Lee Byung-heon won’t star in IRIS sequel

With ratings topping 30% and commanding a lot of attention thanks to
its blockbuster budget and high-profile cast, KBS’s spy drama IRIS
had announced a high possibility that a second season would be
produced. On November 30, CEO Jung Tae-won of production house Taewon
Entertainment confirmed the sequel, saying, “Casting will take place
after the director has been decided, but we have decided to produce a
Season 2 of IRIS.” However, because its cast is composed of
top names with busy schedules, the likelihood of their returns is in
question, and star Lee Byung-heon will not be the second season’s hero.

CEO Jung went on to explain, “It’s difficult to talk of concrete filming schedules, but from the start of IRIS’s planning, we were thinking to make a Season 2, similar to American dramas Prison Break or CSI.
Since we haven’t yet given thought to broadcast stations, the title may
even change. From the start, the most important consideration was
deciding whether we would start fresh with a new cast and story, or
whether we would continue with the plot of Season 1. However, because
the first season is busily filming, it has been difficult to finalize a

Regarding the casting of the current season’s actors, Jung said, “We
are in discussions regarding several different possible directions.
However, Lee Byung-heon will be busy next year filming the sequel to the Hollywood film G.I.Joe, so he will probably not be able to film IRIS Season 2. Right now, we’re anticipating that he may make a special appearance in the first episode.”

The production team has secured a filming set location for the next
two years, and they are discussing with the current writers the
possible themes of the second season. They will film winter scenes next
summer in New Zealand and Australia, and head to Italy for additional
location shoots. Japan and China are also on the list of intended
foreign locales.

Meanwhile, IRIS is currently holding strong on Wednesdays
and Tuesdays and will wrap in three weeks. Yesterday (November 29),
filming took place in the Seoul streets, blocking traffic and drawing
crowds of spectators as explosions lit the sky and its lead actors
raced around shooting guns.

From the November 29 Seoul shoot:

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