The Korea Herald


‘L.U.C.A.: The Beginning’ offers action-packed chase

By Lim Jang-won

Published : Jan. 27, 2021 - 17:09

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(From left) Actors Kim Sung-oh and Lee Da-hee, director Kim Hong-sun and actor Kim Rae-won pose before an online press conference Wednesday. (CJ ENM) (From left) Actors Kim Sung-oh and Lee Da-hee, director Kim Hong-sun and actor Kim Rae-won pose before an online press conference Wednesday. (CJ ENM)

Kim Hong-sun, the director of multiple hit OCN dramas, is back Monday with a tvN action drama titled “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning.”

“L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” centers on an experimental cell, Ji-O, that was created through the L.U.C.A. project. The aim of the project was to create the Last Universal Common Ancestor -- the cell that holds the secret to all life forms in existence. Ji-O takes human form and has supernatural powers, but loses his memory after escaping the facility. Meanwhile, different organizations attempt to track Ji-O down for different purposes.

Kim, known for OCN dramas “The Guest” and “Voice,” among others, challenged himself with the unique idea of an evolution-based fantasy action drama.

“A lot of directors want to direct a fantasy genre work, but at the same time have a fear of doing so. A lot of computer graphics and actions are involved, so it’s very difficult. But after seeing screenwriter Chun Sung-il’s script, I felt it was time to attempt it,” said Kim during an online press conference Wednesday.

The same was true for actor Kim Rae-won.

“Likewise, I had a fear of the fantasy genre. But I saw that it was written by screenwriter Chun and I had enjoyed watching ‘The Guest’ by director Kim. Also, the camera director and the cast were too tempting for me to pass up the offer,” said the actor.

Kim Rae-won also mentioned that he could not completely understand his character, even after the filming was over.

“I still don’t know what kind of a person Ji-O is yet. He hides his incredible powers and discovers his origins and powers throughout the drama,” he said. “I constantly asked the director about what Ji-O is searching for. Ji-O is curious about where he comes from, and I could relate to that.”

Kim Rae-won, who is known for his many memorable roles in romance dramas, said the action-packed movie isn’t void of romance. Romance develops between Ji-O and police detective Gu-reum, played by Lee Da-hee.

“L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” is Lee’s first attempt at intense action. Although she played the role of a police detective six years ago in the SBS drama “Mrs. Cop,” Lee said her role in “L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” is different in that a more mature romance is involved.

“I wanted to try this kind of drama, and after looking at the director who specializes in this genre, along with the screenwriter and producers, I wanted to do it even more,” said Lee.

Actor Kim Sung-oh also joins the cast as villain Yi-son, who pursues Ji-O.

“After I read the script, I felt that I could enjoy the drama if I saw it on TV,” said Kim Sung-oh.

“I’m not sure if villain is the right word for my character,” he said. “Yi-son is pretty good at running and fighting. He chases after Ji-O, but on the inside, it feels like he was trying to find the meaning of life.”

Meanwhile, director Kim -- who hopes that decent viewership ratings will lead to a second season -- thought the 12-episode drama was a good start.

“L.U.C.A.: The Beginning” is set to air on tvN every Monday and Tuesday at 9 p.m. starting next week.

By Lim Jang-won (