Ji Soo Offered Male Lead in Sageuk Moon Rising Over the River Opposite Kim So Hyun in a Page Turner Reunion

This has so much potential to be awesome or awesomely trainwreck. Man, I love me some rough angry boy Ji Soo but he was so so sooooo bad in Moon Lovers: Scarlet Heart Ryeo which convinced me he should stay far far away from sageuks. But now he’s coming back and playing his 8th brother Kang Ha Neul’s son lololol, OMG I need to see this. Ji Soo has been offered the male lead role in the upcoming sageuk Moon Rising Over the River (formerly Cut to the Heart). Originally aged older with leads Son Ye Jin and Kang Ha Neul, both passed though Kang Ha Neul will be doing a guest starring turn as the father of the male lead. Then the production shaved ten years off the age and cast Kim So Hyun as the female lead which feels so apropos since her nickname is little Son Ye Jin when she first debuted. She also worked with Ji Soo a few years ago in the short drama Page Turner so this will be a reunion of the two. I hope Ji Soo does an immersion class into sageuk acting because his 14th Prince gave me so many unintentional laughs. This is becoming must watch as the drama premieres on MBC in March of 2021.


Ji Soo Offered Male Lead in Sageuk Moon Rising Over the River Opposite Kim So Hyun in a Page Turner Reunion — 82 Comments

  1. Its a very weak male casting. Rumour has it the IT boys all turned down the drama as there’s actually a book version that the story is inspired from and no one bought into the premise of the story. Throw in a scriptwriter with limited success in delivering dramas with high ratings even kim so hyun headlining could not bring a bigger male star to sign on. The early signs do not bode well for the drama. I am very disappointed the eell known first choice for her passed on this project at the very last minute. Anyway – I have watched 90% of her dramas and will continue to support her on this one despite my disappointment with the ML casting. Sigh.

    • There’s no book that this story is inspired from it’s based on folklore. Those two are not the same things. Most of the accounts of the three Kingdom era come from an ancient text as does this folklore. I’m not sure what you mean by ‘IT’ boys but Jisoo has never not been popular. He just signed a contract with Keyeast you think they would have taken him in if he wasn’t popular. This drama is more female centric and even Kang Haneul couldn’t give it up fully and committed to a cameo even before any casts were announced. Kim Sohyun dramas have never had big named male leads SHE made them into big named male leads. The only name any Kim Sohyun drama ever needs is KIM SOHYUN.

      • @alice
        I agree that she doesnt need big names male leads but it would be nice for her to work with them.

        I have many worries for this drama too, despite the potential mess, I’m just going to watch it solely for her acting unless the drama turns out to be very awful lol

      • @Laura You make no sense! You want her to be in a female centric drama and then you want an A list star! Do you want her to end up like PSD in ROY? They’ll sideline her like they did in RMOTM. She needs to work with rookies and less popular actors if she wants the script to give her something to do. You’re not watching this for the male lead you’re watching it for her so who cares who the male lead is! You want her drama to get ratings or you want her to have screen time!

      • @mary
        I understand your concerns but at the same time just because she’s paired up with well known actors doesn’t mean she will automatically be sidelined, it’s just unfortunate it happened in the past. There’s many dramas where the female lead has a bigger role than the male lead despite fame or popularity. It mostly depends on the writer. It’s important to care about male leads because they affect the quality of dramas. I like ji soo don’t get me wrong but I had other more favorable candidates in mind. What’s wrong with wanting both ratings and screen time?

      • KSH hasn’t reached the level to not be sidelined by A list male leads. This drama is already problematic because of the scriptwriter and director but also because of the production company. They are the same ones who screwed over PHJ and tried to stop him from taking on new projects. Everything they’ve made till now except for Something in Bali and Empress Ki has been poor quality and flops. The hopes for this drama getting ratings is non existent. The only thing to focus on is KSH being the sole focus of this story. Finally something that revolves only around her with a strong character. No A list male lead would agree to that he would force the script to be changed to focus on him instead. KSH dramas have never had ratings and never will for several years until KES or PHR pick her up. Just focus on her acting till then if you don’t want another RMOTM situation.

      • I strongly agree!!! KSH is the reason why every male lead that she work with had a big name now well i mean they are now more popular not only by name but also their craft unlike before. Yes we may be greatful if KSH will work with big actors but don’t think that Jisoo is not a big actor because he works with great drama, movies and great actors and actresses so he deserves it. If you want KSH work with Big actors let’s wait for that time and yet this is not her last project because there are so much projects that surely to look forward to her in the future because KSH is a good actress.

