Lee Min Ho Signs on for Apple+ K-drama Adaptation of Award Winning Novel Pachinko About Korean Immigrants in Japan

Wow, everything about this project sounds great! Hallyu top star actor Lee Min Ho has picked his next acting project and it’s an elevation of K-dramas to a broader audience. He will be the male lead for streaming platform Apple+ 8-episode adaptation into a K-drama the award winning novel Pachinko. The novel follows three generations of Koreans starting during the turn of the century all the way to the modern age, centering around one family with a mother, the father of her first son, and her husband with whom she has a second son. The matriarch moves from Korea to Japan before WWII and the story follows her family trials and tribulations being highly discriminated against immigrants in the closed knit mono-ethnic Japanese society. The novel sounds fantastic, like a Korean-Japanese version of The Joy Luck Club and I think it will both elevate Lee Min Ho to more auteur fare and also use his popularity to bring a more serious thoughtful story to a broader audience.


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Lee Min Ho Signs on for Apple+ K-drama Adaptation of Award Winning Novel Pachinko About Korean Immigrants in Japan — 33 Comments

  1. So he’s either playing Koh Hansu or Baek Isak? Well, if it’s Koh Hansu it’ll be his 832894 role as a wealthy man lmao. The King Eternal CHAEBOL. Yikes.

    • He is though. The dude got a “bleep” amount of money for the King. Look, I don’t find him all that great an actor or with to die for greek god visuals but there is no denying he is the top hallyu star from Korea right now. And yet there were many detractors that thought his commanding fees will drop for his next project with the stinker of The King in domestic ratings. Then this happened. LOL. King of reversals for sure. That Hallyu king seat that he’s sitting on is not going to anyone else anytime soon.

      • There is no such thing as consistent highest paid actor because of the volatility of the market. Actors pay-out is always a result of a business negotiation, of course, popularity can play an important role but its not an absolute basis of talent’s market value.

        That is why real influential actors and those with solid market value don’t have CF, because they promote their OWN brand and not someone else. If they do, they’d make sure that they are engaged with a brand or product that do not put them in a difficult situation or something not in conflict to their own brand.

        Talking about social media. Social Influencers, while they do earn good money, are not the top earners.

        Talking about Reese and Jennifer Aniston, FYI, they are the producers of those TV programs.

    • He is not a great actor but we can’t deny he is a top hallyu King. He got so many mega hallyu hits under his belt like BOF, City Hunter, The Heirs and LOTBS. He also tops government survey along with BTS which is very huge these days. Hence, let us not keep a blind eye that he is a legit top hallyu star.

      • He can’t be the top hallyu king and not be a great actor? It’s contradicting. I agree he has many hits under his belt. His definitely a captivating actor and sensational which causes alot of craze and him bonding with the audience thru his acting. By all metrics his definitely a great actor

      • I was watching his drama ”I am Sam” Recently with Park Min Young and his not even the lead there but I realized after watching that just how great of an actor he is. You could see so much potential! He plays this class clown loud mouth whos endearing and that is before he got famous. He was so cheeky, flirty, playful, child like spirit, and hiliarious.

        His an actor with a great acting skills and knows how to charm. I think his craftiness comes from his cheeky personality and playfulness. his naughty and his not afraid of pulling things others may be shy off

      • He’s undoubtedly a top Halyu star and its been acknowledged in the entertainment world, bu different agencies/business corp. He worked hard for it. His tv series Boys Over Flowers opened opportunities for Korean Dramas to spread over Asia and the world. He’s a passionate actor and that’s proven by numerous best actor awards he received. So you better believe it

    • “Hallyu Top Star Actor”. Yes, there is something patronizing about how Koala wrote it. Lol. She managed to make a praise come off as condescending.

    • He is though (Hallyu Top Star) and I acknowledge this without being biased. I am not even a fan. There is a reason he is dubbed “Hallyu King” and other similar names. Hallyu = Korean Wave/spread of Korean culture overseas. You cant mention it without including Lee Min Ho and no actor past or present has had that much impact like he had in spreading it. Some Korean actors and actresses are called hallyu stars but their influence and popularity is really only limited to East and South East Asia. Lee Min Ho’s face is known globally for those who are interested in Korean drama or East Asian entertainment. To put it in context, go to Africa (South, East, West and North) where the demographic that watches Kdrama and East Asian movies is very small and most would recognise his face. Pirated DVDs of his dramas can be found on African street markets. If netflix was successful to average folks there, the King would be a hit there too. Thats how influential he is. The only other Korean actor’s face that can be recognised globally but to a smaller extent than Lee Min Ho is Kim Soo Hyun. LMH has a significant fanbase stretching all the way to Latin America, several parts of Europe and North America too. This is why he rarely flops and is a “hallyu king”. I think in his filmography post- BOF. Only Faith and Personal Taste was the only one that didnt have any real impact overseas.

  2. I have just finished reading the book and bam! came the news of his casting. Tbh, I never imagine him playing any character in Pachinko but it’s still an exciting casting news overall.

    Please, just do justice to the novel.

  3. Wait..When did he accept the project?? Last time when I saw the news it said that he was positively reviewing the offer..
    Maybe I missed something..

  4. This will not center around him…it centers around the Sunja….he will probably play Mozasu or Noa. Its a wonderful book, it highlights the struggle of displaced Koreans in Japan and the identity conflict well. 8 episodes is not enough. This needs 20 episodes. But I am curious who they cast as Sunja, Isak and Hansu.

