After discussions with powerful stars Ha Ji-won and Lee Je-hoon have fallen through, MBC drama "The King", schedule to air the first half of next year, is facing a casting emergency.
Ha Ji-won had mentioned starring as the heroine in "The King" (working title, directed by Lee Jae-gyoo), which is scheduled to air in March, but talks with the star have withered.
People affiliated with Ha and her management, "Wellmade StarM", said on a December 27th TV report, "She was confirmed to appear, but after some changes in her schedule she had to reconsider. Director Lee Jae-gyoo, whom she worked with on "Damo", was sad to hear this news".
Lee Je-hoon, who was mentioned as the hero to Ha Ji-won's heroine, has instead chosen to star in the the upcoming SBS drama "Fashion King". A press release stated that he confirmed with "Fashion King" after attending its script reading.
With two stars departing like this, "The King" has become an urgent matter for producer Kim Jong-hak and MBC. Before Ha Ji-won and Lee Je-hoon, Jo In-Seong was also mentioned as a cast member, but as he has decided to focus on films he also withdrew. An affiliate of the production noted, "Casting the main roles has not worked out for us, but we will pull together a better alternative shortly".
"The King" is a romantic comedy from writers Hong Jin-ah and Hong Ja-ram, who worked with director Lee Jae-gyoo on "Beethoven Virus", and features a love story between a female North Korean spy and South Korean prince who is about to inherit the throne.
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