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News bites: March 28, 2015

  • Here’s something to get excited about for next year: Lee Young-ae has confirmed Saimdang, the Herstory, which will mark her return to the acting world after a 10-year hiatus. The drama will reinterpret the life of Joseon dynasty’s Shin Saimdang, who was widely regarded as an artistic genius. Lee will play dual roles, a university lecturer on art history and Shin Saimdang herself. In the present, the art history expert will discover Saimdang’s journal and consequently, an unknown secret. (Quite the ambitious comeback project, but the casting is perfect.) Filming is expected to start in June, and while the show doesn’t have a broadcaster yet, with Lee’s confirmation, the majors will likely be champing at the bit to air the drama early next year. [Joongang]

  • Gong Hyo-jin, Yeom Jung-ah

  • Gong Hyo-jin (It’s Okay It’s Love) is returning to the silver screen in Mama, a suspense movie about a woman whose child is kidnapped by the help. Eom Ji-won (Thrice Married Woman) will play the mother desperate to recover her child, while Gong will play the housekeeper-slash-kidnapper. (How refreshing to see two women headlining!) Mama will be directed by Lee Eon-hee (Love Exposure) and will begin filming in the latter half of the year. [Joongang]
  • Twelve years since her last horror project, A Tale of Two Sisters, Yeom Jung-ah (Cart) is returning to the genre with Jangsan-beom, a movie about a mysterious incident that happens to a single family. It will be directed by Heo Jung (Hide and Seek), and in the film Yeom’s character is a 30-something woman reeling from the pain of losing her son. Cameras are expected to begin rolling in July. [E Daily]

  • Lee Min-ho, Zhang Ziyi

  • Zhang Ziyi is said to have personally reached out to Lee Min-ho, asking him to join her in the upcoming Chinese movie Eternal Doll. Based on the eponymous Korean novel by Jang Yong-min, the film rights were snapped up by a Chinese production company immediately upon the book’s release last August, and Zhang was the first to sign on. Lee has yet to confirm, but is said to be interested by the opportunity to work with Zhang and by the subject material. The plot is a mystery thriller which has elements of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese history, and the story will begin in the reign of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. With a budget of over 30 billion won (27 million USD), the film will shoot on location in all three countries and will require elaborate sets and CG effects. Eternal Doll will begin filming at the end of the year. [Munhwa]
  • Box office queen Shim Eun-kyung (Cantabile Tomorrow) continues to be in hot demand; she’s considering the lead in another film called Compatability. The movie is the second in a sageuk trilogy to be produced by Jupiter Films; the first was The Face Reader and the third and final movie will be titled The Ideal Site. It will be a romantic historical film about the compatibility between a man and a woman, and cameras will begin rolling once the leads have been cast. [TV Report]

  • Kim Ji-hoon, Moon Ji-in

  • Kim Ji-hoon (Jang Bo-ri Is Here) and Moon Ji-in (minor roles in Surplus Princess and Miss Korea) will pair up for KBS’s final drama special of the season. In Funny Woman, Kim will play a cantankerous, blunt judge presiding over family court, while Moon will play a woman who dreams of becoming a comedienne in order to make her sickly father laugh. Alas, she finds little success as a gagwoman. They’ll meet when Kim makes a guest appearance on a court-based tv show, and although Moon is sad because she’s not funny and he’ll play a man who hardly laughs, they’ll find reasons to smile as they fall in love. Funny Woman airs April 3. [Joy News]
  • Hong Ah-reum (Legendary Witch) has been cast in tvN’s new daily drama Bird That Doesn’t Cry. The plot revolves around a murder and a related insurance payout worth billions of won. Hong is the central character, whose mother and role model is killed. She’ll set out to enact revenge on the evil woman behind it all, and Hong will experience catharsis by proving karma’s a bitch. Bird That Doesn’t Cry follows Family Secret on May 4 and will air for 100 episodes. [Xports News]

