Ji Sung considers MBC’s Rebel Hong Gil-dong, SBS’s Defendant
Oh interesting… maybe Namgoong Min (Remember–Son’s War) won’t be playing the title role in MBC’s Rebel Hong Gil-dong, because Ji Sung (Entertainer) has now been offered the lead in the fusion sageuk, which would reunite him with Kill Me, Heal Me PD Kim Jin-man. It’s unclear whether Namgoong Min was offered a different role altogether (casting stories still call his a “leading role” but give no further details); but it has been announced that Ji Sung is considering the part of Hong Gil-dong.
Securing Ji Sung may be a long-shot though, because he’s up for two dramas and looking at both favorably: Before Rebel Hong Gil-dong, there was SBS’s prison break thriller Defendant, about a man who wakes up one day to find himself on death row with no memory of how he got there. Both dramas are aiming to air as early as January 2017 in competing Monday-Tuesday timeslots, so he can only choose one. His reps have confirmed that he’s received both offers and is considering them.
Rebel Hong Gil-dong will tell the life story of Korea’s most legendary fictional hero Hong Gil-dong, and purports to use a real-life bandit of the same name on historical record as inspiration for the character. He’s still the illegitimate son of a nobleman who steals from the rich and gives to the poor, but the drama will paint him as a revolutionary activist in 16th-century Joseon, during the reign of mad tyrant Yeonsangun. Honey Lee (Come Back, Ajusshi) is up to co-star as Yeonsangun’s royal consort who can’t forget her first love Hong Gil-dong.
This Hong Gil-dong will be the leader of a smuggling ring who “knows the arts, knows women, knows laughter, and knows loyalty,” and therefore has no need for government positions or personal riches. All he needs in life are his horses and the mountains and the moonlight, and he has no interest in the world his father has devoted his life to.
I can see Ji Sung having a blast with a character like this, even though I’m torn between the possibilities of righteous revolutionary bandit Ji Sung, and gritty thriller underdog Ji Sung. After Entertainer I was kind of looking forward to a darker, weightier role for him, but I don’t know that he can ignore a reunion with the director of syndrome drama Kill Me, Heal Me, for which he earned a Daesang. Besides, it seems rather fitting that Ji Sung should play such an iconic hero of the people, doesn’t it?
Rebel Hong Gil-dong is being considered for MBC’s Monday-Tuesday timeslot following Night Light in January 2017.
- Honey Lee in talks to join fusion sageuk Rebel Hong Gil-dong
- Namgoong Min offered drama lead as Rebel Hong Gil-dong
- Ji Sung considers SBS prison break thriller Defendant
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