Drama Casting & News
Tokyo Tower bought for Korean remake
by | April 11, 2009 | 46 Comments

Kim Ji-soo (Women in the Sun) is pairing up with Antique Bakery and The Naked Kitchen star Joo Ji-hoon for the Korean remake of the Japanese film Tokyo Tower [도쿄 타워].

Tokyo Tower was originally a novel written by popular Japanese novelist Ekuni Kaori and depicts the love story of a 20-something young man with a 40-something married woman (Joo Ji-hoon’s real age is 26 — he turns 27 next month — while Kim Ji-soo is 36). It was produced as a 2005 movie starring Okada Junichi, Kuroki Hitomi, and Matsumoto Jun.

According to production company Future One, the remake rights were recently bought and a director has been attached: PD Ahn Pan-seok, who successfully helmed the MBC drama remake series White Tower. The drama will be filmed in advance of airing, although it hasn’t yet decided which broadcast station to air on.

Via DongA

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46 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. peachys2sleep

    For some reason, I thought that they were gonna do a movie remake and not a drama.

  2. Sere

    I have yet to watch Tokyo Tower, but for some reason, this post fills me with glee! *g* JJH \o/

  3. Jessica

    I love when they expand a movie out into a series :) But the guy really should look younger… I mean, that’s the whole “shock” part of it.

  4. Helena

    PD Ahn Pan-seok’s White Tower was a masterpiece. I love Kim Ji-soo, she is a great actress. I’m also glad to hear that this drama will be filmed in advance. Hope it will turn out great. Excited. :)

  5. Heejae

    Jessica: Agreed.

    However, I do believe that props are in order for their decision to film the series before airing. Most series that have done this…have failed in their viewer ratings, because the scriptwriters/producers of korean dramas always like to manipulate the story around what their viewers would like to see. And no doubt that often times, this isn’t what the producers/makers/etc. originally intend for to happen to their story.

    So kudos to them.

  6. etsy

    the plot doesn’t sound that interesting. we’ve already seen the younger boyfriend deal in dal ja’s spring, but i would watch it anyway because i like kim ji soo and joo jihoon

  7. fizzle

    Hmm..

    I love Kim Ji Soo, but with Joo Ji Hoon? I guess we’ll have to see how their chemistry plays out…

  8. tina

    wow really? that movie was terrible =\ but maybe they might do it better? i just feel this plot has been rehashed a lot…

  9. Biscuit

    20 yr age gap…. I remember seeing the Japanese one a while back.. but never finished :/

  10. 10 Kender

    The Japanese version was such an awful movie.. I love JJH, but I’m not really looking forward to this. :/

  11. 11 anna

    He keeps playing the type of character that I hate. :\

  12. 12 xiaoSxin

    oh my god. I missed Joo Ji Hoon on primetime drama!

    I will definitely keep this drama on my radar!

  13. 13 ipsae

    wow, i thought tokyo tower was a good movie and joo ji hoo seems prefect for the chacter with the last two movies he’s been in. i love his characters!!!!!

  14. 14 anonymous

    Agree that the movie was pretty bad. Pretty actors, but overly melodramatic, and just did not catch my attention. This doesn’t mean that the premise can’t be reworked into something more interesting, but I have a feeling that the movie was chosen for a remake BECAUSE of the melodrama, so yeah…. not exactly my cup of tea…

    I was hoping they would be remaking Lily Franky’s Tokyo Tower. That story, both the movie and drama versions, is just…. so touching.

  15. 15 stawr

    I thought they were remaking the Japanese drama, Tokyo Tower, not the film… scared me for a sec…

  16. 16 Rin

    I’m not really into the plot thing.. seriously, how many time has this been made?? Sure the first few times = hype (i.e. Kim Sam Soon, Dal Ja’s Spring, My Sweet Seoul, What’s Up Fox?, etc.) but after a lot then.. I don’t know, people kinda of lose interest in them.
    I’ll probably only watch this cus of the cast… besides that, my hope is not that high.

  17. 17 belleza

    Oooh this one threw me off. I was thinking that this was a remake of the *other* Tokyo Tower, which was another bestselling novel made into a 2007 drama and movie. Though I can’t imagine Kim Ji Soo as Jo Ji Hoo’s mom. :D

    This May-December pairing can definitely work. Kim Ji Soo made her unlikely pairing with Jung Gyu Woon (same age difference) work in Women in the Sun, and Jung Gtu Woon was recovering from hepatitis during the shoot! A lot of scenes were just them sitting together, precisely because he was too sick to move. But somehow it still worked. :D

    My guess is that this show will go to SBS, and then OCN if SBS doesn’t take it. I can’t see MBC taking this show, since I think they already passed up on Gourmet and Someday. Because it IS an adultery drama, there’s a decent shot this may attract w/end watching ajummas and have some success. Cos, you know, a bunch of them watched Goong and thought “he’s wasted on my daughter.” :D

  18. 18 MEIKO**** ^-^

    YEHEY!!!!! ILL DEFINITELY WAIT FOR THIS!!!

