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January 3, 2019   Source:   Lee Byung Hun's Instagram   Congratulations Byung Hun-ssi.  You now have more than 100, 000 followers on Instagram.  

Source: Lee Byung Hun IG / thanks to mistymorning for the translation   January 17, 2019   Actress Kim Hye Soo sends a coffee truck to CHIEFS OF NAMSAN   BH's caption: 

hello chingus   freshly finished from watching Keys to the Heart  I laughed and cried a lot.  I missed BH doing understated film like this, transporting me back on sentimental old school style. A

July 4, 2018


'Mr. Sunshine' Update:

TVN Comment On Lee Byung Hun's Alleged 3.6 Billion Won Paycheck


BY ANYA BELL / Korea Portal


'Mr. Sunshine' star Lee Byung Hun is reportedly earning 150 million won per episode! Photo by Netflix/YouTube


There is little doubt that Mr. Sunshine is a massive project. The trailer for the upcoming tvN drama has already revealed the amazing scenery and huge battle sequences that will be featured in the series. But is it true that lead star Lee Byung Hun is earning up to 150 million won per episode for the project? The network reacted to the reports concerning the I Saw The Devil actor's hefty paycheck.


Lee Byung Hun is already a major star who has successfully crossed over to Hollywood. The 47-year-old actor has achieved international box office success with two G.I. Joe films, Terminator Genisys, and The Magnificent Seven. The string of successful movies has led to speculations that Byung Hun is one of the most expensive actors in Korean film history. So does this mean he will be earning a whopping 3.6 billion won for his work in Mr. Sunshine?


tvN has addressed reports about Lee Byung Hun's huge salary for playing a Korean man who becomes an American soldier in the highly anticipated drama. Interestingly, the network simply stated that they could not confirm the actor's paycheck for Mr. Sunshine.


“The payment of the actors is something that we can’t confirm,” a tvN representative told the Seoul Economic Daily Star (via Soompi). Nevertheless, fans can't stop wondering how much Lee Byung Hun will be earning for Mr. Sunshine.


Some reports have revealed that Lee Byung Hun will be getting 3.6 billion won (around $3.2 million) for Mr. Sunshine. Since the drama has 24 episodes, people have calculated that the RED 2 star is earning 150 million won (around $134,700) per episode. Some fans are not completely surprised by the news especially since the series will be aired internationally by Netflix.


Although it is still unclear if he truly is getting a fat paycheck for Mr. Sunshine, Lee Byung Hun has recently expressed his admiration for his leading lady in the tvN drama. The Memories of the Sword star revealed that he enjoyed working with Kim Tae Ri saying he "couldn't believe she's a rookie."


"Biologically, we have a big age gap but I couldn't feel it at all when acting," Lee Byung Hun said of Kim Tae Ri. The trailer for Mr. Sunshine certainly confirms that the Little Forest actress is giving an amazing performance in the tvN series. Mr. Sunshine will air on July 7 on tvN.

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Here's the interview article by Thailand's The Nation ~


July 5, 2018


A chapter in history


By Parinyaporn Pajee The Nation 




Global viewers might not understand the historical background to new South Korea series “Mr Sunshine” but they will have no trouble following the story


The entertainment media was out in force late last week, reporters turning out in their hundreds to a conference room in Seoul’s Gangnam district to hear more about one of the most anticipated drama series of 2018. The series in question is “Mr Sunshine” and for once non-Korean fans won’t have to wait months to see it thanks to Netflix, which is bringing it to the US and most Asian viewers on Saturday followed by Japan on Sunday and the rest of the world on July 19.


The 24-episode series, estimated to have cost 40 billion won (Bt1.2 billion), is the third collaboration between talented scriptwriter Kim Eunsook and director Lee Eungbok, the pair behind “Descendants of the Sun” and “Goblin”. “Mr Sunshine” also marks the return to the small screen of South Korean superstar Lee Byunghun, who famously played the lead in the espionage action thriller “Iris” but has focused more on movies in recent years.