  5. Thats why I kept saying he is korea’s highest paid actor. He does not mediaplay his fees but legitly the No.1 go to actor in Korea for bigwig western companies who go by “fame”. With the largest instagram, weibo and facebook following amongst all korean actors, naturally the numbers give him the clout. Apple TV paid Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon both 2mil per ep each for The Morning Show. They are well known to shell out the big bucks. For a channel that is not even launched in Korea, scary to think the numbers that they have inked Lee Min Ho to for this project. Good on him I guess. The King probably only diminished his star power in Korea but not anywhere else judging by his high profile region wide endorsements recently. This show will be helmed by star writers for sure and I hope this time, he gets a better storyline and a co-star that will spark with him better. Looking forward to it ^^

    • Yeah. I also agree that he is either the no. 1 or no. 2 highest paid actor. He is extremely popular overseas. Thanks to Legendary BOF.

      I think his agency needs a bit of a mediaplay to reveal the 80% of his salary so these antis will stop deluding themselves that LMH is not as big as their faves.

      • Actually his agency is his sister. She is the CEO. I think it might be a collective family decision not to mediaplay his earnings and also to keep things low profile on the personal side of things and just work the professional. It was a brilliant decision in hindsight though because The King was so panned by critics and many korean fans alike. Can you imagine if they had mediaplayed how much he got per episode? It would be media and knetizens alike throwing more mud at him and calling him out as a poor investment due to its terrible ratings domestically. Anyway I like his style of doing things. Might not be the biggest fan of the man (i still think his acting is not very good) but facts are facts and No. 1 is No. 1.

      • Opinions are opinions at the end of the day and they are only ours individually and we all have different opinions it is one of the qualities of being a human. I love and respect the fact that you admitted that you are not a fan and the same here. I am not a fan either.

        I agree with you his no.1 and facts are indeed facts and I am not a fan either But however I do disagree at his acting part if he didn’t have that aspect at his grasp he wouldn’t be this successful on the world stage and creaete all this fanfare for himself. I have watched alot of his dramas and he has a very set of unique charm to himself. His certainly a very skilled actor and knows how to engage the audience on a deeper emotional level. His tricky cheeky at times which again supplements his acting.

        I am personally a fan of some of the older actors but I do realize talent when I see one. I was live watching BOF and people predicted from the first 2 episodes that he would be here today and he certainly is here now.

        Regarding the salary part I think that is quite considerable of him having his sister as his CEO and them being extremely professional and not talking about salary is also very considerate. Mediaplay can honestly ruin things in my opinion and it’s better to let things take it’s natural course and let the audience decide for themselves what they like and not but mediaplay comes in to tell someone what to like or not and it never works because itself based on dishonesty.

      • I didn’t personally like TKEM but it has overachieved and it annoys me to this day example if you compare to another acclaimed drama I loved the world of the married that actully succeeded locally but it becomes 1 out of 100 in comparison scale. World of the married vanished.. Where as TKEM became an international Mammoth nearly crashing social media with staying power.

        I am quite interested in this tv-show and I am looking forward to it and I love his acting because his such a great actor and always does his best in conveying his characters.

        I heard rumours that it will start filming in october but not entirely sure just rumours for the time being. But aside from that I guess KES will take a deserving break this time around and I would love to see KES venture into movies

    • He has yet to ever take a drama that doesn’t center around him and this can’t possibly center around him. It will have to be ensemble drama with the focus being on Sunja all throughout. He is reviewing. I will be surprised if he chooses this.

  6. I have no doubts he is popular. But questions arise: Does he speak FLUENT Japanese? Korean living in Japan or born there – we can expect him to speak the language.
    Second question – is the political aspect taken into consideration? No doubt Japanese will react negatively if the drama shows them as xenophobic and racists.

  7. This is such a great satisfaction , a slap on the face of those who said TKEM is a flop when in reality was a huge international hit.Yes , it has it’s flaws but nowhere near to what haters claimed. This man just proovs haters wrong all the time. I feel sorry for those who can’t see beyond his status and beautiful face. He wouldn’t have been chosen by Apple if he was such a bad actor.
    And for those claiming this is yet another chaebol role I invite to read who Hanso is. Yes, he is rich , but nowhere similar to the rich characters LMH played before. If you want a poor LMH character watch Gangnam blues or his drama Faith.I guess haters only see what they want to see

    • I love LMH ,both as an actor and as a man (no , I don’t mean romantically nor am I obsessed with him). I became his fan ever since BOF .Loved his acting and ability of conveying his character’s feelings through his eyes. He is a talented and hard working actor. Surely talent is needed to be dubbed Hallyu king , not only good looks. He played poor characters before , in fact only in BOF and Heirs he was a chaebol. In CH he was rich but it was drug money. I fell in love then with his action skills ( Which by the way he is mostly doing it himself.Because of his height is hard to find a double.This is admiring given that he can mostly use only one of his legs in action scenes ,because of the horrific accident he had years back ) .

      But most of all I admire him because I think his inner beauty matches his outer look. Humble , caring ,funny, down to earth , unproblematic.Which is almost in contradiction with his superstar status. Yes , I know actors are very good at posing in something they are not but I really think he is as genuine as he appears. I liked talented actors and their works before but never admired any of them to this degree. I only hope he will continue to be the beautiful human being he is

  8. slap on ur face koalas n all haters lmaooo. Hallyu king remains unbothered. His pan asia endorsements n now this massive project
    He gets grand project because he is superstar of asia

  9. Lol fans here saying that LMH is the highest paid korean actor…. so this means his acting must be really good for him being casted and getting paid a lot?? Money doesn’t mean good actor…..

    Do you guys know who is the highest Hollywood actor paid is US right now? Two years in a roll, the highest paid male actor is The rock, Dwayne Johnson, and we know he is NOT known for good acting. He is average actor who picks very well his Projects and people find him charming and funny

    • Noone gives shit which india actor won oscar expect 2 edgy fans like u
      People care abt entertaining movies n stars.
      That is fact
      Anti lmh

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