Drama Casting & News
Continued failure to cast Korean “Hanadan” keeps super-idol boys’ hopes alive
by | September 14, 2008 | 48 Comments

There’s no real new info in this report (well, not about the points we care most about, i.e., casting), but I’m sure people are curious as to the progress of this drama, its production, casting, etc. In short: Stuff is still in limbo, but at least the drama has a writer and a director now.

“Korean ‘Hana Yori Dango,’ a fete for super-idol groups”

The Korean version of Hana Yori Dango [Boys Before Flowers] appears it will become the battle turf of top idol groups.

The Korean version will be broadcast on KBS2 in December, with star PD Jeon Ki-sang at the helm, who got his start with Bodyguard and directed drama series Delightful Girl Chun-hyang and My Girl. Writer will be Yoon Ji-ryun, who penned scripts for the teen drama/sitcom Sharp #3.

Director: Ooh, good move. Jeon Ki-sang sank terribly with the illogical mess that was Witch Amusement, but that drama was really cursed with bad writing, not directing. I remember watching Delightful Girl Chun-hyang for the first time and being struck within the first ten minutes with how fresh, energetic, and creative the directing was, particularly for a kdrama but really for any television work in general. Given the material, tone, and genre of this drama, he’s the perfect choice, really.

Writer: Gulp. The scriptwriter for Sharp, really? That’s like bringing in a team of Nonstop scribes, which is to say: a total waste of your director. Then again, all writers have to get their starts somewhere, so I’m not going to write her off immediately. Suffice to say I remain hopeful though her resumé does not inspire confidence.

Hana Yori Dango, a drama that featured young heartthrob male leads and one girl, has enjoyed widespread popularity after being produced in both Taiwan and Japan. Furthermore, the young men starring in Zettai Kareshi caused a stir all through Asia among its female fans. Thus it seems the Korean version will have to mobilize all its best young idol stars.

Already, reports of SS501’s Kim Hyun-joong being cast in Boys Before Flowers became widely talked-about; recently, talk has spread of a particular idol star referred merely as “K” being a strong candidate for a leading role. Another popular idol-group member’s name has risen as a hopeful.

What this really says is: “Nope, nobody cast yet. We are tossing names out to keep interest up in the series, but we really have no fucking clue what to do because omghugeexpecationscrap.”

Hopes that members of rival idol groups may be cast to act opposite each other in a “dream showdown” show the possibility of materializing. Therefore the rise of these famous idol-star names as candidates for Boys Before Flowers is seen as a win-win strategy for both the drama producers and the stars themselves.

With Boys Before Flowers attracting much interest beyond Korea, including China, Japan, and Southeast Asia, one must take care to make the best possible choice in casting its Korean stars. With these idols set to step into the wider Asian market, there’s no better vehicle for that purpose than Boys Before Flowers. On top of that, Korean idols who look as though they’ve popped right out of the pages of the manhwa have a high appeal.

The drama series, produced by Group Eight, was officially finalized with KBS on the 10th. A rep for the drama revealed that the series would premiere the last week of December as a Monday-Tuesday series.

CEO of Group Eight, Song Byung-joon, said, “The Korean version of Boys Before Flowers will be a drama to exceed expectations, and we’ll make sure that, as a representative of our country, it does not fall short of the Taiwanese or Japanese versions.”

Via Newsen

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48 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. asianromance

    i hope they can pick people who can act. I think it will be better than the Taiwan version- the Taiwan was good for the time it was made (year 2001 with its funky hairstyles, and when Taiwan dramas were barely taking off)- but I don’t think it can exceed the Japanese version with the great actors, a bunch of whom had lots of dramas under their belts, and the great script that managed to take such a long draggy manga and condense it in a way that not only made sense, but made the story more enjoyable. I feel like with the that sitcom writer, Yoon Ji-ryun, will have a lot of trouble pruning the story in order to adapt it to a drama of perhaps 16/20/24-ish episodes. But i guess that the direction, sets, costumes, and soundtrack for this drama will probably be trendy and amazing.

  2. choram

    How the hell do they have a premiere date yet no cast?!

  3. Mai

    hopefully, this time, I’ll like the actor who’s going to play Domyoji Tsukasa’s character better than the actor being casted as Hanazawa Rui so that I’ll stop hoping that Makino should’ve ended up with Rui. I kind of have high expectations for these one.

  4. Di

    please please please don’t let this drama flop!
    I have such high expectations for this. Tthey better cast not just eye candy but eye candy that can act and suit their roles! PLEASE T_T

  5. Angela

    hehe, I’d be okay with just eye candy. (Just kidding!)