      • Seo Kang Joon. The actor does not have big hits under his belt as well (save for Watcher which was an ensemble cast and Cheese in the Trap – good or bad still buzzed huge in Korea) but he is legitimately in the lead actor category and a big name with advertisers. Just yesterday Korean media released several articles on his “sculpture visuals” coined by advertisers of his new ad campaign. Such brand association articles are usually picked up by 2-3 media outlets as its an advertorial but the fact multiple media picked up the story, the interest in him is really high and would have translated to more buzz for this drama if he had accepted. Anyway either military beckons and he will be announcing enlistment soon or he probably found a better project to be his last before going in. The 93 liners like Park Bo Gum and Jung Garam have all enlisted recently. Even an idol like Baekyeon or Chanyeol at this point will generate more buzz. Disappointing for sure.

      • He’s my first choice too! But victory content is not following his IG that’s why i assumed he’s not been considered for the role. On the other hand they are following KMJ— my second choice. So I’m going to keep my fingers crossed for this one.

      • @bree… and to call me out as a liar as you know this because? You were privy to the meetings the director had with agencies? or maybe you know seo kang joon personally? Or perhaps Kim So Hyun. Yea… I am sorry if this information offends you. After all we only do product placements in dramas so casting information is critical in helping to recommend the ad spend for clients. Job aside, I am still human, watch dramas and have faves. And I am sorry that being korean and speaking good english and also participating in an international blog is shocking to you.

      • @Lydia LOL who are you trying to fool you troll? You’re a Korean? Really? How come you didn’t even know this was based on a popular folklore and not a book. Stay from making speculations about things you know nothing about.

      • @winner

        ikr? so many loopholes in her story. is she is an insider or something like that? i don’t know what is her motif but to bo honest, her talking just brought the morale down among the fans. she is so sure for something which doesn’t happened yet. i couldn’t help but feel doubt. but if she is really an insider, wow that’s cool

      • I tried searching for news about it and could not find any. If its true thats so disappointing …

      • They talked to many many actors actually. These news don’t get covered. Because it will be seen as mediaplay. They already did it to Son Ye Jin and I doubt that she ever did consider the offer seriously since its totally age off. I do think however SKJ’s management was considering it seriously for a while. Might be military reason or maybe they want to pick something less exhausting for him since Sageuks can be time consuming and challenging. For sure he does not have that much time to enlistment.

      • You’re literally spinning lies. It never happened and he never turned it down because he was never offered. This is rubbish stop making things up.

      • Agree. Smart and Intelligent too. I wonder how she does it? she is busy working and at the same time studying in one of the prestigious univerities in South Korea. She did not forego College to focus solely on acting. What a hardworking young woman she is!!! beauty, talent and Brains Indeed. Im just so proud of her.

  2. I realized that I prefer him as a second lead than a main lead. In Page Turner, I prefered Shin Jae Ha, in When I was the most beautiful Ha Seok Jin. In My Sassy Girl, he was very pitiful but I didn’t have second lead syndrom. So I would prefer someone else as a lead.

    • Sadly its set in stone this casting. Lets hope he does not over act which he sometimes has the propensity to. And their chemistry better than page turner. He is very much for me still a second lead and not quite male lead status yet. But can’t do anything. So many passed on the project. *smh*

      • To you. Hello. If i prefer Shin Jae Ha’s chem with her than Ji Soo’s… can I call you blind too? Smh *woke*

      • @ Mary
        It’s just opinions so it’s not a big deal if people disagree, and in my opinion she did have amazing chemistry with both male leads in page turners. Anyways, I hope their chemistry will be even more developed and can be carried over in historical period.

  3. Jisoo may not have much experience with saegeuk dramas but he is a talented actor and they were brilliant together in page turner.

  4. Initially I was very excited by this news because their chemistry was off the charts in page turner but reading this article, I didn’t know he didn’t do well in the acting department in his first historical drama since I didn’t watch it. So I will lower my expectations. It seems both Kims will have to carry their historical dramas on their shoulders. That’s quite pitiful.

  5. Their chemistry in Page Turner was fantastic and I do love Ji Soo, but I agree that if he doesn’t seriously brush up his Sageuk acting this could be painful. Please make this work, Ji Soo! I haven’t liked any of the dramas he has done lately and I do miss him. Kim So Hyun is such a good sageuk actress that I really hope she doesn’t have to completely carry this. It would be like Lee Joon Gi and IU in Moonlovers but in reverse.