Based in Shinmiyangyo, the US expedition to Korea in the late 19th century, “Mr Sunshine” tells the story of a Korean boy born into a family of house servants who runs away to board an American warship and later returns to his homeland as a US marine officer. Ironically, he falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and discovers the dark scheme to colonise the country from which he once fled. Lee Byunghun, who played Storm Shadow in the “GI Joe” series and Han Cho Bai in “Red 2”, takes on the role of the US marine officer Choi Eugene, while Kim Taeri, who came into the spotlight with Park Chanwook’s “The Handmaiden” makes her TV series debut as the aristocrat’s daughter, Go Aesin. Yoo Yeonseok, Byun Yohan and Kim Minjung, the latter replacing Kim Sarang in the role of Kudo Hina, also star.  


The combined power of Kim Eunsook and Lee Eungbok earns the credit for drawing the superstar cast.  


“I joined the team a little bit later than the rest of the cast. I was thrilled when I read the script and there was no reason for me to say no. It’s the first time I have joined a project that had already gone a long way so his is pretty new to me,” says the actress.  


Kudo Hina is sold by her father to a rich old Japanese man and inherits his wealth when he dies five years later.  


Unlike other movies or TV dramas that usually tell patriotic stories set during the years when Japan ruled Korea, “Mr Sunshine” takes place decades earlier, towards the end of the nineteenth century.


“My character is a Korean-American. I think it’s the first time I’ve played an American character in a Korean drama. Eugene is very different. He is not a patriot. In fact, he has a lot of negative sentiments towards Joseon and wants to get his revenge on the country. That made the role unique and interesting for me,” says Lee Byunghun.




Next year marks the centenary of the establishment of the Provisional Government of the Republic of Korea and so the series is a good opportunity to celebrate the occasion and teach the audience more about Korean history.


“A lot of countries have been invaded by foreign countries and there has always been a fight. I think this is a common sentiment and one that non-Koreans easily relate to. To be honest, we weren't really thinking of foreign markets when we were making the series, but if you look at our main characters you will see that the patriots were fighting for this country and I think a lot of overseas viewers will be able to relate to that,” says the director.


Lee Byunghun agrees, adding that the 1871 Shinmiyangyo, the first American military action in Korea and the subsequent Japanese annexation of its ports saw a great deal of political turmoil.


“I think a lot of people will look at this without knowing much about the historical background but that’s not important. Essentially this is a story about people and it’s the relationships between these people that make up the focal point of the drama. So even if you don't understand the backdrop, you will be able to follow and get immersed in the story,” he says.


“For global viewers, it may be a little more difficult. They know little about Korean culture or history so I wonder how they will be able to digest the story.”




It shouldn’t be a problem, Fans of Kim’s earlier hits such as “Secret Garden”, “On Air”, “The Heirs” and even “Descendants of the Sun”, will merely see “Mr Sunshine” as a romantic drama with historical turmoil in the background. One of the writer’s signatures is inserting some cheesy lines into the script and there are here in “Mr Sunshine” too.  


“She has certain lines like that prepared. But as actors, we don’t know what lines are going to attract attention. That will be determined by the viewers so we just act it out and then they catch something and start saying ‘oh that was interesting’ and then it becomes a famous oneliner,” says actor Lee, admitting that it took him a while to get used to her language.  


“It's the first time I’ve worked with her. She seems to have her own language and her own way of expressing herself. It was a bit awkward for me at first but I soon got used to expressing myself like that. Let’s just see what comes the next,” he adds.


Another of Kim Eun Suk’s more famous quirks is her genius for writing Cinderella stories. This doesn’t seem to have washed into “Mr Sunshine” as Go Aeshin, the daughter of a high-ranking an aristocrat turns out to be a secret anti-Japanese fighter.


“She’s also fighting for the Joseon dynasty so she’s kind of caught between these two different personalities. She’s a very complex, sophisticated and layered character and whenever I had frustrations and difficulties, I asked the director for help and tried hard not to make her a twodimensional flat character,” says Kim Taeri.


This is the first time a Korean drama will be airing globally via Netflix on the same day as in Korea and that’s a completely new experience even for Lee Byunghun.  


“Even when I starred in Hollywood movies, the release dates would be slightly different. So this is the first time I’m seeing a Korean drama being premiered in 190 countries so that everyone in the world can watch the series at the same time. It’s exciting,” her says.