  • Choi Woo-shik, Ahn So-hee

  • We’ve had two new additions to Busan Line, the zombie movie starring Gong Yoo: Ahn So-hee (Heart to Heart, formerly of Wonder Girls) will play a baseball team manager and Choi Woo-shik (Ho-gu’s Love — he is so darned cute as Ho-gu!) will play a baseball player who’s harsh and rough, in sharp contrast to his previous roles. They’ll both be aboard the ill-fated KTX, and I’m looking forward to more casting updates for the blockbuster, which begins shooting late this year. [Joongang, TV Report]
  • A pair of idols will make their acting debut in MBC Everyone’s first web drama Zero O’Clock Girl. Nam Tae-hyun (of Winner) is the lead: a man who dreams of becoming a singing superstar but who is unexpectedly tasked with operating a noraebang. The drama will follow Nam as he reinvents himself into a singer, and Jung Ye-rin (of girl group Girlfriend) will play a supporting part. While the schedule and format haven’t been determined yet, the web drama will likely air in early May on MBC Everyone and on portal sites. [OBS]

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ooh, interesting, Gong Hye Jin role is something new for her, and that aspiring female comedian would be great, if only.... if only it did not involve a love story at all. meh

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P.S. at the same time a bit disappointed there is no news on Night Scholar... yet glad that unlike I feared there is no (more) BAD news on Night Scholar. Fingers crossed the first bad news was the only one and the second one a false alarm. Ninja Teacheeeeer....! [in the voice of Ri-Jin:] Pu-leeaze, pu-leeaaze!

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re: Vampire Scholar, I think the bad news to be feared isn't from the male lead casting end but from the female lead casting (two out of three rumoured new candidates are acceptable and excellent, but the third.......NO. Just NO.)

and the Changmin casting is bad enough news, but as long as this drama is more Arang-like in quality and less Gu Family Book/Night Watchman, I think we're fine.

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Who are the rumored three leads?

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@Annie - take this with a huge pinch of salt, but according to some fan reports, the candidates are Baek Jin-hee, Lee Yubi and Jin Se-yeon. I'd be happy if it went to either of the first two because at least they can act.

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But it would be great if it were Jin Se yeon. just have her killed earlier than usual and then bring in a real actress.
but yeh.... actually don´t even need to see her for a moment.

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@redfox - why would you even wish that on Lee Jun-ki?! She can neither enunciate nor emote, I hope MBC shoots this down if it's true.

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@pogo: so he can "accidentally" kick her in the face.

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gosh, I am too evil.

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@redfox - but then you'd have to see her face in the drama, why would you even wish for that? She's unfit to act, I'd much rather she did as jb and gf suggested and, you know, leave acting altogether.

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yeah, well, ok then, you win. no violence against wax puppets. *sigh*

I guess I´ll have to release my aggressive thoughts elsewhere then *cuts up a felt*

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I honestly don't want Baek Jin Hee and Lee Yu Bi to be in this project, spare them from this upcoming mess. And Lee Jun Ki should drop it as well while his name is not publicly confirmed.

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Yup,Pogo is right Redfox. Seems like Han Groo is out but luckily there have been no such rumours about LJK. Fingers crossed!

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I keep laughing at the Lee Young-ae news. Maybe someone at MBC is crying and throwing tantrums that they couldn't get her for Dae Jang Geum 2 XD

Hope Saimdang ends up being good. She's been gone for a long time and I'm impressed that she won't sign DJG2 even if MBC was throwing money at her. So for her to come back and choose this project, my expectations are high. *cross fingers and toes*

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Yeah it is pretty funny. The only way that MBC wins is if they pick Saimdang up next year, since they're so desperate to repeat the success of Dae Jang Geum.

I'm so glad DJG 2 isn't happening, thank god Lee Young-ae stood her ground.

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They'd never get those ratings in the current tv climate anyway, but even before the Great Ratings Slump of 2014, Lee Young-ae wasn't having any of it lol.

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I think part of the reason she accepted this project is because they plan on pre-producing the drama, no live shoots - Hurray!

The project seems to have some Chinese backing, and with China's new ban on airing only completed dramas, a lot of Korean dramas, will have trouble getting the huge payouts they were getting in 2013-2014.

With rapidly declining "hallyu" in Japan, China seems to be the next target, but that market plays by different rules, we wait and see, if Korean dramas adapt or change their style to fit the Chinese market.

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Lee Young-ae should've just stayed in retirement. She hasn't acted in 10 whole years. Her acting and her looks/aura probably aren't the same, so she risks people not remembering her with the same fondness and respect if this drama sucks. There will always be an audience for a decent saguek, but it probably won't reach the level of viewership from 10 years ago.

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actually, she has more acting practices in the last 10 years than most active actors/actresses/idols in the industry. As a PHD candidate of Theater and Cinema at Hanyang University, she has been attending countless acting workshops over the years.

