Descendants of the Sun Casting and Production Updates

There’s been production updates surrounding Kim Eun Sook‘s upcoming drama Descendants of the Sun that are important enough to share. For those interested in either the drama, or because of the discussed potential leads Song Joong Ki or Song Hye Kyo, not sure if the latest leaks are good news or bad. First off, the production is dead set on confirming the leads no later than April due to the massive pre-filming undertaking to start in June. Song Joong Ki remains a lock unless something unexpected or drastic happens, and he is Kim Eun Sook’s desired leading man for his acting chops and widespread appeal to the Korean audience.

Song Hye Kyo is less of a lock at this time, the discussion around her casting is that she was offered the role and is considering, but the production adds diplomatically that Song Hye Kyo gets offered nearly every drama coming out of Korea so DotS is merely one of many she’s considering. That sounds like the drama is leaving room for her to decline but want her enough to publicly discuss this offer. The June filming start date remains fluid due to the overseas location shoot scouting and preparation required. The drama is set in a conflict zone, a fictional country much like the real life Syria or Ukraine situation where the government is battling rebels, and the medical relief work aspect comes in because a giant earthquake has recently hit the already war torn land.

Originally the drama was about the romance between doctors working abroad for Doctors Without Borders, but Kim Eun Sook revised the set up to the romance between a commander of a UN peacekeeping group and a doctor. The drama will be completely pre-filmed and almost entirely set in the fictional war torn country. But the setting of the war torn country will not be completely overseas location shoot, parts will also be filmed in Korea to stand in for the war torn country setting. Within the drama, scenes depicting Korea will only be for the drama ending, otherwise the entire story will take place in the war torn country. The title Descendants of the Sun represents the blazing hot like the sun passion of the characters in doing their jobs to help the people of the conflict zone, as well as their strongly held beliefs.

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Descendants of the Sun Casting and Production Updates — 67 Comments

  1. Of course we know the initial report on SHG is for public testing. After they saw the reaction-better create another media story.

    • OK I’m a huge fan of writer Kim Eun Sook and as an ahjumma with tons of duties (family, house, businesses, social life etc etc) her dramas are like oasis in the desert when I’m dry and tired.. her dramas are soothing, light and entertaining without too much killer makjang or cheesy overrated plot.. me like it.
      so I’m trying to figure out why she has chosen Song Joong Ki and Song Hye Kyo for the role of Captain Kim Shi Jin (34) and Army Doctor Yoon Myeong Joo (33) the ultimate DotS OTP..

      Song Joong Ki as we all know, will end his military enlistment on late May 2015.. like a bread that just baked fresh from the oven.. the warmth and goodness of military sense will still lingering on him.. SJK to me is the PERFECT one to play Captain Kim Shi Jin. And for SJK, it will be an interesting and exciting role to play since his last 2 years of life is mingled with all kind of military things.. from knowledge, composure, pose, uniform, arms, allegiance and whatever that in conjuction of an Army Captain’s character, SJK will nail it the role perfectly. He’s the ONE. Nobody can do better.

      for Song Hye Kyo.. come on have you girls watch That Winter the Wind Blows? and all her other big screen movies? the girl rocked! Not only she posseses that innocent beauty and young look but she also good in acting department.. otherwise John Woo that awesome world class Director won’t choose her right?
      Whose other Korean actress that have played in John Woo’s movies? or and played with the great Tony Leung??
      Kim Eun Sook must be thinking about who’s the actress that fit the role perfectly from the moment she wrote the drama and SHK’s classic and innocent beauty, her calm composure and her lovely voice are just some of the reason..

      I agree that SJK baby face look probably won’t fit the 34 years old Capt. Kim.. but who knows with his built up army body and intense work out.. a darker skin tone.. (as long as no mustache please) he’ll look like he’s above 30.. All the uniform and clothing for Captain Kim Shi Jin is tailor made perfectly in Song Joong Ki’s body.. he’s 178 cms (maybe few cms more with the army boots or shoes). I just can’t wait to see, absorb and spazz the glorious beauty of this drama…

    • When are netizens not mad about something though? If the producers would listen to them every time they wanted to do something they’d never get anything done.

