The first ever official still is out for the upcoming period movie The King’s Wrath starring Hyun Bin in his first post-military acting role. The Korean title for the movie isn’t the literal translation into the English title but has its own deeper meaning. The title is 역린 (Yeokrin 逆鱗) which represents the scale on a mythical dragon’s neck which is untouchable because once touched the dragon’s rage is released. Therefore the title is intended to symbolize how the King of Joseon is like the all-powerful mythical dragon and when his untouchable point is pressed then his wrath is something to be reckoned with. Hyun Bin plays King Jeongjo, the 22nd King of Joseon and one of its rulers who dealt with tragedy and hardship through his reign. His father Crown Prince Sado was killed by his own father (Jeongo’s grandfather) King Yeongjo, and later during King Jeongjo’s reign the political war between the Noron and Soron factions was at its peak and he became caught between the two court factions. This movie has quite a solid cast of sageuk veterans, including leading lady Han Ji Min who is quite familiar with the King Jeongjo story since she starred in the drama Yi San with Lee Seo Jin as King Jeongjo.
In this movie, Han Ji Min plays a political rival to Jeongjo as Queen Jeongsun, the wife of the late King Yeongjo. This makes Han Ji Min’s character the “grandmother” to Hyun Bin’s character in the movie which is pretty amusing. Usually playing the baddie, this time Jung Jae Young is the assassin sent to kill the king who goes undercover as a royal bodyguard but who becomes convinced of Jeonjo’s fitness to rule and doesn’t follow through with his assignment. Later Jo Jung Seok is sent as another assassin to finish the job. King Jeongjo isn’t fighting for power all alone as Park Sung Woong is a politician who strongly supports the King. While understandably a male heavy cast what with the assassination attempt main plot, Jung Eun Chae plays a court lady in charge of the king’s clothing and is the first love of assassin played by Jo Jung Seok. Another reason I’m excited about this movie is that it’s the feature film debut of director Lee Jae Kyu who directed some of my favorite dramas including Damo, Fashion 70’s, Beethoven Virus, and The King 2 Hearts. The movie is slated for a release in mid-2014. I think Binnie decided wisely to do a movie and to challenge his first sageuk role in the tragic and compelling figure of King Jeongjo. He has such expressive eyes and I can only image the firepower he can transmit on the big screen with very controlled acting and lots of unsaid intensity.