oooooh. Now I get why the game was the central to the scenes between the Jade Emperor and the King of the Underworld in Arang.

      • 1.1.2 Ivoire

        @ Fab: Does FIL here stand for Father-In-Law? That is what an internet search showed me, which didn’t seem to apply here.

        • Halimah

          @ivoire: Fab is referring to the bride of the century drama where the female lead used baduk to bond with her prospective father in law.

          • Ivoire

            @ Halimah: Oh I see! And thank you for the explanation 🙂

  2. Jesse

    Amazing. Finally a drama about my favourite game.
    I hope that Moon Geun-young has more luck with this drama than with her previous one.

    • 2.1 Kasmar

      I know right….. I have always wondered with talented actors like Moon Geun-Young….. Talent is talent, it can’t just disappear….. So I wonder why her recent projects haven’t been cutting it.

      Bless her, coz am really really rooting for her in her career, and personal life with Kim Bum…

  3. Fab

    Anything would be good with MGY now. Unfortunately I was out of dramaland when Goddess of Fire was on…

    (…)PD Kim Won-seok of Sungkyunkwan Scandal and Monstar, with writer Jung Yoon-jung of Arang and the Magistrate and Monstar.

    Great résumé.

    • 3.1 tokkioncrack

      Seriously it was not unfortunate. it was “extremely fortunate”

  4. Love drama

    Whohoo I’m glad to see MGY on my screen, not yet confirmed, I hope it will, we all know she have chops for act any role !!

  5. pogo

    ooooh that writer-PD combination (and their last dramas)

    This could be REALLY good, and god knows Moon Geun-young needs to be in a good drama soon.

  6. zhaf

    Love her.

    Let me guess, I think it will be airing by MBC, their last drama were broadcasted by the station.

    Please cast a young 20 something actor for Moonie this time 🙂

    • 6.1 klir

      It`s on tvN not MBC, it says in the article.

  7. spark

    Please say yes(Lee Sung Min too, hopefully)! The premise sounds quite intriguing and I just love Moon Geun Young.

  8. Sophia

    I hope to see both cast. Lee Sung Min is very versatile, I love him in just about every role, but most memorable for me is probably as Hyung king in K2H.

    • 8.1 Shadow-chan

      I’m rewatching TK2H right now, and I just love his character sooooo so much!

  9. Spiritie

    Yayyy This all sounds awesome! Hope MGY will take it.

  10. 10 lemondoodle

    I’ll watch anything with Lee Sung-min .

  11. 11 Chandler

    OH I’m excited for this one just from the plot description, but then all the names involved from the actors to the writer and director are so wonderfully promising that I’m looking forward to it even more. Can’t wait! There are actually some pretty great dramas on the horizon!

  12. 12 danna

    The premise itself is not that exciting, and personally I would rather see MGY in that Gunman drama with Lee Jun Ki instead…but I do like the director and writer here both are behind two of my favorite dramas ever and jTBC is putting out some really cool stuff….also Lee Sung Min ahjussi is the best

    • 12.1 kanz

      For me the premise is interesting and unique, at least I’ve never seen it before.
      But yes, I agree, I hope Moonie with Junki in Joseon Gunman. I love both actors and both are well-versed in sageuk. Is it asking too much, Dramagods?

  13. 13 liz


    I feel bad for MGY she has no lucky picking dramas, they start well and then it turn into a mess.

  14. 14 Amy

    Yeah….so happy to see MGY out of hibernation. Everyone tied to the project so far seems pretty good, I hope she signs on.

  15. 15 kanz

    From writer, PD, and ultimately the casts are my favorite…
    Moon Geun Young, I miss you!!
    Please be good, for her’s sake! Her dramas mostly are sucks even when have promising starts.

    I also wonder where’s MGY these days, but this news made my day.
    Thank you, javabeans!

  16. 16 Rossi

    “Monstar” left me bitter cause it could have been so good! But I do love that station though…is it weird to put faith in a tv station instead of the PDs, writers or actors/actresses for a drama?

  17. 17 cheryl

    OMONA OMONA She’s back , hope she will accept, miss MGY in Dramaland sigh October seems so far yet anyway i’m happy

  18. 18 Gizmo

    I’m crossing my fingers for this! When I watched the anime ‘Hikaru no Go’, I was so fascinated by the game. I quickly learned how to play and spent days playing it online against random people..and failed miserably, lol. I even used to dream about getting myself a proper Go board (the good ones tend to be a bit pricey). But I couldn’t seem to find anyone around me willing to learn to play, so I didn’t end up buying a board 🙁

    This game allows for such a wide array of strategy that some people say they benefit from it in their daily lives. I can totally see the game apply as a metaphor for a salary man’s life, and how he could use Go strategies in the workplace.

    I love both actors, and I feel like Moon Geun Young would be the perfect fit for this drama. Judging from Arang and the Magistrate (I haven’t seen Monstar yet), I have faith that the writer is capable of pulling this story off. I really hope both MGY and Lee Sung Min will sign up for this. Let’s see what happens.

  19. 19 Moonlover

    Mgy is back

  20. 20 bd2

    MGY could really use a good/well written drama right now after all the misses she’s done – and since this is a tvN project, more likely than not to be one.

    LSM was great in “Miss Korea” – which was a much better written drama than most.

  21. 21 Thanh Thuy Huynh

    I love Moon Geun Young, feelling happy everytime see HER!

  22. 22 darith3duh

    Are you guys recapping the drama ANGEL EYES?!?! Please do so! 😀

  23. 23 Naos

    Oh man, that’s pretty cool, a drama about the best game! Sounds like the drama isn’t going to be about actually playing go, though 🙁 Well, go does make for great life mataphors so it could still be fun!

    …now I’m really wishing there was a drama just about playing go, though. Kinda like Hikaru no Go?

  24. 24 fina

    Im so happy to know moonie will come back in a drama this year.wish u all the best moonie.I dont know about the plot of minsaeng drama.i wonder if lee seung min ahjussi will be moon geun young father in this drama or will be his opponent?? I hope Park Yoochun will Join together with moonie in this drama because the PD is from the sungkyunkwan scandal hehe 😀

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