Kim Soo-hyun is already confirmed to star in the upcoming tvN drama Psycho But It’s Okay, his first series in four years since The Producers (2015). Nam Joo-hyuk and Bae Suzy, meanwhile, are also confirmed to play the leads in Startup (previously known as Sandbox).
tvN has yet to make an official announcement about the casting confirmation but according to a teaser of its 2020 drama lineup that was posted by its official drama Twitter account on January 28, the three actors have already signed up for the lead roles in the said series.
The 45-second teaser enumerates select seven dramas that will be broadcast on tvN this year: The Cursed; Hi Bye Mama starring Kim Tae-hee and Lee Kyu-hyung; Wise Doctor Life starring Jo Jung-suk, Kim Dae-myung, Jung Kyung-ho, Yoo Yeon-seok, and Jeon Mi-do; Stranger 2 starring Cho Seung-woo and Bae Doo-na; Record Of Youth starring Park Bo-gum and Park So-dam; Startup starring Nam Joo-hyuk, Bae Suzy, and Kim Sun-ho; and Psycho But It’s Okay starring Kim Soo-hyun.
Among the seven dramas mentioned in the teaser, Psycho But It’s Okay and Startup are the only ones with no confirmed main casting reports from major Korean news outlets (as of January 30). Psycho But It’s Okay will be directed by Park Shin-woo (Encounter) and written by Jo Yong-hae (Jugglers). On the other hand, Startup will be helmed by Oh Choong-hwan (Hotel del Luna) and penned by Park Hye-run (While You Were Sleeping).
Psycho But It’s Okay is a romantic drama about a community health worker at a psychiatric ward and a storybook writer with an antisocial personality disorder. The two have differing views on love but end up getting involved in a romantic relationship.
Kim Soo-hyun, who recently made a cameo appearance in Crash Landing On You, will play the community health worker named Moon Kang-tae, a handsome and intelligent man who can easily sympathize with other people. His job is not a walk in the park, considering he has to deal with unexpected situations in the ward such as when patients get into a fight or run away. However, he only earns a monthly salary of 1.8 million won ($1,520).
Meanwhile, Startup tells the story of two entrepreneurs who want to succeed with their own start-up companies. Suzy (Vagabond) will portray the role of Seo Dal-mi, a second-generation heiress who drops out of college to start her own company and be as successful as Steve Jobs. She also gives up her privileges and takes various jobs to raise the money she can use as capital.
Nam Joo-hyuk (The Light On Your Eyes) will play Nam Do-san, the founder and CEO of a failing start-up company. He excelled at Math as a child and constantly made his family proud, but since running his own company two years ago, life has become difficult for him. When he crosses paths with Seo Dal-mi, the two become friends and offer each other support as they try to launch a next start-up that will make them successful.
Casting confirmations in Korean dramas are a bit tricky. When a news outlet reports that actor X has been cast in a certain drama, it doesn’t mean X actually signed up for the role on the day the report is published. He might have accepted the role long before that day (several months or weeks ago) but the production team kept it a secret until they’re ready to make the announcement. That is the case in the implicit confirmation of Kim Soo-hyun, Nam Joo-hyuk, and Bae Suzy’s casting in the abovementioned dramas, except a news outlet wasn’t the one that divulged the details. They’re already confirmed based on the Twitter post but I haven’t seen any news yet from Korean media outlets reporting that information.
P.S. Of course, I’m also glad the three actors accepted the projects!