  6. his 1st historical drama was like 5 years ago? and maybe that prince character didn’t suit him? (I’ve watch moon lovers, but i didn’t notice something wrong about his actimg). Instead, it’s already 5 years ago. Hopefully his acting really improves these years. And his character in page Turner, he executed it excellently! maybe acting in that type of character suited him the best. So this ondal may suit him the best

    • He wasn’t the best in ML but he has the experience to do historical dramas! People are just throwing a fuss for no reason! This drama is about KSH and her story to become King!

      • If the male lead is weak it’ll be better for KSH! The writer will only write for her! We don’t need romance we need KSH doing action stunts and becoming King!

    • Yes we may say that their acting skill should be great because it gives a good impact to the viewers but sometimes let us focus on the storyline.
      I noticed that at first 3 episodes but because I am too focused in the storyline without knowing it I’m enjoying their acting. Let us appreciate the story,actors are a special bonus to us. ☺️

  7. I agree with the comment that So Hyun and Yoo Jung will hard carry their new dramas because of the weak male lead casting. Sigh. YJ with AHS. SH with JS.

    Hope these male leads are not yet final to find for a better suited one to the girls. Someone with good acting chops.

  8. I’ve seen Ji Soo’s work. I don’t think he’s the strongest male lead out there, there’s a reason why he’s been stuck in second male leads and bit parts for so long. Speaking of which, she had a great deal more chemistry with Shin Jae ha in Page Turner than she did with Ji Soo, even though he was lead in that drama. I like him as a person, but I do hope he turns it down and they can pair her with someone else who’ll have better onscreen chemistry with her. She’s awesome in Sagueks, and with the right partner and a decent script, this drama could be a hit.

    • Yeah. So Hyun is long overdue for a big hit drama in Korea. I know that her dramas are extremely popular overseas but she needs at least one drama which will be a big hit domestically.

      Anyways, we don’t when will it happen. It may take longer like So Ye Jin in CLOY or earlier like SHK in Full House.

      • @myrrana. You hit the nail straight on point. There is so much expectation for this girl amongst fans and even the K-entertainment circle for her to break out. She is beautiful and talented but cannot propel into the Alist zone simply due to her lack of that one big drama with crazy ratings. To date her most buzzed about drama in Korea is still School 2015 and everything after is lukewarm reception. As her fan for many years, it is frustrating. Her collaboration with Yoo Seung Ho was supposed to be that IT drama but the shitty writing and direction did them in (MBC again). Nokdu was awesome for international fans but despite good story telling, ratings were only so-so because Jang Dong Yoon just wasn’t buzz worthy enough a name to pull the drama to greater heights in spite of the unique story line. With this casting plus the fact that it is going to be aired on the weakest terrestrial station in korea now (even newbie channel A has better ratings than MBC) – it went from being a hill to climb to becoming mountain. Unless Netflix buys this and give it a little hype push, I am not sure which factor can help it become buzz worthy. Kim So Hyun alone won’t and can’t bring the ratings. P.s – no hope on lead change. They start filming this month.

      • Yeah. Everyone is rooting for her. Recently, I watched an old youtube video from arirang channel. The media are very supportive that So Hyun will be Korea’s next A-list actress in both TV and movie industry.

        Aside from School 2015,I think LA is also a very buzzy drama because of Netflix. Further, although Ruler is a ratings hit won many awards and acquired by Japanese TV channel, I don’t want So Hyun to be associated with that drama because the writer did bad in her character.

        I know high TV ratings are really difficult to achieve now. But let’s hope that So Hyun will finally snatch that one big project which will propel her to superstardom.

      • so.. let’s lower our expectations.. it will only hurt us if we expect too much. let’s just pray for the best for their acting. sso is still young and she still has love alarm s2 under her belt. if this moon river still don’t give her a big hit domestically, hopefully she would have it in her next drama

      • @hjw

        I absolutely agree. At the end of the day, career success in K-entertainment is measured by longevity. I know many Korean stars who achieved early successes in their careers but were not able to last in the industry. Unfortunately, they are now considered as nobody in the business. Hence, let us not push for So Hyun to hit it big. It will come in an expected way.

      • KSH career is like PMY the male leads always end becoming more popular! Ratings is not possible at this age! Wait till she is much older and works with big writers like KES and PHR!

