Park Bo Gum in Talks to Play the Monkey King Opposite Cha Seung Won in Hong Sisters New Drama Huayugi

I’m not particularly proprietary about things, whether culture, myths, or even trends, there’s always new ways to spin things and whether or not it works and adds entertainment value is how I assess the final product. With that said, the Chinese netizens have been upset and annoyed since hearing that the Hong Sisters were writing their next drama based on the famed Journey to the West (Xi You Ji) Chinese classic tale of the Monkey King, with veteran leading man Cha Seung Won signed on to play the role of the Bull Demon King (Niu Mo Wang) in the sister’s upcoming K-drama Huayugi. Now the sisters have upped the media interest significantly with the announcement that Park Bo Gum is in talks to play the other leading man character, a take on the Monkey King himself. Now this is some masterstroke casting, with plenty of buzz which the sisters could use and a great combo of Park Bo Gum with Cha Seung Won, making this immediately must-watch drama territory.

The Hong Sisters have a weird one fail one succeed drama patter, with their most recent ones where Best Love was a hit but then Big was a disaster, then The Master’s Sun was a winning outing but then Warm and Cozy fell flat. Following this trend then Huayugi is definitely a probably winner. If Park Bo Gum accepts then this will be his first drama since the surprisingly hit Moonlight Drawn by Clouds and right before that the highly rated and much loved Answer Me 1988.


Park Bo Gum in Talks to Play the Monkey King Opposite Cha Seung Won in Hong Sisters New Drama Huayugi — 34 Comments

  1. A Korean drama will never outdo the classic Stephen Chow film version of Journey to the West, but theyre are probably trying to woo Chinese netizens to watch the drama. Park Bo Gum has a face more suited to play a young Tripitaka rather than the mischievous Monkey.

    • I’ve been surprised by how versatile PBG is– from Min (Hello Monster) to Taek (Reply 1988) to Yeong (MDBC), so I’m actually excited to how he’s going to have his spin on this character, if he ever confirms, that is.

  2. The Master’s Sun was the best Hong sisters’ drama but that’s because of the casting. My fave Gong Hyo Jin can make it work with anyone. I’ve not liked any other Hong sister drama actually…

  3. I love all of the writers/actors separately, but ugh I’m not a fan of them doing Journey to the West. If they go through with this… best of luck not getting massacred by Chinese fans.

    • Luckily, only a rumor. Although PBG can make great on-screen chemistry with anyone and PSH seems to have that Midas touch, I can’t even imagine them in this drama..

      • No I can’t see this working either.Both are ok individually.visual and acting but I don’t see PSH doing well with a dongsaeng acting wise.But the rating and buzz would be off the roof in Korea because they are both Korea’s darlings.

    • There’s a drama draft being posted that states that the Hong sisters have been courting Cha Seungwon, Park Bogum and Park Shinhye. So it’s most likely true. Besides she played a nun in You’re Beautiful by the same writers. Whether she accepts or not is another story, but PSH did mention she will do a drama at the end of the year.

      I would be elated if she accepts. People say as if Park Bogum is alot younger than her, but he’s only 3 years younger; they could make it work.

    • Please don’t accept this PSH. She will become China’s number one dart board. Journey to the West has such high sentimental meaning to the Mainland Chinese. SK and China’s relationship is no where near America and UK’s relationship so please don’t do it (for people who comment that Shakespeare’s projects can be Americanised).

    • Not even them.. KSH matches well with older sunbae actresses and PSH seems to match much older sunbae actors too in my opinion

      • @prettyautumn In the future, if she is to gain credibility as a serious actress.Sunbaes are the ones who will help her achieve that.She is hardworking and professional and she has the potential to grow and receive top actress award and Daesang in the 90sliners in the future.

        But for that to happen, she needs to first shapen her skills by doing more movies in supporting roles before getting leading roles with the sunbaes.After she can get lead roles with the sunbaes in dramas but in different genre like action, thrillers, saeguk(though I know she did a movie) melos etc…

        Otherwise, putting her in lead roles like Ji Sung, Nam Goong Min, So Ji Sub, Jang Hyuk, Jo In Sung, Jong Jung Suk, Lee Jun Ki,Gong Yoo, Hyun Bin etc with her acting skills as they are now,…they will out act her and she will be bashed again when she is not even that bad as an actress.

        Although out of the list I kind of have a feeling Jo In Sung and Lee Jun Ki would match her in a romance chemistry wise, their visuals complement each other. and these two could definitely use her help with her midas touch in terms of domestic drama ratings???.Only she just needs to work on her acting just a little to match them..maybe one or two years acting gigs in movies and she will be alright to star with them in drama.

      • @prettyautumn the problem I had with Kim Rae Won OTP with Park Shin Hye in Doctors is also the same problem I has with Gong Yoo OTP with Kim Go Eun.All are handsome and pretty individually.Their acting and romance was ok.But somehow something was still a little in Goblin, the bromance between Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook, and Lee Dong Wook OTP with Yoo In Na was more comfortable and enjoyable to watch.

      • @RubyRed You know PSH doesn’t lead movie because she doesn’t want to… not that she can’t right? She just doesn’t have enough confidence to accept lead roles yet. All she needs in confidence.

    • I second this, their acting styles would compliment each other and their personalities compliment each other too.Park Shin Hye is sunny and outgoing vibe.While Kim Soo Hyun is melancholy with reserved vibe so I think their chemistry would be good in a rom com or a pure romance.

      Among the 87,88, and 89 liner hallyu oppas who I find that most of them to be overated, with limited range or mediocre acting skills.I think KSH is actually one of those whose hype is justified just a little(of course not to the level of giving him daesangs) by his acting skills.

