Chungmuro/Film News
Yoo Ah-in, Moon Geun-young join Joseon-era film Sado
by | May 8, 2014 | 40 Comments

This lineup has me sold, already. Yoo Ah-in (Secret Love Affair) and Moon Geun-young (Goddess of Fire Jung-yi) have joined the period film Sado, which will be helmed by sageuk film pro Lee Jun-ik (Like the Moon Escaping From Clouds). As previously noted, veteran Song Kang-ho (The Attorney) has been cast in the role of King Yeong-jo — he’s been working at such a breakneck place he had actually planned to take a short break, but when he received the call from Lee Jun-ik, he couldn’t turn the project down.

The movie will cover King Yeong-jo’s reign during the Joseon Dynasty — he was by most accounts a kind and gentle king, and the only blemish on his period of rule is the condemnation of his own son, the Crown Prince Sado, to death. Sado was said to have become increasingly mentally unstable (and subsequently responsible for murders and sexual misconduct), but there are conspiracy theories that he had a sound mind, and was merely painted unstable by those who stood to gain politically from his demise.

Yoo Ah-in, who has been working just as feverishly as his sunbae, is taking on the meaty role of Sado — yes! Equally exciting, Moon Geun-young has signed on as his wife (her first movie since Love Me Not eight years ago), the Crown Princess Hong and the mother of future King Jeong-jo. As the tragic heroine who is forced to give up her husband in order to save her son, the character has more substance than some of her past ones, and she seems to showcase her acting skills better in serious roles versus in lighter ones. I’m looking forward to seeing how all three talented performers play off of each other.

Sado will start filming in the latter half of this year.

Via Star News

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40 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. Quiet Thought

    Moon Geun-young is playing someone’s mother? Wow, time is flying by!

    • 1.1 klir

      Well King Sado had 27 years when he died and his wife was same age. But she gave him children very early.

      So Moon Geon Young will play age appropriate role.

      • 1.1.1 Kiara

        I think she will look more mature in a royal hanbok than the basic hanbok worn by commoners which made her look like a kid in BOF.

        • 1.1.1.1 kanz

          Actually she looks good in hanbok. GOF just a disaster and the hanboks are so unflattering.
          But I hope she’ll also do a drama too this year

        • 1.1.1.2 Rovi

          Well, MGY already wore royal hanbok when she was doing “Empress Myeongseong” way back then.

          • 1.1.1.2.1 Kiara

            Right but she was only 14 back then. She is 27 now and she is blessed with a baby face that sometimes makes her look like a child beside someone like Lee Sang-Yoon. I know we don’t have to worry about that with YAI.

            I’m guessing Sado will not die till the end so Moon will be playing the Crown Princess through out the whole movie.
            I love Kim So-Eun (Princess Sook Hwi ) hanboks in “Horse Healer.” Hoping for something similar or better for Moon.

    • 1.2 Kiara

      Yay, Yisan’s mother :). Yisan (King Jeongjo) one of the most capable and beloved king in the history of Joseon.

      • 1.2.1 Miko

        OMG, have you watched Yi San too then? AWESOME <3

    • 1.3 bd2

      For a sageuk, MGY could have played a mother during her MLB days as girls got married and started having kids much earlier (after they started menstruating).

      Adulthood started much earlier and there was no such thing as teenage years.

  2. Kiara

    Love them both and the director but it feels like that this time period has been done to death. “The Fatal Encounter” was just released in theatres last month.
    Anyway, hope it will do well nevertheless. At least this looks better than Moon’s last few projects.

    • 2.1 Anaïs

      The Sado tragedy is of epic proportions. Yeongjo was highly regarded but he was not of noble birth. His mother was of the lowest social class, somehow ended up a ladies maid to Queen Inhyeon (probably the queen celebrated as Korea’s most “virtuous”), became the only commoner to rise up through the ranks to be a royal concubine, etc. Hence, his mother’s origins did cast a shadow over Yeongjo’s legitimacy as king.

      Then, there’s the charge that Sado was a mentally unstable homicidal maniac who killed scores of palace servants.

      Then, the factional politics that dogged the Yi Dynasty may have forced Yeongjo’s hand. Or maybe not.

      Then, when everyone lived and died by Neo-Confucian tenets, Yeongjo ordered his own son to climb into a rice chest, which was then locked, to die of thirst. He couldn’t outright kill his own son, lest that act have negative repercussions on his and his progeny’s claims to the throne. He also couldn’t declare his son a criminal, let that have the same negative repercussions.

      Then, there’s Lady Hyegyeong’s memoirs. Four of them. In which Yeongjo emerges as possibly mentally unstable himself.

      Then, Jeongjo’s own claims to the throne were constantly questioned, with assassination threats, because of his father’s fate.

      So, yes, I don’t think Koreans will be able to let go of this particular past any time soon.

      • 2.1.1 mia

        Thank you for this most interesting and useful background infor ! Definitely will be watching this movie :)

      • 2.1.2 Rovi

        You forgot to mention who Yeongjo’s birth mother was, Choi Suk-bin AKA Dong-yi to others.

        Also the fact that Yeongjo was ashamed of her and her background, that he didn’t want anyone to take note of it.

        Factionalism was what weakend the Joseon Dynasty during its later years, further weakened when in-law politics (mainly the Andong Kims who intermarried with the royal family) became dominant.