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That's ridiculous. She's an actress before she were a public figure and her age and looks have nothing to do with it.

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What I'm saying is that she hasn't acted in 10 years. For most, if you don't do it for awhile, one becomes rusty. She is basically beloved in Korea because of dae jang geum. Like yoon eun hye, who catapulted afte coffee prince, a flop can change people's perception of you. That is all I mean. I never said she's a public figure - nobody said that

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ooooh so Shin Saimdang is going to be flashbacks between the past and present? That sounds interesting. And I hope the script is good, if it lured Lee Young-ae out of retirement.

And Gong Hyo-jin has quite a few female-led/female-oriented movies on her filmography. Crush and Blush (her breakout) was pretty much the Gong Hyo-jin/Seo Woo show, and Sisters on the Road (my favourite) was the Gong Hyo-jin/Shin Mina show. And she had fantastic chemistry with both.

I'm looking forward to Shim Eun-kyung's next, too. She's insanely talented and I'm so glad at least Chungmuro doesn't screw over talented young actresses in favour of idols all the time like network tv has been doing for a while now (a trend that only recently started to shift).

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Been meaning to watch Sisters on the Road. I should look for it.

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Isn't Ye-rin the idol who kneed herself in the face while dancing like a madwoman on Running Man? She was such a good sport; hopefully she can act, too.

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Haha, this was the first thing I thought of when I saw Yerin's name too! She's hilarious on variety, I'm hoping she can be cute and likeable in acting too.

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I'VE WAITED 10 YEARS FOR LEE YOUNG AE. Dae Jang Geum was, and still is, my favourite drama of all time.

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Dae Jang Geum taught me how to slice veggies quickly! I started to like cooking after that. ^^

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Lee Young-ae will always be my first (south korean) love.

I don't totally believe in fate but I just only recently(mere days) encountered the name Shin Saimdang and began to read about her then voila. There's a drama about her about to come out with my first (south korean) love going to be in it.

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Wow, it's Fate™. XD

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I am excited for Busan Line. Great cast so far.

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That Photo looks nothing like Zang Ziyi. She looks so westernised.
Zombie movie staring Gong Yoo....I'm scared of watching zombie movie but if he's in it then maybe.....I did watch World War Z cos it was good.

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Gong Hyo Jin's project sounds really good.

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Mama sounds awesome, can't wait.
Really hoping Saimdang goes well!
I want to be interested in Eternal Doll, but...*resisting snark*
Yunno it'd be cool if someone started subbing TVN's dailies. I wonder if they're cooler than the avg bear since their mini series are popular. I'd wanted to see Family Secrets (breathtaking posters) and if the insurance pay out murder was central enough, Bird That Doesn't Cry has the potential to interest me too.
Looking forward to seeing An So-hee more.

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Glad to see Kim Ji-hoon in a drama. Feels like his career has been going backward after the army.

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So "Jang Bo-ri" doesn't count as a success to him???

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Jang bori was a huge success, but I think we can all agree that Lee Yoori stole the show. He was a minor side character by the end.

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I am soo ready for Korean Dramas to do pre-production because I am getting tired of crappy writing and choppy editing (Yea, I'm talking to you Hyde, Jekyll, and Me).

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Oh, that's probably why Lee Min-ho has delayed his enlistment. Not because he found Suzy. :D

Kim Ji-hoon's drama special sounds cute. And will Saimdang be a 50+ episode drama like the usual sageuk ?

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Interested in Kim Ji Hoon's drama. Sounds like it will be funny (of course) and cute. So his he! LOL

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CWS-Sohee in final negotiation for Busan Line, no confirmed yet. Looking forward for his character change.

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Funny how dramabeans didn't include the major buzz this week - lee minho dating.

I wonder what girlfridays reaction was upon knowing that heart crushing news

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Yaaaaay!!! Lee Young-ae is one of the best actresses I've seen! She's also one of my favorite, I am so exited.

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LEE. YOUNG. AE. news is enough to make my 10 long years of finding purpose in k-entertainment! I love the actress to pieces. I have been a drama watcher since 2000, but Dae Jang Geum in 2003 sealed my dedication. I knew I was in for quality dramas 2003 and beyond. I love Lee Young-ae. She is excellent. So fine.

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Looking forward to Bird that doesn't cry. I've been jonesing for a good revenge daily ever since Angel's Revenge. Thanks for the good news.

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