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Untold Scandal adaptation offers Yeo Jin-gu lead role of dangerous chaebol

Erm, I have a lot of feelings about this and many of them are mixed, but I can’t say happy is the prevailing mood. Yeo Jin-gu (Reunited Worlds) is being courted to take on the leading role in Love Game: The Great Seduction, the drama adaptation of period film Untold Scandal, which is in turn an adaptation of a Korean novel that’s based on the French novel Les Liaisons dangereuses.

MBC’s series will shift the premise to modern-day society, so I expect it to be a loose retelling. More than the time period, though, I’m curious about the raciness quotient—Untold Scandal was pretty risque, and broadcast television is decidedly not. The story centers around two members of the upper class (played by Lee Mi-sook and Bae Yong-joon in the film) who engage in an idle bet: that the young womanizing aristocrat can have sex with his cousin, a widowed noblewoman, if he can successfully seduce a virtuous young woman (Jeon Do-yeon). Will MBC sanitize this setup, or will it step outside of its comfort zone? (My bet’s on door number three: that it’ll try to do both and not quite achieve either.)

It’s a compelling story and has been made into a number of entertaining properties, including Oscar-winning Dangerous Liaisons and the over-the-top Cruel Intentions. But… Yeo Jin-gu to play the rascally seducer, described as “a handsome, dangerous beast-man” (who also happens to have, apparently, housekeeping skills)? I can’t see it… but maybe that’s because I don’t want it.

The character, Kwon Shi-hyun, is the eldest grandson heir to a chaebol group who gets suddenly kicked out of the household and falls into danger. The drama describes itself as “a dangerous love game that unfolds around the young elites of high society who don’t know how to devote themselves to their lives and come to realize the joy of true love.”

Yeo Jin-gu is certainly capable of the role on the talent scale, but I guess I’m not ready for him to change his adorable, sweet image into a morally corrupted one. He’s also quite a bit younger than I envisioned for the role; I recall Bae Yong-joon feeling much more predatory and dangerous in the film. Mostly, I want Yeo Jin-gu to pick good projects, since he’s got some clunkers in there (Reunited Worlds, Jackpot, Orange Marmalade, I Miss You…). Can he just go and do Circle 2 instead?

But we’ll know more when a director and writer are attached, as well as the other cast members. Till then, I’ll just hope for the best. Love Game is scheduled to follow I’m Not a Robot in MBC’s Wednesday-Thursday slot, beginning in January.

Via IS Plus, News1

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Errrrrmmmm
No please 😏

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Joining you in "no please." He is the most talented of his generation but as a fan I'm not ready to see him in this kind of role.

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I'll pass too...

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I didn't expect them to cast someone so young for this drama. And agreed with @javabeans that I still don't want to see him playing a morally corrupted character in drama yet. From the content, I think this role suited someone at least in their late twenties or even middle thirties.

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So this is not sageuk? I thought this is going to be sageuk. Bae Jong-yoon was in late 20s /early 30s when he did Untold Scandal so I expected we would see older actors in this drama. Need to hear more details.

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I thought it was going to be a sageuk too.

MBC is good at drawing attention to this with the title and I bet their version of the drama is not going to be anything close to the original.

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I have the same thought too.

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He's got the acting chops for it, and with that voice he could seduce anyone, but . . . HE'S STILL SO YOUNG. He is barely legal, and I mean that literally. I also want him to pick a good project cause he deserves it but this might be a dangerous move for his career, or it might be great for his career, who knows. I'd prefer a sequel to Circle. Circle 2 would be right up my alley. But if he signs on, I'd watch.

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Yes agree. He's got the acting chop for it, but he is still so young. I don't mind if he is doing something more suitable with his age, maybe a good romcom. Most importantly, he is in demand, not an actor who is struggle to find works so it's OK if he is a little more selective.

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no. pleeeeease, no...

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He can do it and he will be brilliant and I think this might be a challenging role that will make him shine, I like when a good actor act a bad character, but the problem is that he's so young for the role and there's a chance that he will act opposite much older actress like RW or an idol who this drama will be her debut, and it's hard to watch that. I hope he won't do it.

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Thanks for the update, @javabeans. This is indeed looking less and less tenable.

