8 Hyun Bin Dramas and Movies You Need to Watch in 2021
While we await the release of his upcoming movies Bargaining and Confidential Assignment 2: International, here's what you can watch
With Hallyu royalty Hyun Bin's most popular role thus far as Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok in the blockbuster Netflix show Crash Landing On You, one is easily intrigued by the characters he performed through the years. And why not? Besides being one of the highest-paid Korean actors of his generation, this versatile talent has a varied repertoire from rom-com to fantasy, action and a lot more. While we are still waiting for the release of his upcoming movies Bargaining and Confidential Assignment 2: International, we round-up some of his shows that you can watch, or rewatch.
Are you curious how Hyun Bin's past real-life romance with Fendi’s first-ever Korean global ambassador Song Hye-kyo (Descendants of the Sun; Full House) started? Check out Worlds Within (also known as The World That They Live In), a 2008 television series that centres on the personal and professional lives of those working in the fast-paced and challenging world of broadcasting. The realistic portrayal of Joo Joon-young (Song Hye-kyo) and Jung Ji-oh (Hyun Bin)—the two TV directors in the series—will keep you glued to your seats and their unmistakable chemistry on- and off-cam will definitely make you swoon.
Hyun Bin is one of the few Korean actors who can speak (and yes, sing in) English fluently. In this 2010 English-language film directed by Kim Tae-yong, 47th Baeksang Arts Awards Best Actress awardee Tang Wei plays the role of Anna, a prisoner who is given a 72 hours parole to visit family in Seattle, and who meets and befriends a South Korean man-on-the-run named Hoon (Hyun Bin). A co-production between South Korea, Hong Kong, China and the United States, it is the fourth remake of the now-lost 1966 Lee Man-hee melodrama classic of the same title.
The film premiered at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival. It also screened at the 15th Busan International Film Festival, the 61st Berlin International Film Festival, and the Fribourg International Film Festival. It also became the highest-grossing Korean film released in China to date, with more than 910,000 admissions after its March release, with a total box office take of more than US$9.5 million.
This 2010 fantasy rom-com series features Hyun Bin with The Empress Ki female lead star Ha Ji-won and has won a number of awards at both the 2010 SBS Drama Awards and the 47th Baeksang Arts Awards, including the Grand Prize (considered the highest honour in Baeksang's television division) for Hyun Bin.
The 20-episode Cinderella-like story follows the life of Gil Ra-im (Ha Ji-won), a stuntwoman, and Kim Joo-won (Hyun Bin), a high-end department store CEO, both from two opposite worlds, who went against all odds to fight for their love. The story gets even more complicated when Gil Ra-im and Kim Joo-won magically start switching bodies.
A bonus: another popular South Korean actor, Lee Jong-suk, who just got discharged from military service and was seen endorsing luxury brand Prada recently, played the supporting character of Han Tae-sun, a young genius musician.
Watch it on Netflix.
Directed by Kim Sung-hoon, this 2017 South Korean action film revolves around Im Cheol-ryung (Hyun Bin), an officer of a special investigation team in North Korea. His team goes to a disturbance at a warehouse that prints counterfeit money. His superior Cha Ki-seong (Kim Joo-hyuk) and his own team are there to steal the master plates to print the counterfeit money. A shootout takes place and, in the process, Im Cheol-ryung is shot and others killed. A sequel titled Confidential Assignment 2: International was announced on August 24, 2020. Filming of this much-anticipated sequel started in February this year.
Hyde, Jekyll, Me
Based on Lee Choong-ho's webtoon Dr. Jekyll Is Mr. Hyde, this 20-episode 2015 television series gave a rom-com twist to the popular literary character. Hyun Bin plays two characters: Gu Seo-jin, a third-generation chaebol who runs the theme park Wonder Land who seems to have everything from dazzling looks to intelligence and fortune; and Robin, a kind and gentle version of himself who emerges whenever his heart rate exceeds 150. Gu Seo-jin has a dissociative identity disorder. This split personality began 15 years ago, and Seo-jin's doctor Kang Hee-ae believes that Robin is a manifestation of his guilt regarding a traumatic incident then. Jang Ha-na (Han Ji-min), the series' female lead, has just returned to Korea after spending several years in the United States with Cirque du Soleil. The three characters get involved in a suspenseful yet heartwarming love triangle.
In the same year, the show got entangled in a controversy after an article in Korea JoongAng Daily said that the author Lee Choong-ho, who in 2011 wrote the webtoon Hyde, Jekyll, Me where the series was adapted from, alleged on his Twitter account that the screenwriter of Kill Me, Heal Me plagiarised his work. MBC denied the plagiarism accusation, while SBS clarified that Lee's statement was his personal opinion and did not reflect the stance of the whole production team.
Hyde Jekyll, Me is available on Netflix.
Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin fans should check out their first-ever movie together released in 2018. The story is about Ha Chae-Yoon (Son Ye-Jin), a crisis negotiator for the Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency who has a calm and cool-headed attitude. Min Tae-Gu (Hyun-Bin) is a weapons smuggler for an international crime organisation. He stages a terrifying hostage situation and Ha Chae-Yoon only has 12 hours to save the hostages.
Memories of Alhambra
Shot in Spain and South Korea, this thrilling fantasy romance drama puts the limelight on Yoo Jin-woo (Hyun Bin), a fearless and adventurous CEO of an investment company called J One Holdings and a Doctor of Engineering, who has a talent for developing computer games. Jung Hee-joo (Park Shin-hye) is a hostel owner who gets entangled in a series of mysterious incidents surrounding a new augmented reality game inspired by the stories of the Alhambra Palace. The drama is one of the highest-rated Korean dramas in cable television history.
Watch it on Netflix.
(Read also: Netflix K-Dramas Vincenzo And Sisyphus To Premiere)
Crash Landing On You
Starring Hyun Bin as the mighty knight in shining armour Captain Ri Jeong-hyeok from North Korea and his now real-life girlfriend Son Ye-jin as Yoon Se-ri, an heiress to the Queen's Group in South Korea, the story's twists and turns brought about by the divide and disputes of their respective countries will make your heart flutter, shed buckets of tears and have a good laugh—all in the name of love.
CLOY's final episode ratings made it the third highest-rated Korean drama in cable television history, surpassing fellow tvN dramas Reply 1988 and Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, to date. Many claim that the series became their entry point to the black hole that is the K-drama la la land, and it's not hard to understand why.
Watch it on Netflix.