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[Drama 2021] L.U.C.A.: The Beginning, 루카


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Kim Rae-won to return to small screen with fantasy action series 'L.U.C.A.'


By Lee Gyu-lee | 2021-01-29



Actors Kim Sung-oh, from left, Lee Da-hee, director Kim Hong-sun and actor Kim Rae-won pose for pictures during an online media conference for "L.U.C.A. : The Beginning," Wednesday. Courtesy of tvN


Actor Kim Rae-won, known for his performances in romantic dramas such as "The Doctors," is set to return to the small screen after about three years off, with tvN's action-packed fantasy series "L.U.C.A. : The Beginning," which will start airing on Monday.


"I've always felt intimidated by the fantasy genre. So I was going to turn this role down too," Kim said during Wednesday's online media conference for the series.


But he said he changed his mind quickly when he was told about the series' production staff. Led by Kim Hong-sun, who has a track record of directing cinematic series such as OCN's "Voice" and "The Guest," the series was written by Chun Sung-il, whose work includes the popular series "The Slave Hunters."


The action series is also joined by cinematographer Choi Young-hwan, known for working on hit action films like "Veteran" and "The Thieves."


"I really enjoyed director Kim's The Guest. It really amazed me," the actor said. "And with such a reliable cinematographer and fellow cast, I had no choice but to jump on board."



Kim plays Ji-oh who has enormous power. Courtesy of tvN


The series follows genetically enhanced human Ji-oh (Kim) who was born through a project called "L.U.C.A." As he tries to hide his superpower, he finds himself being chased by mysterious figures, including Yi-son (Kim Sung-oh), who are after his power.


Director Kim noted that the compelling part of the series comes from its distinctive theme. "What makes the series interesting is its unique setting… and a story that makes the ending unpredictable," he said.


"(The story) is about the characters involved with the project finding their identities… so in the process, they go after, confront and deal with one another."


Ji-oh has no clue how he got such powers nor where he comes from. As he tries to stay off the villains' radar, he tracks down the secret behind his existence.


Kim said it was especially difficult to play such a mysterious character. "I am still not sure whether I fully understood the character Ji-oh. I would always come to the director with questions like 'what in the world is Ji-oh looking for?'" he said.


"But I think that's exactly how Ji-oh feels. He is very curious about his identity and strives to find the answers. I was able to grasp that confusion and struggle."



A scene from the fantasy action series / Courtesy of tvN


Lee Da-hee plays detective Gu-reum who is the only person Ji-oh can recall. Her parents disappeared when she was young. She has been trying to find the truth behind their disappearance, but her life changes when she meets Ji-oh.


"I found the character interesting because, as a homicide detective, she is a fierce, powerful and independent woman, but she also has an innocent personality," she said.


Lee expressed confidence in the series. "When you start the first episode, you'll want to keep watching. I can say that with confidence. This will be unlike any other drama you saw on TV," she said.


The director also noted that he was hesitant to lead such a difficult genre series, but is now satisfied with his final product.


"Many directors want to tell fantasy stories but are hesitant because it's a complex process that needs a specific environment and components like CGI and action," he said. "But when I read writer Chun's script, I thought this was the right work to take the challenge."


Using a mountain as a metaphor, he said: "I have been reluctant to climb the mountain, but felt that this was the time I should. And now that (the filming) is over, I feel like I've traveled safely up and down."


"L.U.C.A.: The Beginning" is set to air every Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m.




‘L.U.C.A.: The Beginning’ offers action-packed chase


By Lim Jang-won | Jan 27, 2021



(From left) Actors Kim Sung-oh and Lee Da-hee, director Kim Hong-sun and actor Kim Rae-won pose before an online press conference Wednesday. (CJ ENM)


Kim Hong-sun, the director of multiple hit OCN dramas, is back Monday with a tvN action drama titled “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning.”


“L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” centers on an experimental cell, Ji-O, that was created through the L.U.C.A. project. The aim of the project was to create the Last Universal Common Ancestor -- the cell that holds the secret to all life forms in existence. Ji-O takes human form and has supernatural powers, but loses his memory after escaping the facility. Meanwhile, different organizations attempt to track Ji-O down for different purposes.


Kim, known for OCN dramas “The Guest” and “Voice,” among others, challenged himself with the unique idea of an evolution-based fantasy action drama.


