A major star, Lee Na-young, is set to return in a new series while medical drama fans have a pair of new shows to get excited about, among other new projects, in our latest Korean drama casting news round-up.
1. Dr. Romantic 3
The hit medical drama Dr. Romantic, which aired its first season in 2016 and its second in 2020, is set to return for a third season, which is expected to air on SBS next year.
Writer Kang Eun-kyung and director Yoo In-suk will return, as will star Han Suk-kyu, who plays the titular character, and actors Ahn Hyo-seop, Lee Sung-kyung and Kim Joo-hun, his co-stars in season two.
Han plays Boo Yong-joo, a brilliant surgeon who is forced to abandon his post in Seoul after an incident. He changes his name to Kim Sa-bu and begins working at a smaller hospital in Gangwon Province.
A major hit for SBS, both seasons of Dr. Romantic peaked with ratings just over 27 per cent.
Han – a star since the 1990s – has endured as one of the biggest names in the industry, from film hits like Christmas in August and Shiri all the way to recent dramas like Watcher . He will soon return in the heart-warming drama Recipe for Farewell , which will debut at the Busan International Film Festival in October.
2. There Is No Secret
Go Kyung-pyo has had a busy year. He has already appeared in four films, including the acclaimed Park Chan-wook film Decision to Leave and Netflix action film Seoul Vibe , and is currently on screens in the drama Love in Contract. He has reportedly been offered a leading role in the coming JTBC drama There Is No Secret.
The show, which will be penned by Choi Kyung-sun and produced by KeyEast, will focus on the competitive world of freelance news announcers. Go has been offered the part of Song Ki-baek, an announcer with a pristine image whose promising career takes a sharp turn when an accident leaves him with an unfortunate condition given his line of work: he is no longer able to lie.
Go will first be seen alongside Jung Hae-in in the Disney+ drama Connect, the Korean drama debut of Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike, later this year.
3. Severe Trauma Center – Golden Hour
Kingdom ’s Ju Ji-hoon is eyeing a return to medical dramas after being offered a role in Severe Trauma Center – Golden Hour. Ju’s last medical drama was Medical Top Team in 2013.
The project is based on the web novel of the same name penned by Hansan Lee Ga, an ear, nose and throat doctor turned YouTuber and web novelist. The story is about Baek Kang-hyuk, the head of a severe trauma centre in a university hospital. Owing to his brilliant surgical skills and his determination to save every patient, he is nicknamed the “Hand of God”.
Ju’s major credits extend across both the big and small screen, with leading roles in the Along with the Gods film series and shows such as Hyena and Jirisan . If Ju does sign on to Severe Trauma Center – Golden Hour , do not expect to see the series for a while, as Ju will first have to complete the coming drama Dominant Species , which is about to begin production.
4. Park Ha-kyung Travel Diary
Ever since settling down a few years ago, star Lee Na-young has been a rare presence on screen. But now, after last appearing in 2019’s Romance Is a Bonus Book, the actress is set to return as the lead of the Wavve original drama Park Ha-kyung Travel Diary.
Lee will play the titular character, a schoolteacher who goes on day trips on Saturdays, during which she eats, walks around, meets people and finds peace and comfort. The series is expected to be eight episodes long, each running around half an hour, which will touch on different genres, including romance, drama, comedy and fantasy.
Lee is known for dramas such as Ireland and classic films like Someone Special and Maundy Thursday.
The series will mark the drama debut of director Lee Jong-pil, who most recently scored a hit with the office-set film Samjin Company English Class, and will see him team up once more with writer Son Mi. Production on the show is slated to begin in October.
5. Beneficial Fraud
Kim Dong-wook and Chun Woo-hee are reportedly in talks to lead the new tvN drama Beneficial Fraud . The series will be helmed by Lee Soo-hyun, who recently made Sh**ting Stars and co-directed the drama Find Me in Your Memory, also starring Kim.
Beneficial Fraud is described as a revenge drama about a con artist lacking empathy and a lawyer who overflows with empathy. Kim has been offered the role of Han Moo-young, the handsome young lawyer who needs psychiatric care for his empathy problem, which makes it hard for him to function in daily life.
Kim recently appeared in the dramas The King of Pigs and You Are My Spring. Chun is known for the cult horror film The Wailing and dramas such as Be Melodramatic.
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This article was first published in South China Morning Post.