Scholar Who Walks the Night Holds Script Reading with Leads Lee Jun Ki, Lee Yoo Bi, Changmin, and Kim So Eun

And it’s a wrap! At least the casting portion is for upcoming vampire fantasy sageuk drama Scholar Who Walks the Night. I think this drama officially trumps the casting carousel of Kill Me Heal Me, we’ll have to wait until July to see if Scholar turns out as good as KMHM made out with its final cast. Night Scholar held a script reading this past weekend (so secretive!) with the full main cast in attendance, thereby confirming that the casting is done and the assignment of characters have been finalized.

Lee Jun Ki plays the titular vampire night scholar, Changmin is the second male lead Crown Prince, Lee Yoo Bi is the female lead cross-dressing bookseller, and Kim So Eun plays the second female lead a noblewoman engaged to the Crown Prince but in her former life she was the first love of Lee Jun Ki. For those confused, Kim So Eun’s character is described as new character that is not in the manhwa, while the manhwa’s second female lead of the spurned gisaeng is now just a supporting role.

I have zero problems with this final confirmed cast, mostly because I’m so over actually nitpicking on this particular drama casting choices. For the female leads, from Han Groo to Jin Se Yeon to either Lee Yoo Bi or Kim So Eun, there has been an unending stream of commentary as to which actress is better suited for the role, leading to exhaustion when the drama hasn’t even started filming yet. I’m ready to sit back and wait for this drama to arrive in July and review it substantially. The drama antagonists are also lined up with Lee Soo Hyuk as palace vampire and Jang Hee Jin as the gisaeng. 

It’s also clear now that the drama adaptation is differing significantly from the manhwa. The second male lead in the manhwa is actually the female lead’s childhood friend/future fiance, while the Crown Prince is only a supporting role. In the drama, the Crown Prince character has been elevated to second male lead and given his own love interest. I’m fine with that, aside from the male and female leads in the manhwa, all the rest of the characters are fungible narratively. I’m just sooooo happy this drama is finally done with the main casting, even to the end the production confused me since last week it was confirmed that Kim So Eun was the female lead. I hope to never write another casting post surrounding Night Scholar and just sit back and wait for the actual drama to arrive.


Scholar Who Walks the Night Holds Script Reading with Leads Lee Jun Ki, Lee Yoo Bi, Changmin, and Kim So Eun — 80 Comments

  1. Yaye lead role for Lee Yoo Bi! Wasn’t gonna watch this but I shall for her. M glad she’s getting her chance to shine….though I wonder how she’ll look opposite Lee Jun Ki.

    • I actually think she will look ok opposite LJK, she looked quite good with a much older love interest in Pinocchio (Lee Pil Mo). and Jun Ki is far from old looking either.

  2. Unni u made a mistake.. yoo bi is the second lead.. in ur last paragrapH u mentioned kim so eun has been confirmed has the Female lead..

    but in the 1st paragraph u wrote yoobi was female lead and kim so eun plays noblewoman @ second lead

    • No, she didn’t. She’s saying that she made a mistake on reporting Kim So Eun as the female lead last week. But now, she has established that Lee Yoo Bi is confirmed as the female lead while Kim So Eun the second female lead.

    • Hi daisy
      I agree, I think kim so eun would be more suitable opposite lee jun ki.
      I guess lee yoo bi is ok but she gives me a cutesy aura rather than a serious love interest for our hot vampire lead…

      • I thought so too 🙁
        I want kim so eun. Lee yubi gives off ‘a kid’ aura in her. Didnt like her once im sorry >>

      • @Febe – I hope she’s not too cutesy, too much of that kind of mannerisms in historical dramas can be really annoying.

      • Do you watch Gu family book? She can throw away her cute aura by acting as lee seung gi’s first love. She became a serious character in that drama. If you haven’t watched it yet. You should^^

  3. I doubt this drama will be as good as KMHM. Vampire dramas usually turn out to be messy. I also think what saved KMHM was that it had super experienced lead actors. JS & HJE already had chemistry and were already comfy with each other. Also they had PSJ who is just perfect.
    While Scholar Who Walks the night does have a great male Lead, the second male lead is an idol who isn’t very good at acting. If they give him less camera time from the rest then I think it could work.