“Mr Sunshine” will stream on Netflix starting on Saturday with new episodes showing every Saturday and Sunday, the same day as the Korean broadcast.

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Published on July 6, 2018 by ARIRANG K-POP


[Showbiz Korea] Drama 'Mr. Sunshine(미스터션샤인)' shows the lives of the nameless soldiers


"Mr. Sunshine" shows the lives of the nameless soldiers who are not recorded in history but who we must always remember. All they wanted was sovereignty over their motherland, Joseon and this drama shows their heartrending anti-Japanese fight and struggles. "Mr. Sunshine" is a highly anticipated production of 2018! We hope it will cause a huge sensation in Korea and abroad.



Published on July 6, 2018 by BH Entertainment



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July 6, 2018




Source: KpopLove




Park Hyo-Shin confirmed to sing the first OST Track for the upcoming tvN drama “Mr. Sunshine”


On July 6, a source from “Mr. Sunshine” announced Park Hyo-Shin will sing the first OST track for the drama. The title of the song is “The Day,” which is expected to emphasize certain emotions and feelings the drama intends to convey.


Furthermore, Park Hyo-Shin reportedly self-wrote and composed the song. The song contains a soothing melody line from piano and orchestral sound, later accompanied by a big-scale choir. Park directly participated in writing the lyrics and the melody, with a help from lyricist Kim Eana and singer Jung Jae-Il.


In addition, this OST track is especially meaningful since it’s the first OST track by Park in 5 years. The track “The Day” will be released with a music video on July 8 at 12 PM, KST.


Meanwhile, “Mr. Sunshine” is set to begin airing on July 7 on tvN, starring Lee Byung-Hun, Kim Tae-Ri, Yoo Yeon-Seok, Kim Min-Jung, and Byun Yo-Han. It will tell a story about a young boy who travels to the U.S. during the 1871 Shinmiyangyo, and later returns to his homeland as a U.S. Marine officer.


Original Article
Translated by Dasol Kim

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July 6, 2018


Mr Sunshine on Netflix: How many episodes in the new series?
MR SUNSHINE is a brand new South Korean drama coming to Netflix this month. Here’s everything you need to know about the show including episode count, release date, cast and more.

By MOLLI MITCHELL Express.co.uk

When is Mr Sunshine released on Netflix?


Mr Sunshine will be available to watch and download on Netflix  worldwide on Thursday, July 19.


The series is a new South Korean original drama set during the late 19th century and early 20th century.


It is a mix of dramatised history and fictional wartime romance, written by Kim Eun Sook and directed by Lee Eung-bok who were behind international hits Descendants of the Sun and Goblin.

Rob Roy, Vice President of Content Asia for Netflix said: “We have seen so much passion for top quality Korean stories and the pedigree of a title like Mr Sunshine is a significant step forward in building a strong Korean content library for our members around the world.”

How many episodes are in Mr Sunshine on Netflix?


Mr Sunshine will have 24 episodes in total.


All will be available in one go.


The 90-second trailer has been viewed over one million times on YouTube by an international audience.


The trailer features real photos from the historical battle on which the show is based.

What will happen in Mr Sunshine on Netflix?


Mr Sunshine follows the love story between Korean-born US Marine Officer, Eugene Choi (played by Lee Byung-hun) a solider in the resistance movement against Japanese occupation and his romance with Go Ae-sin (Kim Tae-ri) an aristocrats daughter.


Eugene fled Korea after the death of his parents as a young boy on a US Warship during the Shinmiyangyo in 1871.


The Shinmiyangyo is the name of the first United States expedition to Korea. It was the first time the American military were present in Korea to establish political and trade relations.


The incident occurred in response to the Koreans who attacked two American warships on June 1 around the Korean Island of Ganghwa.


On June 10, 650 American sailors and marines and five warships attacked Ganghwa, killing over 200 Korean troops.


Only three Americans died in the battle.


Decades later, when Eugene returns as a US Marine Officer representing America’s national interests, he discovers a plot by Japan to colonise his homeland which was actually successfully colonised from 1910-1945.


Director Lee told a press conference in Seoul: “There are many dramas set in the 1930s when the Japanese occupation of Korea was in full swing.


“But there weren't many dramas - or historical documents for that matter - about the early 1900s when people struggled to protect the country from an impending invasion by Japan.”


