Bora and Kim Ji-soo join Hwayugi as top star and first love
Bora, Kim Ji-soo
We’ve got two more cast members for the already impressive, sprawling cast confirmed for tvN’s upcoming fantasy drama Hwayugi: Former Sistar idol member Bora (Doctor Stranger) and Kim Ji-soo (Hwarang) will play two characters revolving around Cha Seung-won’s (Hwajeong) Bull Demon King, whose human world persona, Woo Hwi-chul, is the CEO of Korea’s largest entertainment company.
I kind of love how some male characters in the original Journey to the West epic are being turned into female roles, and I wonder how that dichotomy will play out in the show. Bora will join the mythical majority of the cast as top star Alice who is signed onto the Bull Demon King’s entertainment company, aptly named Lucifer. This would make her a colleague of fellow in-show celebrity PK, played by Lee Hong-ki (Modern Farmer), whose mythical counterpart Zhu Bajie (or the Pig) has the power to seduce women and suck their life force.
Alice, has “unwittingly” lived as the Jade Dragon, son of one of the four Dragon Kings. Hm, so is her dragon half lying dormant inside her human half? Either way, I’ll be interested to find out whether her popularity as a celebrity has something to do with her dragon powers, similar to PK. I don’t recall ever seeing Bora act in anything, though it looks like she’s had small parts in Doctor Stranger and Shut Up Family, but I’ve enjoyed her appearances in variety shows, so I’m hoping her likability helps add to a positive performance.
Kim Ji-soo’s role is described as more of a special appearance than a main one, but she’ll be an important figure in Woo Hwi-chul’s life, because she’s his first love and dramaland mandates that first loves are highly important. Her mythological counterpart is Princess Iron Fan, wife of the Bull Demon King, who has a particularly antagonistic relationship with Sun Wukong, the Monkey King, who will potentially be played by Lee Seung-gi (You’re All Surrounded) if he confirms. It’s almost comical how much at odds they are at times in the original Journey to the West saga: At one point, Sun Wukong turns into a fly in order to enter her stomach, where he proceeds to punch her guts until she hands over her fan.
With such a large cadre of characters, it’s hard to tell whether everyone will somehow intersect with the central premise, which follows Oh Yeon-seo (My Sassy Girl) as the monk character in the modern retelling as she fulfills her unwanted fate to exorcise demons. Other cast members include Jang Gwang (Thief-nom, Thief-nim), Lee Se-young (The Best Hit), Choo Ja-hyun (A Man Called God), YG rapper ONE, and the ever-fantastic Lee El (Black).
Hwayugi is set to premiere sometime in December, taking over tvN’s Saturday-Sunday slot.