Shin Ha-kyun to star in young-again fantasy drama Mr. Baek
Huh, this is an interesting casting direction. The young-again grandpa body-swap comedy Mr. Baek has now found a home at MBC, and the series must’ve gone through some significant changes since we first heard about it. Namely, the hero casting trajectory went: Ji Chang-wook, Kim Nam-gil (who turned the project down early on in favor of a movie), then Shin Ha-kyun (All About My Romance, Brain), who has now signed on to headline. They’re all good leading men, but man are all three very different. Go figure that the rapidly de-aging grandpa drama is rapidly aging its lead actor.
The fantasy rom-com has a great premise — it’s basically the male Miss Granny, in which a fluke accident turns a 70-something grandpa back to his 30-something prime. He gets his own body, so it’s not a swap in the strictest sense, though I’m sure at 70 he’ll find his 30-something (hot) body quite foreign.
The lead character is a cold Scrooge-type who did nothing but work his entire life. To show for it, he has a chaebol group that he built from the ground up, and is considered one of the country’s top CEOs, respected by people the world over. He knows only three things — money, status, and glory — and has never even once experienced true love. Through some sort of cosmic flub, he wakes up suddenly young again. And by entering his own company at the bottom of the social ladder and experiencing youth a second time, he learns valuable lessons like appreciating what time he has left, and even falls in love in the process.
Directing is PD Lee Sang-yub of King’s Daughter Soo Baek-hyang, and writing is Choi Yoon-jung of Emergency Couple. Those aren’t credits that instill a lot of faith in me, and it makes me wonder when casting goes through such different actors for the same part, as if they’re not sure what their main character is supposed to be. But I am really intrigued by the premise, and now that Shin Ha-kyun has signed on, I think he’ll be hilarious as a young cranky gramps.
Mr. Baek follows My Spring Days on Wednesdays and Thursdays in November.
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