Dae Jang Geum watch: Lee Young-ae declines, MBC presses forward
In a move that has shocked exactly zero people, Lee Young-ae has officially turned down the lead role in MBC’s much hoped-for Dae Jang Geum 2.
It’s a role she has been asked (pestered, even) to reprise practically since the original drama went off the air in 2004, which is understandable since you can’t call a sequel Dae Jang Geum 2 and then not cast Jang-geum. But her reluctance to take on a sequel is equally understandable, and Lee Young-ae has always been very circumspect about the possibility of a return, sounding hesitant every time the production talks resumed.
The chances did look better this time than in previous rounds, when MBC took a very aggressive line about broadcasting a sequel later this fall (at the expense of other shows that fell by the wayside to make room for it, such as the much-touted action sageuk series Unprecedented). Lee seemed to be considering the return and MBC pushed for strongly for it (as we saw with all those news stories hitting the press), but ultimately Lee has decided against the show.
Never one to give up on a decade-long obsession, MBC is reportedly looking into other ways to continue the franchise without Lee Young-ae. They have launched into Plan B mode, and are considering going with another actress as one possibility, or going for a remake instead of a sequel. Erm. Okay. Well, everybody deals with grief differently, right? Maybe we’ll just let them cling to those ideas for a little longer.
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