      Also I find his fanbase alot more calmer than a certain Lee’s fans, so she would be just fine.Also with KSH, what differentiate him from his acting peers in his age group, is that he has equal strong public recognition in and outside Korea, maybe now he is not trending international Kdramaland because he hasn’t been in drama for a while but he can easily bounce back with a new drama.While the other hallyu oppas in his age group are more famous and loved outside Korea than inside Korea.

      @prettyautumn as for him having good acting chemisty with noonas.Thats true but that’s because his most famous dramas have been with noonas.He has only acted with two dongsaeng (Suzy and IU) and those are not the best actresses to compare with.If you put him with not an actress-dols bit a real good dongsaeng actress like Park Bo Young for example..he would do just fine.

      As for PSH acting with sunbaes.I think Doctors was a good turning point for her to now be taken serious actress not just another hallyu princess.But she should not act romances or rom com with the sunbaes and act with older guys around her age like four years max older.Even though her chemistry and kiss scenes were ok this time with Kim Rae Won.I couldnt help but feeling a sleazy vibe from KRW in their romantic moments(not his fault and not PSH fault either) and KRW is a good looking man at his 35/36 age.

      • cheesy lines and KRW looking really manly (sort of older than his age) might contribute to the fact that their chemistry seemed sleazy, especially if you are used to k-drama flower boys. But I agree with you, that PSH biggest issue rn is that she needs to be diverse and adapt completely to her character. It’s better if she acts with someone more experienced with minimal amount of rabid oppa fans. And she/her agency needs to choose her projects better if she wants to be taken even more seriously. Doctors and KRW as her partner was a real blessing because KRW is a respected and trustworthy actor since early 2000s and people generally praised them and accepted them well in Korea.
        About KSH, now that you put it that way, the noona actors have been a-list actresses whereas almost all the younger actresses he’s worked with were idol actresses so maybe you’re right. I’m not too sure about KSH-PSH pairing but it would be interesting to see how people reacted to that and if the drama became a hit, how KSH’s and PSH’s careers will turn. They’re popular both domestically and internationally so there’s definitely going to be a buzz. And PBG isn’t that much younger than PSH, but their auras just don’t match in my opinion. Also, reading all these comments, I don’t think it’s wise to make a Korean remake either…

  4. Waa interesting casting. Im even more surprised with the change and spin Hong sisters puts to the monkey king. Having watched Journey to the west and the remake TVB HK drama. And then recently the movies by Aaron Kwok. I’ve never imagined a korean one. I’ll stay tentatively hopeful.. Hong sister might be able to work their magic. If the 2 male leads are confirmed- i can imagine them making their characters come to live. But can we have bigger budget and better CGIs too?

  5. I know it’s still the THAAD conflict that get the Chinese netizen upset but why can the Chinese made their own version of K-drama but Korea could not do so? Not liking the idea, so don’t go watching it.

    • IKR. Not to mention this is popular classic literature like Romeo and Juliet, that has been done over and over in any way possible.

    • My question is why the heck should the Hong Sisters care about China when their drama isn’t even going to get licensed there (I’m assuming the ban is still in place)? I mean it’s not like the C-fans would stoop to watching on an illegal site or anything, right?

      I am hit or miss on the Hong Sisters but The Masters Sun and Greatest Love are two of my all time favorites and CSW is such a man I’ll watch just for him.

      • Your right, Hong sisters don’t care if they trash one of China’s four famous novels and that’s why they are changing the gorgeous monk to female (which the Japanese have done before) and making a love line between her and monkey king and changing the title to ‘Huayugi’. While in China Monkey King is worshipped. If any other religion a ‘worshipped god’ was joked about like this, we all know what the consequences are.

    • What’s upsetting about this is that Journey to the West is not just a Chinese story; it’s a Chinese classic novel that is based on true events. The monk Xuanzang (Tang Seng or Tripitaka) was a real historical figure who made a long pilgrimage to India to retrieve copies of Buddhist texts. He’s an important figure in Chinese culture and Buddhism. The characters in Journey to the West are characters that all Chinese people grew up to love and admire. Of course Chinese netizens wouldn’t want something so deeply intertwined with their culture to be tarnished by a bad adaptation.

  6. This one is interesting and looks to be more imaginative than the other fantasy dramas I’ve read about so far. This could either go crazily good or disappointingly bad with this cast, I see no in-between. *fingerscrossed*

  7. One thing I can ascertain is that Park Shin Hye’s fans are way too possessive. They even forbid her from working with certain actors, only wanting her to work with ‘elite veterans’ or do certain type of drama and films.

    • Although I like PSH, I’ve never stepped into her international fandom sites more than just once and I can tell that yes, she has a lot of possessive fans, but which popular actor doesn’t? And about that they don’t want her to work with others than older sunbaes, it’s because their hearts can’t take these rabid and obsessive oppa fans and guess who don’t have them as many? Yeah, the sunbae actors..

  8. Although i’m not her fan , she’s someone i respect . I think that working with vetereran actors is the best for her career. But i must ad that there are some actors i find great too. Choi Jin hyuk, Lee Joon, Park hyung shik ,Kim Young Kwang ( Vgood in Lookout)…One thing is sure , she has always good chemistry with her partners. Would like see her again with Yoon Si Yoon.

  9. ??? ugh. I think it’s so hypocritical of some Chinese fans to be so hateful of an adaptation of their original product when their country has been building it’s economy by producing ripoffs. Dear lord. And just how sure can they be that this drama will be a “bad adaptation” and that it will “tarnish their country’s culture” ?

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