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Kim Hye-soo completes main trio for tvN’s Signal

Well that’s an impressive cast lineup. It looks like a movie cast for starters, and a really good one at that. Kim Hye-soo (Chinatown, God of the Workplace) is the latest addition to tvN’s new crime mystery thriller Signal, the newest drama from PD Kim Won-seok of Misaeng and writer Kim Eun-hee of Three Days, Ghost, Sign. Lee Je-hoon (Secret Door) and Jo Jin-woong (Full Sun) are already confirmed, and Kim Hye-soo has signed on to round out the leading trio.

The drama inspired by Memories of Murder is about cases that have gone unsolved for long periods of time. Two groups of detectives — one in the present and one in the past — communicate with each other via an old two-way radio, and are able to collect clues to solve cold cases. Wouldn’t a time-traveling wormhole radio be more useful to the past detectives than the present ones? Eh, maybe it’s only a one-way radio.

Lee Je-hoon stars as a profiler on a special detective task force that tackles this particular type of case. He distrusts cops, and has a witty personality. Kim Hye-soo has been cast as a detective on the same task force. I’m guessing she’s his boss, but either way I like the idea of a kickass detective character for Kim Hye-soo. Both she and Lee Je-hoon are specified as characters in the present day. Jo Jin-woong plays a simple, earnest, brawn-over-brains detective who was once a taekwondo athlete. We’re not told if he’s from the past or the present.

PD Kim Won-seok said, “Signal is a project where the combination of the three leads is very important. We put a lot of work into casting the best actors for the best script. All three actors were the first people I thought of when reading the script. I thought, ‘How happy would I be if that happened,’ but now that it’s come true I’m unbelievably happy but also feel a tremendous sense of responsibility. I will do my best to make a drama that lives up to viewers’ expectations.”

Signal follows Answer Me 1988 on Fridays and Saturdays beginning in January.

Via DongA, Oh My News

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Impressive cast indeed! Let's hope this writer will use them well. I said the same thing about Secret Door and it didn't turn out so well.Good luck Lee Je-hoon <3.

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Wait, I thought she has that crime noir movie to shoot starting January. Do actors manage this kind of schedule all the time? She is one busy lady.

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She does. Maybe Signal is not going to be a 20 eps drama like Gap Dong.

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That would be really great. Loved the show Gap Dong.

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Don't worry, movie shoot is not as grueling as drama. Movie filming has a lot more time to film and fewer scenes than drama. So the actors could still juggle 2 or more projects at the same time.
Beside, cable drama filming is also less hectic than Big 3 liveshoot schedule.

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*bright shiny googly eyes*

This just seems so cool, I really want to see it. Can't wait for more info to be out.

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More than the other casts, I'm interested in Kim Hye-Soo. Another chungmuro lady coming to dramaland is always welcome! It's Kim Hye-Soo, nonetheless. The script must be good enough.

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Wish they would stop mentioning Memories of Murder if they're going to shoehorn a hotshot modern detective into the proceedings, because that is so far removed from the spirit of the original movie, let alone the movie itself, that it's not even funny anymore. If there's any dialogue between the past and present about procedure, they might as well call it a Korean remake of Life on Mars, to which it would be much closer at that point.

On the other hand, glad they're doing something different. Memories of Murder is a classic film the world over, so it would have been really painful to watch it get dumbed down and stretched out for TV.

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Can I just say that Song Kang Ho was brilliant in Memories of Murder? Did you know that he never trained to be an actor? He is just incredibly natural at it. (End of fan-girling).

I think tvN is obsessed with this masterpiece. First was Gap Dong and now Signal. I'm guessing that if this doesn't turn out well, there will be a 3rd and maybe a 4th.

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Is there enough "fangirlism" for Song Kang-ho??? I think not! A raw talent with every aspect of the definition. He deserves to be No1 by all means..!
Meanwhile, this cast is so unexpected for a cable channel. They have hit the jackpot those tvN's people. They keep casting from cinema when, at the same time, mainstream channels almost always conduct "popularity" polls among netizens in order to form and/or secure casts for their projects...

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"Is there enough “fangirlism” for Song Kang-ho??? I think not!"

He's beyond the fan-girling point. I have total respect for him as an actor.

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This whole thread is awesome haha. *joins in on the Song Kang-ho love*

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Joining the Song Kang Ho circle of kyaaing over his magnificence.

As for tvN, @kalel, I think their casting is spot on, but they still cater to fangirls too much in some ways. They need to up the PD and writer quality and maintain a clear line between rom-comey, fangirlish shows and others. If we're being picky and wish to see betterment, of course. They are still better than the Big Three in so many ways.

Their stories are hit and miss, so I appreciate the PD and writer here. The latter has had some issues, but cable is the best place to create, so I don't worry too much.

And to address @Juniper's original problem, the drama is only "inspired by" 'Memories of Murder', so I don't see an issue with using the name to let people know about the style and quality they're going for. The Hwaseong serial murders is also an old case, for a certain demographic, and probably mostly unknown to foreign fans too (tvN belongs to CJ, which is getting very hallyu-thirsty lately). 'Memories of Murder' is what brought the case into popular entertainment and also made it known abroad, so it makes sense they'd use its name and prestige to market this.