    • Changmin and Yunho both have a history of bad acting. Yunho improved in The Night Watchman. Their former groupmates, Yoochun and Jaejoong, are well-received actors despite their idol backgrounds. I won’t totally dismiss Changmin in this drama. I bet he’ll work even harder to not disappoint especially since he’s acting opposite a seasoned actor like LJK. I’m not asking for incredible acting, but tolerable acting will do.

  4. I honestly think Lee yubi got female lead because of her parents and her powerful agency Sindus. I know her second leads dramas were huge hit. In pinocchio, her role was so small. I don’t know her acting very much because she never showed her intense acting. I can’t see her as a lead material yet. I think she will be awkward besides LJK

    • I think she’ll be sooo awkward beside LJK too. They don’t match visually whatsoever. But I miiiight just tune in for KSE’s new princess character and her relationship with Changmin. Hopefully they’re a completely different couple eventually and that CM actually learns to act a little. At least it will be worth the time over yet another cross dressing female – that’s gonna be so unconvincing no matter which way I look at it.

    • Did you watch her in GFB? She was quite good in it… and pretty intense. I think she’s ready for a lead role. The only thing is she looks really young.

      • Oh Dear,I watched GFB. I couldn’t finish it. After this, why she can’t get the good roles? In pinocchio, her role was just a co-worker of male lead, not even love lines. You can say she did well in that supporting and funny character. After the huge success of pinocchio, I know even supporting casts are getting more roles. I agree that she should get a lead role but not with guys like LJK. I am his huge fan. So, I’m gonna try it.

    • Frankly Lee Yoo Bi has shown to be a pretty solid actress in her past roles so I don’t think Sidus HQ and her family are the reason for her getting the role. She has the acting chops but she does look really young. Currently she is the bigger name between her and Kim So Eun and is more well liked by the general public so it makes sense that she would get lead over KSE if they were offered the same role. Even if her role was a side character or 2nd lead the fact is her past three dramas did well on the main broadcast stations , which cannot be said for Kim So Eun.

      • Koreans don’t like Lee Yoo Bi over Kim So Eun. A lot of them think she gets her parts bc of her family. International fans may like her, but they’re not the ones who bring the ratings. Anyway after all this mess with the ratings the public is pretty much tired so idk what will happen to this drama.

    • True that. I hope KSE’s crown princess has a hand in the palace politics. Maybe a conspiracy with LSH’s villain. It would be an interesting arc compared to 3 damsels vying for LJK’ attention.

      I was hoping for KSE to take on the gisaeng character to see if she could toe the line of being the villain, yet have the viewers root for her character’s redemption or success. If her new character has evil traits, it would serve my initial goal for her. Please be conflictedly evil. The least, kick some vampire butts. (And those are some pretty hunky butts too). Guess i’ll be tuning-in come July to find out.

  5. What a mess, and they haven’t even shot anything yet I’m assuming. SO meh on the OTP casting. LYB and LJK? I think the Changmin-KSE pairing sounds much better even if one of them needs to look up the word ‘acting’. Thankfully there are other great dramas on the horrizon because I’m predicting this pulling a Blood rather than a KMHM.

    • so you think the pairing where one person famously cannot act will be better than the pairing where both have proved themselves to be competent in sageuk roles in previous dramas?

      That really makes sense.

      • Okay then. A pairing where one looks like a father to a daughter looks better. They’ll be ‘acting’ their darnest to look romantic and it will be amusing as heck because they’ll be very convincing.

        You win.

      • you’re saying one looks like a father and the other looks like his daughter….when the so-called ‘father’ one is famous for his youthful pretty looks, and not even one still of them in costume has leaked.

        How sensible and logical. (not really)

      • Oh of course I’d be needing a ‘leaked still’ to see how LJK looks in a Sageuk garb because I totally forgot the last drama he did. Right. Again, you’re right, you win.

        P.s. I love how you have to clarify your sarcasm. It’s obvious babe. And you make total sense.

      • yes, because you seem to think parroting on and on about how LJK/LYB look together when they have never even been seen together is going to make your pronouncements truth.

