- KBS tries to recreate Answer Me’s success in new variety drama. Currently KBS is in early planning stages to slot a “variety drama” as a replacement for Love and War 2, the Couples Clinic show on Friday nights. So the variety-drama term really seems to just mean drama, made by people who formerly worked in variety.While this new program won’t be competing directly against the Answer Me sequel, since the sequel will try to recapture the same lightning in a bottle with 1994 as its backdrop.
- IRIS 2 finally adds an analyst to the roster in Baek Sung-hyun. He plays a young genius hacker and an extremely gifted brainiac, and NSS teammates with field agents Lee Da-hae and Yoon Doo-joon. The three of them will work under team leader Jang Hyuk, who apparently trained them all. His character will be the speedy source of information within the agency, and also the mood-keeper-upper of the group, promising to bring some much-needed levity to the NSS set. IRIS 2 premieres in February on KBS.
- City Conquest isn’t getting a slot in prime time anytime soon. Some reports are saying that the production is continuing to negotiate with KBS, and others say plans have “fallen through.” Apparently it was in contention for the slot after current Monday-Tuesday drama School 2013, but KBS says that’s a no-go. KBS passed on City Conqeust in favor of that Yi Soon-shin drama, which got the January slot, and the producers are in damage-control mode.
- Seo Ji-seok (High Kick 3, Manny) and Jung Da-hye (Rude Miss Young-ae) are starring in a new romantic comedy movie that’s been flying under the radar, called That Woman and That Man’s Inside Story. The directorial debut from Lee Yoon-hyung stars Jung Da-hye as a woman who’s still a virgin and determined not to be, and spends a year dating three guys before she decides to sleep with one of them. There’s Bachelor Number 1 (Yeon Jae-wook), who can only think about sex and spends every ounce of energy on trying to figure out some new way to spend the night at her place. Bachelor Number 2 is mysterious and thoughtful, but a total riddle who disappears and then reappears just when she thinks she’s forgotten him. And Seo Ji-seok plays Bachelor Number 3, who on the outside seems to be endlessly sweet and kind and innocent. The movie is described as a frank and realistic portrayal of modern romance, told in a refreshing way. That Woman and That Man’s Inside Story will premiere this December in theaters.
- Yoo Ah-in (Fashion King) and Kim Hae-sook (Thieves) in a new movie called Kkang-chul-ie, named for Yoo Ah-in’s character in the film, who looks after his mom who suffers from Alzheimer’s. The latest project from director Ahn Kwon-tae (Eye for an Eye, My Brother) stars Yoo Ah-in as Kang-chul and Kim Hae-sook stars as Mom, who suffers from Alzheimer’s, but is single-minded in her love and devotion to her son. The problem starts when Kang-chul can’t afford the hospital bills for Mom’s treatments anymore, and has to turn to the mob. Kim Jung-tae (Dream High 2) and Kim Sung-oh (Secret Garden) play a pair of mobsters and brothers to whom Kang-chul turns when he needs money. Lee Shi-un (Answer Me 1997) plays Kang-chul’s childhood best friend, and Jung Yumi (I Need Romance 2012) plays Kang-chul’s love interest, a young woman on a solo vacation to Busan, who meets Kang-chul and gives him some hope. Kkang-chul-ie plans to premiere in 2013.
- Kang Dong-won and Ha Jung-woo have confirmed for the action sageuk film Band of Thieves. The two actors have signed on to play mortal enemies in a 19th-century story about a Robin Hood type of character who rises up in an oppressed society. It’s the fourth project from director Yoon Jong-bin, of this year’s hit film Nameless Gangster. The movie is set in 19th-century Joseon, and will be about a power struggle between the corrupt wealthy noblemen who run society and a band of thieves that rises up to challenge them. Ha Jung-woo plays the hero, Dol Moo-chi, a butcher who forms a makeshift family of thieves that sets out on a mission to change the lives of the oppressed people. Kang Dong-won plays the richest nobleman’s son, Jo-yoon, the best swordsman in the land. But it turns out he isn’t acknowledged by his father because he’s the son of a concubine, and lives a wayward life because of it. Band of Thieves is planning on a 2013 release.