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Lee Byung-heon makes drama comeback with Goblin writer’s Mr. Sunshine

Well, damn. Mr. Sunshine, the next project by star writer Kim Eun-sook, has secured Lee Byung-heon (Single Rider, Master) to star, in what will mark the actor’s drama comeback after 2009’s IRIS. It’s certainly a strong start casting-wise for the upcoming period drama, but I’m not surprised at the caliber this writer-director duo is capable of pulling in since their last two projects together, The Lonely Shining Goblin and Descended From the Sun, were such big hits.

Lee Byung-heon will play a soldier in the “righteous army” at the turn of the twentieth century, when Japan was exerting increasingly aggressive influence over Korea. As a child, his character was taken to the U.S. following the 1871 Shinmiyangyo incident, in which an American diplomatic expedition quickly devolved into an armed conflict with Joseon’s woefully lacking military (the battle ended with over 200 Korean troops dead, and only three American casualties). He returns to Joseon in the dynasty’s turbulent final years and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter.

I’m quite excited to see Kim Eun-sook tackle this time period, because I don’t think I recall ever watching a drama or film that deals with the civilian militia called the “righteous army,” which has its origins in Goryeo and was also a predecessor to the independence movement during the Japanese occupation of Korea. I’m hoping Kim Eun-sook includes stories that focus on these commoners-turned-soldiers who sacrificed their lives to fight for their country, because I found the snippets we got of Kim Shin’s loyal lieutenant and the various souls that passed through the teahouse in Goblin very moving. I also have a Chicago Typewriter-sized hole in my heart at the moment that could really use it.

The show hasn’t found a broadcaster yet (though I’m sure they’re lining up their offers), but pre-production has already begun due to the grand scale of the drama and the fact that they’ll have to build all of their own sets. This is why they decided to cast the lead so early as well, and I’m not surprised that they offered the lead role to Lee Byung-heon, since the character will have to have some proficiency in English given his background. He definitely also matches the high standards that Kim Eun-sook seems to have regarding her leading men.

It sounds like the upcoming period drama is aiming for an epic, sweeping love story with a dramatic backdrop, and I’m sure that with this writer and director, it will definitely look the part. Mr. Sunshine is aiming for a premiere sometime in the first half of next year.

Via Hankook Ilbo, Newsis, Herald Pop, Osen

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I hope it brings sunshine to our vewing experince,So exited .

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How does she manage to get such big actors with such terrible scripts. Is it all because they know it'll be guaranteed $$$$$

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Who would say no to more fame and more money?

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Terrible script? Art is subjective. Koreans love her. So yeah.

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Any actor would be stupid to say no to her anymore regardless of the script. Her drama is able to sell globally. That's the reason he said yes. It's not the script.

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Script or no script...she has proven her power in terms of high ratings and popularity...domestic and overseas

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The script might be terrible , but I find her dramas really fun and entertaining , well except maybe heirs !!!
As for actors, it brings them fame and more ? , so why not ?
I would say that kim eun sook knows how to pull her audience to the drama despite how the script this ..

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agreed that she's good at pulling audience to her drama, even though her script ain't that great. i find that her strength is in creating touching small moments instead of the overall plot

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The script is not terrible... its just shallow that's all.

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Agree on this one. It's way too shallow and too cheesy. Her script are like high school or for teens. Even there are many stories for these ages have substance.

Let see what an almost 50 actor can do. It's ok if LBH is young looking but really looks his age. Well they can inject lots of collagen on his face.

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I've have had very different experiences for each of her dramas. Really liked Secret Garden but hated Heirs. Descendants of the Sun was ok but very forgettable to me, but then Goblin is one of my favorite dramas. So whenever I go into her dramas I have a different experience each time.

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Right, I never know what to expect, her dramas are very hit and miss to me. I was able to watch Heirs (somehow...hah) but found DotS unwatchable. Loved Secret Garden and Goblin. I will wait to see how people are liking it and then give it a try with no promises that I'll finish it!

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No.

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OMG, I swear to God I was about to comment , "No." and then I saw your comment. Haha

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Another no. So I will drop this one as I dropped Goblin before.

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I feel he exact same way. He's definitely a great actor but he's such a womanizing sleaze ball IRL that the romantic scenes would be too hard to stomach

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He's one of those actors who I find hard to separate his personal life from his acting...

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Stop being a squid....KES knows what shes doing..and LBH is the perfect one..why she need to care about his scandal when one of each drama flaw depend on acting too..and none in Korea could ever doubt his acting ability..

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Because there are other actors who are also talented but have less scandals?