      • Okay then, my ‘pronouncements’ aren’t ‘true’ because you obviously don’t know what opinions mean. You win.

        Now, I’m done dealing with you. Toddles.

      • LMAO at the comments here. Based on the supposed logic, if LJK who is famous for looking much younger than his ripe old age of 33, and looks great with the baby faced Zhou Dongyu in Sicily Sun, looks like a father to 25 year old LYB, then Lee Pil Mo (one of my most favorite actors) looks like a grandfather to LYB in Pinocchio? How strange that I enjoyed LPM & LYB’s love relationship in Pinocchio.

        LJK looks like a father alright, to Sujini in Two Weeks, who’s 7 years old.

      • @Febe – +1

        @xxx – lmaoooo, @Gina keeps destroying your nonsense statements with logic but you don’t seem to realize.

  6. at least Lee Yoo Bi and Kim So Eun can both act, and have been good in sageuk roles before. I have no problems with this final casting, I just hope this drama’s script is good.

    In fact, the only person in that list whose acting I doubt is Changmin. Everyone is picking on Lee Yoo Bi but the girl has spent four years in supporting roles and actually worked her way up to this, if it was just her parents or agency geting her roles she would have been a lead in something years ago.

  7. This drama has more problems than even KMHM. I don’t think LJK and LYB will work. I hope KSE had more camera time than LYB. I think LYB looks like daughter or younger sister of LJK. I don’t feel right for this drama because of LYB. I think I will pass this one.

  8. Love Lee Yubi even though I haven’t seen very much of her. I’m happy that she’s the main lead here, looking forward to the Junki-Yubi pairing.

  9. I’m a bit conflicted here. On one hand, I like that LYB landed a lead role, on another, I would have preferred if it were KSE as the female lead though, or just LYB, but not both at the same time. But now that KSE has been cast as a totally new character, this puts everything in a delicate balance. The “supporting” gisaeng role definitely sounded meatier than writing a completely different character, that may or may not overshadow the primary couple. A gisaeng and a cross-dressing girl made a nice contrast of each other, but adding another girl on the mix, just crowds up the love line. Both KSE and LYB’s personas are interchangeable. Having them both at the same time makes it seem redundant, not unless one of them plays a markedly different character, which was the gisaeng. But since the gisaeng has been reduced, we run the risk of having two similar innocent girl archetypes. Essentially, it’s like having two female leads. While this is a bit uncommon and looks interesting on paper it raises some concerns for me. Firstly is the redundancy, and secondly, I worry that another naval war is at the horizon. That would make live-watching this drama more entertaining without a doubt, but inevitably messy too.

    • “Essentially, it’s like having two female leads.”

      well, two male leads worked out just fine in Three Musketeers which was also a sageuk, so why not women?

      I don’t think two female leads is necessarily a bad thing, since I would love to see more of Kim So Eun and don’t want her sidelined as the second lead as per kdrama convention just because all other dramas work like that.

    • Well said. This is really conflicted. They both share almost same persona. As much as I’m ok with LYB since I amazed with her acting in Gu Family Book but I’m quite disappointed that Kim So Eun didn’t get her chance as a lead in prime channel. Apart from Liar Game, she is struggling to earn the female lead roles.

  10. I know barely anything about Lee Yoo Bi but just looking at her visually I can’t picture her pulling off being a guy. She has such a round girly face that it’ll be hard to believe that anyone in the drama actually believes she’s a boy. Maybe she’ll look different with no makeup? I’ll check it out for my Lee Jun Ki but I’m side-eyeing the female lead actually pulling off being a guy.

    • In the manhwa, the female lead is supposed to be very pretty and cute. She’s described as “looks like a girl, very pretty and has a nice and slim figure” by one of the characters who thinks she’s a boy. And some of the characters are not fooled by her disguise at all.

    • It’s mostly family connections tbh. I hate the word sponsor because it means a lot more than ‘connections’. But in LYB’s case, I’d say she landed the lead role over KSE because of who her mother was. Because right now, based on popularity KSE is up there. Plus she’s a great actress herself.

