The drama will mark a return to the small screen for both Jun and Lee after a hiatus of three years for both idols. The show, which will air on SBS from November, has strong chances of expanding the Asian and, increasingly, global success of Korean TV dramas.
Directed by Jin Hyuk, who previously made Lee-starring “City Hunter,” the new series will be written by Park Ji-eun, the scriptwriter of 2013 pan-Asian megahit “My Love from the Star,” in which Jun played the female lead. According to the production company, Culture Depot, “Blue Sea” is a fantasy romance drama based on a mermaid story from Korea’s first collection of unofficial historical tales.
Jun’s “My Love” and Lee’s previous TV work “The Heirs” were both huge hits in China. Despite “Blue Sea” still being at pre-production stage, it is already receiving enormous attention from Chinese video platforms. Rumors – denied by Culture Depot — suggest that a Chinese video streaming service platform had offered to bid $500,000 per episode. That would be almost double the price paid by iQiyi for this year’s megahit, KBS’s “Descendants of the Sun.”
“The scriptwriter has thought Jun and Lee would be the perfect combination from the very beginning, and designed the characters for them. The actors also trusted the writer and the director so much that they confirmed their participation immediately,“ said Culture Depot in a statement.