Scholar Who Walks the Night – Fantasy, supernatural, vampire, sageuk
Summary – This is a period fantasy set in the Joseon era. A nobleman’s daughter takes to disguising herself as a man to sell books after her family is falsely accused and ruined. She encounters a handsome, enigmatic Confucian scholar who also happens to be a vampire, and falls in love with him.
Dream Drama Come True
The storyline alone is mouthwatering enough. I’d long been picturing how good this would be as a drama. Especially with the currently airing Blood which showcases the vampire/supernatural theme perfectly.
So basically we need more vampires! And my wish got granted when my ultimate sageuk hero Lee Joon Gi has finally been pinned for the role. After months and months of other possible lead actors being considered and nothing really set in stone, we’ve been given the perfect choice in Lee Jun Ki aka Lee Joon Gi.
What it Takes
To pull off Scholar Who Walks the night requires an actor with the experience in handling paranormal and fantasy themes. Lee Joon Gi certainly has that from his role in Arang and the Magistrate. As he happens to be a scholar in this drama, he’ll also have to get his geek on.
We already know he can pull off the young scholar look. He’s got the face certainly, of one who can pass for being a noble in mind and deeds. He also has to become a vampire.
Performance wise, at least. Not asking LJK to turn into an actual blood sucking undead parasite. Yet I can just clearly see him in the role as well as the costume. It’s not easy playing an alien, vampire or ghost whether in a sageuk or contemporary drama. I’m aware that such actors like Kim Soo-hyun (You Who Came from the Stars) had his name thrown around for the lead role. Much as I liked Kim Soo-hyun as a Joseon alien I’m glad that Lee Joon Gi got his hands on this one.
My heart of hearts tells me he decided to do this for the fans. I mean he only just recently capped another sageuk role, in Joseon Gunman. So as an actor he’d have possibly wanted to try something different, such as a modern romcom as he once hinted he might try this year.
Still, I’m totally pumped up about Lee Jun Ki playing this role and I hope this is for real. No last-minute walk offs or second thoughts or third guessing. Come July I want to see Lee Joon Gi in all his vampire sageuk hero glory. Who else is with me? ***Grin*** hordes of Lee Jun Ki fans are already crossing and triple crossing their fingers and toes in anticipation for Scholar Walks the Night.
Since Lee Joon Gi is already considered to resemble a gorgeous anime character come to life, it seems only fair he gets to play a part of a webcomic character that’s mysteriously beautiful in a scholarly, seductive vampire way. And it’s only fitting that an actor with Lee Joon Gi‘s experience, popularity and success in sageuk lead roles should take on this dreamy drama series.
What We know about “Scholar Who Walks the Night”
It’s originally a manhwa (Korean comic/print cartoon), written by Jo Joo Hee and Han Seung Hee. It’s to be adapted into a supernatural drama series to start airing in July, on Wed-Thursday (MBC). Number of episodes yet to be determined but I’m thinking to do this justice we need say, 20-22 episodes average.
The production team behind the drama series Scholar Walking the Night (so many ways to call thee, drama), expressed how great it is that Lee Jun Ki accepted the drama. His achievements in Iljimae, Arang and the Magistrate and more recently Joseon Gunman, were impressive so I can’t blame anyone for thinking Lee Jun Ki should lead the cast.
Lee Jun Ki fits so naturally into period dramas and he would give it that boost the other actors will need, in knowing they have a competent lead actor to steer the drama on the right course.
‘Scholar Walks The Night’ is to be directed by PD Lee Sung Joon who was behind ‘The Moon Embracing The Sun,’ and writer Jang Hyun Joo from ‘Coffee Prince’ will be adapting the script.
I’m hoping for a drama that’s dark and mysterious, with an edgy feel comparable to what Arang and the Magistrate pulled off so well. I mean seriously parts of Arang and the Magistrate were outright frightening. So I want that with Scholar who walks the Night.
Since Lee Joon Gi will be walking the night a lot, here’s hoping he gets to scare the gat off some folks (gat – the stately black hat worn on the head of most aristocrats/scholars). And I wouldn’t mind if he enticed a few trusting maidens into his silken net as well.
But he shouldn’t go for blood-thirsty – more like just really deviant and awesome.
Historically a Joseon scholar is mostly from the aristocratic class (yangban) who can be counted on not just for their scholarship but also for holding official positions. So Lee Joon Gi is possibly from nobility and could live a double life by day so the unsuspecting lot have no clue to his secret, dark identity.
Female Lead – I have no solid prospect in mind for this role. Since she is to spend much of her time cross-dressing as a man selling books to scholars to feed her family, she has to be pretty in a topknot and hanbok.
So yeah, someone cutesy, smart, tough yet sensitive and sweet enough to win our vampire scholar’s heart.
Actress Jin Se Yun (Bridal Mask, Doctor Stranger, Inspiring Generation) is reported to have been offered the role. Her pretty smile and innocent features certainly suits the ideal cross-dressing heroine ready to sacrifice herself for family.
Jin Se Yeon impressed me with her role as Mok Dan in Bridal Mask so if she hooks the part I’m all for it.
What strikes me so much about this drama is that there’s nothing ‘iffy’ about it. Some dramas just give off that vibe that has you wondering, will it work? Much like the feeling I had concerning the two major ‘multiple personality’ dramas of recent.
In contrast Night Strolling Scholar (I like this name the best!) comes across as possessing a winning plot, awesome lead cast and a Production team worth their salt.
Can’t say I’ve anticipated a sageuk series this much in a long while. Throw in the vampire, supernatural theme and I’m sold. Top that off with screen candy Lee Joon-gi, and this makes it a kdrama series worth waiting for.