    • She’s from the agency that launched the careers of Jun Ji Hyun, Gong Hyo Jin, Shin Min Ah, Park Min Young, Song Joong Ki and most recently Kim Woo Bin. I guess that counts as a sponsor?

      If it was just her mother getting her roles she would not have spent so many projects in supporting roles. And anyway it’s not as if she can’t act + went around jumping from project to project.

      • I agreed. She is mesmerizing in Gu Book’s Family. She has been in supporting roles for years. actually I want KSE to be the lead but since it comes this way, LYB is talented too.

      • @Gina It is so clear that LYB got female lead because of Sindus. I know she had a lot of supporting roles. KES had more supporting roles and more senior than her. Sinus is one of the top agencies of Korea in acting industry. They can make whatever they want. I heard that Sindus created even 4 hallyu new Kings status (adding their KWB).

    • That’s so uncalled for. She’s done tons of supporting roles successfully. She’s been in drama hit after drama hit and has picked well. There’s nothing strange about her moving to a main role. People would not say crap like that if her mother wasn’t famous. smh

      • Well-said. I’ve seen her only in Nice Guy and Pinocchio, but I commend her for giving justice to her roles. Although I haven’t seen Gu Family Book, I’m aware of the praises she got for it.

        I hope she blows the viewers minds away with her performance in this. I get that she isn’t everyone’s cup of tea and we all have our personal preferences for the leading lady, but what’s done is done. There’s no need to question the integrity behind her casting. It’s not like this is her first time treading on drama waters. Besides, I don’t think KSE would’ve accepted the role she was in talks for if she didn’t think it was right up her alley.

  11. Guys hoe about if they make KSE and the vampire lee soo hyuk have a love line, wow that would be more interesting to me than two women fighting over a guys and the one that’s not loved does all kinds of stupid things

  12. Kinda annoyed that So Eun is not the lead…I have nothing against Lee Yubi I’ve only seen her in Pinnocio and she was cute….but this is definitely politics at play….So Eun has been in the industry 10 years and really hasn’t had a lead role yet….I know it could be debated but to me she hasn’t had a lead romantic role yet and I was hoping this was her chance….especially if she got to act with Lee Jun Ki as her leading man…Also I agree that looks and personality wise So Eun and Yubi seem very similar so I wonder what is going to happen…dissapointed but still going to watch…cause….duh Jun Ki 🙂

  13. Ok – I don’t follow anything other than their actual roles in dramas. So I just had to google who LYB’s mom is… I had no idea before. Interesting. Well, as I say, if you have the connections, use them cause seriously, it’s so hard to begin with. But if you do use them, be sure to use them wisely and show that you were deserving of it anyways. 🙂 Let’s be real, connections are used all the time in the business world and in regular life. So I wouldn’t fault her for it unless she was really undeserving of it. From what I’m reading, netizens are saying she can act. That’s at least a +10.

    I have no problems with either lead at this point… not really thinking one way or another. I will have to see them onscreen first before I decide yay or nay. I did watch SCM’s PR all the way through. Crown prince eh??? Oh boy. As I say, I have high tolerance. We shall see.

  14. And That’s the poin why they put LYB as main female lead instead of KSE. Because LYB still need a lot of recognition and they give her chance as a newbie.and kim so eun has done with it (who doesn’t know her in reality show WGM with song jae rim?)

  15. face palm at all these people who accuse lee yoo bi for getting the lead role just because she is from sidus. don’t you guys realize that kim so eun also comes from a big agency??? her agency aka FANTAGIO used to manage gong hyo jin, im soo jung, cha tae hyun, kim sun ah and etc and still managing one of the most respected actor in korea: Ha Jung Woo. fantagio is also sidus’ sister company!

    • Sindus,Fantagio,Keyeast and Namoo are leading agencies in acting industry like big 3 of music industry. Especially, Sindus always had been unnecessary media play and promoting of their actors so bad.

    • Seriously, would this girl have spent 4 years in supporting roles/small roles if her agency was that powerful and could get her roles like this so easily? Or if her mother could just snap her fingers and make it happen? She put in many years of hard work and good performances, some people are having a hard time to accept that her own talent also played a role in it and she got praise for GFB and even her small role i Pinocchio.