    I’ve already seen this manga in every incarnation there is, so all I’m really looking forward to is seeing who they cast, and how they compare to the other versions… I’d imagine there’s only so much they can do with the script anyway. Can’t wait!

  6. Anonymous

    I so agree wit Mai , who ever they choose for Domyoji Tsukasa he better be hotter than rui!! In the Japan version i really wanted Rui to be wit Makino! I’ve been checkin everyday for updates on cast but …… can they be any slower, I no they wanna make it good but god come on!

    I really hope TOP can be Domyoji , he sooo hav the bad boy package!

  7. Jo

    I think we should prepare to have low expectations if they are picking popstars as actors. Why dont they choose actors to act???
    anywho…we’ll see when the final product comes out. I just hope they dont like…bomb it or something

  8. leafy

    though im worried that they won’t choose the rite male lead cast, im also worried abt the girl lead, what if they pick a freakin ugly girl who doesnt deserve them?!?
    (i would really hate that)
    btw, i think go ara would do well in this drama as a girl lead, what do u think?

  9. gallivanter

    Eee! Jeon Ki-sang! I was just checking online last week to see if he had any new projects. This gives me much more hope for this drama. I don’t know the writer, but, with the amount of press this is getting, there’s going to be all sorts of controls over her.

  10. 10 lala

    i agree that TOP should be picked…he so has the image lol and his acting is so good

  11. 11 Toya

    The acting better be impressive after that last statement. Beating Barbie and Jerry’s performance is a given, though. Really, MG had way too much bad acting. It made the show have that fake feel all the way through.

  12. 12 katy rose.

    Hopefully this drama really WILL exceed expectations. Or at the very least, not fall ridiculously short of them. Because that would truly be unfortunate. For me, I’m just going to not expect much from it at all. Cynical? Hell to the yes. But at least if it sucks, I can be like, yeah, I so called that one. And if it’s hella awesome, I can just be pleasantly surprised. rofl.

    I agree with choram (#2) though. Premiere day set & still no cast? Meaning that obviously, there’s no filming done. But we’re to expect it the last week of THIS year? Hm. How many people wiling to bet that the air date is gonna get pushed back?

  13. 13 Elaine

    sounds like its due for an epic fail

  14. 14 lemon

    If they do chose to cast idol stars, I hope they are ones who have some acting experience like Choi Shi Won or Kim Ki Bum.

  15. 15 Ter

    Oh god, sounds like it’ll end up being a bunch of pretty boys trying and failing to be convincing T_T

  16. 16 belleza

    “Furthermore, the young men starring in Densha Otoko caused a stir all through Asia among its female fans.”

    Densha Otoko? Young “men” from DENSHA OTOKO caused a stir all through Asia among its female fans? Wow talk about lost in translation! :D

    “With these idols set to step into the wider Asian market, there’s no better vehicle for that purpose than Boys Before Flowers. On top of that, Korean idols who look as though they’ve popped right out of the pages of the manhwa have a high appeal. ”

    Establishing a marketing franchise before you’ve actually created the show didn’t work with Goong S, and it wasn’t how Hana Yori Dango or Meteor Garden were originally conceived. I just think it’s a “square peg in round hole” situation doing this with K-drama. This works in Taiwan and Japan because idol singers are the foundation for a good percentage of dramas. The Netizen response strongly weighed in favor of casting somebody like Lee Min Ki, Jang Geon Suk, or Ki Bum. They are young; but they’re not boy-band idols. It’s almost as if Group Eight is trying to fight the obvious and create a domestic market for “true” idol dramas, as in Taiwan and Japan. (That should be interesting BTW, because taken to its logical conclusion, that means the Korean trendy drama as we know it may cease to exist.)

    I don’t know — Hana Yori Dango IS a idol franchise. Even if you go back to the 1995 movie, you had 90s idols Yuki Uchida and Fujiki Naohito star as Makino and Rui. It’s probably silly to pretend that it is anything but that. At the same time, for it to work within the business of K-drama, I don’t think what they’re doing will really work.

  17. 17 mj

    okay … i can’t tell who use the f word? newsen or javabeans? :)

    no matter what happens … everyone will be watching it.

    mJ

  18. 18 Bored..

    Why must it be pop idols?? But T.O.P is my number 1 choice :)

  19. 19 m

    taiwan had a distinct advantage with this since, correct me if i’m wrong, but i believe they were the first to dramatize the manhwa & could therefore cast whoever the hell they wanted with basically 0 pressure. granted, most of the F4 guys weren’t that great acting-wise, but since then, i believe most, if not all have improved a bunch. hopefully they’ll get people who have both the pretty & substantial acting chops to make this work – both for the guys & the girl.

