I am reaaaadyyyy!! Upcoming Wed-Thurs blockbuster sageuk The Great Seer (Dae Poong-soo) held its press conference today with all whopping nine members of its main cast. Talk about prettiness overflow. Not that I’m complainin’! The drama follows the rise of Lee Seong-gye as he brings an end to the Koryo (Goryeo) era and founds Chosun (Joseon), the last pre-modern era of Korea. Unlike most dramas, however, the focus will not be on the king himself but the king-makers surrounding the rise and fall of kingdoms. So excited.
Playing Lee Seong-gye, founder of Chosun, is my fav Ji Jin-hee. The veteran actor said he was so excited by the script that he contacted the production team first to express his interest in the role, despite it not being the lead. Talk about passion for his art. He’s such a witty guy, and a gentleman to boot, I can’t help but wub him. He’s planning to portray the humanistic side of Lee Seong-gye, which is often passed over in favor of the mighty general and ambitious king.
The great seer Ji-sang who is determined to “choose my own king” will be taken on by Ji Sung. I’m sad to see the adorable Protect the Boss hair go, but his character’s supposed to be a fun-lovin guy, so the void won’t be too gaping.
Playing Ji-sang’s arch nemesis Jung-geun is Song Chang-eui. I just can’t imagine this sweet, lovable guy playing such an evil character, but he’s a brilliant actor, so the showdown between him and Ji Sung is gonna be awesome. Jung-geun is the son of the most powerful man in Koryo, a noble through and through, and in possession of the brightest mind to boot. He gets his first bitter taste of defeat through Ji-sang, a commoner without formal education, and thus begins the rivalry of the decade. Maybe rivalry of the century? Era? Well, you get the point. But the cruel, driven man has his own weaknesses – he loved two women whom he could never have…
Our leading lady is adorable yet seriously amaztastic Kim So-yeon. Her Hae-in was born with the fate to become a queen, but she chooses to defy destiny for love. The bright, curious, and even at time ditzy, Hae-in loves Ji-sang with an unwavering passion. I am SO excited to see Kim So-yeon in a lead role amongst such a solid cast. Yeee!
Another cutie that rocks the house, Lee Yoon-ji, will be playing Ban-ya, a woman hell-bent on revenge. She rose from the gutters to become queen (wife to King Gong-min, the king of current drama Faith). But the life of a royal is full of pitfalls and betrayals and intrigue, and thus Ban-ya seeks power to protect her son King Woo (or King U) and grandson King Chang, and later revenge when both are killed. She is Ji-sang’s first love (she tried to manipulate him to her advantage) and co-conspirator with Jung-geun.
Rounding out the main cast are fantabulous Jo Min-ki, Oh Hyun-kyung, and Lee Seung-yeon. Jo Min-ki plays Lee In-im, father of Jung-geun and wielder of immense power.
His wife is Lee Seung-yeon’s Young-ji, who is the mother of Ji-sang. (Ji-sang’s father is supposed to be Dong-ryun, so no half-brother-rivalry thingy going on… or is there? We’ll see. Ji-sang doesn’t know who his mother is and is desperately searching for her – another Eun-oh of Arang and the Magistrate?) Actress and former member of Fin.K.L. Lee Jin will be playing the younger Young-ji.
Last but not least is Oh Hyun-kyung’s Soo-ryun-gae, the most powerful shaman (mudang) of Koryo. The holder of incredible political clout and ambition is in cahoots with Lee In-im and gave birth (secretly) to Jung-geun.
I love sageuks when they’re done well, and The Great Seer looks like it may just be the new Wed-Thurs king. Not only is the storyline solid (no half-formed ideas here), the cast is absitively posolutely gonna rock the house. The drama is slated for 36 episodes (another piece of good news – it’s gonna be concise and fast-paced [well, for a traditional sageuk, at least]) and premieres on October 10. Bring it on!