Lee Young-ae as graceful international spy in Different Dream
Well, that’s a quick turnaround—actress Lee Young-ae, who is most famous for her titular role in the Hallyu hallmark drama Dae Jang Geum, has already confirmed her comeback project. Given her 13-year hiatus before embarking on her most recent drama, Saimdang, Light’s Diary, I was expecting we’d be waiting at least a couple more years before seeing her onscreen, but it looks like we might be getting more frequent visits to dramaland from Lee Young-ae in the future.
Called Different Dream, the drama Lee Young-ae has been offered is a period melodrama (which I think she’s more suited for, because her present-day plot line in Saimdang was a bit of a snoozefest). Set during the Imperial Japanese colonization era, the drama switches between Gyeongseong (present-day Seoul) and Shanghai to tell a story of a double agent. Although nurtured by Japanese adoptive parents, the main character is surgeon who is originally of Korean heritage. The synopsis doesn’t give us a clear idea of her allegiance, but she becomes recruited to be an intelligence operative, and is sent to spy at the Shanghai Provisional Government where she becomes involved in the center of the brewing Pacific War.
On paper this sounds awesome, because I love the idea of an international femme fatale with life-saving hands who is driven to fight for her country. Lee Young-ae will be reuniting with PD Yoon Sang-ho, whose biggest credits are Legend and Saimdang, Light’s Diary—both of which are not anywhere near the top of my Best Sageuks list—but what gives me hope is that the production company that’s been affiliated with the project, High Conversation Producer, has actually created some decent to excellent projects like Jumong and Hwang Jin-yi (but also the stinker Doctor Stranger).
The script for Different Dream is currently being written by a team of writers that includes Jo Gyu-won, who was one of the main writers on IRIS and IRIS 2. As of yet, no other actors have been officially attached to the project, but filming is expected to begin sometime next year.