Lee Min-ho has been confirmed to star as the male lead in the new drama of Kim Eun-sook, the popular screenwriter of smash hit Korean dramas Mr. Sunshine, Goblin, and Descendants of the Sun. This was announced on May 7 by Hwa&Dam Pictures, Kim’s agency and the production company that will produce the new series.
The upcoming drama is tentatively titled The King: The Eternal Monarch, which is set in two parallel worlds and tells the story of an emperor of the Korean empire who lives in one of these worlds and a modern-day police detective who lives in another. The door to the parallel world is opened by a demon that is unleashed by a deity into the human world. It will be directed by Baek Sang-hoon, the co-director of Descendants of the Sun and Moonlight Drawn By Clouds, and released in the first half of 2020.
This project is Lee Min-ho’s (Legend Of The Blue Sea) first drama following his discharge from his mandatory military service on April 25, 2019. He will be reuniting with Kim Eun-sook in the series as he also starred in her 2013 romantic drama The Heirs opposite Park Shin-hye. The said series was also produced by Hwa&Dam Pictures, which mentioned in its press release that Lee is an actor “we can trust” who will a show a “more mature and deeper acting” in the upcoming drama.
Lee Min-ho started his major TV acting career in the 2009 romantic comedy Boys Over Flowers and has since appeared in five more prime time Korean dramas, including Personal Taste, City Hunter, and Faith.
His renewed partnership with Kim Eun-sook is expected to attract a lot of attention from the fans. Since they are both very famous celebrities in the Korean drama entertainment world, the commercial success of The King: The Eternal Monarch seems almost guaranteed already. There is still no broadcaster attached to the series but most likely all the major TV channels would like to get and air the drama. The final decision regarding the broadcast network and schedule now just probably boils down to the total production cost of the series. In 2017, for instance, SBS reportedly dropped Mr. Sunshine due to its staggering budget, giving cable network tvN the chance to pick up the project.
The King: The Eternal Monarch will begin filming in the second half of 2019.