I find married men who are faithful to their wives even more swoony than single guys, but the key is that they are faithful. But if they are sleazy and flirting with someone else while married and while she is pregnant, they drop lower down to a level of pond scum.

And unfortunately I can't watch someone like that be sweet and romantic to another female and not feel like screaming- he's LYING! No matter how gorgeous you are, he's gonna cheat on you next time! Run!

Which isn't the best mindset while watching a romance drama. ?

But that's just me. If you can watch, please do carry on.

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Yes, He is dirtier than Yoochun and Park Shi Hoo in my book along with Um Tae Woong. I cant stomach him playing in romance drama.

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I don't think viewers will be watching for the romance, as proven in some of Kim Eun-sook's past dramas, maybe epic bromance.

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KES's dramas are all about the romance though?

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@boomboompow

The romance in her dramas always fall short of something no matter how well received they are, ex in case: Goblin, her latest work.

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@maryxiah I loved the romance in goblin, so I don't think that claim is correct :S.

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@fay17

I beg to differ, what works for you doesn't translate to majority choice. I think the fact that the bromance in Goblin triumph over the romance speaks louder than words.

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@maryxiah except a lot of people actually loved the main romance in Goblin along with everything else. If it isn't popular on Dramabeans doesn't mean it isn't popular elsewhere so that claim is still a little incorrect. Besides, Kim Eun-sook is Romance and Romance is Kim Eun-sook, the bromance in her dramas are usually secondary not the main focus.

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I get all the antagonism against him but he's been out of dramaland for almost 8 years. Can't a man repent and change his ways? Many people have done things that are or were wrong but must we tag them to the death? I don't think he'll repeat such an error again. Let's allow him to be a better man and move on in his career.

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I suppose he can. I guess my own personal experience with guys that seem like him have clouded my judgement.

And I feel for his wife- there were days I felt like a whale and was swollen while pregnant- extremely unattractive- and if my husband had cheated on me then (which for the record he DID NOT) I'd probably have wanted to die. (And kill him, but that's separate ?) And I cannot explain how my post baby body isn't the same as my pre baby body so if my husband had a wandering eye, I'd be so insecure and miserable that he'd be looking for a sweet young thing with a perfect physique.

So I FEEL for his wife and this is my irrational way of silently giving him the middle finger and her my support ?

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Well this is pretty much his opportunity to change his image. Most actors who have done a KES drama end up being loved by the public.

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Dang, my exact reaction

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The period sounds awesome and he is a great actor! I just hate that I know about his scandal. Does anyone have a potion that erases memory, so that I can enjoy the show without any private stories of him?

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This!!! imagine him saying those cheesy lines to his lover. Can't help but think about those scandal?.

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If you can track down the whereabouts of Kim Woo-jin, he might be able to help. Also if you do, please post.

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As much as I love Circle and Woo-jin I don't want to risk running into Human B. Don't know what else I might forget. Its not worth it.

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If I ran into Woojin, the whole memory machine thing would be the last thing on my mind.
Yeo Jin Gu<3

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How about a potion that will erase someone's past misdeeds? Our memory would still be intact and we'd have at least one fewer victim to their wrongdoings. If we have to erase our memory we still have to bear the consequences to his bad behaviour, which is not fair for us :P :D

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I'd like that, but then I wouldn't waste it on that but would fight crime with this potion :D Just need to figure out how to brew it.

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Let's wait for Circle 2. Maybe Byul will figure it out in 2137 :P

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Erasing the misdeeds wouldn't still make him repent for his wrong doings, that's the concern the drama circle was raising too. That we need to keep the memory so we can be responsible for our actions. making mistakes and then erasing the memory would be too easy, and then our conscience won't do their job. Regardless, sorry for spoiling the joke hehe.

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No need to say sorry! Actually by saying 'erasing the misdeeds' I meant erasing the action not the memory of it. If we had never done anything wrong we wouldn't have had to feel remorse or guilty. Anyway that can be a bad idea, but the whole point of my joke is that we are the innocent ones here, so we don't have to erase anything to make ourselves feel better by watching a LBH's drama or movie XD.

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I just try to think of all the actors with far worse scandals, like Park Shi Hoo, Ryu Shi Won, Kim Hyun Joong, ect. What he did may be morally wrong, but legally he was the victim and wasn't accused of anything illegal unlike the others I've listed. Not to mention we will never know the full story and how his family and those around him felt, so I just think of it as part of his private life and don't bother thinking about it too much. There's definitely a line actors can cross where I won't watch them anymore (all the ones I said before), but to me he's not crossed that line. In Hollywood if you tried to avoid all the actors/actresses who've probably cheated on their partners before you'd hardly have anything left to watch.