      • I guess she might have a big chance to work with PHR. They’ve worked in several productions before like Page Turner, WYWS, and ICHYV. As for KES, she acted as the queen in Goblin and she has the aura of a KES leading lady. So, yes, chances are high that she will take these big name writers by storm as soon as she matures enough.

      • KSH isn’t in the Alist excuse me what? She has been in the Alist since School 2015 and has never left. There isn’t a single actor or actress her age who is more popular or successful than her. Who told you JDY isn’t buzz worthy when he basically has the same amount of fan sites as LJW or CEW. His new drama has crazy buzz and it has nothing to do with Krystal. KSH drama ratings are always low because they aim for younger audiences who never watch live tv which is why the online popularity of every single drama she does is high. This drama is already buzz worthy its been trending on Naver ever since she got cast. None of her peers trend for casting news but KSH always trends whenever she announces a new drama. What is with the negativity here the girl is only 21 not even PSH or SHK were this popular at her age.

      • @myrrana yes.. slowly but surely. let sso has her own paces. for now, what we can only do is to pray for the best for her. even I really really want her to hit big for this drama, but reading the comments about the obstacle factors from others, we should be realistic but optimistic. but I’ll still keep believing that she can carry this drama. After all, she proved it in her past dramas(SCHOOL2015, LFG, RARO, NOKDU, LA, p/s:I also don’t want to associate her with ruler 🙄) . No one knows whether this drama is a hit or a miss until it is airing. Let’s just pray for the best keep a low expectation. Who knows right it might be like TWOTM who had a lower expectations (internationally at least) but at the end become a BOOM! So don’t expect too much is simply the best

      • No matter how good an actor or actress is, one actor cannot carry a drama regardless of how good the script is. He/she needs to be able to bounce off their reactions with their costars in order to generate chemistry and captivate the audience. It’s like rowing a boat, everyone needs to do their part well otherwise the drama will end up merely passable not great. So the idea of focusing on KSH only is really shortsighted. We all want her to do well in her dramas, she’s talented, hardworking and has a good head on her shoulders. I would hate for her to have another barely passable drama after doing the heavy lifting because her costars aren’t carrying their weight. Look at Bride of the Water God, or Rookie Historian Goo Haeryung as dramas with weak male leads. Thankfully, Ji Soo is better than each of the aforementioned leads, so I have some hope for this drama.

      • Rookie Historian was a hit and Joo Won in Bridal Mask says ‘Hi’. Both leads can rarely shine in a drama. I’m on team ‘who cares about the male lead’ because men shouldn’t matter in a drama about women.

  9. Personally, I am not a fan. I know Ji Soo is good, but I think he lacks of male lead charisma, and that’s why he always stuck in second lead roles. And more importantly, he doesn’t have enough fan base. Having a strong fan base really matter in actors career. His peers like Nam Joo Hyuk and Seo Kang Joon really have bigger fanbase than him.
    For example, A talented and critically acclaimed actor Joo Won really had a lot of hits under his belt, but sadly he doesn’t have enough fanbase. In comparison, Ji Chang Wook has strong fanbase, he didn’t even have a lot of hits. For an actor career, having a strong fanbase is better than critical accliam.

    • Its funny you mentioned this. Actually Seo Kang joon is not in Ji Soo’s peer line (He debuted in 2012). He is best known for being in the prolific 93 line and his peers are Park Bo Gum/Yoo Seung Ho/Lee Hyun Woo. Park Bo Gum/Yoo Seung Ho/Seo Kang Joon are mostly mentioned together with Park being the top of the line for advertisers due to his ratings record followed by SKJ then Yoo Seung Ho but acting abilities wise, YSH is actually the veteran with PBG and SKJ trailing behind him. This line is very famous in Korea because no other year has produced top visuals like the ones mentioned above. Ji Soo is also not seen as leading actor material yet whereas NJH went into lead actor status on his third production. Hence its hard to classify them as peers as well. Anyway the industry is complicated and the indexes of measurement even more so. BTW – Joo Won has a massive fanbase in Korea but can’t move tickets at his overseas fanmeetings whereas JCW is the complete opposite here. Joo Won is a big name in the casting field as he has never had a rating boo boo. If you secure him in any TV productions, its almost a guarantee that advertisers will flock in. Evidenced by him receiving over 50 scripts since returning from the military and choosing Alice. (p.s – this information is out there, can just google and reference it. The director of Alice said so himself).

