Cha Seung Won Likely to Join “You’re Surrounded”; “Unprecedented” Shelved Indefinitely for “Dae Jang Geum”

Actor Cha Seung Won is apparently considering offers to join SBS Wednesday-Thursday drama “You’re Surrounded.”

“You’re Surrounded” is expected to follow after “Three Days,” which will begin airing in February. Cha Seung Won had planned to work on MBC Monday-Tuesday sageuk drama “Unprecedented,” but with production being postponed indefinitely, he’s had to reconsider his next move.

According to a representative, he’s said to be “positively considering the offer.” The representative added that, “If he decides to join the project, it’ll definitely help move casting along.”

“You’re Surrounded” will tell the story of new police recruits in their 20s, with the main characters detectives known as the “Youth Gang of Four.” Amongst the four, it’s been said that one of them, Eun Dae Gu, will be played by Lee Seung Gi, and his casting is being finalized. Cha Seung Won is expected to play a hot-tempered, manly detective, and a strong team leader.

The script for “You’re Surrounded” will be in the charge of KBS drama “Ojakgyo Brothers” writer Lee Jung Sun, while the drama will be helmed by director Yoo In Sik, whose previous works include “Incarnation of Money,” “History of a Salaryman” and “Giant.”

This will be Cha Seung Won’s first return to drama since 2011 MBC drama “The Greatest Love,” if he takes up the drama offer. Cha Seung Won has had some downtime for the past year, spending time with his family after his son Cha No Ah’s run-ins with the law. 

As for MBC’s sageuk “Unprecedented,” a high-ranking MBC representative revealed on January 7 that the “Unpredecented” production has been suspended. The drama was expected to follow after “Empress Ki” in the Monday-Tuesday timeslot.

“We started preparing for ’Unpredecented’ last year, but it has the production has been postponed indefinitely. It’s unclear when the drama will air.”

The production has informed the cast of the postponement, and it looks like some of the cast may choose to move on to other projects, as Cha Seung Won looks to be doing.

“Unprecedented” was to be a political action drama, set against the foundation of the Joseon dynasty. The issues of sovereign power and divine right were to have been portrayed with the conflict between politically opposed “Jeong Do Jeon versus Yi Bang Won.” The drama was highly anticipated due to the big names attached to the project, writers Kim Young Hyun and Park Sang Yeon and director Park Hong Gyun who worked together on 2009 drama “Queen Seon Deok,” as well as actors Han Suk Kyu and Cha Seung Won. The two writers, Kim Young Hyun and Park Sang Yeon’s previous writing credits also include “H.I.T” and “Tree With Deep Roots,” while director Park Hong Gyun has done “New Heart” and “The Greatest Love.”

There are said to be two reasons for “Unprecedented” being put on the backburner.

MBC has long wanted to do “Jewel in the Palace 2,” and if it plans to air within 2014, it will have to decide on a course of action and make it official in order to start production, in which case “Unprecedented” would find itself without a broadcast slot. “Unprecedented” writer Kim Young Hyun wrote for the original “Jewel in the Palace” project as well, and if she were to work on “Jewel in the Palace 2,” it would make it difficult to also work on “Unprecedented” as planned.

Furthermore, KBS 1TV premiered sageuk epic “Jeong Do Jeon” on January 4, with the same time frame and central characters as “Unprecedented,” meaning the drama would have the disadvantage of meeting television audiences later. This has left MBC officials understandably concerned, since “Unprecedented” was slated to air in April, following “Empress Ki.”

It’s still not been confirmed that “Jewel in the Palace 2” will be a go. However, MBC head Kim Jong Kook revealed in his New Year address on January 1, “We plan to start production on ‘Jewel in the Palace 2’ this autumn. Let’s bring the Hallyu wave to the world once again.” A drama representative also hinted, “Nothing’s been finalized, but ‘Jewel in the Palace 2’ is in talks to begin production in the second half of the year.”

The other name attached to “Unprecedented,” Han Suk Kyu, is said to be going into filming for his upcoming movie, “Sang Eui Won” (“Royal Tailor”), in February, along with Go Soo and Park Shin Hye.

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