  19. 19 adnama

    awesome, i love ji hoon.

  20. 20 moomincandylalala

    @ belleza
    “Cos, you know, a bunch of them watched Goong and thought “he’s wasted on my daughter.” lols…. you are too funny!

    Despite his somewhat peculiar fashion sense, I’ve recently decided that I like JJH (not because i’m an ahjuma! ha). I didn’t think Antique was great, but I liked his performance in it when i wasn’t too busy oogling the cakes. Never thought much of him in Goong…actually he really annoyed me then. I think he’s come a long way since . Have yet to see Naked Kitchen but look forward to it. I think its great that he’s choosing these “alternative” type projects that gives him the opportunity to really act not just look pretty.

    I liked Kim Ji Soo w Jung Gyu Woon in Women in the sun too, look forward to this drama, hope it won’t end up too melo…

    btw… belleza, are u still following C&A? it’s been really starting to get good for me in the past few eps…

  21. 21 belleza

    “belleza, are u still following C&A? it’s been really starting to get good for me in the past few eps…”

    Oh I know. In Episode 15, for a very brief scene, So Ji Sup starts to channel his character in Rough Cut. There’s this famous line in Johnny Cash’s Folsom Blues that goes “I shot a man, just to watch him die.” SJS does THAT with his eyes, the crazy-death eyes, and it’s chilling (one notch below Ha Ja Woo chilling.) Shin Hyun Joon has had various super-evil moments in C&A, but at that moment, Lee Cho In is like the man in black coming to bring your inevitable death with his piece. HE’s terrifying, but only for that scene.

    And then in episode 16, well the cat’s fully out of the bag. And now, you can tell the story is closing out, and in a way you almost sense relief from the writers because now the four characters are now all in play and all active with each other, as they haven’t been for most of the show. All the hands are exposed and now it’s just mano y mano cowboy stuff in the hospital. BTW, I’m never going to that hospital. :D

  22. 22 WINNIE

    Only one thing why I will watch this drama. KIM JI SO… I like her in WOTS .

  23. 23 travp16

    I am soo stoked!!! I LOVE JOO JI HOON!!

  24. 24 thunderbolt

    Kim Ji-soo was amazing in Women in the Sun, and I’ve liked Joo Ji-hoon since Devil. With the White Tower PD helming this, wow!

  25. 25 Nokcha

    Wow, interesting to see the negative reviews of the movie. I loved this movie…the set, colors, cast, and the sound track…..It is a melodrama, but the overall feel of the movie just captured me. I’m happy they’re going to make a drama; however, as much as I enjoy watch JJH (I’m keeping my eye on him as a seriously good actor in development), he is a bit too old looking, though he could definitely pull off the smoldering heat thing pretty well. Hummm, who would be good….How about Kim Beom? Maybe he’s a bit too fresh.

  26. 26 travp16

    Wait so is this going to be a show or a film?

  27. 27 byolloo

    a 3 hit combo of uninteresting.
    but the PD is the life line!
    @27 Kim Bum would have been a lovely choice.

  28. 28 warfreakbix

    I’m really looking forward to this. I love JJH.

    Nokcha, I don’t really think he’s old looking but it really depends on his haircut at a particular time. I saw a lot of pictures where he looks very young, I’m confident that JJH can pull off the 20 year old guy in this drama.

  29. 29 epyc

    @ moomincandylalala and Belleza
    Just finished Ep 16 of C&A. These last few episodes are so intense that really glue you to the seat! One of the reasons that I don’t like the earlier episodes despite its intensity and watchability is the lack of interactions between the four leads, as if each playing out his/her own story on four different planes. All strings are however now put together. SJS is just wow and his chemistry with HJM is indeed ‘warm cocoa’. Four more episodes to go!

  30. 30 twreckx

    I think that should read Joon Ji Hoon’s not Ji Joo Hoon

  31. 31 Bolt

    Sounds like older women, younger man theme has become popular in Korea.

    Hehe…I am imagining whether the actual drama will turn out to be the Reader sort of plot or depicting the real life story of Star’s Lover?

  32. 32 vis

    I also thought that the remake was going to be a korean movie and not a drama… still I’ll be looking forward to this :)

  33. 33 Jin-Ah

    I will be watching this one for sure…
    I have come to love the older woman younger man plot…maybe its a sign that i’m aging >.<

    Also I just watched the korean version of Antique Bakery and it was so suprisingly enjoyable….I really didn’t expect to like it so much.

