The bloody battle for the people’s hearts begins in Rebel
I spent months only seeing Yoon Kyun-sang (Doctors) as a giant baby who loves fluffy kitties in Three Meals a Day, so it’s a little jarring to see him covered in blood and making battle cries. But given his experience as a warrior in sageuk epic Six Flying Dragons, I think he’ll be in his element in his first leading role as the legendary hero Hong Gil-dong in MBC’s new Monday-Tuesday drama Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People.
The new series from the PD of Kill Me, Heal Me and the writer of King’s Daughter Soo Baek-hyang is a reimagining of the famous folk hero Hong Gil-dong as a revolutionary hero of the people. In a deviation from the original tale, our hero is the son of a slave father, played by Kim Sang-joong (Jingbirok), a lowborn man who leads a group of rebel fighters and becomes a very real threat to the king. His son Hong Gil-dong is born with incredible physical strength (we see him toss a group of full-grown men with nothing but his bare hands in the new teaser), which is an advantage he’ll need when he steps up to fight against a tyrant king.
Kim Ji-suk (Oh Hae-young Again) plays the villain, Joseon’s infamous tyrant king Yeonsangun, who was responsible for bloody purges of scholars and turning Sungkyunkwan into a brothel. He’ll seethe with jealousy over the fact that Hong Gil-dong has the heart of his royal consort Jang No-suk, played by Honey Lee (Come Back, Ajusshi), and then again when Gil-dong gains the hearts of the people. Chae Soo-bin (Moonlight Drawn By Clouds) plays a young widower who is rescued by the hero and seeks revenge for the death of her husband.
The newest teaser opens with the line: “The scariest thing in the world is people.” Someone orders the deaths of everyone who follows Hong Gil-dong’s father, while we see his back covered in scars from torture. The caption asks, “What blood flows through them?” The king very pointedly tells his consort that Hong Gil-dong came to see him, and her eyes widen in alarm. As Hong Gil-dong fights a crowd of men on his own, he asks the king in voiceover, “You are the king, the son of heaven—so how did you become so low?” Dayum. Then we hear the order given: “Kill him in one blow so that he can’t speak nonsense.” Well, the stakes are certainly up! Here’s hoping you become Rebel: Thief Who Stole My Heart.
Rebel follows Night Light on Mondays and Tuesdays beginning January 30.
- Yoon Kyun-sang’s sorrowful tears in Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People teaser
- First glimpse of MBC’s Rebel: Thief Who Stole the People
- News bites: December 24, 2016
- Rebel Hong Gil-dong becomes Thief Who Stole the People
- Yoon Kyun-sang, Chae Soo-bin sign on for Rebel Hong Gil-dong
- Yoon Kyun-sang in talks to headline Rebel Hong Gil-dong
- Kim Sang-joong considers being Rebel Hong Gil-dong’s father
- Honey Lee in talks to join fusion sageuk Rebel Hong Gil-dong