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.