Kim Jung-hyun in Talks to Star in ‘The Season of Puppets’ After Hiatus Due to Controversy

Actor Kim Jung-hyun last appeared on the small-screen in the hit gender-swap K-drama Mr. Queen. The actor hit a snag when he was caught in a controversy over his behavior in a 2018 K-drama, his relationship with ex-girlfriend Seo Ye-jin, and his agency. After Mr. Queen, Kim took a hiatus from acting and is in talks to return in a new leading role.

Kim Jung-hyun at 'Crash Landing on You' press conference wearing turtleneck.
Kim Jung-hyun for ‘Crash Landing on You’ | The Chosunilbo JNS/Imazins via Getty Images

Kim Jung-hyun’s behavior during the 2018 drama ‘Time’ linked him to his ex and controversy

In 2018, Kim Jung-hyun starred in the romance melodrama Time with Seohyun as his female co-star. The K-drama’s story focused on a terminally ill male character who does everything in his power to help the women whose life he destroyed. The K-drama was somewhat of a success, but in 2021, Kim faced a scandal due to his time working on the drama.

According to Soompi, Kim was put under fire for his behavior during the drama’s press conference. Kim stayed away from Seohyun and rejected her approach to link arms for press photos. Dispatch reported his behavior was due to his then-girlfriend, Eve star Seo Ye-ji. Reports stated multiple scenes from Time were edited or changed by Kim at the request of Seo.

Text messages acquired between the couple revealed Seo telling Kim to make the changes and ensure there was little physical contact between him and his co-star. Kim and Seo’s agency denied the accusation and Seo’s manipulation. Kim also issued an apology for his behavior, according to Soompi.

According to Soompi, Kim’s previous agency reported his departure from the drama was due to health concerns. Acquired medical records proved it true. A source explains, “Even before he started ‘Time,’ he felt that something was wrong with his health and continuously informed the people around him and his agency about it.” But Kim continued with the drama regardless.

Kim Jung-hyun will star in his first K-drama since his hiatus in ‘The Season of Puppets’

RELATED: ‘The Sound of Magic’: Deleted Scene With Il-deung Was Vital in the Webtoon’s Finale

Sometime after the accusations against Kim Jung-hyun, he issued another apology letter and news of his hiatus. The actor is in talks to return to the small-screen in a new K-drama. According to Soompi, Kim’s agency Story J Company clarified that the actor is in talks to take on the leading role in The Season of Puppets or Season of Kkok Du.

Kim would star as Kkok Du, an ill-tempered yet high-ranking grim reaper. The K-drama is a medical fantasy about one of the only grim reapers to exist in the underworld. Being a reaper is hard work, and they also need a vacation. Every 99 years, Kkok Du takes a break and goes to the world of the living for 49 days.

While there, he finds himself inhabiting the body of someone named Do Jin-woo. He meets a female doctor named Han Gye-jeol. The female character has the odd ability to order Kkok Du around. The Season of Puppets will mark Kim’s return to the small-screen since his leading role in Mr. Queen.

After being cast in an independent movie, the actor technically returned from his hiatus. According to Soompi, Kim will play a police detective in Se²cret.

The actor played the role of the goofy king hiding a dark secret in ‘Mr. Queen’

RELATED: ‘Snowdrop’ and 2 Other North-South Korea Romance K-Dramas

Kim Jung-hyun became well known for his supporting role in Netflix’s most acclaimed K-drama Crash Landing on You, starring real-life couple Hyun Bin and Son Ye-jin. He played the role of Seung-joon and was loved by fans as a second-lead couple with another character.

In 2020, Kim received praise for his portrayal of King Cheoljong in the historical romantic comedy Mr. Queen. The K-drama was a unique take on love, politics, and history. In the modern age, a renowned chef finds himself transported to the past but in the body of Queen Cheorin.

He must try to trick everyone into thinking that he is the queen until finding a way to return home. Along the way, he starts to grow feelings as the queen for the king. She learns behind his goofy exterior is a man with a dark and suspicious side.

RELATED: ‘Why Her?’: Hwang In-youp Stars Alongside Seo Hyun-ji in a Mystery K-Drama With an Age-Gap Romance