Lee Jong Seok and Park Shin Hye in Talks to Headline Upcoming SBS Drama Pinocchio

Any consistent follower of K-drama filming and casting shouldn’t be surprised with today’s news that SBS is in talks with Lee Jong Seok and Park Shin Hye for its upcoming drama Pinocchio. This is the third drama in recent weeks to borrow either the title or the title/concept from Western works – there’s Three Musketeers over on tvN that is basically the novel story transplanted to Joseon Korea, and KBS is fast-tracking Ironman about a man with so much emotional pain he sprouts knives from his body. I wished someone on the IM team would have chosen the more apropos Wolverine for the drama title. Back to Pinocchio, the K-drama version will notย be about a puppet boy who tells lies and seeks adventure and then learns the value of telling the truth and the importance of family before being turned into a real boy. K-version Pinocchio is a modern drama set in the world of journalism, a setting that I most remember with Lee Jun Ki‘s Hero but there are more than a few dramas about news reporting.

This drama was openly courting talented Kim Woo Bin, who worked with SBS on Heirs and clearly the network knows a good thing and wants to elevate him to leading man status next. But Kim Woo Bin has been making movies this year since Heirs and ended up passing on Pinocchio for whatever reason. Pinocchio is from the writing-directing team behind the SBS hit I Hear Your Voice so when I heard Woo Bin passed I knew the next logical leading man choice would be Lee Jong Seok. He is also a SBS regular and this year gave it his best shot in Dr. Stranger of making sense out of nonsense. Park Shin Hye was of course the leading lady of the SBS cash cow Heirs so her name being courted for the lead is also not surprising. Lee Jong Seok and Park Shin Hye has worked together before on the advertising campaign for Korean casual clothing brand Jambangee and while the ads didn’t strike my fancy much last year now it’s cute eye candy after I’ve grown fond of Lee Jong Seok since DS.

There is still time left to cast Pinocchio if either or both Lee Jong Seok and Park Shin Hye pass on the drama. It doesn’t air untilย late November after My Lovely Girl (My Lovable Girl) with Rain and Krystal. My feeling on this casting call is positive but not overwhelmingly excited. I really like both Lee Jong Seok and Park Shin Hye but her side comes with so much feedback baggage these days that any drama she’s in will bound to have excessive commentary either about how she’s the best or how she’s totally overrated and lackluster. I miss the days when viewers could watch Park Shin Hye in character and just discuss the character and story. I think she’ll have good chemistry with Lee Jong Seok but I’m more interested in what kind of story the IHYV team wants to tell.


Lee Jong Seok and Park Shin Hye in Talks to Headline Upcoming SBS Drama Pinocchio — 44 Comments

  1. I totally agree with you about the excessive commentary on Park Shin Hye these days. It seemed that her role in Heirs came with a boatload of new fans and anti-fans (for the lack of a better term). It gets really tiring, to be honest, especially all the negativity. That role in Heirs wasn’t her best. Get over it already. The girl works hard. There’s time and space to improve.

    • I agree. She had decent performance in YAB and FBND. but in heirs she couldn’t do anything about the weak written character, crying and being miserable was all she had…
      the hate she is getting isn’t just abt her role but I also see some personal insulting which is truly nasty.

    • I agree with you I think they bash her success nothing more that , it turns to be personal hatred & fan girling rather than a discussion about drama .
      I really don’t understand their grudge :/

      • I am sure I will be accused of being a PSH hater – but really, I just find her very frustrating. She has all of this hotness in her modeling sessions – fine example above – but it never carries over into her acting, where she tends to be charmingly forthright and endearingly sturdy but impossibly stiff in the clinches. It’s sortof the way I feel about Jonghwa – I hear he is fantastic on stage, but that energy and charisma and, if the fangirls are to be believed, hotness – just doesn’t translate to film. So my conclusion is, PSH is good at some things but not well-rounded enough to satisfy me. I think part of the reason for her popularity is that she is so “safe” – she never brings anything dark to the table. It was big news when she actually got angry in FBND. I keep hoping she is going to stab somebody, and I am not usually a violent person! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        This sounds like it could perhaps be a cute and sweet drama, with a whiff of angst perhaps, and well within her wheelhouse. I am just glad that Kim Woo Bin turned it down, because a KWB/PSH pairing would just be all that hotness, gone to waste.

        I give this long explanation not to “hate” on PSH, but to try and illustrate that not all criticism is “hate.”

  2. I was sure the writer would want to reteam with LJS. Now as for PSH, I can’t say I’m surprised. Let’s just hope she will bring something new to the table (if PHR writes her as a 2014 empowered woman, that would help). I’m def onboard for the writer & ready for some crunchy social commentary.

