Choi Moo-sung, Byung-heon joins Jo Jung-seok in SBS sageuk
Choi Moo-sung, Byung-heon
I feel like 2019 is going to be the year of the well-made sageuks, if all goes well. One of the most promising additions to the historical genre is SBS’s upcoming Mung Bean Flower, which has had a bit of an unfortunate name change from its previous title Ugeumchi. I’ve been keeping an eye out for this drama given the talent on and off screen, and there are two new additions to the cast that I’m tentatively excited about.
Joining Jo Jung-seok (Two Cops) and Yoon Shi-yoon (Your Honor) as half-brothers separated by a rebellion that pitted the landed elite against the poor peasants, are Choi Moo-sung (Mr. Sunshine) and Teen Top’s Byung-heon (A Pledge to God). Both actors will play characters on the peasant side of the Donghak Rebellion, which rocked the peninsula near the end of the 19th century.
Choi Moo-sung’s character is Jeon Bong-joon, one of the real-life leaders of the rebellion, who is considered something of a folk hero in Korea. The descendant of an aristocratic family which has long fallen from grace, at the beginning of Mung Bean Flower, Bong-joon is the owner of the local apothecary. He will transform into a revolutionary leader, especially after his fateful meeting with Jo Jung-seok’s half-slave, half-yangban character. Choi Moo-sung’s stint in Mr. Sunshine left me seriously wanting regarding his character’s dramatic potential as a freedom fighter, guerilla leader, so just imagining the actor take on a similar, and hopefully more meaty, role in this has me jumping up and down on my seat.
Byung-heon will be taking on a less historically significant role, as one of Jeon Bong-joon’s underlings, named Bungae, or literally ‘Lightning.’ Armed with nothing more than a slingshot on the battlefield, I hope he’s as quick as his name suggests, because I’m not betting on his odds in combat. While Bungae may have the face of a young child, he also harbors a deep-seated desire for revenge against Jo Jung-seok’s character, though we’re not told as to why.
I was already sold on this show before this additional casting news, though I’m significantly more excited for Choi Moo-sung than Byung-heon, especially with the credentials behind the creative team. Directing is PD Shin Kyung-soo of Tree With Deep Roots and Six Flying Dragons, while writer Jung Hyun-min, known for hit Jung Do-jeon, is penning the script. The rest of the cast, including Han Ye-ri (Switch) and Choi Won-young (SKY Castle), isn’t too shabby either.
Mung Bean Flower is slated to air on SBS’s Friday-Saturday slot in the first half of 2019.