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I think the public has a bigger distain for him because although not 100% confirmed there other nasty rumors about him even before he cheated on his wife. I take things with a grain of salt but sometimes I'm really surprised when so many of these things get proven true later

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I'm aware that there have been rumors that he cheated on other partners and well as other unfavorable rumors about him pretty much since his career began. But that doesn't translate to the public disliking him, Knetz don't like him, but they don't represent the Korean public who doesn't really care/follow celeb gossip. He's still a huge star and box office gold even after the blackmail scandal.

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He definitely still has the box office power, like you said he's a good actor so people will go watch his movies. Those movies weren't epic romances either though, I guess we'll have how drama viewership turns out

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Agree he's a huge star and also well respected among the celebs. I mean look at the VIP premiere of Master, I think all the big names in the industry were there.

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But then many more people will say no to all of those you mentioned. Personally, I won't watch any of them. I don't mind watching Lee Byung-hun though, but just not in a romance drama.

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Def agree!
As much as I love international love towards Korean ent, we tend to pur higher moral expectation to the actors, & blindfolded half / could care less about American actor's scandal. I heard Johnny Deep has issue but I really dont bother to look it up on internet, why? Tell me. Or imagine BradJolie divorce & religion chaos happens to Ji Sung & PBY couple? Burn.
And u are right about if we put this line in hollier than thou bar, we end up nothing to watch. I have the line, he didnt cross, & lets remember all human can do mistake okay? My friend's husband cheated on her once, she forgive him & I can accept him back as friend.

Oh and dont forget, when someone say " I rather have other actors that have less scandal , how US even know?? He might be or not, but media dont smell it yet, I dont accuse but I hope u get my point.

Is honestly grey area for all celebrity couple in Kshowbiz, so we need to step back & don't judge too much . 2 cents only!

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Maybe he's just got way more clout, and more connected than any of the above. Don't know - I loved BD for a long time, and even used to be an admirer. He's intelligent, and a fine actor who gets into any role and becomes it. But since the SHK breakup back then ... that smile I used to find so boyish-charming started to wane. With the side thought wondering what steeley sinister motives lies behind that charm. Such a fine ACTOR, both in reel and real. Well, he likes to make it out that he is the victim (as in the first case of the Korean girl from Canada?). I feel sorry for Kim MJ but she chose to stay.

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I'm right behind you for the memory erasing potion. My Queen has failed me.

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A potion that erases memory.. lol. If only.

I think Lee Byung Heon is a great actor too! Personally, actors' scandals has never been something that would dictate whether I watch a drama or not. His job is to act and if he's great at it I think that's what matters. I don't think watching his work would mean I support/condone whatever he did in his personal life. I wouldn't know what the truth is anyway. That's his life. I'm watching him for his ability/talent, as his profession warrants.

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Why look for a potion when you can just hire a reckless truck driver to hit us so we can have at least a temporary amnesia then once the drama ends we can miraculously remember his wrong deeds.

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Hopefully a winter premiere for the one and only Lee Santa~

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LOL IRL

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Not sure about this. Wish she had cast some other actor. I am sure there are many actors who can act and can speak good English.

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Are there though? This guy is fluent with no accent which is what you expect from someone raised in the US (as the character in the drama is). Unless someone is at that caliber, it's not going to work assuming there is going to be a certain amount of English speaking going on.

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What about Eric Moon? He's certainly raised in US.
Well, he's not on Lee Byunghoon level tho, far enough.
Maybe, Daniel Henney? He certainly speaks English.

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The Henney is beautiful but his acting is not at Lee's level.
I also think he speaks better English than Korean.

I'd rather have a Korean actor with bad English but with perfect Korean than the other way around.

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lee seo jin would be great. he's very proficient in english, he studied in the US. he's charismatic. i like seeing him in variety shows too. him and eric mun made a great pair in fishing village. haha
LSJ acted with uee in marriage contract.

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Oh gosh. Now I'd think about how Lee Seojin would be so awesome for the role but it's not going to happen. ㅠㅠ I'd watch cheesy scenes if LSJ will deliver the lines. It's oddly satisfying to know he's cringing so hard inside.

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OMG, if this drama casts Lee Seo Jin, I'm totally in! I just don't feel like watching LBH in romance scene knowing his scandals. Hmm

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Yep Seo Jin would've been the perfect casting choice!!!

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Actually, Yeon JungHoon can. I don't know why the world sleeps on this guy.