“A lot of directors want to direct a fantasy genre work, but at the same time have a fear of doing so. A lot of computer graphics and actions are involved, so it’s very difficult. But after seeing screenwriter Chun Sung-il’s script, I felt it was time to attempt it,” said Kim during an online press conference Wednesday.


The same was true for actor Kim Rae-won.


“Likewise, I had a fear of the fantasy genre. But I saw that it was written by screenwriter Chun and I had enjoyed watching ‘The Guest’ by director Kim. Also, the camera director and the cast were too tempting for me to pass up the offer,” said the actor.


Kim Rae-won also mentioned that he could not completely understand his character, even after the filming was over.


“I still don’t know what kind of a person Ji-O is yet. He hides his incredible powers and discovers his origins and powers throughout the drama,” he said. “I constantly asked the director about what Ji-O is searching for. Ji-O is curious about where he comes from, and I could relate to that.”


Kim Rae-won, who is known for his many memorable roles in romance dramas, said the action-packed movie isn’t void of romance. Romance develops between Ji-O and police detective Gu-reum, played by Lee Da-hee.


“L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” is Lee’s first attempt at intense action. Although she played the role of a police detective six years ago in the SBS drama “Mrs. Cop,” Lee said her role in “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” is different in that a more mature romance is involved.


“I wanted to try this kind of drama, and after looking at the director who specializes in this genre, along with the screenwriter and producers, I wanted to do it even more,” said Lee.


Actor Kim Sung-oh also joins the cast as villain Yi-son, who pursues Ji-O.


“After I read the script, I felt that I could enjoy the drama if I saw it on TV,” said Kim Sung-oh.


“I’m not sure if villain is the right word for my character,” he said. “Yi-son is pretty good at running and fighting. He chases after Ji-O, but on the inside, it feels like he was trying to find the meaning of life.”


Meanwhile, director Kim -- who hopes that decent viewership ratings will lead to a second season -- thought the 12-episode drama was a good start.


“L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” is set to air on tvN every Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m. starting next week.


By Lim Jang-won (ljw@heraldcorp.com)

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tvN rocks again!


Hello everyone! It's been a while since I am seeing Kim Rae Won in a drama. I didn't even recognize him with his messy hair at the first time. :D And I love Lee Da Hee so much! So eagerly looking forward for this drama. 








Cr : twitter


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  • Guest changed the title to [Upcoming Drama 2021] L.U.C.A.: The Beginning, 루카 - Kim Rae Won & Lee Da Hee - Mon & Tue @ 21:00 KST - Premieres TONIGHT
  • larus changed the title to [Current Drama 2021] L.U.C.A.: The Beginning, 루카 - Kim Rae Won & Lee Da Hee - Mon & Tue @ 21:00 KST


Now I know what's JO super power.  He's like a human charger. Electricity flows. Destructive if used for bad deeds.

That humans becomes lab experiment. The evildoers trying to experiment on humans. I'm not sure for the intended purpose. It's probably the underlying part of the plot here.  Watch it raw so no idea actually what's going on.


 I watch ep 1 all the way which means I like it.  But you know it's fantasy when there's suspension of disbelief first scene with the baby. Heck we never question Superman's powers. When JO  pushed to the limit, he  can super charge with currents running through his veins.


I like the chase scene with the running through forest and leaping through buildings. I like that type of action.  Heck the 'truck' of doom almost killed GR twice too.  She was saved by the powers of JO. We'll see friction and [under] currents.


Not used to seeing KRW in character like this. I alway vision him as like as a lawyer detective doctor character.


I'll wait for episode two.  How'd you guys like episode 1 so far?

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On 1/27/2021 at 8:19 PM, Jillia said:

Lee Da Hee, Kim Rae Won, And More Describe Why They Joined “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” And Talk About Their Characters

I really like Lee da Hee's dress at the press conference:o

Thanks for the clips @Jillia:)


5 hours ago, jongski said:

Not used to seeing KRW in character like this. I alway vision him as like as a lawyer detective doctor character.

Maybe he wanted to do this role because he often plays professional characters and this is something different. Interestingly, I saw ini another article that Ji Chang Wook was originally in talks for this drama but I think Kim Rae Won was a good casting decision. 


5 hours ago, jongski said:

Not used to seeing KRW in character like this. I alway vision him as like as a lawyer detective doctor character.


I'll wait for episode two.  How'd you guys like episode 1 so far?

