- Jo Hyun-jae (49 Days) was added to Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek, playing a likely rival Andy Kang, the team leader at the ad firm. The drama has also lined up a pretty solid group of veteran supporting actors, which includes Bang Eun-hee (Life Is Beautiful), Hong Ji-min (Golden Time), Go Chang-seok (Gone With the Wind), Shin Seung-hwan (Jeon Woo-chi), and Kwak Hee-sung (Hanbando). Ad Genius Lee Tae-baek takes over the Monday-Tuesday timeslot from School 2013, and premieres February 4.
- Eom Ki-joon (Ghost) has been announced as the star of a new OCN series called The Virus about a deadly mutant viral infection and the Special Contagious Disease Crisis Team formed in order to stop it. It’ll be a 10-episode series helmed by a newbie PD-writer team — PD Choi Young-soo and writer Lee Myung-sook. Eom Ki-joon stars as Lee Myung-hyun, leader of Team Kill Mutant Virus, a workaholic thrill-seeker who’s prickly, but plunges himself into his work like no one else. He’s the type to do anything to get at the answer, at the cost of alienating his colleagues. The Virus premieres in March on OCN.
- There’s a new variety show being developed for SBS called March [as in parade] modeled after Ha Jung-woo’s road movie 577 Project. The show is taking a different approach and casting one celebrity host for each new trip, who invites his/her friends to come along. The show’s first host will be Lee Seon-kyun (Golden Time, All About My Wife). He will actually be in charge of casting (or conning) his own friends to join him. First friend suckered in: Yoo Hae-jin (Moss, Jeon Woo-chi), Oh Jung-sae (I Miss You), and Jung Eun-chae (Psychic, Play, Nobody’s Daughter Haewon). There’s a rumor that Song Joong-ki is considering, which would be a huge coup for the pilot.
- MBC is a remaking of one of their biggest hits from 1999/2000 — the medical sageuk Heo Jun, about the life of the legendary doctor and historian. The remake’s title will be Gu-am Heo Jun, to include Heo Jun’s pen name, Gu-am. Han Chae-ah (Oohlala Spouses) has been cast as the heroine, Lady Ye-jin and Namgoong Min (Can You Hear My Heart?) is up to play the second lead, Yoo Do-ji, a doctor alongside Heo Jun in the court. No word yet on who will play Heo Jun though.
- The remake will be penned by Choi Wan-kyu of Light and Shadow and Jumong, and directed by PD Kim Geun-hong of Kye Baek. It’s going for 120 episodes, to be aired as a daily drama five times a week. It will tell the life story of Heo Jun, from dramatic childhood to royal physician. He became a court physician during the reign of King Seonjo (latter half of the 16th century), and went on to write what would become the defining text of traditional Korean medicine. The groundbreaking thing about it at the time was that he wrote it in Hangul, so that medicine could be understood and learned by commoners, as was his hope. Gu-am Heo Jun is preparing for a March broadcast.
- JTBC is lining up their next weekend drama, Dark History: War of the Flowers, which has cast Kim Hyun-joo (Dumb Mom, Twinkle Twinkle) in the lead role playing a Joseon-era femme fatale. The drama is a sageuk and comes from the team who gave JTBC one of its earliest hits, Queen Dowager In-soo. Kim Hyun-joo plays a concubine of King Injo, Lady Jo, who was born into the lowest class but won Injo’s favor using her beauty and her wiles, and turned into a seductress who kept the king under her thumb. She played a key role in fracturing the relationship between Injo and his son, Crown Prince Sohyeon. Chae Jung-ahn (Queen of Reversals, Coffee Prince) has also signed on as Lady Kang, the crown princess and wife of Sohyeon. The crown princess has an honorable reputation and is known for her intelligence, and together with her husband she advocated for reforms in Joseon. Complicating matters, Jeon Tae-soo (It’s Okay, Daddy’s Girl) is onboard playing Lady Jo’s lover. Cast as King Injo is Lee Deok-hwa (May Queen, History of the Salaryman), while Jung Sung-woon (Dong Yi) will play Sohyeon. Jung Sung-mo (God of War) will play Kim Ja-jeom, a well-known politician and Confucian scholar.War of the Flowers will replace Childless Good Fortune and takes to airwaves in March.
- Jung Seok-won (Haeundae Lovers) has been cast as the lead in a new war movie called Battle of Yeonpyeong. The movie is based on the 2002 naval attacks between North and South Korea on the island of Yeonpyeong which is a disputed boundary. Jung Seok-won will play Lieutenant Commander Yoon Young-ha, a real officer who was there at the time, and a national hero. Battle of Yeonpyeong starts shooting in February for a 2013 release.
- There are reports are circling that Yoo Ah-in is considering a high-profile film project Friend 2, which would be the sequel to the popular smash hit starring Jang Dong-gun.The sequel would be a revenge drama-thriller. Friend 2 has already signed on Yoo Oh-sung who was in the first film as one of the quartet. If Yoo were to take the role, he would be playing the secret son of Jang Dong-gun’s character.
- Lee Shi-young (Wild Romance) has a new movie due out next month called Men: An Operating Manual. She plays Choi Bo-na, a woman who can’t even remember the last real relationship she had. But one day she gets her hands on this manual, and she follows it to the letter, and suddenly men are falling all over themselves to get her attention. And then, just like Dr. Swaltsky says, she catches the attention of a top star, played by Oh Jung-sae (I Miss You) . Men: An Operating Manual hits theaters in February.
- Dark crime thriller New World getting ready for its big premiere. There are three men, on various sides of the loyalty and legality line, portrayed by three of Chungmuro’s top dramatic stars: Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-shik, and Hwang Jung-min. In New World, a detective (Choi Min-shik) infiltrates Korea’s largest crime organization (Hwang Jung-min’s base), and what unfolds is an entanglement of “conspiracy, betrayal, and loyalty,” with Lee Jung-jae caught in the middle. New World premieres on February 21.
- Kim Min-hee (Moby Dick, Actresses) is the latest addition to the Band of Thieves. Her role would be one of the members of thief pack. Band of Thieves is set to begin filming in March, and aims to release early next year.
- Kim Yoon-hye (Flower Boy Next Door) has a movie titled Girl is set against the scenic backdrop of Gangwon-do, and in particular a lake; there, a “horrific story” unfolds alongside a touching melo loveline between a boy and girl. The deeper the love grows, the more the boy becomes attacker and the girl becomes a victim, though it seems to hint that there’s more here than just an abusive relationship. Kim Yoon-hye plays the heroine Hye-won, who “harbors many secrets and possesses a curious aura” as she acts as the sole caregiver for her father, who suffers from mental illness. Playing the boy is Kim Shi-hoo (Love Rain). He blames himself for his friend’s suicide, he takes his parents’ suggestion to remove to a peaceful location, which is how he ends up in Gangwon-do and falls in love with the heroine.Girl will begin filming this month.