Actor Lee Byung-hun (Iris) has been confirmed to play the lead male role in the upcoming drama Mr. Sunshine, which is another project from writer-director pair Kim Eun-sook and Lee Eung-book who produced the hit 2016 dramas Descendants of the Sun and Goblin. The casting of the actor was confirmed by a representative from the drama’s production company on June 24.
Mr. Sunshine is about an American soldier, Korean by blood, who falls in love with a nobleman’s daughter during his dispatch to Korea. The storyline takes off with a battle scene set during the U.S. military expedition to Korea (Shinmiyangyo) in 1871 when the protagonist boards an American military ship as a young boy and arrives in the U.S. After spending most of his life in a foreign country, he returns as an American soldier to his motherland. During his assignment in Korea, he meets and falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter.
Lee Byung-hun will be playing the role of the soldier. Mr. Sunshine is his first drama since 2009 when he starred in the hit KBS series Iris. The representative from the production company said that he suits the role very well due to his acting experience and English speaking skills saying, “There are a lot of things to prepare for this drama, so we wanted to get the casting done right away. Our writer, Kim Eun Sook, told us that she wanted the male lead to be someone who is experienced in acting and is good at speaking English, so Lee Byung Hun was a perfect fit. We are very excited to work with him.”
Lee Byung-hun is an experienced actor in the Korean entertainment industry. He appeared in various Hollywood films, including the G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra in 2009, G.I. Joe: Retaliation and Red 2 in 2013, Terminator Genisys in 2015, and The Magnificent Seven in 2016. Lee is also an award-winning actor who won the Best Actor prize in three prestigious award ceremonies — 37th Blue Dragon Awards, 53rd Grand Bell Awards, and 52nd Baeksang Art Awards — for his 2015 film Inside Men. He also holds another Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor prize for his 2005 film A Bittersweet Life. In addition, he won three Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actor prizes in television for his performance in Iris (2009), All In (2003), and Son of Wind (1996).
The production company has yet to complete its casting and find a broadcasting station for Mr. Sunshine, which is now confirmed to air in the latter half of 2017.