Byun Yo-han has been confirmed to headline the first ever outer-space-themed Korean series titled City of Stars, which will center on the dreams of young people who desire to travel to space. Saram Entertainment, the actor’s agency, made this announcement on January 23.
The actor’s casting confirmation is a major development in the pre-production stage of the science fiction series that was first announced in December 2016 as a big-budget drama. Two years ago, the series’ story was reported to focus on two men who have grown up dreaming of going into outer space. As adults, they are selected to join an astronaut training program that will send successful candidates on a mission to seek out alternative energy sources in space since earth’s natural fuels have dwindled, causing international conflicts as nations fight among themselves to ensure their own survival.
One of the two men is named Yoo Dong-ha, a former air force pilot and aircraft mechanic who has suffered from a flight accident that has left him with a trauma. Hyun Bin (Memories of the Alhambra) received an offer in 2016 to play this character but his casting did not get finalized. Two years later, Byun Yo-han signed up for the role.
The latest reports described Byun’s character as a light aircraft maintenance mechanic who suffers from claustrophobia after getting involved in an accident when he was serving in the air force. Aside from overcoming his anxiety disorder, he faces several conflicts and competitors in order to realize his dream of going into space.
Byun Yo-han rose to fame in 2014 after playing a supporting role in the popular workplace cable series Misaeng: Incomplete Life. In the following year, he appeared in Six Flying Dragons where he solidified his acting performance by playing the best swordsman in Joseon. His most recent project is the 2018 hit period series Mr. Sunshine.
With an interesting concept and award-winning writer-director Jang Jin as its director, City of Stars has the potential to become a blockbuster drama. Jang (We Are Brothers, Crime Scene) has been a huge name in the Korean theater and movie industry since the early nineties and is known for addressing in his works human issues that challenge societal norms. His work in the upcoming project will mark his first time directing a series since his previous projects composed mostly of films.
City of Stars is expected to incorporate cinematic visuals and specialized depictions of aerospace technology. The confidence in the success of the series seems high as it has received a 10-million-dollar (11.3 billion won) investment from a corporation in Hong Kong and already made pre-sale deals with over 30 countries. It will be completely pre-produced and start filming in March for a broadcast scheduled in the second half of 2019.