What is it with American-Asian actors named Daniel landing careers in their parents’ homeland despite hardly speaking any of the language? We’ve already talked about Daniel Wu’s unlikely rise to Hong Kong stardom, and now Daniel Henney has signed on to a role in the upcoming MBC drama, GOODBYE, MR. BLACK.
Still, at least Henney’s career growth adds up more sensibly than some actors’ “They begged me to be famous until I relented” stories. The Michigan born son of a Korean adoptee, Henney began modeling internationally in 2001. A commercial spot in South Korea landed him a sponsorship deal with the Olympics there, and in 2005 he landed his breakout role as Dr. Henry Kim, the American-Korean surgeon in the immensely popular drama, MY LOVELY SAM SOON.
Though he quickly became a household name and began to study Korean, English remained his primary language, and he’s spent the last few years taking high profile roles in stateside productions such as X-MEN ORIGINS: WOLVERINE and THE LAST STAND. A successful backdoor pilot, in fact, recently got him the lead in the upcoming NCIS spinoff NCIS: BEYOND BORDERS, meaning he’s gone bona fide transpacific.
Which all just makes it more surprising that Henney’s decided to finally return to K-Drama for the first time in over five years.
GOODBYE, MR. BLACK will be based on the 1986 Hwang Mi Na manhwa of the same name – itself a contemporary retelling of Alexandre Dumas’ massively influential novel, Count of Monte Cristo. The story follows a Navy SEAL (Lee Jin-wook) who’s betrayed by a friend and denounced by his country. After years of exile, the man returns with a fake indentity, a fake wife (Moon Chae-won), and a very real plan for revenge. Daniel Henney – as a financial advisor – and Song Jae-rim will help round out the cast’s supporting roles.
As usual, details surrounding the project are scant, but the outlines have decidedly piqued our interest. With GOODBYE, MR. BLACK scheduled to premiere some time in March 2016, that gives us just about 4 months to catch up on the source material. Dumas’ novel is only, oh… 463,958 words long. Huh. Maybe we’ll pick up the manhwa.