Will MBC sanitize this setup, or will it step outside of its comfort zone? (My bet’s on door number three: that it’ll try to do both and not quite achieve either.)

I'm with you on this latest casting news. "No, no, a thousand times, no!"

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So this will be like Cruel Intentions in a way that it will also be a modernized version. I'm also divided in this tbh. Just the premise alone is quite weird already. I feel like this is another drama where they will half-ass the production and directing like Reunited Worlds and I don't want another drama like that for Jingoo. He deserves better. Aka another Circle. I hope he considers his fellow cast and production team behind it before accepting.

I was hoping he'd do Hong Cheon Gi drama since that was a novel turned drama from the same author of Moon Embracing the Sun but I guess it won't be happening. :(

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He'd be totally capable of being good at seducing someone as shown in this video.. just fast forward it a little bit to 0:35

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSoLj0FdsSU

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I was thinking "Cruel Intentions" as well. I actually kind of liked that movie and Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillipe were the highlights there for me. I think it's a challenge for Yeo Jin Gu, and I think he could pull it off. I remember that Vanity Fair spread with him in velvet with a bottle of hard liquor in one hand and maybe a cigarette in another. That was hot, and I think he was only 17 at the time. So, yeah, I can see it.

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As much as I like him, he really needs to take a break for about 9-12 months and come back with a project that that's good.

He's been in 2 dramas this year already, and looking at his other dramas, he seems to not have a good eye for projects. The only one I enjoyed was Circle.

And this drama definitely doesn't suit him. He looks like a kid. And no amount of acting talent will overcome that.

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Maybe just like Yoo Seung Ho he should just enlist and be done with it!! Two years later, voila! he will be the leading man material

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Two dramas, one movie and a cameo in another movie this year. I don't know why he's working so hard XD

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No. He looks kids to me, I don't see any 'sexy' about him, also his acting is not charming at all.

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I have to agree. Please cast better actor.

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Aww come on, have you seen The Moon Embracing the Sun? He was a little charmeur in that. But I agree that a dark and morally corrupt womanizer wouldn't fit him.

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please skip on this. i'm not sure i'm ready to see him in these kinds of roles.

honestly, i think it would be better for him to follow yoo seung ho's example and enter the military early. by the time he gets back, he can get leading man roles which are age appropriate.

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Why don't they cast a 30+ year old actor? So many around. He looks too young to seduce a woman

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I remember ryan philippe suited the role in cruel intentions, but yeo jin goo is too baby faced for this. He doesn't have the vibe. Maybe someone with a more grown up and matured face, there are so many actors to choose from. It just doesn't match his persona.

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Maybe this is gonna be more to "She´s all that" level witch is more innocent and light hearted (the bet is about making an unattractive girl into prom queen). I predict in this drama the bet between the cousins is about an apartment since they say he got kicked out of his parents house. to get the apartment he need to make the heroin to fall in love with him. to do so he does thing that typical male lead does in dramas. consider they mention realization joy of true love this is not gonna be as dark and heavy as the original story. derfor I guess he fit in as the character.

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He's a bit more of a Danceny than a Valmont?

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Eek, I love Yeo Jin Gu, and don't necessarily mind him in this role, but considering SK's obsession with 'images' and all that, I'm worried that he'd get a lot of flak for taking on a role like this when he's still relatively young.
Is this going to be modern or sageuk, though? Might I suggest a Seo In Guk X Go Ah Sung pairing? Or Park Hyung Sik X Han Yeri? Or Song Jae Rim X Park So Dam? Or Lim Ju Hwan X Lee Sung Kyung? (I've been dwelling on this show's casting a LOT, in case you can't tell lol)

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I was thinking of Kim Jae Wook, Lee Min Ki, Woo Do Hwan, Lee Je Hoon, or Park Bo Gum. I also like your choice of Seo In Guk and Park Hyung Sik, hee :)

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Ooh, WDH would be great (I can't believe I didn't think of him, considering he's my bias atm...) I don't think I'd go for KJW though, and not because I don't love him (because oh boy, do I), but I am so angry at his character in Temperature of Love I need him to play someone really likeable next so that I can warm up to him again haha.

