Cha Seung-won courted to join Lee Yeon-hee in MBC sageuk
Thank goodness for title changes. The drama formerly operating under the name Splendid Politics has switched to the more straightforward Princess Jeongmyeong, and is courting Cha Seung-won (You’re All Surrounded) to join the production. Lee Yeon-hee (Miss Korea), who was reported to be in the mix earlier this month, is still favorably considering.
The MBC historical drama is set during King Seonjo’s reign, which is also the time period depicted in the currently airing fusion sageuk King’s Face, although this drama will take a different narrative approach to the royals. Gwanghae has often been depicted in a favorable light in modern films and dramas, and remembered as a good king. This drama will make him the villain, however, as the prince born of a concubine who usurped the throne from his half-siblings in Seonjo’s direct line of succession.
Jeongmyeong is one of those siblings, being the only princess born of the direct line, who suffers at the hands of her ambitious half-brother. After her young brother, Grand Prince Yeongchang, is killed “at the hands of Gwanghae,” she is stripped of her status and cast into the lowest class along with her mother, Queen Inmok. We’re not told much other than that the drama will follow Jeongmyeong’s life and hardships, which makes it too early to tell what kind of drama we’re looking at. On a hunch Imma guess it’s sad rather than happy, but hey, you never know.
Cha Seung-won’s character description, meanwhile, goes like this: “It has not been precisely announced what role he would play, but it appears he will return to television showing the appearance of a king.” Um, okay. I’ll go ahead and assume it’s Gwanghae since I can’t imagine Seonjo having much screentime, but way to be weirdly vague-and-specific at the same time.
The always-wonderful Lee Sung-min (Misaeng) is already confirmed to play the politician Lee Deok-hyung, who eventually became prime minister. He was noted for his exceptional intelligence and was once reported to have memorized the entirety of a confidential document during the Japanese invasion of Korea (in 1592) after one look, which he then reported to King Seonjo.
The show has some strong credits, with writer Kim Yi-young having scripted Dong Yi, Yi San, and Horse Healer (before sageuks, she had a couple of cute rom-coms, Marrying a Millionaire and My Love Patzzi). PD Kim Sang-ho previously directed Arang and the Magistrate and Can You Hear My Heart.
Princess Jeongmyeong will be a Monday-Tuesday drama on MBC to premiere in April; it’ll follow Shine or Go Crazy, which follows Pride and Prejudice.
Via TV Report
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- You’re All Surrounded: Episode 1
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- Dae Jang Geum watch: Casting Kim So-hyun and Lee Yeon-hee?
- Cha Seung-won considers drama return in Unprecedented
- Miss Korea: Episodes 1-2
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- Best Love: Episode 1