  20. 20 Anna

    I think the writer, cast director et el really need to put the TW and Jap version out of their heads. It seems like they are getting so tangled up in meeting expectations that they’re not concerntrating on just producing the thing.

    TPTB really should get on with making their own show.

    Honestly how hard is it to find 4 reasonably good-looking young men and 1 girl who can act?

  21. 21 One of the fools

    How can they say that this drama is going to air end of this year , when they havent even pick casts ?
    I thing that they are just fooling us ! and when this years nearly ends they will come up with some whitewash to make us hope for something more !! Im actually really fed up with dis , i have already give up the hops for dis drama, and even if they air this drama i think it will be crap ! becoz i just have this feeling that they are just going to destroy it ….

  22. 22 belleza

    “taiwan had a distinct advantage with this since, correct me if i’m wrong, but i believe they were the first to dramatize the manhwa & could therefore cast whoever the hell they wanted with basically 0 pressure.”

    Japan actually adapted HanaDan into a movie in the mid-90s. It’s not very good. :D

    The thing with Meteor Garden is that it was — I think — the first real idol drama (they even cast the F4 according to height requirements) and true manga adaptation in Taiwan. (Which goes to show how young TW trendy dramas are compared to J-drama and K-drama.) It’s like what (the original) 90210 is to the American teen soap.

    Japanese HanaDan was made as more a reaction to Meteor Garden than the manga, and when it came out, there was a lot of internet debate between the two shows. MatsuJun’s Doumyoji is good, but a lot of people still feel there’s still not a definitive Doumyoji. MatsuJun lacks the physical stature and brute aspects of the manga Doumyoji (which Jerry Yan — by virtue of being a much larger man — is more successful), but he was able to depict his rage, cruelty, and childlike nature. And so HanaDan kinda took on a slight gothic tilt that IMO improved on the story.

    You can have a crappy F4, crappy Makino, crappy ass mansion. But Tuskasa has to be great. He’s the Darcy of idol drama.

    “It seems like they are getting so tangled up in meeting expectations that they’re not concerntrating on just producing the thing.”

    They kinda did the same thing with Goong S. It’s not really about the show, but about using a marketing scheme to determine the show. They looked at Goong’s popularity and planned out the promotion, marketing, and all that good stuff before they made the show. They assumed casting a big pop star and an idol starlet and kinda assumed it would be a big hit, and a big international hit (and Goong S actually did quite okay overseas.)

  23. 23 Miki

    Acting before idols, people!

    I have never watched Taiwan dramas (well… all for the most famous of them), and I stuck through those NOT because of my love for the idol or anything (though some MIGHT go to their good looks) because it was worth watching. On the other hand, I have passed on others because they pretty much suck even though the eye-candy was amazing or I like their music.

    So I AM IMPLORING the casting director to try to give the roles to someone good. It’s the quality! best chance NOT to disappoint the fans? Cast some good actors that gets their fave characters across well with awesome chemistry. Being good-looking doesn’t hurt either… but you know, some guys grow on you! If nothing, cast someone like Lee Minki. Pretty decent acting in my eyes and he’s famous and hot… I’m sure no one would argue too much. Going by that idol craze is done too much anyway, and so many idol-dramas sink too… And get us some hard facts soon! Ridiculous to see such a high-profile drama going so slowly. Casting is just one of your many future hurdles, so get the best acting-wise to get off well.. and then MOVE ON! I want to see shooting happen.

  24. 24 pinklover

    I have to agree with all of you guys! They should cast ACTORS who can actually ACT! I am really looking forward to this version since, the manwha of this drama is what led me into loving asian dramas(especially kDRAMAS)…Hopefully, it will live up to the hype its getting and surpass my expectations.

    I liked the japanese version better than the taiwanese. But the disappointement for me with the japanese version, was that I fell in love with Rui’s character more than the lead. So for this version, I expect them to cast an eye-candy but I also wanna see some toughness and great acting. If they want an “idol,” I personally like Choi Siwon…

    Bottomline, someone
    who can ACT should play lead!!