Definitely big enough (East of Eden anyone? And her shows launch A-listers into superstars, so she doesn't actually have to have superstars as leads. A-listers are good too.), definitely great at acting, definitely loyal - great image for the show too! And definitely great at English (Man X Man anyone? He studied in the US...)

My god, JinGoo wasn't A-lister at all and he managed to become second lead. Where was he after DOTS anyway?

Dammit, I didn't get the hype about Lee ByungHun (I even watched Masquarade, which starred two of him... and I ended up sleeping mid-movie), but after learning about the thing with the Canadian gymnast and his cheating ways while Lee MinJung was pregnant, I definitely don't like him anymore.

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Omg I love and miss Yeon Jung Hoon.

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WHAT OMG this comment made me realize that LBH was in The Magnificent Seven and yeees please. Please make the English scenes less cringeworthy LBH!

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There is Daniel Henney, Eric Mun, and Lee Seo Jin. Lee Jun Ki or Rain are also good options.

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Daniel Henney Eric Mun Lee Jun ki dont have that mega star power that LBH has.
As much as I love LJK, he is not yet in LBH level.

Remember LBH is hollywood actors, he stars in Red2 (he scene steals everything), Magnificient 7, all big movies . And his acting is define.

Rain is world star, but he is the king in music I think. Not much an actor

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Some people cant accept the fact

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ummm... but i didn't downvote. so can't answer that one.

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"Are there though? This guy is fluent with no accent which is what you expect from someone raised in the US (as the character in the drama is). Unless someone is at that caliber, it's not going to work assuming there is going to be a certain amount of English speaking going on."

I was replying to this though. Question was if there are any other Korean actors who is fluent in English. If they were looking for someone who is fluent in English, they could have considered Daniel Henney, Eric Mun, and Lee Seo Jin. Lee Jun Ki and Rain may be passable.

As for star power, I think Lee Seo Jin can match Lee Byung Hun domestically. True that he is not much known internationally, as I don't think he ever tried to do an acting gig outside of Korea. As for acting chops, the guy is an excellent actor. He can also bring in the ratings.

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okay my bad If u answered about actors who are fluent in english with no accent.

But miss-interpretation your list doesnt mean offensive. I don't know if my post even comes offensive since I stated about the star level. My responses to you is not right, but the statement fact about my post is not offensive neither.
So im just confused abt the downvoted.

Yes, I know LSJ is great actor, so I didnt mention his name at all in my post above.

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For some reason I'm very excited. I enjoyed Goblin way too much.

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I'm going to pray with everything that I know that everyone involved in this casting choice thinks twice about their decision. I have never been one to skip a Kim Eun-sook drama but I cannot watch Lee Byung-hun in anything much less a romantic drama. I'm not cool enough to separate the actor from the character in this case either. No, no, no.

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And why did this news have to spring up immediately after your declaration of love for Kim Eun-sook! I would have felt so betrayed if I was in your shoes!

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I feel incredibly betrayed and I still think I'm stuck in some nightmare. I keep telling myself that at least he's just a dirty man who cheated on his pregnant man and not a rapist or a woman-beater but I cannot get past it. I come to Kim Eun-sook for romance and cheese but I cannot stomach rotten cheese. Ew.

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*pregnant wife.

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cheating on pregnant wife is no no. There is no guarantee he wont do it again.

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I'm not a Kim Eun-sook fan, but I totally agree -- suspension of belief is really difficult in this case

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This makes no sense. there are other actors who speak English and act well. The English speaking actors will probably not be good anyway, so what's the point of casting Lee Byung Hoon knowing his track record? Everyone knows he's constantly cheating on his wife. He's called Lee Santa for reason. Even the Korean comments are confused. If he doesn't romance anyone I think I could watch it but otherwise I'm out. There's a reason why he's only been doing movies.

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K-netz comments don't mean much. He's still super popular with the general public who don't follow celeb gossip and don't know enough or don't care enough about his personal life. Two of his recent movies after the blackmailing scandal, Master and Inside Men were huge hits. The reason he's mostly doing movies is because that's where the most money is. Movie actors garner a lot more respect than drama actors, so I'm not sure what reason you mean. It's the same in Hollywood, lots of famous actors/actresses have been caught cheating or had pretty solid widespread rumors about it, but it rarely affects their career for long. Maybe for a few years, but people soon stop caring. And if you don't follow Hollywood gossip then you wouldn't even know about most of the cheating scandals, just the really big ones. I'm not saying this to defend what he did, but just saying that he's not some box office/ratings poison people are making him out to be, he's just as much a huge star as he was before the scandal, so I'm sure the writers are delighted to have him on this project given that pretty much everything he touches be it a drama or movie is a big success.