    • They will ALWAYS be mad. Forever. There’s nothing she can do to change that. She bowed down and apologized more than once and corrected the problem. What else do people want from her? Seriously, I don’t think most viewers really care.

  2. Is anyone else super nervous about this overseas thing? I think it would be better if they stayed in E/SE Asia, and it seems like they might, if they’re talking about shooting parts of it in Korea. All I can say is I pray this ~made up place will not be some random fake African country, or any place with a majority black population (I have to say that reading the summary, the earthquake in Haiti five years ago springs to mind). They can butcher any language they want and I’ll get through it. I just cannot deal with Kdrama dealing with race–I have yet to see any person of color get treated like a human being, rather than a thug and/or scary rapist, in any Asian drama (Flames of Ambition came the closest–but even it had its y’all want some crack moment).

    • I have the same fear you have. Couple that with an increase chance of Koreans speaking English and and extras who are not professional actors and I start sweating.

    • since this is pre-filmed, hope they can dub those English lines. Some Korean artists speak English quite well like Lee Seung Gi, Han Ye-Seul, Go Ara, Lee Seo Jin,…

    • Haiti would be a good choice. I dont know where in South east Asia do they currently have conflicts. Maybe Thailand? For sure they can’t go film in Kashmir. Maybe they will shoot in Nepal like Nine?
      Africa would be too ambitious for a Korean drama. It has only been done well in Hollywood productions with massive budgets (think blood diamond, constant gardener, hotel rwanda).

      The english worries the heck out of me. At the end of the day, I don’t want this drama to crash and burn. Look at what happened to Hyun Bin with HJM. I cannot soldier through a bad drama for an actor’s sake.

  3. I think SJK being a lock means bad news for this drama. I’m sure he can act but sadly his coming into this drama with no momentum and being in the army 2 years didn’t help either. KES is overly ambitious so I hardly doubt that SJK will be her main lead male in this drama if this is true then something is definitely wrong? which means alot of actors with momentum ATM turned down this drama bc maybe they didn’t like the script they saw. You JUST don’t gamble with a big budget drama like this with SJK who have been gone for a long time

    • South Koreans still remember him fondly, but my fear is his lack of practice. 2 years is not a long time, but he wasn’t in the business that long before he went to the army so it might be challenging getting back in the water.

      • que? I have concerns for this drama relating to the overseas portion and Kim Eun Seok’s cliched writing of male and female leads but Song Joong Ki is the one part I can feel absolute confidence in.

        “Lack of practice” with 2 years away never hampered Lee Jun Ki, Kim Jae Won, Kim Jae Wook etc’s skills in their post-army projects, why is SJK suddenly a concern? It’s not as if he was ever called a bad actor.

    • Unlike other scriptwriters, Kim Eun Sook is very choosy when it comes to male/female lead. She was only rejected once for the male and female lead (Im Soo Jung and Jang Hyuk).. lol.. even Jang Dong Gun and Lee Min Ho did not play hard to get. So even though I think Song Joong Ki is not her first choice for this drama, I doubt that she approached many actors for this. It’s not more than 2 actors.

      I have to include also that many actors like Lee Dong Wook and Song Seung Hun went filming right after discharge. Filming a drama right after discharge or taking a rest before shooting won’t make a difference. At least, this one is not live shooting.

      • i heard several veteran A list actor reject this project, i think it’s true because the earlier article about this drama state that KES find top actor on 30’s. I also read somewhere when a gentleman dignity success JDG said that he was hesitant to take the role because Kim myung min n Joo Jin mo reject the role,I heard joo jin mo get many offer from KES but keep reject the role including this drama. we never know what happen behind the casting sometimes it’s true sometimes just rumour it doesn’t matter getting rejected role sometimes good, like Joo won role in Gaksital , many top A list actor reject the role because of many reason n that project make Joo won geting recognize for his acting talent

      • LOL, if you think she didn’t approach many of them then you’re being delusional. Everyone and their grandmothers turned down her drama: Won Bin, Jang Dong Gun, Jo In Sung, Joo Jin Mo, Kang Dong Won just to name a few… All of them matches better Kim Shi Jin than SJK (even if I love him). I don’t really feel her script if all those A-list stars refused it, I’m getting warry about the content.

