MBC’s Luther adaptation adds Shin Ha-kyun, in talks with Cha Sun-woo
Hmm, I have a feeling this could either go very well or very badly. MBC has announced they will be adapting the BBC drama Luther to premiere later this year, and has cast Shin Ha-kyun (What a Man Wants) in the leading role. Also potentially joining the project is Cha Sun-woo (Manhole), formerly known as Baro, who is now promoting under his birth name since his departure from idol group B1A4.
I caught the first season of the BBC Luther, and it is surprisingly difficult to describe: At a basic level, the show is about the titular detective whose main nemesis in the show is a genius psychopathic murderess. It’s semi-procedural, but the show’s main focus is really on the detective’s wavering morality and his anti-hero qualities. He’s definitely a lone wolf character who prefers it that way, and his interactions with the aforementioned genius psychopath made for almost uncomfortable viewing since she becomes infatuated with him. I actually found Luther in the original rather unlikeable, notwithstanding my love for Idris Elba, so it’ll be interesting to see how much of that will bleed over into the Korean adaptation.
I’m really only familiar with Shin Ha-kyun’s work on the big screen, and he seems like a great character actor from what I’ve seen, so I can see him take a slightly different approach to this character than Idris Elba but make him no less compelling. Shin Ha-kyun’s television credits have been relatively less stellar than his film work, but let’s hope this newest project turns his luck around. The reports haven’t revealed which character Cha Sun-woo is up to play, but I suspect his role might be the Korean counterpart of Justin Ripley, who begins the show as a young, bright-eyed policeman eager to work with a detective of Luther’s caliber, despite the latter’s negative reputation among the force.
I’m a little surprised that the Korean Luther adaptation is going to be airing on MBC, since the show skews quite dark and would’ve been pretty in line with a station like OCN, which coincidentally, is doing a fantastic job with another BBC adaptation, Life on Mars. I guess we’ll just have to see whether MBC can achieve the level of grit a show like Luther needs.
MBC is planning to fit Luther into its Monday-Tuesday slot after Risky Romance and Bad Papa, which should put the show’s premiere sometime in October.
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