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The issue is that this is a romantic drama, a Kim Eun-sook drama no less. There will be cheesy lines and grand sweeping romantic gesture. That's what people are worried about, if he didn't have to romance anyone I don't think we would care.

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I get it, not saying people need to be comfortable with it or should watch it. What I have a problem with is people acting like he's suddenly so tainted that casting him is risky on the part of Kim Eun-sook. It's not, he's a huge star who's always had a bad image to anyone that follows celeb gossip, but he's always been rating/box office gold with very few of his projects flopping. We might not like him being cast, but it makes perfect sense from Kim Eun-sook's perspective. He's still a top star and very popular with the korean public. Neither Knetz nor inetz opinions of him matter.

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I ready ur other comments above and I truly share ur opinion again. Lol

Anyway let them be, maybe they already cut LBH out of their pic for romance, so nothing could change their mind. Everyone has their opinion ^^

Most importantly, I am excited for him stars ad badass loyal army bca he has that intense look in his gaze, his presence itself has very comannding dont u think? He acts side by side with the most

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I'm already entertained and the drama (heh) hasn't even started yet!

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I am entertained by the variety of opinions and the number of downvotes! If you want to get downvotes, here is the place, it seems!

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Seriously I went from less than 10 downvotes to 45 thanks to my comments on this thread. People are so childish. Saying you don't like whatever the current most popular drama on here will hardly get you any downvotes as long as you aren't rude about it, but apparently liking LBH as an actor and reminding people that whether they like it or not he's still a top star does. I really wish they'd get rid of downvotes, we should have a report function for genuinely offensive comments, but downvoting people with a different opinion is just silly.

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I was so excited about this drama because of the time period but my excitement and interest just dropped dread.
Out of all the actors available and probably lining up to be in one of her drama, Kim Eun Sook had to chose him? Sounds like a huge gamble she is making right now.
I usually don't care much about the actor's life and scandals when watching dramas but I have to be honest it sounds pretty hypocritical to have him play the role of a romantic lead character when he cheated on his wife.
Is his proficiency in English good enough of a reason to cast him? Is it enough to forget about his terrible behavior and anti-romantic image? I don't think so. There are other actors who can play in English and even if they don't have his level, they can practice on their English the same way actors practice on their accents.
I do hope there will be a change in the cast but if not his character better be talking in English 80% of the time! (or else I will riot!)

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And imagine if the female lead they cast is a lot younger than him? We all know he likes to use his status IRL to land young girls, how are viewers suppose to be comfortable watching the romantic scenes? Barf ?

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He might not be your choice, but the fact is he's still just as popular as ever. Pretty much everything he's done before and after his scandal has been ratings/box office gold. Sure there are other actors that can speak English nearly as well as he can, but umm... they aren't Lee Byung Hun. Lee Byung Hun is Lee Byung Hun, why would anyone in their right mind not want him in their drama? Of his recent post-scandal movies Master was 33rd highest-grossing domestic Korean film and Inside Men was 18th. We don't have to like him, but let's not act like they are making a big mistake or taking a huge risk by casting him.

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I don't deny his acting abilities nor his English proficiency but I don't think he is fit to play in a ROMANCE considering his personal life.

His movies may be considered box office successes but I still see casting him as a risk. Aside from the fact that he hasn't been in a romance in a very long time, audiences in terms of movies and dramas are completely different. Drama audiences are on the long run and if he can't make people forget (which so far hasn't happened if you look at the netizens reaction to the casting news) and capture their hearts again the drama could end up a failure.
It's not what I wish to KES cause I really enjoyed her dramas but it would be silly not to consider this option either.

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I saw him in Red2 (Bruce Willis movie) and his English is perfect. You can't get to that level prepping for a few months. (there might be other big name actors that are fluent with no accent?? anyone know of any?) I think the fact that he is a very good actor, speaks fluent English and is a big star regardless of scandals probably sealed the deal.

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I don't think it's necessary for the character to have no Korean accent to his English. I know lots of people who came as kids to the U.S. who speak perfectly fluent English, with an accent.

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I cannot, for the life of me, understand why people assume having an accent is synonymous to not being fluent in English. Boggles the mind.
P. S. I love your handle, another Nigerian.

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I agree. Fluency =/= accent. The argument that lumps language competence and accent together is now decades old. The research world has moved on from this dated and erroneous perception since very long ago, even if the media has not. Time to move on too, perhaps?