    • seriously have you ever watch his dramas and movies? Song Joong Ki is one of the best. And I agree with Segafanlady.. he is the one who can play Captain Kim since to him it’s like doing what he does for the last 21 months..

    • But Knetz still remember him, he left after two hit projects and pretty much had people claiming he was the saviour of melodramas, which can be arguable. Not to mention he’ll be playing a solider… He’ll fit the role perfectly, it’s what he’s been doing for the last 2 years of his life. Also if their going to throw in bad English, with his education he’ll be able to handle those lines pretty well.

  4. the only couple who have never acting together but have successful ship in facebook and twitter for many year now with alot dedication is SHK and LMH. imagine if they get paired then the spamming will reach out of this world. Soompi will go down.

      • Hahah.. You mean the ”minkyo Magical couple” I find that ship sinful and the only reason they can’t debut in soompi is because its against the rules so they hang out in facebook and other websites.

        But on the other hand that ship have been going for a long time and I believe they deserve true marriage for their patience instead of sinful fornication and debut in soompi officially and I agree the server might go down in the process.

    • Lol.. don’t forget YEH-LMH ship. The thirst for Minhye is so strong on facebook and soompi. Atleast Minkyo shippers have LMH admitting SHK his ideal type for so many years. Well let’s see with whom he gonna get paired first lol 🙂

      • I forgot about that ship but they acted together in personal taste? she was playing his ex-girlfriend? its more legit! But LMH’s interview kick started the ship for real.

      • Yup she did cameo in PT. YEH and LMH both were in Paris this week(or still there?) for individual works and my twittetr,facebook timeline went berserk lmao. But they would look good together in a drama I must admit 😉

      • @K

        I heard they were in paris at the same time? it sounds pretty fishy to me as well.

      • What fishy stop spreading rumors? they want there on different plans and likely didn’t saw each other.

      • @melissa I read LMH was there for L’ Officiel Hommes shoot. Maybe YEH also for mag shoot.

      • Yeah I think they were there for different shoots. It was only shippers’ wishes that it’s for couple shoot lol

  5. Please give YEH this project…THE character is tailored made for her…

    and if they want an hallyu star to sell the project in china, YEH is ahead of SHK according to the latest poll by “Top Stars News”

    I don’t care about the male lead, YEH can have chemistry with a rock.

    But if it’s with LMH, it will be my dream come true.

    LMH was in Paris as the same time as YEH, but for different projects.

    Minho for L’Officiel Homme french magazine…and YEH for the french clothing brand Vanessa Bruno. She’s their new face.

    Dramagods…please make the LMH-YEH pairing happen….both are even #1 in Japan in male and female categories of Hallyu stars in Japan. The production house will have no issues selling this drama overseas with their pairing.

    • Yoon Eun Hye and Won Bin as a cast could have been great also…if only!!!! Beyond adversiment keeps popping up…Does not Kim Eun Sook want to blow our mind really this once!!!!!!!!!

  6. Hummm a fictional country. Is it too much to hope that they’ll use a language other than English? Cuz then I won’t know if it’s cringe worthy or not. Or might want to take a leaf out of Nodame’s book and just use korean. I don’t think KES knows how much her overseas shoots have failed, or she wouldn’t have keep making overseas dramas.

  7. very worry for the rating. if SHK get cast k-fan, still mad at her for her tex scandal.i hope they will cast MCW. she look so good with him.

  8. I’m really afraid there will be a lot of foreign actors in this and that scares the cap out of me because their acting is almost universally so bad it takes me totally out of the story. I wonder why KES wanted to do something so ambitious. Seems like such a bad idea.

  9. I’m getting Road No. 1 vibes which can only spell bad news. There’s a ton of great-sounding dramas coming up, this definitely isn’t one of them to me.

  10. i love song hye kyo.. she is my first bias after full house with rain. but i am allergic to kim eun suk drama.. skip this one.

  11. Ok, to the over-all-in-charge of this drama, keep on changing the cast, changing the script, might as well change the broadcasting time , oops what a dilemma, It’s inevitable to face unforeseen events in the production, i will just sit and watch how will it go, because from the very beginning, i have a feeling, that this will land on somebody else lap out of just nowhere because it is destined to be that way. I’ m not gonna argue with that.