  25. 25 Miki

    @pinklover- Actually, a lot of people like Rui. *hehe* the main actress of the Jdrama, Inoue Mao, said that when she was asked by the mangaka during a meeting what to draw for her, she asked for her to draw Rui. XD Rui has a lot of fans, in all versions. I was actually pretty evenly split. Jdrama-wise, MatsuJun isn’t “typically good-looking”, but I started to root for him as he acted well and it was obvious Tsukasa and Tsukushi fitted together better. Rui just… had too much “baggage”. The two didn’t clash well together, that’s the way it turned out with all their experiences. I loved his quietness, I pitied him… but I couldn’t “root” for him. The two are more comfortable as great friends. Their awkward date showed that. But one of the more interesting dynamics of the show. It HAD to be that way.

    That’s why I’d be pissed off if Tsukasa was shown as a bullhead and not an innocent misinformed and Rui becomes either emo or too loud or not… the silent quiet guardian angel but nothing else is hard! And though MatsuJun nailed the acting, Tsukasa might be better off looking more masculine and tall… Even if only because in the case that Tsukasa isn’t nailed, the image will help.

  26. 26 belleza

    “Actually, a lot of people like Rui. *hehe* the main actress of the Jdrama, Inoue Mao, said that when she was asked by the mangaka during a meeting what to draw for her, she asked for her to draw Rui. XD Rui has a lot of fans, in all versions.”

    Mm hmm. Kamio-sensei wasn’t sure whether Hana Yori Dango would be a RuixMakino or DoumyojixMakino story until she saw her reader response. So she went with the popularity vote. :D A lot of M&D fans were displeased with that. ;)

    It’s revealed later in the manga that Rui is autistic (Asperger’s Syndrome), and if you put together his distant, yet childlike personality, his blunt but not meanspirited language, and his relationships with Makino and Shizuka, it makes sense. The “apple” storyline in the first year tips that off. As the manga progresses, Makino has a special, almost sacred relationship with Rui, and she fills in the maternal/sister role that Shizuka provided, understanding that they could never realistically have a “romantic” relationship. Makino, who has her own problems expressing her feelings into words, instinctively understood this. She protects Rui; she loves Rui like an older sister; but she doesn’t see Rui as a man. She can’t.

    If you go into 2nd season of HanaDan knowing that Rui has Asperger’s Syndrome, then the way Oguri Shun plays him and the way Rui is written is just about perfect (and yes the writers wrote AS into the show without actually bringing it up.) Also in the way Shizuka cares for Rui but doesn’t seem at all his girlfriend plays along with that. And that’s the thing about HanaDan season 2. As a J-drama, it’s hit and miss. As a season long speculation on the characters of Hana Yori Dango canon, it’s really awesome.

  27. 27 Rebeca

    Belleza: reading the Densha Otoko thing, i was also surprised..

    But is it possible that they mean the young MAN from Densha Otoko, cuz Oguri Shun was in that!

    And as for what you said that every1 can be crappy except Tsukasa…i dont agree at all!!!

    Makino has to be GREAT!! i liked Barbie Xu’s makino…. but Inoe Mao….OH.MY.GOSH….she IS Makino.. Its literally like a toned down version of Makino (The manga Makino curses and hits alot…and she wouldn’t be TV appropriate) popped out of the manga..

    On the other hand, I really didn’t like Mr. Jun as Tsukasa……..idk y…….he had all the right moves…but that desperation that Doumyoji has for Makino was completely lacking in JUn’s performance…..

    I’m glad they have a date set…..bc i dont think they are going to rush this that much…since they KNOW they have humongous shoes to fill……rather they are getting everything perfectly ready (script, set, etc) so that there will be no more delays after the cast is ready….at least, that is what i HOPE they are doing….bc making the most awaited drama of the year in 3 months is gunna be a bit of a strech………………..

  28. 28 javabeans

    Oh, that was totally my bad. Sorry folks, not Densha, Zettai Kareshi. (I’m not familiar with either drama so the mistake didn’t register.) Misreading of the shortened Korean nickname of the translation from the Japanese title led to, um, crossed wires, shall we say.

  29. 29 Marj

    i think the best korean male actor for the maine lead of F4 is “Jang Guen Suk” he was the snobbish look but when he smile he melt heart of all women for sure and his face is handsome in any angle… he can play tough guy and a softhearted guy as well.He is the only young actor in korea who can really act and plus really handsome here is his pictures

    [IMG]http://i33.tinypic.com/30s9gte.jpg[/IMG]

    http://imgcash2.imageshack.us/Himg394/scaled.php?server=394&filename=210ze3.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=480

  30. 30 Marj

    i think the best korean male actor for the main lead of F4 is “Jang Guen Suk” he has the snobbish look but when he smiles he melts heart of all women for sure and his face is handsome in any angle… he can play tough guy and a softhearted guy as well.He is the only young actor in korea who can really act and plus really handsome here is his pictures

    http://i33.tinypic.com/30s9gte.jpg

    http://imgcash2.imageshack.us/Himg394/scaled.php?server=394&filename=210ze3.jpg&xsize=640&ysize=480

