The wonderful world of casting K-dramas keeps on turning like a perpetually wound up clock, the only difference is some dramas ink a cast well in advance while others scramble at the last minute and roll the dice. Last year Go Soo was supposed to return to dramas after a two year hiatus since he did Will it Snow for Christmas. The drama was the big-budgeted SBS sageuk The Great Seer, which had a quite a line up of production team and actors. I actually thought that drama would be a sure fire hit, but Go Soo must’ve seen something to make him drop out right before filming started and Ji Sung stepped in for him. The result was an epic mess of a drama that wasted the talents of its sprawling cast. Now the news is reporting that SBS is courting Go Soo for its upcoming period drama Golden Empire, which is slated to be a 30-episode epic airing on Mon-Tues following Jang Ok Jung, Live in Love. Go Soo’s management has revealed that he’s seriously considering this role, and the network honchos are saying he’s going to do it barring any unforeseen obstacles. It’s set in the 90s and deals with a turbulent time in Korean modernization and surrounds the metaphorical battle for a family empire when the financial crises strikes a chaebol group. What really excites me is the production team reunites the PD and screenwriter from last year’s thrilling The Chaser which also aired on SBS. Go Soo ought to be confirmed shortly and I’ll be excited to see who else joins the cast. The rumored leading lady is Han Ji Min and I’m not ready to render a verdict on whether she’s a good choice here or not.
I think visually Go Soo and Han Ji Min would look stunning together. He’s one of the few not very tall K-actors which he makes up for in charisma, while she is about the teeny tiniest little thing ever. Her pairing with Jung Woo Sung in Padam Padam: The Sound of His and Her Heartbeat was a visually funny show in and of itself. I’ve her found very hit and miss in projects, the miss part usually happens when she plays a fiesty or dogged character and she just comes across as one-note in her delivery (think “dig her heels in” look on her face). I think he’s a great television actor, the camera can spend minutes alone on his sad expression and soak up all the feels in his eyes. This will be a very high-profile project because of the production team alone, but if both Go Soo and Han Ji Min are cast, expect this to be one of the top ratings contenders in the Summer time slot.