Netflix new releases for 2018

Who is in the cast of Mr Sunshine on Netflix?


Well-known South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun plays Eugene Choi, a Korean-American US Marine officer who returns to his country after fleeing conflict in 1871.


Lee Byung-hun is well known for his role as Storm Shadow in G.I Joe and starring alongside Bruce Willis in Red 2 as Han Cho Bai.


Rising star, Kim Tae-ri plays aristocrat’s daughter Go Ae-sin who becomes a patriotic assassin.


This is Kim’s first small-screen debut after her lead role in the critically acclaimed psychological thriller, The Handmaiden.


Mr Sunshine also features South Korean actors Yoo Yeon-seok as Goo Dong-mae, Kim Min-jung as Kudo Hina and Byun Yo-han as Kim Hee-sung.


Mr Sunshine will drop on Netflix on July 19 (broadcast other than Korea, the US, Asia and Japan)


Photos: tvN


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July 7, 2018


“Mr. Sunshine” Sets New Record With First Episode Viewership Ratings


Source: Soompi by S. Koh




After only one episode, “Mr. Sunshine” is proving to be a new drama to watch as evident by its record breaking viewership ratings.


tvN’s weekend drama “Mr. Sunshine,” which aired on July 7 at 9 p.m. KST for the first time, recorded the highest ever viewership ratings for the premiere of a tvN drama The ratings confirmed that it is indeed one of the most anticipated projects.


For cable, satellite, and IPTV combined across paid platforms, the first episode garnered an average of 8.9 percent and at the highest 10.6 percent. Despite being a cable program, “Mr. Sunshine” took No. 1 in its time slot including public broadcasting station shows as well.


Its massive scale and elaborate visuals combined with an eye catching story has viewers glued to the screen. In addition, writer Kim Eun Sook brings to life a changing Chosun Dynasty while director Lee Eung Bok creates spectacular war scenes.


“Mr. Sunshine” airs every Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m. KST.


Source (1)

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Source: Netizendrama



Naver - Isplus: "One target"...'Mr. Sunshine' Lee Byung Hun x Kim Tae Ri's first meeting as snipers 


1.[+2318, -256] I was having fun watching the story and the acting but the comments;;;;;;;;


2.[+1023, -190] It's fun...are you even watching it...


3.[+1213, -423] If you want to use Lee Byung Hun you should have raised the age of the actress or if you wanted Kim Tae Ri you should have lowered the age of the actor, do just one of it


4.[+692, -29] Some scenes are as good as a movie and some scenes are like 'Mystic TV: Surprise' which it's an extreme ㅋㅋㅋ


5.[+515, -89] Am I the only one who finds it fun...The immersion is the best and Kim Tae Ri's beauty ㅜㅜ she is so pretty ㅜㅜ

6.[+512, -196] Honestly, I think there are a lot of people watching it because of Lee Byung Hun than the ones who are not watching it because of him...The feeling of Lee Byung Hun saving this drama is so strong


7.[+292, -25] Am I the only one who likes how Kim Tae Ri is delivering her lines, even though she is trembling, it looks high class


8.[+294, -4] Someone said it's The descendants of Mr. Goblin ㅋㅋ


9.[+276, -36] Yoo Yeon Seok is f*cking awesome...



Naver - Isplus: "It's fate from their first meeting"...'Mr. Sunshine' Lee Byung Hun x Kim Tae Ri's fate begins


1.[+2345, -211] It's so immersive, It's so fun to watch especially Kim Tae Ri, she is good at acting and I like her voice tone so much


2.[+1083, -215] Lee Byung Hun...His gaze is better at delivering than the lines ㄷㄷ


3.[+516, -50] Lee Byung Hun and Kim Tae Ri's vocalizations and visuals and the immersion is the best, Yoo Yeon Seok had a little screen time today ㅜㅜ My heart is already aching just by the thought of how sad it's going to be


4.[+835, -436] I don't care about the age gap or whatever, I just got immersed into it...Why does an hour feels this short ㅜㅜ


5.[+216, -31] I thought I was watching a movie ㅋㅋ When Lee Byung Hun appears, he made it look like a movie~


6.[+204, -22] There is nothing to be surprised about Lee Byung Hun's acting because I already knew it was good...but I was surprised with Kim Tae Ri, from her voice tone to her acting


7.[+150, -15] Kim Tae Ri's face is innocent but her voice is so charming

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A little lighthearted moment..