  31. 31 Rebeca

    OoOoO i just thought of another reason to be REALLY excited for the K version of HYD: its probably going to have 16 episodes!!!

    the T version got draggy bc of too many episodes (20) and then ANOTHER season just for the amnesia arc (Which everyone can pretty much agree that sucked)

    and the J version was TOO DAMN SHORT. and the adding of the second season was annoyin bc had they made the 1st season the correct amount of episodes..there would be no need for a second season which looked like it was done just to fit in all the scenes ppl were asking for that weren’t added in teh first season.

    now 16 epis……im looking forward to that!!!!!!!!!! that and the fact that since korean dramas dont usually tend to do 2nd seasons (correct me if im wrong), they will get all the main points in the first time ( like THE RAIN SCENE :D )

    Oh December, December….please come already!!!!

    This is gunna be my x-mas present courtesy of Korea! :)

  32. 32 Rebeca

    @ belleza

    haha…u said the Meteor Garden producers cast F4 according to height requiremens

    the more that i watch meteor garden, the more convinced i become that teh ONLY requiremens taken into consideration with Doumyoji (Dao Ming Sz) is physical requirements…

    u can criticize his acting, funky hairstyle, ugly clothes…but in relation to the manga Doumyoji, looks-wise, no one comes close to Jerry..the man is HOT…

    just LOOK at his Dramawiki profile picture!!!!!!!!!!!!

    yum…im gunna go watch meteor garden again purely for eye candy! hehehe

  33. 33 belleza

    “Sorry folks, not Densha, Zettai Kareshi. (I’m not familiar with either drama so the mistake didn’t register.)”

    Oh!! Zettai Kareshi!! OH yeah, Zettai Kareshi (i.e. Absolute Boyfriend / The PERFECT Boyfriend) totally makes sense! Heh heh . . . :D

    “i think the best korean male actor for the maine lead of F4 is “Jang Guen Suk” he was the snobbish look ”

    I think JGS would have made a better Rui. He’s just too morose for my tastes to play our lovable psycho Doumyouji. To me, if age didn’t figure, Jo In Sung would absolutely be THE Doumyouji.

    @Rebeca,

    “Makino has to be GREAT!! i liked Barbie Xu’s makino…. but Inoe Mao….OH.MY.GOSH….she IS Makino.. ”

    Oh, no doubt. Inoue Mao (herself a big fan of HanaDan) CHANNELED Makino. 30 seconds into the first episode — facial tics and sassy mouth and everything — you knew you were watching Makino. Over at D-addicts, there’s like a 3 year ongoing discussion about a J-drama adaptation of MARS. The consensus is to have Mao and Pi play the roles.

    The smoothness of the first season had a lot to do with Inoue Mao’s performance. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a young Japanese cast get along quite like Mao-chan and the F4 boys did. Even when last summer, when First Kiss and Hana Kimi were doing promotion on the same show, Mao-chan and Oguri Shun were like teasing each other. Sure, ain’t no thang for us used to X-man and Love Letter, but you just don’t see that kind of vibe between the sexes in Japanese shows! What a hush among the Arashi fanbase! ;)

    “On the other hand, I really didn’t like Mr. Jun as Tsukasa……..idk y…….he had all the right moves…but that desperation that Doumyoji has for Makino was completely lacking in JUn’s performance…..”

    He had me at “Humingyay.” *sigh!* :D I think the way the first season moved probably made the relationship development between M&D seem kinda rushed. I know a lot of people felt that way. But I did like how the first season ends with her having just fallen in love with him, and the 2nd season begins with much uncertainty. They hadn’t really developed a friendship or relationship at that point, and Makino didn’t know they were actually compatible. She doesn’t even fully realize (or accept) how much she misses him until well into the first episode of Season 2.

    “I’m glad they have a date set…..bc i dont think they are going to rush this that much…since they KNOW they have humongous shoes to fill……”

    I was disappointed that they set a date, actually. It is out of the protocol of drama promotion. It just seems reckless, and frankly I don’t understand why they even released a press release about HanaDan if they were THIS unprepared.

