Namgoong Min offered drama lead as Rebel Hong Gil-dong
Ooh, there are several details about this new project that have me sitting up in interest: First up, there’s a new MBC Monday-Tuesday drama in the works, and it’s called Rebel Hong Gil-dong, based on one of Korea’s most famous folklore heroes. Secondly, it’s Namgoong Min (Beautiful Gong-shim, Remember—Son’s War) who’s up to play the hero, and thirdly, it comes from the director of Kill Me, Heal Me, Scandal, and Golden Time, PD Kim Jin-man. Writing is Hwang Jin-young of King’s Daughter Soo Baek Hyang.
Namgoong Min has been given the offer to play the “wise and righteous” Hong Gil-dong, a 16th-century Joseon hero of the people. There’s a richness and widespread appeal to the character that makes this a popular choice for dramatization onscreen; born to a nobleman and a lowly concubine, young Hong Gil-dong was denied a chance to use his talents properly (and made famous the line about being unable to call his father his father and his brother his brother). Leaving behind his home, he became the leader of a group of outlaws that would steal from the rich and give to the poor, and eventually set up a new nation and became its king.
There have been a number of different takes on the character throughout the years, and Rebel Hong Gil-dong is purporting to take a fresh angle in focusing on Hong Gil-dong as revolutionary figure and anti-establishment activist. I’m intrigued by the premise, even if it doesn’t seem that long ago that we saw Hong Gil-dong in a drama; I still have a huuuge soft spot for the 2008 KBS series, as flawed as it was, and loved Kang Ji-hwan’s portrayal of the character as rapscallion and reluctant hero, in a version that mixed a lot of comedy with heart.
I’ve also been really loving Namgoong Min in recent years, with Beautiful Gong Shim marking a real highlight and turning point — he was complex and interesting and also downright weird, and demonstrated a broadened range that has me excited for what’s next. I’m fascinated with how he’s been developing as an actor, and could really dig seeing him as a righteous hero.
Rebel Hong Gil-dong will air in early 2017.
Via TV Report
- News bites: July 30, 2016
- Namgoong Min joins action comedy Temporary Special Agent
- News bites: July 16, 2016
- Beautiful Gong Shim: Episode 1
- Oh Snap! Showered in sunshine, petals, and ice cream for Beautiful Gong-shim
- Remember—Son’s War: Episode 1
- Namgoong Min tackles villain role for SBS’s Remember
- Girl Who Sees Smells: Episode 1
- Hong Gil Dong: Episode 1