Kim Jae-won goes up against Cha Seung-won in MBC’s Hwajeong
This historical epic is assembling a pretty epic cast: MBC’s new sweeping sageuk Hwajeong (short for Splendid Politics) already has the likes of Cha Seung-won, Lee Sung-min, and Lee Yeon-hee onboard, and now Kim Jae-won (Scandal) is joining them to play Cha Seung-won’s rival. I know, who in his right mind would rival Cha Seung-won? But you can’t have a political drama without heirs battling for the throne and coups mounting in the wings, now can you?
The 50-episode saga takes place in the turbulent era of Gwanghaegun’s reign, in the early 17th century. Cha Seung-won stars as Prince Gwanghae, and in this drama’s interpretation, he’s a villain who usurped the throne from the direct bloodline (while he’s the son of a concubine, and a secondary heir because of it). He has his father’s favored legitimate son executed and ascends.
Lee Yeon-hee is the heroine of the story — she plays Gwanghae’s half-sister Princess Jeongmyeong, who survives her brother’s death but gets cast out of the palace with her mother Queen Inmok, where she’s forced to live as a commoner. She’ll have a loveline with Seo Kang-joon (What’s With This Family), a nobleman and the son of a very prominent family.
Kim Jae-won has been cast as King Injo, the man who will eventually usurp the throne from Gwanghae. Despite the successful coup, Injo is considered a terrible king by all accounts (he’s the weak and paranoid king in Three Musketeers, for one example). He’s Gwanghae’s nephew, the eldest son of one of his many half-brothers, and he happens to be chosen by the faction that wants to tear Gwanghae down and install a new ruler. And even after coming into power, he wants Princess Jeongmyeong killed in case it threatens his position. Yup, paranoid.
He’s described as greedy for power, though truth be told, this is an era where kings don’t have nearly the kind of power that the political factions do. It’s also an era plagued by multiple invasions, which should give the drama plenty of conflict to draw from (as if the family bloodshed weren’t enough).
Kim Jae-won will be reuniting with PD Kim Sang-ho, who helmed Can You Hear My Heart?, and writing is Kim Yi-young of Horse Doctor, Dong-yi, and Yi San. Hwajeong follows Shine or Go Crazy on Mondays and Tuesdays beginning in April.
Via Ten Asia
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