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I'd prefer Yoo Ah-in who would be more comfortable with this kind of role.

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Yes, I was thinking the same, Yoo Ah-in will be perfect for this!

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Yoo Ah-in would be perfect for this! He's shown before that he can pull off sexy and amoral excellently. But I do think he (and Seo In-guk, who was suggested above) should lie low for a while with the MS issue hanging over his head.

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This role is so for him. When I first heard about this news, I was thinking it would suit either for Lee Jun-ki or Yoo Ah-in (they get some skills to seduce woman lol). But since this remake is not for sageuk setting, for some reason I have lost some interest. But if Jin-gu accepts this, I might have to check first few epi at least. Hope the female leads are good ones too.

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It's also time for Yoo Ah-In to be back in a sageuk. And he was so seductive in Jang Ok-Jeong, Live in Love that I would hope he gets an offer for this drama here. :)

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I like Yeo Jin-gu’s child career more than his adult one. I like that he’s switching up his roles and choosing to star in different types of dramas, but honestly, although he’s talented, it feels like he’s miscast in majority of those dramas with the exception of Circle. The description of this drama seems like the role would be better suited to a more mature actor.

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"Mostly, I want Yeo Jin-gu to pick good projects, since he’s got some clunkers in there (Reunited Worlds, Jackpot, Orange Marmalade, I Miss You…)"

It's nearly impossible to avoid clunkers but he is one of those actors who still shine in them.
I don't know about his acting in "Reunited Worlds" I had to pass on it (allergic to Lee Yeon-hee) but he was fantastic in "Jackpot." He was in familiar territory in "I miss you" like he's done that before in some of his movies. (I would love to see him again with Kim So-hyun in a full drama).
My least favorite of his performance was in "Orange Marmalade" but he was still good.

I'm looking forward to "1987" where he gets to flex his acting muscle in a film with the likes of Kim Yoon-seok, Ha Jung-woo, Yoo Hae-jin etc.

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Well... He is incredibly talented and of course I want him back on the small screen as fast as possible. But I say if actresses like Kim Yoo-Jung and so on are already getting scolded to finally getting their leading roles and playing romantic leads. I have to say NO to this because while I believe Yeo Jin-Gu is capable of being sultry/seductive/whatever, at his age he can only be that to some extent.

It just feels so wrong.

My heart is saying: Yeo Jin-Gu + sageuk = YES YES YES
But my brain is saying: Yeo Jin-Gu + this premise = NO NO NO

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WAIT! I got to read a lot better... so this isn't a sageuk. Well then: goodbye project! Hah.

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Agree totally...love him as sweet and kind. Also too young for that warped mind. Don't do it!

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This drama sounds like it might be a watered down version of Gossip Girl and I don’t know how I feel about that

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What is with dramas and changing the basic premise of their source material? Modernizing this, turning My Sassy Girl into a sageuk, modernizing Bride of the Water God. I feel like whenever they do this it fails horribly.

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1: It always scares me when they are describing the story and don't even have a writer yet. Sounds like a recipe for a really lame script. I mean they have enough trouble getting it right when it starts with a writer with a script and they decide it is good enough to proceed with. Starting with a concept & a deadline -- run!!!!!!!
2: No writer should mean no script yet (unless they have chimpanzees typing it) and it's starting in January !!!? Hope they find someone who can type fast.
3: Quick! Hire the Ji-ho from Because This Is My First Life.

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Or the ghost writer (forgot what was GJP character name) from Chicago Typewriter.

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I gotta say I Miss You, I really felt for his character to a point. The rest of that show was utter crap on soooooo many levels

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hmm...has no one here watched him in Hwayi? Young actors taking on dark roles is always kind of hard for me. I worried endlessly for Lee Joon, with his mental health issues, and all the very violent and dark roles he took on. So glad to see he has some lighter roles these past couple years.

Yeo Jin Goo is more than capable of taking on dark. He has terrific range and I think he will only take on roles that help him grow or that he enjoys. He can afford to be picky even at his age. But I'm coming down on the side of the idea that this is going to be PG and our 2 older folks are going to end up being fairy godparents with a competition to have him choose the girl of their choice. Perhaps they will each pick a different girl? Or one will secretly support the Cinderella of the story? Because no way are they going to have Valmont/BYJ lusting after our lead girl. In Kdrama main storylines it's not okay to have an older man chasing/bedding a young girl...only older women chasing and getting young guys.

