In Korean television and film today, one of the most popular and sought out actors is Lee Jong Suk. Beginning his career back in 2010 with a supporting role in Prosecutor Princess, Jong Suk has gone forward from that point to star in some of the most loved K-dramas and K-movies since. Some of his acting credits include lead roles in dramas like School 2013, I Hear Your Voice, and Doctor Stranger. He even had lead roles in movies like R2B: Return to Base, No Breathing, and Hot Young Bloods. However, most of Jong Suk’s fans show the most admiration for his role in Pinocchio, not just because that K-drama is very good, but because most of his fans have created a relationship of him with Park Shin Hye.
All of Lee Jong Suk’s credentials have been earned under the management of Wellmade Yedang, an agency well-known for managing Hwayoung after she left T-ara and EXID. In 2016, that will no longer be the case because Jong Suk is going into the new year a free agent.
The news of Lee Jong Suk no longer being under the management of Wellmade Yedang was first announced through Korean news outlet, Star, through KdramaStars. Jong Suk apparently did not renew his contract because he wants to focus on developing his acting as well as concentrating on promoting Korea. It is also noted that Jong Suk parting ways with Wellmade Yedang was amicable in which the agency will continue to support his future endeavors. An official statement was made on the matter by a representative for Jong Suk, which he provided to another Korean news outlet, Newsis.
“After his contract with his current agency expires on December 31, Lee Jong Suk wants to take the time to carefully consider his next step.”
Thankfully, Lee Jong Suk is not parting ways without any work, per se. Though his contract is officially expired after today, he still has a contractual obligation to meet since he will be starring in an upcoming Chinese drama tilted Jade Lover. According to China Topix, Jong Suk quickly agreed to star in the drama (which is also known as Jade Sweetheart) when it was offered to him. Though his salary of 6 billion won, which is approximately $5.1 million USD, is a good enough reason for him to sign on, Jong Suk probably signed on more so to work with the drama’s director, Jim Hyuk. For those who do not know, both Jong Suk and Jim Hyuk have an excellent working relationship, as Hyuk was the director for Prosecutor Princess and Doctor Stranger, two K-dramas Jong Suk has acted in.
As for the Chinese drama itself, very little is confirmed about Jade Lover. All that can be confirmed is the information above, and that Jade Lover is the very first Chinese drama Lee Jong Suk will star in. There are some rumors pertaining to the drama, including one that suggests the female lead will be played by Zheng Shuang, a Chinese actress known for her roles in Hana Yori Dango, Let’s Go Watch Meteor Shower, and Love Through a Millenium.
For now, Lee Jong Suk is a free agent, but with his rising popularity in acting, he is looking for an agency that can do more. Wellmade Yedang may be too small of an agency to effectively manage not just his budding acting career, but also his established career that he was first known for: modeling.
[Image via Promotions for School 2013]