      • i agree with you about joowon and ji chang wook. even tho joowon didn’t have a strong fanbased like jcw (which i believe jcw strong fanbase is more leaning internationally) but it’s better to have many critical acclaimed projects like jowoon. in fact, i think it’s a ‘sin’ to associate joowon with jcw, because i would say joowon is a king of rating in korea. so for me, it’s better to have a better critical acclaimed projects than a strong fanbase.

      • Wow! I didn’t know that they are of the same line. YSH should capitalize his early MS and choose a better script bec he’s the best actor among the three.
        KSH already worked with the 2 of them, PBG the remaining one and one of my dream pairing! Hopefully when he gets back… and a shyshy Couple reunion in between. Hehe

      • Sorry but YSH is a complete flop
        He can’t carry a single drama on his own and gets outshined every single time. I would never want KSH to suffer through working with him again.

  10. In Strong fanbase and critical acclaimed acting skills/projects, I think both are important. Look at Kim Soo Hyun, he has both, that’s why he stayed at the top for a long time.
    Guys like LMH and JCW, they mainly work on their strong fanbase both internationally and locally. It doesn’t mean they are bad actors. They’re very good in their respective genre.
    There is another guy like LJS who is also a hallyu star + has enough acclaimed acting skills, but not on KSH level.
    Joo Won is not a case here. He is not trendy as he used to be (see his Instagram followers). His Instagram following is nothing compared to LMH, LJS, JCW, PSJ and KSH.
    NJH is potentially going to the same route with LMH and JCW.

    • Joo Won is talented but not someone that murmurs much interest, sorry to say. He lacks that IT factor that other Hallyu stars have. He’s talented no doubt, but someone who is more of a character actor than star, that’s fine too. A character actor suck in leading man looks, at least he takes on scripts that aren’t romance focused unlike Ji Chang Wook (Who has hype but no talent/skill/awards to back it on).

  11. I don’t hate Jiso. It’s just that I haven’t seen his acting that really made a mark. Her character in every drama gives the same impression. When the drama was being offered to Son Ye Jin and Kang Ha Neul, it seemed to have a dark romance. They wrote that it was a tragic love story, and I thought the characters in the drama were strong. I think that Jiso’s acting ability is still very weak compared to Kang Haeul. I’m afraid he won’t succeed in creating a strong but tragic character. It feels like some deep character play is needed, and I’m sorry, I doubt Jiso has that charisma. Many have said that maybe the story will be changed to a more youthful and comedic version, but I honestly don’t expect any changes. Kim So Hyun had to play a dark and strong character. If this was just an ordinary romantic comedy, it wouldn’t challenge her acting skills. Too ordinary.

  12. I don’t hate Jiso. It’s just that I haven’t seen his acting that really made a mark. His character in every drama gives the same impression. When the drama was being offered to Son Ye Jin and Kang Ha Neul, it seemed to have a dark romance. They wrote that it was a tragic love story, and I thought the characters in the drama were strong. I think that Jiso’s acting ability is still very weak compared to Kang Haeul. I’m afraid he won’t succeed in creating a strong but tragic character. It feels like some deep character play is needed, and I’m sorry, I doubt Jiso has that charisma. Many have said that maybe the story will be changed to a more youthful and comedic version, but I honestly don’t expect any changes. Kim So Hyun had to play a dark and strong character. If this was just an ordinary romantic comedy, it wouldn’t challenge her acting skills. Too ordinary.

  13. aww, such a downgrade from her previous protagonist. Jisoo does not have IT factor to be a leading man in my opinion. he is better as a 2nd lead I will pass this

  14. @Joane, what do you call Love Alarm? It’s one of the most-watched Netflix series in 2019.

    Unlike Yoo Jung who has LITM but did not benefit from its success because PBG overshadowed her in that drama.

    Yoo Jung also needs to rely on old oppas in order to get high ratings. But it did not work because her last 2 dramas both flop in ratings.

    Unlike So Hyun who can carry a drama and make it popular despite of its non-big name leads.

  15. i don’t know why u guys are so afraid with jisoo.. i just saw his award nominations, and he was nominated in sevaral prestigious award (he didn’t win, but still, he was a nominee). so it means that he has a potential. so just stay relax ok

  16. @Joane

    Kim So Hyun has Love Alarm as hit under her belt. It is well received domestically and most important internationally.

    Don’t also forget that most of her dramas are youth-oriented. Hence, their ratings are justified and it garnered a lot of buzz from Korean youth during its run.

    If you want to make Yoo Jung to look superior, sorry to tell that she is flopping so hard in her last two dramas. Both were adult dramas but failed to attract adult audience.

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