The only problem is, they are creating some pretty big expectations by doing this. I hope they can achieve enough to meet those.

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Before watching "Memories of Murder", I had no idea about this case and after watching it I thought it was, more or less, like the Zodiac murders in California, which practically means a still open case with numerous suspects and a culprit on the loose for years. This fact alone makes any kind of artistic approach legit and interesting, as far as I'm concerned.

tvN, as a network, has its own "sinful" past to ponder over and, albeit the reasonable desicion they reached recently on their "Cheese" live-action, we still remember the "do it/don't do it" referendum on social media. Between brutal cancellations, dramas' seasons that were given the chop and the recent event with Suzy's case, cable channels sound more reasonable within the field in terms of projects...at least, for now.

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I think they should simply say that they are writing a drama about an unsolved case without mentioning "Memories of Murder" that way they could write the drama without being burdened by the possibility of the viewers comparing it with the masterpiece film

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I read that it was based on a real life case before garnering up the courage to watch it. I heard that Bong Joon-Ho interviewed the families' of the victims and did research on the case so I was expecting it to be gruesome and detailed.
It's usually a good sign when the script is also written by the director. Bong Joon-Ho and Park Chan Wook are know for that and no wonder their films are at the top when it comes to quality.

I kind of understand why they keep mentioning the movie to promote the drama. It's a masterpiece after all that Korean viewers are familiar with. Bong Joon-Ho was also praised by critics abroad so Memories of Murder is not unknown as a masterpiece outside of Korea.
I just hope that Bong will not allow a Hollywood remake of it like Old Boy.

For a drama version, Jo Jin-woong and Kim Hye-soo are perfect. It's up to the writer and the director here. I hope it'll turn out well for Lee Je-hoon's sake. The two veteran actors already have a solid film career.

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@rikamayazz. I agree with you. Everybody knows about the case, thanks to Memories of Murder, but then, everybody knows about it now, don't they? They could just market this as being about those murders, as opposed to a remake of the film. Plus if you add a modern detective (and modern detective work) into things, that betrays the thematic foundation of the movie, which was all about small town cops struggling to contain and/or come to grips with something they are fundamentally unequipped to deal with or understand.

@Kiara. I'm probably being a little too sensitive lol. I just don't think they're doing themselves any favors by bringing up the movie repeatedly. This cast seems great, Kim Won-seok is not a terrible director, etc, but the original was so special it can't be repeated or improved upon. When it airs, I'm going to be that much harder on it because they're using such a masterpiece as a crutch haha.

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@juniper
Lol I totally understand how you feel. It's misleading and not in a good way. Like Orion said, they are creating some pretty big expectations here.

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"tvN belongs to CJ"

So that's why they are able to afford to hire film actors for their dramas. Maybe they should hire some film writers too while they are at it.

I'm guessing Drama land's good writers are often manipulated by the big 3s to change their scripts to accommodate the ratings.
I wonder if that's one of the reason why writers like Jung Ha-Yeon went cable with his last two sageuks.

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I think the freedom is a large part of it, but if I'm not mistaken, jTBC can afford to spend a little more money on talent too. It's not as rich as tvN, obviously...

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Yep. They have all the money they need. OCN belongs to them as well. I guess that is why we have some talent exchange too. Like Kang Ha Neul, Son Jong Hak and Park Hae Joon jumping right onto OCN shows after 'Misaeng'. Lee Si Yeong made the jump too, after 'Valid Love'.

As @juniper says below, freedom is a reason. They probably have better planning and also understand marketing better than mostly government owned channels. Out of the Big 3, the one which is most privatized is also usually the most quality one.

Cable is company owned and OCN/tvN are also paid channels. When people pay, they usually expect much more too. I think 'Misaeng' showed CJ that different things sell, so they're getting daring. Which is good. And then OCN had a go at a more romance-based crime show like 'My Beautiful Bride', so the two channels are kind of blending in some ways. They are experimenting and that's always good.

I hope 'Signal' will be more OCN-dark, kind of like 'Gap Dong' without the pretty boy focus, as good as Lee Joon was in it. The cast and crew are promising. This could very well be a movie and there are no idol/hallyu stars attached for there to be temptation.

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"I hope ‘Signal’ will be more OCN-dark, kind of like ‘Gap Dong’ without the pretty boy focus, as good as Lee Joon was in it."

If he is anything close to Dr. Spencer Reid from Criminal Minds I know I'd pay more attention to his character rather than his pretty face. Since he is the youngest profiler, he must be pretty smart. He might also be introverted and socially awkward based on his character description from earlier articles.
What I'm trying to say is, I hope that he doesn't have any romantic interest in this show.

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Haven't watch Memories of Murder, but Song Kang Ho is fantastic in every other movie I've seen, like The Face Reader for example. He looks brilliant too in "The Throne" based on the previews so far..
If it's possible to fangirling over this ahjussi, I'd say I'm a fangirl too...