Source: Netizendrama


Naver - Osen: 'Mr. Sunshine' Lee Byung Hun found out that Kim Tae Ri is a secret soldier 


1.[+1157, -95] Kim Tae Ri is really good at acting and her diction is good ㄷㄷ


2.[+621, -185] Lee Byung Hun and Kim Tae Ri's acting gave me goosebumps. I thought they won't suit each other but their chemistry is daebak 


3.[+336, -41] The comments said that yesterday was boring but today was fun. I think it will be more fun when we see Kim Tae Ri and Yoo Yeon Seok together next week. I hope this week passes fast, I'm looking forward to it


4.[+237, -23] It looks more like a movie, the drama is really daebak...It was much more fun than yesterday, how will episode 3 be?...


5.[+172, -22] Today, the time really went by fast, It was so fun

6.[+124, -5] Lee Byung Hun looks natural with any language, It's amazing


7.[+102, -6] If only Lee Byung Hun managed well his image ㅜㅡㅜ what a waste of an actor....His way of delivering the lines and his gaze are really impressive 


8.[+105, -18] Lee Byung Hun's eye gaze acting...It's on another level! 


9.[+106, -23] No matter what, Lee Byung Hun fits well as Eugene. You said he is older but he is a US Marine captain. Do you think you can become that in your 20s?

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A previous interview article by The Philippines media..


July 6, 2018


Mr. Sunshine: A complex story of love and heroism

Shirley Matias Pizarro (The Philippine Star


SEOUL — The creators of wildly popular Korean drama series, Descendants of the Sun, and Goblin: The Lonely and Great God are set to complete a “trilogy of victory” as their latest collaboration billed Mr. Sunshine premieres on Netflix tomorrow, July 7, thereby tapping a bigger audience base spanning 190 countries across the globe.


The unbeatable tandem of writer Kim Eun-sook and director Lee Eung-bok has come up with another surefire blockbuster, an epic tale of love and heroism billed Mr. Sunshine. For the title role, they specifically handpicked and cast one of Korea’s biggest and brightest actors, Lee Byung-hun, who is also an accomplished Hollywood actor in his own right.


Lee Byung-hun’s Hollywood exposure was embodied in major feature films G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra and its sequel G.I. Joe Retaliation, Red 2, Terminator Genisys and The Magnificent Seven. Lee was also the first South Korean actor to present an Oscar at the annual Academy Awards, being a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Lee also enjoys the distinction of having his hands and feet imprinted at the forecourt of Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.


Despite his accomplishments, Lee confessed during the round-table interview at the Patio 9 function hall here last Tuesday that he feels a certain kind of pressure as the show is to be streamed on Netflix, a medium he hasn’t yet experienced before. He said, “I am sure that the impact will be tremendous. Yes, it is difficult not (to) be burdened in such a situation but as an actor and creator, it is important not to let that pressure get to you because doing so might limit your freedom to act and express your art.”



Told from the backdrop of Korea’s late 19th to early 20th century history before its Japanese annexation in 1910, the story of Mr. Sunshine revolves around the life of a slave boy (Choi Yu-jin) whose tragic existence in Korea forced him to find refuge in foreign soil. He later comes back to his failing native country as an American soldier (Eugene Choi) to fight off the resistance and exact his own brand of revenge against the Joseons, those who maltreated him and murdered his family. But fate plays a game of cruel twist on him as he finds himself falling in love with an undercover freedom fighter (Go Ae-shin, who in reality was an heir in an aristocrat family) played by actress Kim Tae-ri.




Others in the cast of Mr. Sunshine are actors Byun Yo-han (as Kim Hee-sung, the Japanese- educated fiancé of Go Ae-shin who had been betrothed to her since she was 15 years old); Kim Min-jung (as Kudo Mina, the rich, fashionable, powerful and wily hotel owner); and Yoo Yeon-seok (as Go Dong-mae, the butcher’s son and a fighter in a rebel splinter group in Japan).