I wasn't sure if I would watch but the clips I have seen look surprisingly interesting so far. I may start watching after a few more episodes have aired.


I was looking at comments on Naver and some of the viewers were calling him Lukachu because of his electricity powers like Pikachu. LOOOL! :lol::lol::lol::lol::lol:




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It doesn't have the blockbuster production value they might have strived for but it looks decent. The action is pretty good as well.

The drama is veeery pulpy. I think you have to be up for that ride. And of course the drama is self aware of its genre as you can see when they repeat the scene with the truck for example.

I enjoyed the intensity towards the end and am looking forward to more of that. And if the romance is half as hot as their photoshoot together... 

Oh and i have to mention Kim Sang-Ho who is always a great sidekick.


(I naturally got reminded of Awaken and this is already a big step up for me)



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Premiere Watch: L.U.C.A.: The Beginning

by missvictrix



Time slot: Monday & Tuesday
Broadcaster: tvN
Genre: Crime, mystery, suspense, sci-fi
Episode count: 12


Reasons to watch: We’ve learned to take dramaland’s sci-fi offerings with a grain of hopeful salt, but that doesn’t mean I don’t keep expecting the best of them. And L.U.C.A. has a few important things going for it: it’s on tvN, it features the wonderful Lee Da-hee finally returning to the small screen, and the PD has dramas like Voice, Black and — wait for it — Liar Game — on his resume. That track record gives us a pretty good idea of what to expect in terms of tone, so perhaps this story of an amnesiac with superpowers (Kim Rae-won), and the investigator (Lee Da-hee) who knows more about him than he does, will make my sci-fi-loving heart happy.



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Once again, just like  episode 1, I enjoyed again the action and chase scene of ep 2. I think it's done well. Kudos to the director. 


I also like that story didn't prolong the way GR remembering who ZO was. Who he is, and the childhood interactions. GR remembered immediately after she dreamed about meeting the  ZO as a child and know something happened to her parents that ZO probably has the answers. Although ZO still doesn't remember but that's okay, she'd explained we'll get that out of the way. He'll know they met when they were children.  (Though the ones chasing them  doesn't know there's already a connention).  Kudos to the writer.  Story can move to stopping the "cult" investors funding the research.


ZO was an experiment as a new born baby that researchers lost. They know his system and functions and power. They want to capture. To "improve" functionality as with his electrons in his body. 


The other guy who was chasing, his right arm was zapped by electornic volts from ZO so he's arm was burnt. He has to receive shots teice for the rest of his life or else his burnt arm will rot.  Does he have same capability as ZO?


I understand the drama but not the cult aspect like the one's funding the experiement. I'm confused about the offering of the newborns.


Overall it's enjoyable for me. It's a drama to watch while I wait for others I might be more into. LUCA is only 12 episodes anyway.




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“L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” Sees Ratings Rise + “Royal Secret Agent” Stays In The Lead

Feb 3, 2021
by C. Hong
On tvN, the new drama “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” recorded ratings of 5.802 percent, a small increase in its ratings from its premiere episode the day before.
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I liked the first two episodes. Although it was more like the cat-mouse chasing in both episodes, but yeah, this drama looks promising, and I hope we'll be seeing more of the backstory too. The ML is kind of mutant here, has had memory loss. The FL has been chasing him for something which happened to her parents, the scientist wants him since he is the only successful candidate of his experiments, and we have a cult connected to the lab. Interesting. 


Nothing much with the episodes, I liked the direction and pacing of the episodes. I was loving the elevator fight until, until they just decided to go into the POV mode, and that is when my head started spinning, and I think they could have done a better job there. 


I hope, apart from the whole chasing, which I think needs to happen in between, I would love to see some developments happening between the characters and also in the characters. 

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Phew, finally caught up on the first two episodes. Fast paced, stunning shots, superb cinematography, flawless acting, gripping action scenes. The CGIs & special effects are not as bad as I thought, so that's a plus. 


The premise is interesting enough, evil mysterious~ lab conducting secret experiments on animals and humans. I hope they'll throw in a few plot twists here and there to keep us on the edge of our seats until the end.


I understand that the first couple of episodes are mostly there to set up the plot and introduce all the characters. I hope that within the next few episodes we'll get to see a bit more depth with the characters. 


(Also by the way this show is so dang dark it's a nightmare to make gifs haha :lol: )

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  • Guest changed the title to [Drama 2021] L.U.C.A.: The Beginning, 루카

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