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‘Less Than Evil’: A Korean adaptation of ‘Luther’ with a twist

If John Luther is a bear, Woo Tae-seok is a wolf, actor Shin Ha-kyun says

Viewers will soon find out if Shin Ha-kyun has what it takes to pull off a success like the popular British series “Luther” as he plays Idris Elba’s role in the upcoming Korean adaptation, “Less Than Evil.”

In the upcoming nighttime MBC series, Shin plays the hardworking and stylish detective Woo Tae-seok, who is not afraid to overstep the bounds of the law if it means catching criminals.

Woo’s motto is, “Do whatever it takes to catch the criminals.” This often gets him in trouble and earns him the nickname “walking time bomb.”


While the Korean series borrowed elements of the original series, the leading characters will be quite different, according to Shin.

“Luther in ‘Luther’ and Woo Tae-seok in ‘Less Than Evil’ couldn’t be more different. Luther in the original series is quite serious and could be likened to a bear if he were an animal,” Shin said at a press conference, adding that his own character would be a wolf.

The actor also said, “The genre itself is interesting, and the drama will work further into the characters’ emotions. The character I play is tough and strong, but sensitive as well.”

Shin says the way the story unfolds will be quite different than the original series, giving fans of the BBC series a reason to watch the Korean adaptation.

Director Kim Dae-jin echoed these sentiments, saying his show has taken on a life of its own and some viewers might even think it’s “too different.”

“After watching, I felt the original series was influenced by ‘Batman,’” he said. The original production team agreed, he added.

Kim also said he was allowed a great deal of creative freedom as a director and could tweak the original series.

The first two episodes have already been given an adult rating -- the first time in nearly nine years that MBC has given an adult rating, he said, hinting at the graphic violence to come throughout the airing of the show.

For instance, Woo Tae-seok does not lend a helping hand but sits back and watches when a criminal’s life is in danger, adding to the show’s sinister and dark atmosphere.

The Monday-Tuesday series will air at 10 p.m. starting Dec. 3.

By Yim Hyun-su (