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"1987" is going to be a torture with Jang Joon-hwan (his Hwayi director) at the helm. Worried? Yes. He is not going to spare him from the gore and violent treatment that would eventually kill his character. I'm thankful that it's going to be a special appearance where he is not going to be tortured for the whole movie.
He is reuniting with his "Hwayi" co-star Kim Yoon-seok too.

For this drama, it's more about the original material being racy and us not knowing how it's going to translate to tv even if it's PG +.

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I think his role will be tiny in 1987? He'll probably appear in pictures mostly. I'm imagining the torture scenes to be really short and his character mostly appearing in other characters' memories.

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byj and jeon do yeon arent that far apart in age tho. and usually in adaptations they are not that far in age. the problem is the other "conquest" and that is a problem because it is not a consensual encounter. altho diff adaptations spin it a bit differently. (it's sstill creepy every single time). and yeah that one is with a girl much younger. which in this case (even if they age him up) would make her either not that much younger or like a freakin teenager. (tbh in the source material she prob IS a teenager but this is 2017)

the problem isnt doing a dark role, the problem is the type of dark role this is. ofc im sure MBC will neuter the story and role as much as it can while still calling it a modern retelling of lld. (so like cruel intentions but like barely a pg 13 rating since iirc CI is an R rated film). but no one is gonna buy a 19/20 yr old as a dangerous sexy playboy who can seduce a vision of chastity like the one his cousin wants him to seduce (and again how will this even translate into modern day?? is she gonna be a church girl? also the borderline incest with the first cousin that he is close friends with?? how much is gonna be changed, this story is scandalous to it's very core. that's like The Point)

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lol she would need to be only two years younger than him to be a teenager XD remember he's just turned 21 this year XD

I'm kind of thinking, what if they do a gender reverse and make him the one being seduced? I can see that happening, actually.

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I have seen Hwayi and I loved it, especially YJG's performance in that movie was exceptional. However Hwayi was a child, a child living a very unchildlike life, to be sure, but still a teenager, conflicted, scared, timid to some extend, befitting for his age back then. A sultry seductor is another story entirely. He can do dark, but I'm not sure he can do mature and sexy, sorry.

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Sungjae keeps saying he wants to do a villainous role, hand this one over to the boy, pretty please. Maybe it will be an interesting acting exercise for him . :/

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A premise like this needs someone like Park Bo Gum, who was great in his role in "I Remember You/Hello Monster". YJG is an actor I don't care for, not because he lacks acting skills but because he lacks screen presence and charisma, nothing about him draws me in. Also this role just doesn't fit him at all!

Second something like this should be on tvn, or another cable channel, where they can have more freedom to show good kisses and maybe a bed scene or two (like I Need Romance 3). He can be a rich playboy who hires an innocent girl as a maid with the intentions of seducing her to fulfill a bet, but then ends up falling in love with her and redeeming himself.

"The character, Kwon Shi-hyun, is the eldest grandson heir to a chaebol group who gets suddenly kicked out of the household and falls into danger." However this gives me pause, so he's going to get kicked out of his house? Isn't this like the other million kdramas with this premise? This makes me deflate about this project.

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I'd like to see Joo Ji Hoon in this!

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Joo Ji-Hoon is busy though, filming Kingdom for Netflix.

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hell yes to THAT. i doubt he'd take it tho. i weep at the loss. i guess i just want more adaptations of lld cuz it's such a fun premise to me. and when done well is a really good story tbh.

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I actually don't think I would mind Yeo Jin-gu in this role and unlike most beanies, I actually loved I Miss You. That being said, I'm more curious for the potential actresses they're going to cast in this role. I think that would determine if I'll be against his casting or not.

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i think its gonna be a more childish version of the movie. he will be a playboy type who makes a bet to make an innocent girl fall in love with him and also listen to every command of his.
This has been done in many Japanese mangas.
For the female lead, i nominate IU. she is looking for a drama anyway. Might as well do this one as she looks very innocent as well.

