Bring out the champagne, we finally have a confirmation: Jung Yong Hwa is locked in for tvN’s upcoming swashbuckling action sageuk, The Three Musketeers! This means he’ll play the role of the hero, Park Dal Hyang (the D’Artagnan of the classic Dumas novel), a young warrior from a poor yangban family in Kangwondo who excels in martial arts and possesses courage and principles. He travels to the capital city of Hanyang to take the military service exam and becomes one of the three ‘musketeers’ involved in the protection of Crown Prince Sohyeon.
With the drama inspired by the story of The Three Musketeers and promising plenty of action, intrigue and romance set in the tumultuous period during which Joseon submitted to the Qing, we can also expect to see Jung Yong Hwa at the center of a sword-fighting scene or two, all dressed up as a dashing young Joseon swordsman in warrior garb. Oh yes, please. Someone pick me up off the floor; I think I might have collapsed from the excitement.
This is a casting that I’m particularly ecstatic about; the sageuk genre is one that I’ve long adored, despite not having offered much of interest in recent years, and a young yangban scholar/warrior is pretty much my dream role for Yong Hwa. After the disappointment that was Mi Rae’s Choice, where the main thing I took away was his significant improvement as an actor, I’m hopeful that he’s made further progress on that front and will knock this role out of the ballpark.
This confirmation completes the main cast, which consists of Lee Jin Wook as Crown Prince Sohyeon, Yang Dong Geun as Heo Seung Po and Jung Hae In as Ahn Min Seo rounding out the three musketeers, Seo Hyun Jin as Yoon Seo, the first love of Park Dal Hyang who later becomes the Crown Princess Kang, and Yoo In Young as Jo Mi Ryung, the crown prince’s lover-turned-enemy for reasons yet unknown.
Crown Prince Sohyeon has been portrayed on screen numerous times – famous for being a hostage to the Qing who tried to prevent further hostilities against his people and a forward-thinker who attempted to introduce Western culture and science to Joseon, he is just as well-known for his tragic and mysterious death (which has prompted much speculation that he was poisoned). His stance on modernization and accusations that he was pro-Qing made him a vulnerable figure, which is where our three bodyguards come in. I’m a little more wary of the touted tragic love triangle – Park Dal Hyang’s first love becoming the crown princess later makes it clear where that plotline is going to go. On the other hand, it seems likely to set the stage for a very interesting conflict-ridden relationship between Dal Hyang and Crown Prince Sohyeon, where the former is tasked with the protection of the latter but has to battle with potential feelings of anger and resentment (aside from their romantic rivalry, Dal Hyang is fiercely anti-Qing, which may lead to some run-ins with the crown prince’s beliefs) in order to do his duty.
The project has already received quite a lot of buzz for its 10-billion won production budget and its planned overseas shoots in China, but more than that, I’m excited to see what the acclaimed PD-writer team behind Queen In Hyun’s Man and Nine will achieve with this story and cast – surely it’ll be good, right? It has to be good. *crosses fingers and toes* As long as it delivers on the promised action and gives us some charismatic characters as befitting the talented cast, this could turn out to be a real cracker of a drama.
The Three Muskteers is planned for three seasons, each arc spanning 12 episodes, and will begin filming at the end of the month for an August premiere.