Lee Jun Ki Courted for Period K-drama Set in 1930s Shanghai

A few months ago Lee Jun Ki told his fans that he would definitely be doing a drama this year, which was exactly the perfect morsel of news I needed to perk up since his sageuk Arang and the Magistrate didn’t own my heart or mind last year. I remained patient even as all these K-dramas got cast, wondering which one would be lucky enough to land him. My patience has just been rewarded with the first confirmed reports that Jun Ki is in serious talks to star in the upcoming period K-drama Inspiring Generation (or Grateful Generation). It’s set in 1930s Shanghai (squeeeeeeee, is this like a K-version of Shanghai Bund, because that would be EPIC) and is based on a manhwa by the writer of Damo the manhwa. The central conflict in the original manhwa is a Korean gang versus a Japanese gang showdown in 1930s Seoul. In the drama story, the protagonist is a hooligan hero named Shin Jung Tae, who adopts a goofy and carefree demeanor to the world but deep down loves his family and country. He hopes to liberate Korean from Japanese colonialism so he secretly battles the Japanese in Shanghai. He is described as using his fists to right wrongs in Shanghai as the top fighter in the city. He’s written as a very romantic leading man and this story has black comedy undertones. I heard the words fighting and Lee Jun Ki and my brain just shut down from the happiness if this comes true.

So this begs the question – who will be Jun Ki’s leading lady? I mentioned Han Ji Min for Go Soo’s new K-drama Golden Empire, but now there is talk Lee Yo Won might join him, which leaves Han Ji Min free to finally pair up with Lee Jun Ki. I say finally because he’s mentioned many times wanting to act with her. But this story sounds so much like Capital Scandal but set in Shanghai, and Han Ji Min did CS so the period setting might feel too much like déjà vu for her. This drama also sounds a lot like last year’s Gaksital. Let’s run down some of the available similar-aged leading ladies that pop to mind – Yoon Eun Hye, Moon Chae Won, Han Ga In, Park Min Young, Lee Yeon Hee, Nam Sang Mi, Choi Jung Won. There are no rumors yet on who is in the running but expect this to be a coveted role if Lee Jun Ki is confirmed as the lead. The drama is slated to air in September.


Lee Jun Ki Courted for Period K-drama Set in 1930s Shanghai — 40 Comments

  1. squeeeeeeee! It sound so interesting and most of the proposed female leadings would make a perfect otp with lee jun ki! I hope more promising news pop up soon 🙂

    • please PLEASE not Han Ga In though, her acting is flatter than pancakes and she and LJK would bring out the worst in each other, acting-wise (the opposite of what happened with him and Shin Mina)

      • omg yes! i don’t like han ga in either. she’s the only actress who’s presence i actually get irritated with. her performance in the Moon that Embraces the Sun was bad.

        anyway, really excited for this drama! i hope moon chae won picks this if han ji min isn’t going to do this.

    • Nah.. don’t think she mind that.
      Like what the above poster have mentioned, she took Nice Guy and she was happy for that (since she loved Eun Gi)

    • I’m with you…I also hope MCW will not be here..She just too amazing and look not suitable for this drama..i wish for mediocre actress.,if the drama success than the actress will get more recognize.and actually i hope MCW will be back with SAEGUK..<3

  2. OOh this sounds really cool and has the potential to be awesome with a good director/Writer team…I wouldn’t mind Moon Chae Won or even Han Hyo Joo if she’s available…I would like an underrated actress to be able to make a break too…someone like Lee Yoon Ji, Jung Rye Won or Im Joo Eun

    • Agree!!! MCW would be awesome! But I like much more Han Hyoo Joo, even if she was already with LJK in Iljimae, her character didn’t feel like the lead female… the other girl that was always following Iljimae had more screen than Han Hyoo Joo.

  3. This drama sounds like something I would LOVE. Capital Scandal forever has a special place in my heart. I hope the female counterpart is awesome. Of the listed, Nam Sang Mi (reunions!) or Moon Chae Won? Maybe they can go for older leading ladies? I really hope they get an actress who can act…

  4. Yay!!! NOW I’m excited! I really like him and I LOVE his fighting scenes! Wholeheartedly hope “in serious talk” means “deal sealed” in the immediate future. If Moon Chae Won joins him, I don’t know if I will be alive to watch it, though. My heart wouldn’t survive the joy! 😀

    • Be right there with you, darling! If Moon Chae Won takes this (and IIRC, she mentioned wanting to take some sort of spy-type action role), I would burst into flames with happiness.

  5. WOW! JUST WOW! This sounds absolutely made for Lee Jun Ki. In fact, now if anyone else is the lead in this drama I will be sad. I love him soooo much! Fighting! Period drama! Gangster type character! I’m so there!

  6. I vote for Yoon Eun Hye because I miss her onscreen….. She’s way too quiet now…. Also, since ockoala said that this sounds a bit like Capital Scandal, it might appeal to her as she was supposed to star in that drama but that didn’t pan out and she instead did Coffee Prince..

    • Agreed about Gaksital, and thankfully it’s only smelling faintly of it, which is just about right for me. I LOVED Gaksital, so I wouldn’t mind more in the same vein, but I don’t want something that’s too similar either. So faintly is just perfect to me ^^

      The recent news about Sword and Flower being something of a Goguryeo era Romeo & Juliet thing is giving me TOO strong of a TPM vibe atm..

  7. I don’t like any of the mentioned suggestions for leading actresses.
    Cause…… I’m biased lol, I would like for either Ha Ji Won or Soo Ae to be the lead 🙂

  8. not to rain on the parade, but i wish LJK would do something different, this sounds a little too much like iljimae but in the 30’s. I loved seeing him in TBDW and wish he would do something more contemporary. I am blatantly ignoring Hero cus that little ditty sucked like a baby on a thumb.

    • This.

      But I’d watch it anyway, it’s Lee Jun Ki after all. 😉

      Dear casting gods, NO Han Ga In *zzzzz* and NO Yoon Eun Hye (I Miss You destroyed my ability to watch her for good), please!

  9. Absolutely stunning picture. He is so beautiful. In fact, I think he might be more beautiful than any leading ladies paired with him.

  10. A chinese leading actress is possible. There were a lot of Korean, China and Taiwan collaboration lately. So this could be possibly happen.

  11. Dunno why it’s impossible for Jun Ki and Ji Min to be team up? They both have strong on screen chemistry. They known each other for long time and looks both compliments each other, they look great way back wedding couple for Andre Kim’s. Both are excellent actors respectively… I know Producers already knew that… Tnx. Hope it will materialize sooner than we think, just need a great project for this two great biz duo:D

  12. waaaa Jun Ki Oppa,, miss U so much, n I can’t wait for your up coming drama. I think with younger actrees would be great, but I can’t imagine yet who is that

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