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So much anticipation for The Throne, I kept checking on the release date at the local theatre. Song Kang Ho and Director Lee Joon-ik is the main draw for me. Looking forward to Yoo Ah-In's portrayal of Sado and Moonie as Lady H.

Moonie is also a big fan of Song Kang Ho. Her agency did not want her to take the role because of the limited amount of screen time. She said that she took it anyway because she gets to act alongside Song Kang Ho. an actor that she looks up to and respect.

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Yes yes.. Even Moonie is his big fan..
Well, can't fault her, Song Kang Ho is really great actor. One of the best in Korea for sure!

The Throne has done well in box office. I wonder if it will be distributed worldwide (or to some countries) like Veteran did.

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Since it's Korea's pick for the Oscar they will have a worldwide release at some point. They do have an English trailer version so I'm expecting the movie to be fully subbed.

I wonder if it'll beat Choi Min Shik's Admiral: Roaring Currents at the overseas market.
I think Sado is more complicated for non Korean viewers than Roaring Currents. Additional historical commentaries like it's done in Jung Ha-Yeon's sageuks would probably help but I don't think it's Lee Joon-ik's style.

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a Korean remake of Life on Mars,

I would watch the heck out of that. (OCN, please take note.)

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lol so would I! It could be like Joseon X-Files all over again!

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I miss Joseon X-Files so much. It was one of a kind. Sci-fi in kdrama has not done well. It's mostly just a gimmick for romance featuring pretty boys. I'm looking at you, 'You Came From the Stars'.

I guess crime solvers cooperating across time will have to do for now. I am guessing 'Signal' will be a serial, rather than an episodic format though. Given the Hwaseong serial murder case theme. Or maybe it will kind of be both, like Joseon X-Files was. Different cases somehow being connected to the main one.

I just hope the time element plays a big part and that the consequences brought on by it are planned and executed well. Complicated murder-mystery + complicated timey wimey stuff = You better have an airtight plot figured out.

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lol yes at your YCFTS comment. I get that as a rom com it was not that bad (so it was a one-woman show--if Jeon Ji-hyun is that woman, I'm game). But as a sci fi fan it made me rage to see them use aliens as a clichéd, braindead vehicle for angst and comedy. Now if that show had been more like a full out rom com version of the Star Trek whale movie (except not, obviously), that would have been awesome.

I loved Joseon X-Files! If any Korean actor had to play the smoking man, Kim Kap-soo was just the man to do it. Plus it wasn't just good sci fi for a drama--it was good sci fi, period. Which is all the more remarkable considering how out of the blue it was.

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Extreme interest emerging! I like the time meeting time and the crime solving separately... done well together, it will be worth the watch.

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Woaaaaaa....
This is great. 2015 witnesses big names migrating to cable TV, we'll have even bigger names in 2016 I think.
I'd watch anything that has Kim Hye Soo; this one has Kim Hye Soo in drama, possibly playing badass/femme fatale character.
I am in!

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I have such a lady crush on Kim Hye Soo. I can't you guys I can't. Will watch/read.

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Kim Eun-hee is an excellent writer, I never had major problems with her. Though I only really liked her SIGN, which was a writing collaboration with her husband Jang Hang-joon.

Jang Hang-joon is the one with whom I have no problems with, totally none. He knows perfect Pilot (episode) Structure, and Plot Progression (how it thickens and unfolds in succeeding episodes). That guy had formal training for sure. (He co-wrote Sign; wrote Harvest Villa and King of Dramas)

I miss some Kim Eun-hee/Jang Hang-joon Collaboration scripts. But with Jo Jin-woong aboard, count me in. He is so darn hot.

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Impressive cast indeed!! I love this badass ahjumma.. She's cool personified..

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Harvest Villa was also collaboration Kim Eun-hee/Jang Hang-joon

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This is really a TV DRAMA; I had to double check. Can't wait. I'm holding you to your words, PD Kim!

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so its like the american movie "frequency" but instead of father & son speaking through an old radio communicator, it's a team of detectives from past and present.
Maybe the detectives from the future present will give clues to the past to stop the murders. Very interesting to see watch this in a drama setting. it would seem like many cases, like 1 per episode.

in the movie "frequency" it was a woman serial killer.

anticipating this!

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I've been screaming 'Frequency' since I heard the premise announced. I really liked that one, so it will be interesting. A time travel murder mystery. 'Nine' was ruined by the fakecest/romantic bit for me entirely. So I hope they really focus on the time travel and consequences here, without distractions.

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Funny thing is I don't know any of the main cast ( yes , I'm a newbie when it come to Kdrama ) my first one is Master's Sun and I usually stick around rom com but this drama sound really interesting so if dramabean give a thump up for the review I'll check it out

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A breath of fresh air to see that the lead roles for Signal were written for and cast with middle aged actors & actresses.

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Goodbye Big 3!! ✋

KHS... you tease me to put this on my list ??

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Memories of Murder is a SK movie classic. Unmistakable. I can understand the reference to drum of interest, but no.....However, the synopsis reads more similar to Frequency.

Anyway, I hope Jo Jin-woong gets his fair share of face time because he's that #[email protected][email protected]$# good.

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