  12. Somehow, i have an uncomfortable feeling about SJK doing this drama. He is a good actor. And i hope i’m wrong because sometimes i hate it when i’ m right. I was happy to be right , at kim soo hyun and lee min ho on their career when i told myself and even put in a forum , ( i was not a even a fan of them then)that they will go far when i first watch them . I hate it when i had a bad feeling about patk shi hoo when while i was watching his last tv series CA. Naah, i could be wrong time. I hope.

    • Just like ,the aura i feel for Han Groo & park seo-joon , that they will advance on their acting career . Both have that “it” factor that you can’t find among their league ( sorry out of the topic, just in reference to my prior post)

      • You are the most knowledgable poster I have came across in this blog. you said it how it is and how it should be said.

        I saw myself not only one but many noonas predict KSH greatness after seeing him in ”will it snow for christmas” and they were mostly amazed by the cry scene in the police station and everything else he did was magical.

        I have seen people talk highly about LMH way back in 2008 and some even saying he will become the face of korea and representative. but i didn’t bought the hype but boy was I wrong.

        This is what Kim Su-ro predicted about Lee Min Ho when he first saw him for the audition of Our school’s ET

        ”November 6 broadcast of the talk show MBC’s “Radio Star”, the MCs and guests talks about Kim Soo Ro’s ability of picking out actors who had bright futures ahead of them.

        He met Lee Min Ho in a movie audition, and he said about the then-rookie actor, “Lee Min Ho will become successful in the future so we must give him a chance.”

        “What I meant to say was that his visuals alone would be able to represent Korea,” the actor said, continuing his praise for Lee Min Ho. “He is someone who will definitely become a Hallyu star. I felt that when he reaches the age of thirty to forty, he will even go to Hollywood.”

        He also said that he put in a good word for Lee Min Ho’s casting in the movie “Our School E.T.” where they acted together. “There director has already chosen someone but I asked him to re-cast Lee Min Ho.”

        I feel now the same about Han Groo and Park seo-joon… Park Seo-jeon definitely had the factor in witch’s romance and same goes to Han groo in married not dating. You sir have an eye for talent

  13. It sounds like its not likely that shk will accept. Although I really would not mind her.

    I am a bit confused by all the concerns. KES has many hits under her belt. She has pull. I won’t comment on the quality but the ratings speak for themselves – they work with the Korean audience. This type of guaranteed ratings and love for the screenwriter is a perfect thing for sjk and his comeback drama. Plus he’s a great actor so I have no reservations at all about the acting part.

  14. “Song Hye Kyo gets offered nearly every drama coming out of Korea” I love how you said that. I really want to see Song HyeKyo and Song Jong Ki together in a drama, what an eye-candy to watch on screen. <3 Hope Song HyeKyo takes on this drama.

  15. yeah shk always the top choice for writers and production house…and for this time pleaseeeee shk accept the role, miss her so much in small screen.

  16. Gorgeous faces and great acting… gimme the luv story and sweet melodrama kisses with awesome OST and I am SOLD… life is too short to care about other blablabla in Krama world.. just sit back, relax and enjoy the drama.. KES’s pieces might be chessy for some but I enjoyed whatever fabulosity she offered..

  17. Yoon Eun Hye and Won Bin as a cast could have been great also…if only!!!! Beyond adversiment keeps popping up…Does not Kim Eun Sook want to blow our mind really this once!!!!!!!!!

  18. Excited that KES is doing another drama after the debacle that was Heirs (no disrespect to those who liked that drama), but I’m not feeling this casting at all.

    I think SJK is too boyish in his appearance to be playing a hardened Army lieutenant. I don’t know if I can buy that. And while SHK looks younger than her 33 yrs, she does appear a lot more mature (in her face and bearing) than he does, which might throw off their chemistry and make them appear more like older sister/younger brother rather than believable lovers. I generally dislike noona-romances exactly for this reason so this is not a good prospect for me.

    But it also seems like KES likes more traditional couples, where the man is older and richer/more powerful than the female lead so we’ll see. I’ll trust her to know what she’s doing. If he’s already confirmed as the male lead, then I hope SHK declines and an actress that can be more credibly paired with him gets chosen.

  19. It’s fun to read all the comments, opinions, and reaction to the casting news of DotS when the drama is now proved to be a huge hit.

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