    “and the adding of the second season was annoyin bc had they made the 1st season the correct amount of episodes”

    I actually loved that it was split like that. I remember when the first season ended, I felt really happy but empty. Empty because, just like the manga, I felt so much uncertainty for Makino and Doumyoji. The first season made me relive literally the years of reading about our favorite couple surviving challenge after challenge, and it figuratively ended the same way the book ended. With hope but more questions. About Doumyoji accepting his role as an adult. About Makino coming of age. At the time over at the HanaDan thread, none of us knew whether there would be another season. None of us knew whether it was possible. It wasn’t just casting JunMao — when was the last time a J-drama brought back THE WHOLE GANG for another seasonal run?

    Fast forward 3-4 months later, and then there was the official announcement that Season 2 would be made. And then you asked yourself — “okay, they finished the manga. Where can they go from here?” This was going to be about closure, about being a fan of the HanaVerse for SO MANY %$#@%ING YEARS and knowing that this — surely THIS — will be the last word on our favorite couple.

    The key thing about the beginning of Season 2 was that its passage of time was exactly the passage of time for us HanaDan fans, between the 2 seasons. A year had passed for them; a year had passed for us. Makino hadn’t heard from Doumyoji almost all that time; we obviously knew nothing of our favorite couple for that whole year. We fussed over what the story might be that year; we fussed over them for that year, and in that sense, we experienced their long distance relationship vicariously, and we knew that this was a completely new chapter for Makino and Doumouyji. And it wasn’t about whether they would remain a couple, we wanted to know they would be as adult, how they grow up and apart among their circle of friends, against the expectations and challenges of “the real world.”

    I think if they ever did a proper sequel to Goong, I think a lot of Goong fans will feel that same vibe, especially if that was the first K-couple that you feel in love with.

    “they will get all the main points in the first time ( like THE RAIN SCENE :D )”

    Yeah, I think they kinda botched in the J-drama version, and it’s kinda funny because even the pre-week promotion was hyping that episode as “Get ready, this is the Rain Scene Episode!!” It should one of the most emotionally wrenching scenes in the entire story, but it felt like more of the same in the J-drama. Also, it didn’t help that the Rain speech had already been used in the first episode of S2.

    “the more that i watch meteor garden, the more convinced i become that teh ONLY requiremens taken into consideration with Doumyoji (Dao Ming Sz) is physical requirements…”

    The F4 got a lot of dings for their acting and rightfully so. But it’s worth mentioning that both Jerry and Vic got MUCH better. And for me, Meteor Garden (i.e. Barbie + Vic) was really preparation for MARS anyway. I LOVED LOVED LOVED them in that show!!

  34. 34 rave

    really? so many people with high hopes … yea baby! T.O.P.

  35. 35 Annie

    T.O.P of BIG BANG for DOMYOUJI TTSUKASA

    GO ARA for MAKINO TSUKUSKI

    Kim Hyun-joong of SS501 for RUI HANAZAWA

    KIM HEECHUL of Super JR. for Nishikado Sojiro

    KANGIN of Super JR. for Mimasaka Akira

  36. 36 Sevenses

    Makes me wonder what the cast would be like if netizens were allowed to decide…

    On the other hand, belleza, hats off to you and your essays!

  37. 37 belleza

    “Makes me wonder what the cast would be like if netizens were allowed to decide…”

    Actually that’s been the problem. The first Netizen poll, some months back, had nominated Jo In Sung, Binnie, YEH, etc. in the HanaDan roles. Then the PR people say “oh no no. We want to cast idol actors, as in BOY BAND idols. How about 501?” Then the Netizens said, “Ok. Well #$@#% you then.” Then the PR people said “oh crap..” then the Netizens says, “Exactly. This will be crap and you know it.” Then the PR people said “Believe in us. This crap will be good” Then the Netizens said “Not if you cast boy band idols. Remember Goong S? Thank to you ****tards, we’ll never see Goong 2.” Then the PR people said “****you mutha**** This is coming out in December no matter what! G-unit!!” Then the Netizens said “Fine. We’re not watching. Hip hop is dead!!” Then the PR people said ” . . . ”

    And here we are. :D But that’s been the core problem. They want to make a HanaDan that’s blatantly not what the target audience actually wants (if they want it at all), and they’re trying to convince the Netizens that this is what they want. Because anything else won’t fit their marketing plan for the pan-Asian HanaDan franchise.

  38. 38 Vhlady

    The problem with casting for such a popular franchise such as HYD is everyone will always have an opinion on who is perfect for the role. Trying to pander to all parties concerned, may they be netizens or whoever is just not possible. The best that they can do is get a decent Makino (as close to the HYD Makino in terms of looks, presence and acting ability) and an F4 that looks believable as a group “idolized” in school. The only problem I had with the Japanese HYD while IMHO it was superior to the Taiwanese version in terms of acting ability, complex portrayal of the characters by the cast, production values, pacing, script, music and direction, the Taiwanese F4 version had a bigger impact on Asia by virtue of the guys being more “idol-looking”. God-forbid the acting from the F4, especially by the main love triangle of Barbie, Jerry and Vic were not so good not that it affected the popularity of the franchise itself.

