This is indeed big news. Star writer Kim Eun Sook is back with her brand new drama titled Mr. Sunshine and the male lead confirmed for the show is Lee Byung Hun. Definitely the drama is overflowing with star power already. Having worked in many small screen projects in the 90s and early 2000s (Asphalt Man, White Night 3.98, Happy Together, All In, Beautiful Days), the actor has been busy with films in recent years, delivering many box office hits like I Saw The Devil, Masquerade and Inside Men. His last TV drama was action thriller IRIS, which aired in 2009 and hence, he is making a comeback after almost 8 years. He has also expanded his work to Hollywood by doing films like G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Red 2 and Terminator Genisys.
It is certainly a surprise casting. But then when you observe the track record of the writer’s previous dramas, all have secured big names in the main leads — Hyun Bin in Secret Garden, Jang Dong Gun in A Gentleman’s Dignity, Lee Min Ho in Heirs, Song Joong Ki in Descendants Of The Sun and Gong Yoo in Goblin. Personally, I’m not a fan but I have to say she knows how to generate mass appeal for her shows, be it ratings or popularity. I do think her dramas have great humour and many moments for laughing out loud.
Mr. Sunshine has not decided upon a broadcast network yet. I’m sure that task is as easy as going down the river in a boat, because who wouldn’t want to attach itself to a project which has success written all over it. The drama will be a periodic piece set in the early 20th century. I’m not too aware of Korean history and this period surely makes me curious. Lee Byung Hun plays the hero who is taken to America as a child in 1871 after an American expedition known as Shinmiyangyo incident. He returns years later to his home country as an American soldier and then falls in love with a nobleman’s daughter. Note that this is the time of decline of Joseon dynasty and rise of Japanese control in Korea. The hero will become part of righteous army, a force that originated in the Goryeo era, fighting against foreign invasion and rule.
I’m hoping that the drama will explore the period across the board instead of just using it as an ornament to tell same old love story. Kim Eun Sook is reuniting with the director of her last two shows, Descendants Of The Sun and Goblin, who has also helmed Dream High, School 2013 and Secret Love. Mr. Sunshine is slated to air in first half of 2018.