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Comeback kids amp up TV thriller

Will Rain’s long-awaited small-screen comeback live up to the hype?

The highlight reel unveiled at the press conference on Monday hinted that the K-pop star’s chase-heavy drama, titled “Fugitive Plan B,” will carry on KBS’ Wednesday-Thursday night prime time winning streak.

The clips had Rain showcasing his knack for comedic timing, while whipping out action stunts honed by past work in his Hollywood flick, “Ninja Assassin.”

“I faced no great difficulties when doing the action sequences,” the 28-year-old star said at the press event at Lotte Hotel Seoul in Sogong-dong.

It has been five years since Rain exited the world of Korean television on the lackluster heels of the melodramatic “A Love to Kill.” Now, after starring in two films helmed by the Matrix franchise’s Wachowski Brothers, he has returned.

Two other comeback kids, actress Lee Na-young and “X-Men Origins: Wolverine” hunk Daniel Henney, are also joining Rain in “Fugitive Plan B.”

Lee and Henney are returning to television after six and four year hiatuses, respectively.

“I have wanted to do action for a long time,” revealed the 31-year old actress, who has made a household name for herself as an ad campaign queen. “Personally, I was thrilled to jump on board this project.”
From left are Rain, Lee Na-young and Daniel Henney, shown at a press conference for the KBS drama “Fugitive Plan B” on Monday at Lotte Hotel Seoul in Sogong-dong. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)
From left are Rain, Lee Na-young and Daniel Henney, shown at a press conference for the KBS drama “Fugitive Plan B” on Monday at Lotte Hotel Seoul in Sogong-dong. (Kim Myung-sub/The Korea Herald)

Following the cancellation of his CBS series, “Three Rivers,” where he played a womanizing doctor, Henney is back in town to star as the other man vying for the heroine’s affections.

“This is the most difficult role for me in Korean drama history so far,” said the 30-year old actor, contrasting past gigs in MBC’s “My Lovely Sam-Soon” and KBS’ “Spring Waltz” with his current role as Kai, a businessman who wants to earn the affections of Jini. K (Lee Na-young) without sacrificing his career.

“It’s a real challenge,” he said.

There is plenty of pressure too, riding on directing-writing duo Gwak Jung-hwan and Chun Seung-il.

No doubt the duo, who spawned the smash hit “The Slave Hunters,” will want “Fugitive” to surpass its blockbuster predecessor.

Director Gwak, who also worked with Rain on his last drama, “A Love to Kill,” expressed faith in “Fugitive.”

“This is a drama that works on an entirely different genre from ‘The Slave Hunters,’” said Gwak. “I think it will evade your expectations in a way that will make it fun to watch.”

According to Gwak, unlike the more serious and dramatic tale of a nobleman-turned-bounty hunter in “The Slave Hunters,” “Fugitive” incorporates “diverse aspects of different genres,” one of which is clearly comedy.

Scriptwriter Chun’s previous experience with melding humor and action in the hit flick “7th Grade Civil Servant” shone through briefly during the preview reel, promising to color the series primarily through the squabbles that arise between Rain’s and Lee’s characters.

“When my character is with Na-young’s character, he keeps trying to win her over, so the happenings that come out of that are really fun,” Rain hinted.

In “Fugitive,” Rain tackles the role of Gee-woo, a mercenary playboy-esque private investigator enlisted by Jini. K (Lee Na-young) to find out the truth behind her family’s murderers, who are also hot on her trail.

When Gee-woo agrees to take on Jini. K’s case, he suddenly becomes the prime suspect in his friend’s murder, and the two get swept up in a whirlwind chase that takes them through Japan, Beijing, Shanghai, Macao and the Philippines.

“Fugitive Plan B” airs Wednesdays and Thursdays at 9:55 p.m. on KBS 2 TV, starting Sept. 29.

By Jean Oh (