  3. @Skelly : I wish to see Allkpop comments I don’t mean you or real recappers who I read your points of view , I want shin hye to change like everyone I accept the criticism who build not destroy .
    I criticise shin hye & I agree with what you say but insulting her is really I don’t understand .
    Heirs not the best & not the worst but the people put the blame in badly written character not the writer for me I wish she take her time before choosing anything .
    For me I wish her to do movies & gain good scripts .

    • I agree with you on the movies comment. I think PSH needs something to really stretch her abilities and help her grow as an actress, and I don’t think she is going to get that in dramas. I think dramas will continue to pigeon-hole her in these very safe but of course wildly popular roles, which means she is sortof treading water in terms of development of her craft.

  4. I liked Shin Hye in Heartstrings and You’re Beautiful. Her role in Heirs was a let down. I didn’t really like Lee Min Ho’s role in Heirs too. At this point I don’t know how I should feel a out Shin Hye paired up with Jong Suk. I’m afraid Jong Suk might have to carry the drama himself considering we don’t know the secondary leads, and the supporting casts yet. Evem so, Jong Suk might have to carry the drama himself. But, this is written by the IHYV team, so there should be a good chance that the story could help look past the low points.

  5. They are each coming from dramas that were a hot mess (yes, I know they got high ratings… but they were awful dramas).

    I’d hope they each choose something next that’s actually good, with solid, challenging, showcasing-their-talent roles. I do have to question why Woobie walked away… if it’s for anything other than serious scheduling conflict, I would say… run. Yeah, the team behind IHYV sounds promising but we also all remember that the legal parts of that drama were utter nonsense.

    I’ve liked some of LJS’s dramas (School 2013, IHYV), but PSH’s choices haven’t worked for me (and, yes, sorry, I have yet to find her acting anything more than average). YAB was alright (in my early drama watching days at least!), but Heartstrings, FBND and Heirs were middling to atrocious (FBND was the best of that bunch).

    Really sad how much โ€“ unneeded โ€“ photoshopping is going on in those pics.

    • You should try Cyrano Agency (it’s a movie and she is the second lead, an ice princess but in a cool way) or Heaven Tree (my fav PSH drama so far!). ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. Though I don’t like her in real life but I absolutely love her in modeling and movie role ; the miracle in cell no 7, cyrano agency, but her dramas are problem here. I loved her in the FBND but all her other work is a meh to me. I really hope that if she picked this drama she can show her potential and Can make people like me lo like her. PSH hwaiting !

    • Meaning in “real life”? I got confused now.Do you know her in her everyday life and you decided that you do not agree her personality ?

    • I’m sorry for my lack of English here I’m trying to say her personality in the variaty shows. She’s good but maybe no to my likings. Hopes that she can pick a drama that shows her skill.And I’ve almost forgot. I love her too in trees of heaven. ^^ one of my fave drama.

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  8. Ohhhh! This is a pairing I can get behind ๐Ÿ˜€ And I’m excited for what kind of story that particular writer-PD team intends to make!

  9. I don’t really have any faith with park shin hye as leading role (dissappointed by heirs, so far),
    But i have faith with lee jong suk and IHYV team ! I really love IHYV to the fact that it’s still my favorite korean drama all the time.

    Pinocchio~ i’ll waiting for you.

    • how her role suck her fault? People clearly can see the difference between one’s acting and writer script? She has no chance to shine in Heirs and everyone know how KES’s leading ladies are written…
      Why blaming on her?

      • lol why are u so angry?
        did i ever said something like her role in heirs sucks and it’s her fault?

  10. The thing is, she was bandied about as THE greatest actress of her generations in her early days, with solid performances in Stairway to Heaven, Heaven Tree, YAB, etc. And then girl found success and start acting in more projects that expose her limitations and now people bash her to no end bla bla bla. IMO, she’s strongest when she plays solemn, icy characters – cute and perky she cannot pull off. That’s why her role in FBND was great, that’s her forte right there. While Heirs, well, the less said the better.

    There’s nothing wrong with having limited range though, as long as you can be so damn good at it. PSH just needs to pick a good project.

    • i think Park Bo Young gets that title and not PSH (only her fans claim that).

      PSH would act more in movies, which give her more different roles. It s hard for her to hone her craft in kdramaland where 90% female leads are candy/poor/pure characters

      • believe or not PSH is more popular than PBY because she is doing both dramas and movies
        You might not like her dramas and think her roles aren’t challenging… Maybe you want to take a look at her movies where she allows herself to try more things there

  11. weirdly I am okay with this pairing mooorrreeeee than when they announce The Heirs pairing.

