Entourage remake courts Im Shi-wan, Seo Kang-joon to headline
Well, they said that 2016 was the target broadcast for the tvN drama remake of HBO’s Entourage, and they must be serious this time because casting offers are out. The remake project has technically been in the works since 2013, but this is the first time we’re seeing any names announced for the showbiz drama about a star and — what else — his entourage. It makes sense that they’d start with actors familiar to tvN, for the most part: Im Shi-wan (Misaeng), Seo Kang-joon (Cheese in the Trap), Jo Jin-woong (Signal), and Lee Kwang-soo (It’s Okay, It’s Love, Running Man) are currently entertaining offers to headline.
Seo Kang-joon is being courted to play Vince (er, his K-drama equivalent, named Young-bin) — the top star whose coattails everyone else will be riding. It’s pretty perfect casting for the character, a vapid pretty boy actor who embodies all the Hollywood clichés you can think of. And given Seo Kang-joon’s performance in Cheese in the Trap, I’d say he’s even capable of carrying the emotional weight of a major character.
But technically Eric is the main character of Entourage — the best friend and manager to the top star. This is the role Im Shi-wan is up for, naturally, because you wouldn’t court Im Shi-wan for any other character in this show. He’s the only relatable guy in the group, if you can even call him that; maybe it’s more accurate to say that he’s the character whose eyes we see the world through. Im Shi-wan sounds the most iffy in terms of actually getting him to sign on for the show, but I guarantee I’d care about the trials and tribulations of a star’s manager if he took on the role.
Jo Jin-woong must be up for the Ari role, though that hasn’t been confirmed. It’s the only part that fits him — the superstar agent who turns the pretty boy actor into a star. He’s a high-strung nightmarish shark of an agent, but hysterical in his shamelessness. It’s definitely a role that needs an experienced actor in both drama and comedy.
And Lee Kwang-soo has been offered the Johnny Drama character, who in the original was Vince’s half-brother and a C-list star who was desperate for more work. In the remake he’ll be Seo Kang-joon’s cousin, a struggling actor who only gets bit parts. Okay, Kwang-soo is going to be hilarious as Drama. Of all the actors, I think his is the casting that I hope sticks the most, because I don’t know that anyone else could play the same pathetic desperation while still being funny. That’s the trick to Drama, and it already suits Kwang-soo perfectly.
They haven’t cast anyone for Turtle yet, and the actors’ agencies were all quick to say that these were only early casting offers that they were considering. Entourage doesn’t have a broadcast date yet, but there’s talk of it being a Friday-Saturday drama after Memory, which follows Signal.
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- Remake of HBO’s Entourage heads to tvN