Normally when an actor denies reports of being cast in a drama, I usually don’t find it newsworthy. But this is Moon Geun Young‘s upcoming sageuk we’re talking about, and the circumstances of this situation bears parsing through before tossing the baby out with the bathwater. News broke this morning that Ji Chang Wook had been cast as the male lead for the upcoming Goddess of Fire Jeongi. He was apparently MBC‘s inside choice for the role. Before I even had a chance to think about my feelings towards his casting, Ji Chang Wook’s management company quickly issued a press release that he was not cast in the drama (at this time) and in fact the script and the role was never offered to Ji Chang Wook. Some news reports are saying he’s not cast, but I read between the lines here and it looks like a case of someone jumping the gun. Likely MBC wants him cast and maybe the production company wants someone else, so the news was “leaked” to force the production company’s hand. Or vice-versa. The initial news report said that since Goddess of Fire was being written by the writer who did Warrior Baek Dong Soo, the guy wanted Ji Chang Wook and called him up. Except it appears poor Ji Chang Wook hasn’t been notified he was on the inside track for this coveted lead role hence when the news broke his side was left scrambling and going “what the heck just happened?” I guess there are worse things then getting accidentally cast opposite Moon Geun Young in a primetime drama. With that said, I’m betting the odds are 50/50 he is going to be the lead. Regardless of his agency’s denial this morning of the casting, they didn’t deny he would ever star in it. Until the casting is inked, I’m still hoping for my two top choices Kim Jae Wook or Song Joong Ki. But if neither is an option, I don’t have a problem with Ji Chang Wook. He’s already headlined a sageuk in Warrior Baek Dong Soo, and he’s had a string of turkeys last year with Bachelor Vegetable Store and Five Fingers so this is too good a chance to pass up. He’s one of the famed ’87ers along with Moon Geun Young so it will be a same-age pairing if this is true. What do you think about this potential pairing?
I can’t ever get over how amazing Moon Geun Young was in her sageuk Painter of the Wind. She’s going to knock Goddess of Fire out of the park, mark my words. As I said earlier, the writer did Warrior Baek Dong Soo, while the PD is an MBC veteran who did Ruler of Your Own World, Dr. Gang, and Heading to the Ground. This is an odd production team, and once again all my worries hinge on the writer. I think Ji Chang Wook and Moon Geun Young together would be a very unexpected pairing, but not one that would give me reason for concern. He’s a solid actor and always getting better, and I like the change of co-stars from someone older in Cheongdamdong Alice back to someone her own age. This drama is slated to air after Gu Family Book on Mon-Tues. Hopefully there won’t be sageuk exhaustion by the time it airs after four simultaneous primetime sageuks right before it.