    So what am I hoping for the Korean version for it to blend the good from both previous versions and come up with something hopefully, even better than the previous versions.

    My major concern casting-wise is with Tsukasa and Makino. Secondary concerns are casting of Rui and Soujiro.

    Makino, being the center of the story needs to capture the sass, grit, determination, filial love, compassion and tomboyish attitude shown by Mao (Barbie was way too wimpy IMHO to be a believable Shan Chai). For actresses, I find YEH and Go Ara too pretty and glamorous to be believable in the role and I feel that YEH has already graduated from doing this kind of roles (she has done two similar roles in the past so a third one will just box her in this kinds of roles which is not good for an actress who wants to be successful in the long run).

    My recommendation: Park Min Ji (18 vs 29 & Jenny, Juno). She’s not too pretty but not too ugly either. She shower in previous works that she can be sassy, loud, cute, funny and tomboyish so I am confident she can nail the Makino/San Chai role to a tee. Physically, she is the right height as well.

    Tsukasa is a difficult role, which Matsumoto Jun, although being too short and just physically wrong for the role, successfully portrayed. The characters in the story refer to Tsukasa as kind of “crazy” which makes absolute perfect sense his character goes through a whole gamut of roller-coaster rides in character development. There is the craziness, bratty behavior, menace, bully, romantic, compassion, loyalty, brashness, devotion and a whole lot more sides of Tsukasa that pop out in the story. So looking rebellious is just 1% of what Tsukasa is.

    My recommendation: Choi Si Won (18 vs 29, Legend of Hyang Dan). The guy has proven in past works that he has the ability to portray different characters which contrast with his known gentleman image so I think the guy can handle the role. Physically, he is a believable Tsukasa. He needs to just have a crazy hairdo or something, just no curls please! It was horribly distracting when watching Matsumoto Jun with that curly, poodle-like hairdo of his. ;)

    Aside from the fact that there is established chemistry between the two, having acted (albeit in memory scenes) together previously as the young versions of the leads in 18 vs 29, the relationship is similar to the cat-mouse bickering of Tsukasa and Makino. If I may add, the two kids look cute together (well, back then anyway). :)

    Just watch the memory scenes/clips from 18 vs 29 to see for yourself. :)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Du9i8EgOD5c&feature=related
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mhmdok9CR9Q&feature=related

  39. 39 belleza

    “The problem with casting for such a popular franchise such as HYD is everyone will always have an opinion on who is perfect for the role.”

    I think the core problem is that the company wants to cast idols, and the Netizens want them to cast K-drama actors. I think, the company feels like if they did cast standard actors, there would be no point in doing HanaDan, because they really want to use the pan-Asian BrandName as a means to promote boy bands in international markets as well as home (see Arashi, NeWs, Rain, etc.) For example, Goong S flopped at home, but it did pretty well internationally. It looks like they want to bring the Johnny Entertainment business model into Korea. The challenge is in convincing the skeptical audience that they can pull this off.

    “For actresses, I find YEH and Go Ara too pretty and glamorous to be believable in the role and I feel that YEH has already graduated from doing this kind of roles”

    It’s almost impossible to cast YEH due to the legal brouhaha around the Goong situation. I think the challenge here is that you may need the female actress to carry the scenes if you cast really green actors in the other rows. Inoue Mao started out as a child actress, and had more than 30 credits before HanaDan came around. Plus she had already worked with Shun and Matsuda in other dramas. She anchored HanaDan and did a really, really good job putting her other actors/actresses over in the show. IF they go the idol route, the female actress may need to do the same. Goong S would have worked much better if Park Shin Hye, who’s as experienced as they come for teen actresses, had been the lead. She would have done a much better job selling Se7en’s prince character to the audience.

    “My recommendation: Park Min Ji (18 vs 29 & Jenny, Juno). She’s not too pretty but not too ugly either. ”

    Park Min Ji (who resembles Japanese sweetheart Ryoko Hirosue) is a good choice, but she’s right now in You Are My Destiny.

    I think the ideal (and likely) actress here would be Park Min Young (Plastic Makino?), because of her experience in sitcoms, among idols, and such. Plus, she’s a touch older and can still play high school characters. Go Ara is another a good choice. It’s maybe not realistic to expect Makino to be played by a “normal looking” actress. I wouldnt be surprised if a SNSD or WG (hello Soobee!!) ends up in the role.