        • 2.1.2.1 Kiara

          I took it that Yeongjo loved his mother and he hated the fact that she was not acknowledged as his real mother. He fought with his own ministers to elevate her status and in the end he got what he wanted.
          His mother’s status was elevated (officially known as the King’s mother) and she was given 3 posthumous titles. That was all thanks to her son Yeongjo.

          I do understand if Yeongio was being viewed as a king that was ashamed of his mother’s low birth from a political point of view. Those ministers never fail to remind him anyway. There is also evidence outside of the political court that he loved her. He wrote many poems honoring her etc etc.

      • 2.1.3 Kiara

        Great summary of the whole Sado incident Anais :). Thanks to Lady Hyegyeong’s memoirs we learn more about her ill fated husband.

        Should we all thank King Sukjong and his women for making this part of history interesting? Lol

  3. Love drama

    OMG OMG YAY The cast looks awesome and MGY with Yoo Ah-in together in a film aigoo can’t wait to see them !!

  4. Chandler

    Oooo I want to watch this!

  5. kanz

    Oh, yes please!! I’m sold! Three very good actors, Song Kang Ho, Yoo Ah In, and Moon Geun Young! Why someone not pair them up earlier?

    Anyway, in Painter of The Wind, MGY played as painter who solve the mystery behind Crown Prince Sado assasination under Jeongjo’s order. Now, she’ll play Sado’s wife and Jeongjo’s mother. Hee.

    I’m so excited!! Moonie fighting!

  6. ju

    I’m so happy!! Song kang ho is a really famous actor so I guess this movie it’s a good choice for Moonie!! Hope it will be a success. I hope she will take another project for this year because I miss her so much and movies take a long time to be translate..

  7. cheryl

    This trio Song Kang-ho / Yoo Ah-in / moon Geun-young on the orders of Lee Jun – ik promises much.

  8. ann

    Owh yeah. Good move dear Moonie.

    But, what happen to her drama this year, I read about it before that she will make a comeback…

  9. Mandy

    Isn’t YAI going to enlist in summer? If they’ll start shooting later in the year, it means he’ll probably delay till next year then.

    It looks like a really good pairing. MGY definitely looks better with younger looking guys since she looks way too young for her age – and not particularly in a good way. YAI will match her well and they’re equally talented too. Paint me excited.

  10. 10 D's handphone

    Twin baby face attack.. equally talented. Excited!!!

  11. 11 Shaista

    Are they both confirmed already? Last time I heard they were still considerin it while Song Kang Ho already in. Great line-up if they both join in.

  12. 12 Ilovekimchi

    Cast looks solid, looking forward this one. Love Moonie to pieces but couldn’t stand GOF!

  13. 13 kooriyuki

    Another movie to look forward to!! Yay!!

  14. 14 Will work for soju

    This is a great story that can’t be told too often. I see great potential in the actors. These two marry when they are both 15, and have Yi San aka Jeongjo soon after. Then Sado goes all Caligula and nobody knows what to do. No idea of mental care back then. The horrible part is that confining him to the rice chest and waiting 8 days for him to die was probably the best option. If the movie does a good job portraying this, it can be truly great.

  15. 15 logan5

    is it me … or is her face not as round as it used to be?

    • 15.1 Peeps

      I think so too, and I think that it’s because she’s finally losing the baby fat. But I can’t say for sure if her face is sharper now or it’s just because of the still picture and her hair arrangement.

    • 15.2 Damin

      This picture was taken a few years ago. It was during cinderella sister I think and she was really thin at this time. She lost a lot of weight and netizens were worried. If you look at more recent picture, you can see that she gain weight again and her face is more round!

      • 15.2.1 bd2

        Her face is a bit too thin in the pic, but other than that, it’s a nice pic.

        • 15.2.1.1 Damin

          Yes maybe a little… But last year, during cheongdamdong alice, people were complaining that her face was too big ^^ too thin.. too big, poor her! (I know you didn’t say that to be mean :) )

  16. 16 Janey

    This news makes me so happy I think I’m about to cry.

    I love both actors and even though it’s a pairing I haven’t thought of before, it’s certainly something I welcome with arms wide open.

    Amazing actors on top of a seemingly compelling plot. So excited for this!

  17. 17 daktari34

    After the disaster her last couple of dramas have been (MSOAN and GOF), I am glad she is back to doing movies again. I’ve always loved her since her role in Two Sisters.

  18. 18 thehoustongirl

    I can’t wait!

  19. 19 spi

    Exciting news!

  20. 20 Moonlover

    Movie Queen is back! Yay

  21. 21 Rovi

    Finally, some age-appropriate actors playing age-appropriate roles~!

    I love how YAI seems to headline age-appropriate roles in historical dramas. Sado was 27 when he died, and voila, YAI is also 27.
    MGY was 14 when she played the younger Empress Myeongseong back in 2001, when in fact the historical Empress was barely 16 when she married 15-year old Gojong.

    Back then, the 1998 sageuk “대왕의 길” (Daewang-ui Gil), casted Im Ho and Hong Ri-na as Crown Prince Sado and Lady Hong, making them the oldest-looking royal couple, when in fact, historically the couple would’ve been 15 when they were married. Also the 2003 version of “Jang Hee-bin”, Jeon Gwang-ryeol is, like, the oldest Sukjong I have ever seen.

  22. 22 Darkness

    Moon Geun Young’s a nice choice. She’s a good actress and has plenty of sageuk experience. History seems impressive as well as the cast and especially led by a great Lee Jun – ik wow , can’t wait to see it :)

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