All three men are in love with the same girl, Go Ae-shin, while Kudo Mina finds herself at the throes of unrequited love with Eugene Choi. The complexities of love and how each person’s journey unfolds, whether or not they end up with the one they love, are guarantees to keep the viewers hooked to the period drama of Mr. Sunshine.


The character essayed by Lee, Eugene Choi may all be American, rational and cold but that didn’t change the fact that he fell in love with Go Ae-shin when he met her during his return to Korea. Lee said, “He sustains that character of aloofness to the end but he does so while protecting Ae-shin because he loves her. That is the attraction there.”


Byun as Kim Hee-sung, for his part, has found himself regretting his decision as a young man to make Ae-shin wait very long for his decision to marry her. He pursued his education in Japan and took her for granted. When he came back and saw Ae-shin again, he knew exactly what he missed. But he realized it was too late because Eugene Choi was there for her already.


Yoo plays the untouchable Go Dong-mae, a butcher’s son. During that time, a butcher belongs to the lowest strata of the society and doesn’t amount to anything. Yoo said, “All he knows is that he will be willing to risk anything, give up even his life for a love that will never be.”


It is also worth mentioning that despite the highly-male-dominated milieu of war and rebellion, Mr. Sunshine has upped the ante to showcase the strength and power of women in the characters of Go Ae-shin and Kudo Mina. Kim Min-jung said, “I had to learn fencing and since Kudo speaks four languages, I had to study French, English, Joseon and Japanese.


Back in the 1900s, women didn’t hold power or authority, but I love it that my character owns the largest hotel where all the drama takes place and that sort of give her the power to wield. My role also allowed me to indulge in the elaborate physical preparations — from head to toe, my hair and make-up, my fashionable costumes — everything takes too long to prepare so I just determined myself to enjoy it,” she said wisely.


Kim Tae-ri, for her part, loves that her character is some sort of a double-edged sword — an aristocrat on one side involved with the trappings of social status and royalty, and the ironic flipside of a fierce resistance fighter. “Everything she does is for her patriotism. She is willing to die for her country. It’s a very complex character and it is interesting to uncover every layer, every facet of it. In the end, the audience will surely have to watch out how her character will resolve the barriers in order to pursue her beliefs,” Tae-ri said.


Lee pointed out that the strength of the drama series lies in the people and their relationships, and the emotions experienced by each character. “Yes, there is a lot of political turmoil and history involved, but these are mere factors impacting the relationships between characters. Even if you don’t know anything about history, you will be able to follow the drama and get immersed in it,” he concluded.


(Netflix’s Mr. Sunshine is a 24-episode series that premieres in Asian territories and the US July 7, July 8 in Japan and July 19 for the rest of the world. The series is produced by Hwa&Dam Pictures and Studio Dragon.)

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July 10, 2018


Mr. Sunshine: Episode 1 mrs.jpg


by dramallama via Dramabeans.com

It’s here, and it’s more epic than I had imagined! The highly anticipated Mr. Sunshine, with its reliable production team, excellent casting, and compelling historical story seems to have the trifecta in place to deliver one hell of a drama. All these elements are strong in our first installment, which introduces us to our major players and their developing motivations. As we dig into the backstories of our characters, we also get a taste of the poignant history, which is sure to carry the show throughout its run. The thread of history — political and personal — connects these characters together, and I can’t wait to see how they all interweave into each other’s lives.




Mr. Sunshine: Episode 2


by dramallama Dramabeans.com

Rampant change in Joseon is met with both excitement and resistance, and this clash is where we meet our main characters. We learn more about Ae-shin’s story, which is truly a story paved by her stubborn commitment to what she wants. And what she wants is often a bold challenge that embraces the change and all the risks that accompany it. As the timeline catches up, we’re introduced to our remaining characters, seeing how some fates are intertwined and how some just brush by as a hint of what’s to come.




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Source: Netflix Korea




July 11, 2018


$134,000 per episode: actor Lee Byung-hun hits jackpot with 'Mr. Sunshine'


By Dong Sun-hwa The Korea Times


Actor Lee Byung-hun reportedly gets 150 million won ($134,000) for each of the 24 episodes of "Mr. Sunshine," the new tvN series, although the entertainment channel refused to confirm it. 