    “My recommendation: Choi Si Won (18 vs 29, Legend of Hyang Dan). ”

    Not sure if he’s the right Tsukasa, but I think he could make a fine F4.

  40. 40 Vhlady

    I like your comments on the whole casting issue belleza. :) I am curious though, was the Taiwanese franchise more successful internationally than the Japanese franchise?

    I really loved the Japanese version especially Mao, Jun and Oguri. :) Although I still believe Rui was a walk in the park for an accomplished actor such as Oguri. ;) I find Tsukasa a bit bipolar or schizo at times so I think among all the roles, this will be the most difficult acting wise for anyone. Matsumoto Jun’s layered interpretation of the character for me is a winner and will be very difficult to top.

    Is Park Min Ji’s role in her current drama a minor one? I was hoping she can spare some time and do this role. Hehehe… With regards to Choi Siwon, if they were going for casting 1 boyband member from each group, he popped up, being one of the few ones with actual acting cred (film and drama), that I know. It helps that he was paired up with my fave actress for the Makino role in a previous project (18 vs 29). :)

    Maybe for the F4, they should get 1 member with previous acting experience from each of the major boyband groups, hahaha. At least get a member who has appeared in a supporting or lead role (even better) in a drama or film (even better). Hopefully also they cast people at least in their late teens or early 20’s if they will be playing high school students.

  41. 41 belleza

    “I am curious though, was the Taiwanese franchise more successful internationally than the Japanese franchise? ”

    Yeah, I would say so; Meteor Garden’s affect on TW-Drama (for better or worse) really cannot be underestimated. F4 became a boy band and performed all over Asia, and it became a gateway for TW-dramas into other countries. If you see F4 parodies (Big Bang did one), it’s about the Meteor Garden edition.

    “I find Tsukasa a bit bipolar or schizo at times so I think among all the roles, this will be the most difficult acting wise for anyone. Matsumoto Jun’s layered interpretation of the character for me is a winner and will be very difficult to top.”

    Yup. Half monster, half child. That’s how Douymouji is meant to be played.

    And that’s kinda the innate problem. Much of the J-drama world is made of male and female idols; the K-drama world isn’t. And there’s kind of a double standard there. Netizens are perfectly fine for a Yamapi to be cast as a late-20s doctor (didn’t work so great heh) in a J-drama, but they’ll be mighty unhappy if a boy band non-actor ends up as spoiled scion of a corporation.

    “With regards to Choi Siwon, if they were going for casting 1 boyband member from each group”

    Ever since Popseoul compared him to Takeshi Kaneshiro (EH?!!!!??), I’ve been kinda obsessed with him. :D

    “Is Park Min Ji’s role in her current drama a minor one? I was hoping she can spare some time and do this role. Hehehe… ”

    Yeah, it’s a pretty small role (daughter to a teenage mother, who falls in love with a older man <– Juno much? ;) ), and it’s not unusual for actors to do KBS1 daily drama along with a proper KBS2 trendy at the same time. For example, Jung Ae Ri was the mother in Women in the Sun, while in the daily drama You Are My Destiny.

    But to give you an idea of the Netizen mindset — they originally wante somebody like a Jung Ryeo Won or Lee Hana to play Makino.

  42. 42 khatz

    Suggestion…

    Makino-Yoon Eun Hye.

    That’s all….

  43. 43 Stella

    Ew!! Zettai Kareshi was a not a very good show, acting and chemistry-wise. To top it off, the lead male actors sported strange looks, including a strange tan and strange hair. The acting was stiff and strange, so I really think the comparison in the article inept.

  44. 44 eifel

    hyun joong, siwon, kangin and heechul would be best and eun hye

  45. 45 Secert

    i totally agree with eifel about the cast. but sadly that did not happen=(.
    i saw a preview of the trailer and i found the main girl really ugly. in the Japanese version makino was pretty but the girl in here is ugly!!
    i really wanted it to be Yoon Eun Hye

  46. 46 mhinzarlay

    Mhinzarlay

    F4 boys!
    so……….cute……!
    Thanks!

  47. 47 mhinzarlay

    Mhinzarlay
    Boys before flower is very interesting.
    Actor is very good.
    song woo bin and ji ho are so cute.
    aza aza frighting .
    :P
    Thanks!

  48. 48 indah:)

    hi . oppa :) !!

    nice your film , sometimes …
    make a film at indonesia in bali , ok ??

    thanks ^^

    from :
    INDAH:)your fans .

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