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I certainly didn't mean to offend, but when I read "child" I guess I'm thinking four or five and, in my experience, they tend to grow up speaking English with no accent. If it is "child" 10 plus, then maybe that is different. I actually did want to hear names of other actors because I don't always know the bilingual ones and LSJ would be great in the role but such is life. (I love Rain and LJK to death but neither is fluent.) KES seems to have a thing recently about putting actors in dramas who have not been in them for a while.

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The phrase "with no accent" is an oxymoron. It is impossible to speak without an accent. As far as English is concerned, there's the American accent, British accent, Canadian accent, Australian accent, and even within each country, there are regional accents. For example, I live in Boston, where the accent of a native Bostonian is quite unique, and when I hear someone speak who comes from the South, e.g Texas, or from the West, e.g. California I can easily identify them.

As far as this drama is concerned, I wonder if it is necessary for the actor to speak English with an American accent, as long as he is fluent in the language and can be understood, then it should be OK?

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I was saying that the actor should be able to speak English without a thick Korean accent because the drama writer is going to have him grow up in America. I don't care if he puts a little Jersey in it if he wants to. Of course, he can have some Korea speaking English accent but if I see that the actor is struggling to speak English, it doesn't really work. That's all I was saying.

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Ahhh. Understood. Thanks for the clarification.

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oh gosh, it is korean drama. i dont care about perfect english much. I hope my favorite actresses wont cast with this sleaze bag.

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*whispers* Watch Kim Eun-Hee's saguek instead...

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Lol. I'm the opposite, I suddenly got very interested in this upcoming drama.

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Oh man hahaha just the proficient English speaker I predicted they wouldn't get!

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I hope he drops this drama. I really really really don't want to see him as the lead. I was hoping Yoo Ah In could do a period piece again after his dashing appearance in Chicago Typewriter. Kang Ha Neul is there... or Jo In Sung or Jo Jung Suk... I mean there are so many to pick from. Why!?
*sigh*

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I don't think Yoo Ah-in would ever want to star in a Kim Eun-sook drama. I love them both individually but he doesn't strike me as the type that would do a Kim Eun-sook drama.

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Yeah I am big fan of YAI, and I agree he wouldnt want this (perhaps). he does is eccentric man.

He loves taking a risk, he does drama/movie that challenged his acting (proven how his dramas tend to be indie/not mainstream plot : SFD, SC, JOJLBL, CT, Sado & veteran. Any romcom?no.

He seems to be man like to chase the stability & master in acting rather than chase popularity. Romantic mainstream grand big drama that draw a lot of attention in the first place is aint him.

He likes to be the black horse, underdog, that raise to be the winner. Short, he likes difficult road. Lol.

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Jo In Sung or Jo Jung Suk would be perfect.

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I always try to avoid Kim Eun Sook dramas and with this actor, I'm certain I am not watching this

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Same. Tried Goblin for Gong Yoo but after falling asleep in the middle of the drama for the n-th time, I stopped watching on episode 5.

Now I don't want my favorite actress to be casted, but then if they are casted, their career boost would be amazing. Oh the dilemma.

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'Righteous', what a farce lol. :S Well at least I won't be wasting two or three months of my life on a drama, that's a good news at least.
I am curious though, is the drama made in English? Why so much stress on speaking English? Damn you KES. Well, I will be tuned for the one next to Mr.sunshine. This isn't shining much for me.

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According to KES, the drama begins with a historical clash between US and Joseon forces, and the main character (a child at the time) ends up being taken back to the US, where he grows up and becomes a soldier in the US military. For this setup to work and be at all believable, many people feel that extremely strong English fluency is required.

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Like half of the drama will be in English. If so, then yeah, I can understand why someone fluent in English is needed. But it's not. Because if that's the case, they also need to hire other actors who can speak one, and let alone act one.

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Noooo... I was hoping for a Won Bin comeback ? or Kang Dong Won. If not with this star eriter, it's alnost impossible to see them on tv dramas T_T

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Kang Dong Won has scandals recently too.

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Seeing all the comments about this casting in the Beanies section even before this article came out, I was like, "Meh....". But now that I've been given a summary of the story and a glimpse of the scale that the drama writing and production is trying to tackle, I can see why Lee Byung Heon has been cast, it makes sense =) I could care less about his personal/private life

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I still wish Jo In Sung will be the main cast..

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They traded. Lee turned down "Ansi" and Jo In-sung took it.

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I do hope it could be JIS, but perhaps it is height issue? I dont know in my picture, an army squad usually looks commanding when they are all in same motion & height.

But I do really need JIS in my life :( Whats Ansi?

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It's a high budget film based on Commander Yang Manchun during the Goguryeo era.
"Ansi" was the name of the fortress that stood undefeated while he was in command.

