Goblin writer Kim Eun-sook returns with period drama Mr. Sunshine
Pre-production work has begun for the next drama from hit writer Kim Eun-sook, of The Lonely Shining Goblin and Descended From the Sun fame (also Heirs, Secret Garden, and Lovers in Paris, among others). She’s announced that the synopsis is complete and script work has begun for her new drama, a period piece set at the turn of the twentieth century titled Mr. Sunshine.
The drama is set in 1900 to 1905, and tells the story of a soldier in the righteous army falling in love with an aristocrat’s daughter. It begins in 1871 when the hero boards an American military ship as a little boy during the Shinmiyangyo, a U.S. military expedition to Korea that resulted in a battle. He lands in the U.S. and then years later returns to Korea as an American soldier, to the country that abandoned him. While stationed in Korea, he’ll meet and fall in love with a nobleman’s daughter.
The term “righteous army” refers to Korea’s long history of commoners taking up arms to protect their country against foreign invaders, dating back to Goryeo. The righteous army made a comeback in 1895 to 1905 as Japan imposed more and more control over Korea, and eventually became the backbone of the independence movement’s guerilla militia during the Japanese occupation.
Kim Eun-sook explained, “It was a subject I’ve been wanting to write about for a long time… It’s not the story of independence fighters, but righteous armies. They aren’t recorded in history, but they’re stories we ought to know.” About covering a less common time period (most dramas and films set in that era tend to take place in 1910 to 1945, and make use of the set featured in Gaksital), Kim said, “There are sets of the Japanese occupation period, but there are no locations that exist for early 1900. We have to build the sets, and in order to do that, I have to hurry up and write the script. The synopsis is out and I’ve begun scriptwriting.”
Kim will be reuniting with PD Lee Eung-bok, with whom she made her last two massive hits, Goblin and Descended From the Sun. There’s no news yet of casting offers, but Kim Eun-sook said, “I have an actor in mind [for the leading character]. Because the character requires strong narration and wide breadth of emotion, I want an extremely good actor.” Well, I don’t know that anyone would say they want a mediocre actor, but at least Kim Eun-sook has enough clout to actually secure A-list talent.
It sounds like familiar territory for the writer after Descended’s heavy focus on the military, but the time period will likely become the focal point of this new drama, which is an era I look forward to seeing portrayed. These days Chicago Typewriter’s paltry glimpses at 1930s Kyungsung is making me hungry for a full-length drama from that era; maybe Mr. Sunshine will scratch that itch and tell an inspiring story of the generation that came before.
Mr. Sunshine is planning to air in spring or summer of 2018.
Via IS Plus
- Top 10 favorite drama writers
- Goblin writer Kim Eun-sook discusses her next project
- Top 10 favorite drama bromances
- The Lonely Shining Goblin: Episode 1
- Descended’s star writer Kim Eun-sook courted by tvN for fall series
- Descended From the Sun: Episode 1
- Heirs: Episode 1
- A Gentleman’s Dignity: Episode 1
- Secret Garden: Episode 1