Actress Lee Young-ae, the star of the 2003 smash hit "Dae Jang Geum", will return to upcoming TV series "Saimdang: Light's Diary" following a 12-year hiatus.
Production company Group Eight said Wednesday that Lee will appear in a historical drama about the life of Shin Saimdang (1504-1551), who was a renowned artist, writer and calligrapher during the Chosun Dynasty and the mother of the well-known Confucian scholar Yulgok Yi Yi.
The drama re-interprets her life and Lee plays both Shin Saimdang and a present-day art historian. The drama shifts back and forth from the past to present with Lee's modern-day character unraveling the mysteries of Shin's diaries and paintings.
A Group Eight spokesman said, "We had Lee Young-ae in mind from the outset".
He added the show could be aired simultaneously in Korea and China since "Dae Jang Geum" was a huge hit there too.
The actress has not appeared in a TV series since "Dae Jang Geum" and her last movie project was director Park Chan-wook's "Sympathy for Lady Vengeance" in 2005.
She has since devoted herself to her family. A spokesman for Lee said she chose the show based on its artistic merit rather than potential popularity.
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