    I love both Lee Minho’s and Park Shinhye’s respective dramas before Heirs but I just give up from watching the show.. wait.. Yes, I give up on continuing the lovey dovey between the leads and ends up only watching Krystal, Minhyuk, Kim Jiwon & Kang Haneul parts only.

    for Lee Jongsuk I don’t have a chance to watch Doctor Stranger yet. so we’ll see.. cause I’ve watch all his dramas include Prosecutor Princess which he’s debuting.

    tho Lee Jongsuk and Woobin both seems SBS regular. I’ll never forget KBS for School 2013. I’ll never forget President Go and Park Heungsoo friendship foreverrrr.

    too much to say. I’m sorry. and. anticipate if they will take those roles. hopefully they will. ๐Ÿ˜€

  12. I’m not really a fan of her in Heirs but I think they could have good chemistry and I look forward to the pairing.

    But it would be nice if the female lead role went to some other talented rookie actress like Kim Ji Won or Lee Yoo Bi, if PSH passes on it. And never mind PSH but I will never cease to be shocked that Koala actualy likes LJS now! And for Dr Stranger (worst of his dramas) at that.

  13. wow, LJS and the IHYV team-up, daebak!

    i am not an antifan or a hater of PSH. she had been doing well but just up to some level. i just she can bring out something new of herself in this drama cuz LJS can be overacting at times but that is because he wants to stretch himself to the limit and PSH should start doing the same.

    • LJS is a decent actor but not great enough for his fans to bash Shinhye lol
      Her main fault is probably picking bad projects/roles

  14. I never watched Lee Jeong Seok because the first time I saw him in IHYV, I got distracted by his looks. His nostrils are small compared to his pointed nose – thus, I don’t watch him. The nose and nostrils don’t seem to be in proportion.

    As for PSH, I like her in FBND, Don’t Worry I’m a Ghost, Miracle in Cell 7, Cyrano and her earlier works where she played character roles. I don’t like her roles in Heartstrings and Heirs.

  15. I’m not a fan of Woobin. But I’m glad he didn’t take the role. Otherwise it would be like Jung YongHwa from You’re Beautiful to You’ve Fallen For Me.

    As for ShinHye she’s been in the industry for 10 years but her acting hasn’t improved. She might know about filming more but she needs to let her self into the character. She’s too aware sometimes we feel she’s acting. And sometimes she reacts before her partner spoken their lines…go back watch Heirs…at the famous line…’Do I like you’? In LA in the cinema. Minho hasn’t said anything yet. She already reacts…

  16. I am a big fan of PSH. I do not like her character in Heirs but I adore in YAB. I believe she can hit it with LJS. Looking forward to this drama. PSH, saranghae.

  17. I am so excited PSH has a new drama installed for her fans. I hope to see a different side of her. She looks so sexy in those latest photo shoots. She looks so good with LSJ. PSH, I support you all way bcuz you are my BEST.

  18. PSH is my korean favorite actress. I enjoyed all her dramas except her latest Heirs. It was a big let down. But whatever it is, I believe her combination with LJS would be good. They looked so easy together in those photo shoots. PSH, I still love you.

  19. It is always a joy to watch PSH act. I love and admire her as an actress. It does not matter what the world has to say about her but for me she is the BEST and will always stay that way. PSH, I miss you and look forward to all your future projects. Saranghae.

  20. PSH may not be a good kisser but I believe she would learn fast. I like LJS in DS. Hoping they would break the ice in this drama. I just adore this pairing. I am a great fan of PSH..

  21. Give me five. Yes, there is always room for improvement. I like the pairing of PSH and LJS. I hope it would be a drama worth watching. Come on guys you can do it.

  22. I thought PSH will not be doing a drama until next year. Wow, this is very very good news. I am wishing she would probably do one this year. Well, my wish came true. She and LJS would make a good pairing. I am looking to watching this drama. PSH, I adore you.

  23. PSH is looking so gorgeous in those pics. Looks like she did a make over. PSH, I miss you. I am so excited about your new drama with LJS. LJS is also mne of my favorite korean actors. I watched him in SG and started to like him. I very happy with the pairing ana I hope they would hit the screen. I would nn

  24. Sorry, I lost my earlier comments, it was incomplete. I watched LJS in SG and I started to like him. He is also one of my favorite. I am very with this pairing and I hope they would hit the screen. I would not want to miss this drama.

  25. I attended one of PSH’ fanmeeting in Japan this year. I notice that she is not only a talented actress but also a good performer. She looks so natural and yet so beautiful off screen. There is so much energy in her. I really love this girl. Sooo excited to see her with LJS in a new drama. Fighting….

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