I love this era and I was hoping for one of the old school actors to headline it but most of them are older now and it would be physically challenging.
I do hope it'll work out with JIS.

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Wow, big star indeed!

I read some past comments speculating Won Bin's name as a possibility which, if it had happened would have been mixed feelings for me: happy for his comeback but dread cos am not a big fan of Kim Eun Sook (great premises, not so great of an execution) ? But hey, I'll be rooting for her to convert me. Maybe this one will be different.

I'd much prefer a Noh Hee Kyung drama for Won Bin. If he wants to come back at all, that is.

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to kim eun sook..he's a big catch and i understand that...he's such a great actor and he keeps slaying the box office...his scandal isnt what's making me wish we had someone else because i normally differentiate personal life from art (most time)...my problem is i've only seen him in really dark roles like: i saw the devil, master and many more...and i cant imagine him falling in love and having an epic love story..haha

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I can definitely understand that. But you probably just haven't seen any of his more romantic projects. Beautiful Days is a fairly typical classic melo romance from 2001, but it's one I've fondly remembered and found surprisingly still watchable today mostly because of LBH's role as the romantic lead. He can definitely do swoony/cheesy romance well, so I wouldn't worry about him not being able to pull off this role.

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I love Beautiful Days as melo as it was. It was my first korean drama and the rest is history. Lee Michul is epic.

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i mean Lee Minchul.

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i remember beautiful days and all in. They only proves this man is so old now and he looks old compared to other actor who are aging well too.

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Now, now, there's no need to bring his age into this.

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i don't understand these downvotes at all.. as shitty of a person lee byunghun is, he is an amazing actor with an incredible range. he absolutely rocked his double role in 'the masquerade' as both the intimidating king and the pathetic/humorous peasant.

the only problem here for me is i'm not really a fan of kim eunsook's dramas :/

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Going to keep my expectations plot wise on the down low and not expect another Chicago Typewriter. While I love a lot of things about this writer, her episodes are mostly filler and doesn't have the kind of emotional depth that CT delivered. I love her the premise of her stories like Goblin and Descendants. But they always leave me wanting more heart, if that makes sense? Anyways, here's hoping she does justice to the time period and Mr Sunshine doesn't just end looking pretty with gorgeous sets (because I am sure they will be) and actors and non of the emotional depth.

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Trust me. She is not going do justice to the time period. Or in any period at all.

Set your expectations above The Heirs and below Secret Garden. That way, you'll enjoy this drama more than it should be. Comparing it to a drama she didn't write will leave you disappointed.

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Hahaha....this comment. I sort of agree, Goblin had so many fillers and so many flashbacks of the same scene. She could certainly brush up her writing but people watch it regardless so she might not.

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Yup! That whole show could have been condensed into 5 episodes and still make sense that's how much filler she used! Her shows are a commercial success though so I guess she's not really going to fix or try to improve anything. Setting the bar way low for this one

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This is me and Goblin. I've watched a few hot mess dramas in my time and have no issues with them because I wasn't bored. Goblin bored me (always happy for Gong Yoo though) which is the sin of all sins in entertainment.

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Secret Garden was the only drama of hers that was semi decent. The body switch hijinks made up for plot holes. Sort of. In any case my expectations are wayyy low at this point

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City Hall is her best drama writing wise I think, the start was a bit iffy but it ended very well, Cha Seung Won and Kim Sun Ah made that drama good plus it wasn't her usual over the top chessefest

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I liked Goblins' side characters way more than the main lead couple.

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Truthfully I don't get why people are giving remarks on this. Kim Eun Sook is known for picking great actors for her projects so there must have been something she saw in him to have picked him. Forget the English part because I believe he does have something to offer. I am not excusing or defending him, but most people that say they won't tune in always end up doing that. The star pd-writer is there, the big named actor too is also there. Not a fan of the actor but I'm going to be watching the movie for the story anyway. Who can pass a good story like this up. So Byung Heon sshi you better be worth it.

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Most people? I think you're kind of generalizing, not everyone watches drama because of star director or writer, I liked goblin but not dots, and have heard from lots of people who didn't find dots interesting enough. Regardless, this is a different things issue. It is Internet, so we are just voicing our opinion, I don't understand why you have problem with that. He can be a great actor but from a moral POV, if someone doesn't want to watch it I dont think we have the right to question them. Maybe we can respect everyone's opinion and move on. :)

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Different issue.*

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i hate to say this but you don't have to worry at all cause it's Lee Byung Hun. You just have to sit back & relax. I'm sure LBH would give a lot of headache to writer-director. He's known for being an obstinate actor. He doesn't take a crap acting.

