MBC melo Monster secures Kang Ji-hwan to headline
Ah, this casting makes more sense: Kang Ji-hwan (Big Man) is now confirmed as the leading man in MBC’s upcoming 50-episode melodrama Monster (formerly titled Tyrant), while relative newcomer Seo Kang-joon (Cheese in the Trap) is no longer in consideration for the show. It seemed so strange to have a young rookie like Seo being courted to lead a big show like this, particularly since it covers a lot of ground and spans 20 years and requires an actor with a bit more gravitas, and he’s not there yet.
The story of Monster starts during the IMF crisis in the late ’90s and tells “the revenge story of one man sacrificed by an avaricious den of demons.” He loses his parents at a young age and almost dies, and takes on a new life and name in pursuing his revenge, vowing to expose the ugly true faces of the elite; along the way, he finds a love that’s like “a flower bud growing in a mud pit.” Recently cast to play the hero in his youth is idol Lee Ki-kwang (Mrs. Cop), while Lee Yeol-eum (Village: Secret of Achiara) will play the younger heroine.
Kang Ji-hwan seems a natural choice when you consider he’s worked with this writer before in the drama Incarnation of Money (writer Jang Young-chul also did Giant and Empress Ki), and while I miss Kang in comedy (he’s got great wacky comic timing), he’s adept at serious dramatic stuff as well and I can readily picture him in a meaty story like this. (It probably means he won’t be taking My Little Baby, a different MBC drama about a cop who’s suddenly saddled with a baby to take care of.)
The show is still searching for a leading lady with Hwang Jung-eum (She Was Pretty) officially out as well, and while I like Hwang, I’m fine with her leaving because she and Kang Ji-hwan were in Incarnation of Money together and they don’t need to reteam quite so soon. I know the back-to-back reunion worked for her and Ji Sung, but fresh partnerships are a welcome thing, and I’ll be curious to see which actress ends up with the role.
I am glad to hear of Lee El (My Beautiful Bride) taking on a supporting role as an arms lobbyist, a character described as a strong woman who makes her presence felt, which is pretty much what I always expect Lee El to deliver. The lady has presence. The bulk of the supporting cast has been confirmed, and includes Park Young-kyu, Lee Deok-hwa, Jung Bo-seok, Kim Bo-yeon, and Jung Woong-in.
Monster is set to follow Monday-Tuesday drama Dazzling Temptation.
- Seo Kang-joon offered leading role in MBC melo Monster
- Kang Ji-hwan becomes a daddy for new MBC drama
- MBC’s Tyrant gets renamed Monster, still looking for a leading lady
- Hwang Jung-eum eyes a return to MBC in Tyrant
- Empress Ki writer returns with new series for MBC
- KBS nixes potential Kang Ji-hwan–Moon Geun-young drama Home Alone
- Kang Ji-hwan, Moon Geun-young courted for new drama Home Alone
- Big Man: Episode 1