  16. The manhwa is so addicting and full of interesting characters that the changes in the drama adaptation are rather worrying. Will it be for better or worse?

    However, there are really too many characters in the manhwa to fit into a 20 episode drama, so I guess it makes sense to merge some and get rid of others?

    Since the characters whom I did not like in the manhwa are the 2nd male lead (teacher of the Crown Prince and fiance of the female lead) and the gisaeng, I suppose I should be glad that their characters are eliminated or reduced? But I’m definitely happy that KSE is not acting as the gisaeng who I really do not like.

    On the other hand, can we keep the hunter please? He’s an awesome character!

  17. I’m happy that LYB has finally receive lead act and with the awesome LJK. The dofferent ages of 10 years for a woman and a man will not be a burden i think as compared to woman being the older one. Even historical drama tends to be the hero being in their 30-40 and the maiden is around 20-25.

    Although LYB might be a newbie in the case of very few projects on hand, i find her memorable. While KSE dramas has been a miss for me. The heroin will act as a crossdressing man and between both lyb & kse, i think lyb mught fit more with her loveble and bubbly personality and her acting that is not afraid to ruin her image like Yoon Eun Hye in Coffee Prince. Kse for me is more gentle and serious which also fit with her character in the drama maiden.

    I dont agree on some says that lyb has a backup from her family and sidus. Mind you KSE also comes from a big agency fantagio and if lyb realy relies on her agency she could have a lead role since long time ago. And i dont know whats her family background has to do with her getting the role. Her sister is of the same background but i dont see her snatching leads left and right.

    Just my 2 scents.

  18. Now since lee yoo bi is the main female lead, I shall watch this. I was going to drop this drama right after knowing that jin se yeon had rejected the role and Kim so eun was offered the main role. However, since lee yoo bi is in the picture. I am interested to watch it now…

  19. Lee yoo bi’s acting in book of gu family book is impressive. Far way better than Suzy in the series. For those who haven’t seen lyb’s drama other than pinnochio should try watch GU family book and I guess u’ll understand why she’s the one offered the main role instead of Kim so eun

  20. The casting is just cray and cray.The only one I have concern is Changmin,His past works are really bad and horrid. Unless they gave him a very small screen time and he at least make an effort to improve from his horrible acting. Not asking for good acting just a small screen time for the drama sake and for my bias Lee jun ki

  21. How can they change the whole manhwa by adding up another character when it is so good in itself? Is MBC really that stupid or something ? I mean how can they say Kim So Eun as 2nd female lead when she will appear in the drama for only few appearances?

  22. I wish Kim So Eun would have think twice before accepting this role when in the first place her role is not even in the original manhwa and her character just appears nowhere? Will MBC change the whole story by putting up another character which they will kill soon and appear later then kill again? With this scenario what kind of plot is that and they even had a nerve of even call that character second female lead? Coz for me there is no such thing as 2nd female lead when that character is not even in the original manhwa

  23. So script reading is over already?. Secretive indeed. I thought they finalized kim so eun as the female lead since knets were against lee yubi’s casting. KSE playing second lead to LYB doesn’t feel right to be honest. But since they have made changes to the story so the focus on characters may be balanced. I am ok with both the girls. LJK will be perfect for his role, just that i have a feeling that he will have a lot to shoulder on.

  24. i will just pray KSE will get more attention and love from the viewers… i dun care with whom she will be paired (although tbh i will be more than happy if she is paired with LJK) as long as she got more love and attention. her past dramas mostly proved this.

    i have a good feeling that KSE’s role will outshine than LYB’s role. for now i just want to believe that she has a strong reason to choose this role..pls KSE dun make me disapoointed… >,<

    just say that i have so much positive vibes 😀

      • its just my opinion, and my hope..

        since im a fan of KSE, of course i want my fav actress to get the spotlight….if u dont agree, i dun mind… i never asked anyone to concur with me.. 😛

  25. I am so happy that LYB is the main actress, she impressed me in GFB and she was cute in Pinocchio!
    She is very pretty, she has two large round eyes I love it !
    And of course happy to find LJK another sageuk, he is good in .

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