I Am the King

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I Am the King
I Am a King-poster.jpg
Promotional poster for I Am the King
Hanja 나는 이로소이다
Revised Romanization Naneun Wangirosoida
McCune–Reischauer Nanŭn wangirosoida
Directed by Jang Kyu-sung
Produced by Kang Young-mo
Kim Won-guk
Lee Sung-jin
Written by Hwang Seong-gu
Based on The Prince and the Pauper
by Mark Twain
Starring Ju Ji-hoon
Park Yeong-gyu
Baek Yoon-sik
Byun Hee-bong
Kim Su-ro
Music by Kim Jun-seok
Cinematography Kim Dong-cheon
Edited by Shin Min-kyung
Daisy Entertainment
Release date
  • 8 August 2012 (2012-08-08)
Running time
120 minutes
Country South Korea
Language Korean
Box office US$4,440,905[1]

I Am the King (Hangul나는 왕이로소이다; Hanja나는 王이로소이다; RRNaneun Wangirosoida; MRNanŭn wangirosoida, also known as I Am a King) is a 2012 South Korean historical comedy film, starring Ju Ji-hoon, Park Yeong-gyu, Baek Yoon-sik, Byun Hee-bong and Kim Su-ro. Inspired by Mark Twain's novel The Prince and the Pauper, the film is set in the Joseon Dynasty with Ju playing the dual role of a king and a beggar.[2][3] It was released on August 8, 2012 and ran for 120 minutes.[4]


The movie depicts the three months before Choong-nyung (the future Sejong the Great) becomes king. The Annals of the Joseon Dynasty, which follows the history of the Joseon Dynasty between 1413 and 1865, leaves out records of this crucial period. While to future generations, King Sejong would stand as a legendary figure for his creation of the Korean alphabet and advancing the country’s scientific research and law, as Prince Choong-nyung he was known to be a bit of a reclusive bookworm.[5]


When his older brothers Yangnyeong and Hyoryeong fail to impress their father King Taejong, the king makes a royal command for Choong-nyung to become the next ruler of the kingdom instead. The prince, who strongly refuses to become the king and just wants to live a happy and stress-free life buried in his books, chooses to escape the palace before his coronation ceremony.

After hours of contemplation, Choong-nyung escapes by climbing over the palace wall. There he runs into a bad-tempered drunken slave named Deok-chil, who happens to be at the palace to save the love of his life who was captured by government officials and put in prison for being the daughter of a suspected spy.

Deok-chil perfectly resembles the prince, so Choong-nyung instantly grabs the chance to disguise himself as a slave and they exchange clothes with each other. In a terrible twist of fate, when Choong-nyung wakes up after being knocked unconscious, he is mistaken for a slave and Deok-chil gets put on the throne. As Choong-nyung ventures outside the palace walls, he begins to open his eyes to the people living in extreme poverty and experiences the life of the common man.[6]


Special screening[edit]

On August 13, 2012, a special screening was held at Deoksu Palace in Seoul, the first Korean movie screened outdoors on the palace grounds. Some 500 citizens as well as independence fighters and their families were in attendance. The event marked National Liberation Day, which commemorates Korea's independence from Japanese colonial rule.[9][10]


The film ranked third and grossed ₩3,400,628,393 in its first week of release,[11] and grossed a total of ₩5,037,762,632 domestically after two weeks of screening.[12]


  1. ^ "Box office by Country: I Am the King". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  2. ^ Suk, Monica (17 July 2012). ""Ju Ji-hoon was perfect for comic role," says director of I am the King". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  3. ^ Lee, Jin-ho (21 July 2012). "Joo Ji Hoon Says He′ll Dress Up Like a Servant If I Am the King Succeeds". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  4. ^ "I Am the King (2012)". The Chosun Ilbo. 10 August 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  5. ^ Cho, Jae-eun (10 August 2001). "New films plumb obscure Joseon period events ... with a comic twist". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  6. ^ Lee, Tae-ho (8 August 2001). "PREVIEW: I am the King: Korean version of The Prince and the Pauper". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  7. ^ Lee, Tae-ho (30 July 2012). "Ju Ji-hoon says "I met director every single day to act out beggar and king"". 10Asia. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  8. ^ Ho, Stewart (27 June 2012). "Joo Ji Hoon is Both King and Beggar in I Am the King Trailer". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  9. ^ Ho, Stewart (10 August 2012). "Joo Ji Hoon's I Am the King To Screen at Deoksu Palace to Mark National Liberation Day". enewsWorld. CJ E&M. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  10. ^ Park, Eun-jee (12 August 2012). "Movies at the palace: Sensible or sacrilege?". Korea JoongAng Daily. Retrieved 2012-11-18. 
  11. ^ "South Korea Box Office: August 10–12, 2012". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 
  12. ^ "South Korea Box Office: August 17–19, 2012". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2013-01-26. 

External links[edit]