  34. 34 belleza

    “Sure the first few times = hype (i.e. Kim Sam Soon, Dal Ja’s Spring, My Sweet Seoul, What’s Up Fox?, etc.) ”

    It’s done mostly from the male perspective and at first, you’re not really sure whether she genuinely loves him. She has all the power; she makes all the rules and dates; though she’s amiable and comforting and affectionate, she’s also emotionally unavailable. The story isn’t about her choices or lack of choices (though that’s all in the story); the story is about him trying to find sustenance through the postcard perfect dates, in their erotic bliss through the changing seasons, the blood beneath the perfectly set hair smelling like money. The story is a rabbit hole, albeit a very pretty one. As a TV drama, the thing is that the story doesn’t type the female protoganist as a victim or a harlot, because it isn’t about her (even in the present, the scenes play out like they’ve already happened, already all faded into empty dreams), it’s about him and the next time. Tokyo Tower is kind of a finger point, a big”YOU” at an older female audience, that *this* is what it’s like for the oher willing partner. *YOU” do this to them, and this is what “THEY” think of you. It’s a feel bad story (until the last 10 minutes), very corrosive, with just enough melo-prettiness to make it seem almost romantic. I’mt not sure how I feel about the ending, but it was probably necessary to do that. And a TV adaptation could improve on the movie.

    Presumably, with White Tower/Spotlight’s PD behind this (and it also being a fully completed work prior to airing), they’ll hold the characters to the real damage. Not the macroscopic dialectic of family/home-wrecker, spouse/cheater, or lover/prostitute, but the green-gut ugliness and snow white loneliness and the gliimmer of hope, the very thing that keeps you suffering more. I actually think Joo Ji Hoon is a really good choice for Tokyo Tower, because the character’s all sorts of morose. Which is what the character is, melancholy and introspective, but also well past adolescence and clear-eyed about the situation, if not her. Also, Kim Ji Soo is also good casting. In the story, she mostly comes to him wearing gowns to remove and conditions to keep on, but it’s never so explicit on the script like in a proper adultery drama. A full drama version would lay out the rat maze, but it should never feel mechanical. If they have leave in Matsumoto Jun’s character, they better leave in the car scene. :D

    Key line in the movie (had to look this one up to remember) goes something like “you will never know what it is like for a 35-year old housewife.” It is kinda held out there, not just a thematic point to underline the misery, but as a way the movie holds you away from “her side.” It is like a note on the door, or a warning spat out after an alcoholic haze. It ends the conversation, and that’s the point of the story.

    @epyc,

    “as if each playing out his/her own story on four different planes”

    And that’s the main thing. NOW, all four characters are in play with each other, and we have the NK refugee as the wild card. Fun for all!!

  35. 35 mist

    I love JJH since watched him in Antique Bakery….He’s already becoming a real actor dont you think???

  36. 36 Jenny

    At first I thought that it would be a remake of Lily Franky’s best seller Tokyo Tower or Okan to Boku to, tokidoki, Oton.
    But it’s the Matsujun, Okada Junichi movie Tokyo tower.
    I have personally not seen the movie so I can’t say if it was good but this adaption does seem very interesting and with a good cast.

  37. 37 Taohua

    I’m tentatively looking forward to this because I loved JJH in Devil and really liked him in Antique Bakery. I’m not too keen on the plot line but if it has the same PD who did White Tower, which I heard was pretty good, then I have more hope that this drama will be interesting and do well.

  38. 38 Elaine

    This is great news :) I love olderwomenyoungerguy stories and the movie was really nice. I’m sure they’ll make it even better though!

  39. 39 Helena

    @36: Ahn Pan-seok didn’t direct Spotlight; his most recent works are drama White Tower (won him TV Section’s Best PD at BaekSang Arts Awards) & movie South Of The Border with Cha Seung-won who was the original choice for Dr. Jang (role later went to Kim Myung-min b/c his schedule didn’t work out). White Tower writer Lee Ki-won (adaptation) also wrote some portion of Spotlight.

  40. 40 queen bee

    I am trying not to be *too* excited about this show but in my weakest moments I am THRILLED THAT JJH WILL BE ONSCREEN (TV, film, whatever) AGAIN! He may have really bad fashion sense but he’s a more than decent actor. I totally loved him in Antique.

  41. 41 Jill

    He’s so hot in Mawang, i am all prepared to swoon again. He’s such a hot-mess.

  42. 42 rerun

    Oh…that movie. Oh man…I thought it was either the Tokyo Tower drama (the one about aspiring illustrator-mama’s boy who moves to Tokyo but mom gets ill) or the original Tokyo Tower movie version with Jo Odagiri. That’s a much more interesting story, and I think JJH would have been better suited to play this particular role. But I guess that’s irrelevant now considering this overhyped drug scandal.

  43. 43 Selli

    What’s with South Korea remaking all Matsumoto Jun projects?!?!?! XDDD

    • 43.1 Lala

      Yeah… come to think of it, Hana Yori Dango, Tokyo Tower and Kimi wa Petto have Korean adaptations huh? XD

  44. 44 Shaista

    So this is gonna happen with the same PD, same adaptation, only the title now is Secret Affair with casts Yoo Ah In and Kim Hee Ae.

    • 44.1 hanhan

      yeah i realized it just now. it’s still with Ahn PD.

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