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Casting Kim Min Hee, it will be the biggest drama of the year (both way)

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Sadly that won't happen because like much of the world S. Korea has double standards when it comes to cheating and/or sex scandals. It's gonna take her a lot longer to recover her career then it took LBH.

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Kim Min Hee, well the double standard part is true and her scandal is fresh. Maybe, a few years down the line if her career can survive it.

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is this comment meant to be sarcastic? Kim Min Hee is definitely not happening.

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I'm pretty sure the comment is meant to be sarcastic/funny since both individuals are known cheaters. Isn't it sad though that she's will be more heavily condemned for the virtually same actions?

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true... the double standard can be so infuriating. when an actor does it, oftentimes, he comes out unscathed. when an actress does it, well, let's just say she can kiss her career goodbye. *sigh*

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Yes, please, Oppa come back!!
And I love historical drama!

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As a viewer from the US, I'm thrilled about his English and acting skills. (People keep mentioning that there are many other actors who are as good as he is & can speak English as well. Who? I don't know of many. Quite often, when [very talented in other areas, sure] Korean actors are held up as being great at English, they're really very much not, from a native English speaker's perspective.) I don't love that he has a checkered personal life, but call me cynical, I think about 90% of the actors we all love have scandals in the closet that they're just lucky enough to have the money/connections/power to keep hidden. I don't watch actors expecting them to be great people, as much as I wish they were. I watch them for their performances. Lord knows I wish they could all be Park Bo Gum, but sadly, they're just not.

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Up the thread, I asked if anyone new of any fluent English speakers so maybe someone will come up with one because I can't think of another one without a heavy accent. At least not an actor with this kind of star power. I'm Switzerland on his personal life. Also agree that plenty of others are doing wrong and we just never hear about it. I'm hit or miss on this writer so I'm actually more concerned about her drama being "meh" than about the actor.

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I'm not sure his English accent is quite as flawless, but Choi Siwon from Super Junior speaks very clear English and has a great deep voice.

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Man, people really down voting on the English speaking thing but yet people always complaining of the poor English in the dramas. I agree that Lee Seo Jin is the one name I think would be great though he doesn't quite have the cache of LHB. Siwon is in the military, Eric is getting ready to tour, Henney speaks English but the last time I watched him in a drama, he wasn't fluent in Korean (Runaway Plan B). So I say LSJ for the win that will never be though I hear he's talking about another drama right now so goodie for that.

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Lee Seo Jin comes to mind. As for English speaking actors but not at his level of acting: Daniel Henney and Eric Mun.

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At this point, I think we might see Kang Dong-won return back to dramaland in couple of years. I always think the chance was so small, but with KES and her extravagant power, the chance is getting bigger, for some reasons.

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In my opinion the ones that are bigger than Lee "in Chungmuro" as far as talents and star power goes is Song Kang-ho, Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min, Choi Min-shik and Kim Yoon-seok.
This is probably as far as Kim Eun-sook can go. I don't see any of these guys doing dramas in the near future but I've been wrong before with Jeon Do-yeon.

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Jeon Do-yeon, Bae Doo-na and Im Soo-jung had definitely proved us wrong. These three are actually one of the reasons why I think it's possible enough to see A-listers back to dramaland. Then KES is another reason. It doesn't have to be her, but with these writers starting to get more solid work and acknowledgment, I believe the chance to see the beautiful Kang Dong-won in drama increases.
Not to forget we have Kim Eun-hee too.

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NO! reading ur comment, makes me cry bleeding heart about Kang Dong Won :((

As much as I love JIS to be casted with this, KDW is puerrfeccttt for this role!!! CRY ME A RIVER

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The casting is fine by me, but I wish they'd rethink the title. I don't mind grand titles like Descendants of the Sun when it suits the story, and a drama about the righteous army deserves a more epic title.

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True that. Mr. Sunshine sounds too feel good.

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Y'know, before Goblin got its title, "Mr. Sunshine" was being thrown around as the title for the goblin story. I find it interesting that it turned out to not be true, but now it's the title for THIS upcoming drama, instead.

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Well, KES seems to like her theme of light: Descendants of the Sun, Shining Goblin, Mr. Sunshine...

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Yeah, the title doesn't really seem to fit the story synopsis we are given here...

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Knetz voted Mr. Christmas. It's nothing epic befitting righteous army, but it's a title Lee Byung-hun definitely owned.

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Lol, they're just being petty now.

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To be honest I still haven't figured out what has the sun got to do with the show.

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