Hwarang confirms cast, secures summer broadcast on KBS
Summer? I have to wait until summer to see Park Seo-joon again? It’s like a cruel tease, this news. Though really, I’m just super happy that he signed on to headline the new youth sageuk Hwarang: The Beginning, about the original flower boys of the Silla dynasty. The new drama from Oh Boy Pictures (Flower Boy Ramyun Shop, Shut Up: Flower Boy Band, Flower Boy Next Door) was announced in the fall, and has now secured a leading cast and a summer broadcast date on KBS.
The drama will be about the Hwarang warriors of Silla, who were known for being beautiful — they were a group of young, highly educated, elite aristocratic warriors, whose name hwarang literally means “flower boy.” Park Seo-joon (She Was Pretty) has been cast as a young man of low birth who rises above his station in life and becomes a legendary Hwarang warrior. His character is brave and has boundless energy, and is nicknamed “dog-bird” because he’s at times like a dog or a bird (it doesn’t make a lot of sense because it’s namely a pun — calling him gae-sae is how the drama can call him a son of a bitch without triggering the censor board).
Park Hyung-shik (High Society) will play King Jinheung, who ruled Silla from 540 to 576 during the Three Kingdoms period. He became king at the young age of 15, but went on to be one of Silla’s great rulers who expanded the nation’s territory. Because of constant threats to his life, his character lives his young life as a faceless king, wandering about with a secret identity. And when his mother founds the Hwarang warriors, he decides to join as one of them. There, he gradually changes from a weak, wounded young man into a king that will lead a nation.
And naturally, Go Ara (You’re All Surrounded) plays the woman they’ll both love. Her character is half aristocrat, half commoner, a young woman with a cheerful energy and a strong work ethic. She also has a hapless quality to her, which makes her sound more like a modern drama heroine.
PD Yoon Sung-shik of Gaksital and King’s Face is at the helm, and writer Park Eun-young of KBS drama specials Our Slightly Risqué Relationship, Young Deok Women’s Wrestling Team, and Like a Fairytale is penning the script. The series will be 100% pre-produced, and will air simultaneously in Korea and China, a la Descended From the Sun and Saimdang. I’m excited about this one — a coming-of-age sageuk with this cast (and many more flower boy warriors to fill the ranks, to be sure) already makes me antsy for summer to roll around.
Hwarang: The Beginning is scheduled to premiere in July on KBS.
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