According to reports, Lee's guarantee of 3.6 billion won ($3.22 million) for the series accounts for about 8.5 percent of the 43 billion won production cost. 


"We cannot reveal the exact amount," tvN told media outlet Donga.com. 


Big pay checks for celebrities often mean little for crews, who are said to live a poor life. 


"Mr. Sunshine" is a drama penned by star writer Kim Eun-sook, whose previous credits include hits such as "Descendants of the Sun" and "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God." 


In this series, Lee plays Eugene Choi, a Korean-born U.S. Marine who falls in love with Ko Ae-shin, an assassin who fights for the Joseon Kingdom against imperial Japan, in the turn-of-the-century period drama. Kim Tae-ri, 28, has the role. 


The show's first two episodes aired Saturday and Sunday, recording ratings of 8.9 percent and 9.7 percent. 




July 10, 2018


Mr. Sunshine' features high-end cinematography


A scene from tvN drama "Mr. Sunshine" / Courtesy of CJ E&M


By Park Jin-hai The Korea Times

The much-anticipated blockbuster drama "Mr. Sunshine," which premiered last Saturday, has shown how far a Korean drama can go when it is handed a 40 billion won budget. 


The first two episodes of the 24-part weekend drama overwhelmed viewers with their scale and stunning cinematography, giving viewers the impression they were watching a Hollywood wartime romance drama. 


Computer graphics have been lavishly used for graphic battle scenes where many nameless civilian soldiers fought for their kingdom, Joseon, under the pressure of foreign powers, to depict the most tumultuous time in history when "yesterday seemed distant, today seems strange and tomorrow, fearful."


The first epic blockbuster by star writer Kim Eun-sook, whose long track record includes pan-Asian smash hits "Descendents of the Sun" and "Guardian: The Lonely and Great God," devoted the first two episodes to telling the backgrounds of the lead characters in the fast-evolving Late Joseon period, where slaves were freed, and foreigners and Western culture were introduced before Japan annexed the Korean Peninsula.


Reflecting viewers' high expectations for the drama, its first two episodes received 8.9 percent and 9.7 percent viewership ratings, which surpassed the initial two episodes' ratings of "Guardian," whose first episode hit 6.3 percent. 


The drama, starring veteran actor Lee Byung-hun and rising star actress Kim Tae-ri, is set in Korea in the late 1800s and early 1900s, telling the story of the wartime romance between Korean-born American Marine Eugene Choi who says "Joseon has never taken me" due to his painful memories involving his family, and Ko Ae-shin, a daughter of a noble family who became an assassin to fight the Japanese. 


"Mr. Sunshine" was inspired by historical events concerning a U.S. expedition to Korea in 1871, the first American military action on and around Ganghwa Island, which killed over 200 Koreans. It forced Regent Daewongun to strengthen his policy of isolation until Korea established a trade treaty with Japan, after Japanese ships approached Ganghwa and threatened to fire on Seoul in 1876. Korea's treaties with European countries and the U.S. soon followed.


To tell the epic story that has seldom been dealt with in dramas, the production team built a 20,000-square-meter outdoor set in Nonsan, South Chungcheong Province, and another 6,600-square-meter indoor set in Daejeon based on research of the time period. 


The drama began shooting last September teaming up with the music, art and visual effects staff Kim worked on with "Guardian." Staff members who worked on films such as "Assassination" and "The Handmaiden" joined in this blockbuster drama as well. All the star staff as well as many great actors explain how all the money has been spent _ on making the show good. 


The story runs a bit slow as the show sets up its premise and introduces so many characters all at once, but the drama was nothing short of raising expectations for what stories will be unfolded in this great _ after all _ romance drama. 


Jung Duk-hyun, a culture critic, says the episodes aired demonstrate the power of the writer, with 15 years of a successful career. "The first episode was like showing Kim's self-confidence as one of the most powerful writers whose name can earn easy access to investment, enabling her to cast A-list actors and attract viewers to sit in front of the small screen," he said.


Another culture critic Kim Kyung-nam said, "The attention is on whether Kim, who has shown strength in portraying romance, can succeed in the epic drama as well. So many incidents unfolding to describe the confusion of the era might scatter viewers' attention, but it could come fresh to Western audiences." 



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