Jackpot confirms Jang Geun-seok, courts supporting ladies
SBS’s gambling-centric sageuk Jackpot is busy casting, having secured Jang Geun-seok for its lead and adding a few more names to the casting pool with Yoon Jin-seo (Girl Who Sees Smells) and Choi Jung-yoon (Could We Love).
Initial news was released a few days ago that Jang Geun-seok was considering, and he has now officially confirmed, making this his first sageuk in eight years. The last was 2008’s Hong Gil Dong, and prior to that he also made a name for himself in 2006’s Hwang Jin-yi. His past experience may be playing high-born characters, but he’ll explore the other side as the drama’s central tazza (gambler), who turns to cards after losing everything and goes up against young King Yeongjo (a role that’s currently out to Yeo Jin-gu) in a fierce clash.
Yoon Jin-seo, meanwhile, is up for the role of Lady Choi, concubine to King Sukjong and mother of Yeongjo, a character modern drama-viewers may better know as Dong Yi. Jackpot is diverging from the origin story that’s most commonly accepted, which is that she was a low-born water maid in the palace before meeting King Sukjong, who took her as royal consort. (He’s the king who’d deposed his queen, Inhyeon, when his ambitious concubine, Jang heebin, plotted to take her place as queen.)
In this drama, her character is less of the pure-hearted heroine type we’ve come to know her as and is more along the lines of a femme fatale. She was born into the aristocracy but had the bad luck to marry a gambler, and endures a number of ups and downs as a result. She “holds Sukjong’s heart in her grasp” and infuses tension into the proceedings, which makes it sound like quite the reinterpretation. The drama is being called a fictionalized version of fact as opposed to a true sageuk, so we’d better just go into it expecting an entertaining story, not historical accuracy.
Choi Jung-yoon is also considering the drama, and the character she’s been offered is featured heavily in the early portions: She’s “wearied by poverty” and forced to swallow bitter tears, and becomes a woman of betrayal. Aside from Yeo Jin-gu for King Yeongjo, Im Ji-yeon (High Society) is also in consideration to play a lead role, as a woman determined to kill the king.
Jackpot comes from PD Nam Gun (Mask) and writer Kwon Soon-gyu (Goddess of Fire Jung-yi, Warrior Baek Dong-soo) and is being planned as a 24-episode drama. It’ll follow Six Flying Dragons on SBS on Mondays and Tuesdays, premiering in March.
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