Iljimae (Il-Ji-Mae: The Phantom Thief) is a Korean drama broadcast from May to July 2008 on SBS. It is loosely based on a comic by Ko Woo Yung. It was produced by Lee Yong Suk. The plot is different from the original comic because the production company could not get the rights to the story. The rights went to MBC who will broadcast its version of Iljimae in early 2009. Although produced as a television series it has been produced previously as a movie. Jang Dong Gun played Iljimae in TV series on MBC in 1993, and Choi Su Jong played him in a modernized version in 1990.
To watch movie, click on link (link expired 9.8.2011): IlJimae: The Phantom Thief
Iljimae is a mysterious, black-swathed thief who robs from corrupt government officials and gives to the poor. He steals not only material treasures but also people, be they wrongfully held prisoners or criminals hiding from judgment. At the scene of each robbery, he leaves a small painting of a branch of red plum blossoms called a “mae hwa”. (His name reflects this act: il means “one”, ji means “branch” and mae means “plum tree”.) The citizens support Iljimae while the king and the nobility try to catch him and find his identity.
Lee Jun Ki
Han Hyo Joo
Lee Young Ah
Park Shi Hoo
Directed by: Lee Yong Seok
Produced by: Lee Yong Suk, Comic by Ko Woo Yung