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I think it'd be best if this combo didn't happen...

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I love Cruel Intentions! A Korean drama version could be interesting but it would be better on cable where adults are allowed to be sexual. MBC would probably barely let them kiss. It would be nice if they were college students instead of high schoolers, need more dramas about college students, high school is so over done. Plus it would be more uncomfortable to see high schoolers act sexy. I think YJG could do it, he has had darker film roles and could bring that same energy to a drama.

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If this drama sticks close to Untold Scandal then as much as I love Jin Gu I just couldn't see him pulling it off. He's so young and I'm not sure I'd believe it. The role seems like it would call for someone who was at least 30 or no younger than 25. But who knows how the dramas going to be? Jin Gu's great so if he does take it, maybe he'll surprise me.

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So...more like Cruel Intentions?

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Initial reaction was yes! More Yeo Jin Goo. But reading your article, I agree with you. Can't he just make Circle 2?

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Yeo Jin Goo is too young this drama. They should cast someone who is in his late 20s to early 30s. The male lead is suppose to be a predatory womanizer who can get any woman on his bed. Like come on I can't see YJG as like that yet. Even if they won't include sex scene in the drama unlike the movie it's still more appropriate to get an older actor since the role isn't a young man after all.

I think Yoo Ah In is perfect for this. The guy have dangerous aura in his eyes and can look and act predatory and a wild beast. Lee Jun Ki or Park Hae Jin would be perfect too. They just got that look in their eyes.

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jin gu's skin is still wet and dewy from his mother's womb. *ahem* what i mean is, he's hella young and even if he's a handsome kid (and he IS) with a deep voice. there's no way he'd be able to fit that description. u need more than good looks to be the kind of Playboy that the character is (at least as written).
He;s supposed to drip sex appeal and charisma. and even when u know he's a jerk and u hate him u still kinda like "he can get it tho". they need an actor who can do THAT. no one that young can pull it off idc how talented they are. sry2say. (i wouldnt vote for ljk or phj either tho, i like ljk but he can be too over the top at times and haejin is such a cold fish to me. i love ur suggestion of yai tho ;). still imo the actors should be 35 or older. tho most of the qualifying actors are too busy being in films to bother with this kind of cheap soapy tv pap)

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i can't see it either but he could use a big dose of something else so that he doesn't get stuck in overly sweet good-guy roles.

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Really? I had the feeling he'd been stuck in unhappy/conflicted/depressed/not exactly evil but definitely dark roles ever since Hwayi and until Reunited World (which was a terribly boring drama if you ask me).

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i know he's technically an adult but 19 is still a child to me. he doesnt belong in a role/plot like this even if they do sanitize it (which ofc they will).

on that note, why the F is a broadcast network trying to adapt (even loosely) les liasons?? it is at it's core an erotic story as much as it is also a critique of the aristocracy of the time. and this sounds like it wont be critiquing anything or remotely deep, and then u cut out the erotic bits and honestly what;s left? why even bother at that point. jfc. (also Untold Scandal was a fantastic adaptation. and trying to recreate it in the modern era with a very young lead is a recipe for disaster even if u follow the same script)

Even if this drama is obviously a trainwreck in the making, the least they can do is cast freaking adults in the role like at least over age 25 and lord knows in the adaptations the cast is usually in the 30's range or older. i hope he turns it down i truly do. it's fine if he plays a darker role but this is Not the one.

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he's 21 this year though, but i totally get what you say.

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OMG very mixed feelings about this too.

Tbh I used to be his biggest fan but recently I've started losing confidence. He says himself that his acting changed for the worse since his middle school days.

Anyways I would have no problem actually with him acting a dangerous and morally corrupt character, I also suspect that he would like to have such a chance. BUT. In no way can I imagine him doing well in a role where charisma, seductiveness, manly dangerousness? and it seems a certain amount of weariness of life is required. He just screams "I'm barely past puberty! I don't know what's wrong with me and I don't feel right in my body yet!" with every cell of his body to me.

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CMIIW but I don't think Jingoo ever said that. What I remember he said was that he just personally liked his acting best during his middle school days.

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Yeah well but if you say "I liked myself better the way I was" it necessarily means that you like the way you are now less.

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