Oh had just days earlier agreed to shift his duties more toward working on the script with the replacement writer, while new director Kim Chul-kyu concentrated on directing the shoots. Oh was to remain as the head PD, while Kim would be in an assisting role. However, now the production company has confirmed that Oh will wash his hands entirely of the drama, making Kim the head PD.
The reason given this time is Oh’s health, combined with growing discord with the production company. (Methinks the latter is a bigger compelling factor than the former.) One source from SBS confirmed that it is true that the PD and the company encountered a big clash of opinions.
On the other hand, Daemul’s chief producer Gu Bon-geun gave a more cautious reply on the 20th, stating that he’d requested that PD Oh continue to remain onboard to supervise the flow and development of the story, and that he hadn’t yet received the final answer on Oh’s departure. Still, it’s pretty clear that Oh is indeed out, and he stated as much in interviews on the 20th with the media: “There are a lot of things being said about me, but I can say this for sure: I’m leaving Daemul completely. The things about me remaining overall director or sticking with the script work are all untrue.”
He continued, “I can tell you three facts: I directed Daemul through the first six episodes, and worked on the script through Episode 8. And I’m removing myself entirely from the production. I haven’t had any external pressure; it’s my own decision.”
He explained the lead-up to making this decision: “After working on directing and script revising for many months, it’s become too much for me and I can’t handle it anymore on my own. That’s why I’ve set additional measures with SBS and left as director last weekend and said I’d stay to work with the script. To be honest, I didn’t think it would come to this end, but I accept it readily. I’m sorry to the staff and cast who trusted and followed me, but I’m relieved that I could leave while the ratings are high.” He stated that because he’s not a writer and the director was already being changed, “It made no sense for me to work on script revisions.”
He added, “It’s true that I had conflicts with the production company, but I won’t talk about what those were. As the one leaving, I don’t want to add trouble to the drama.”
The 26-episode Daemul airs Episodes 5 and 6 this week, and has currently completed scripts for Episode 10 while currently shooting 7 and 8.
I’d wondered what else could go wrong after the PD switch happened, not expecting yet more problems to surface quite so immediately. The drama’s done with internal discord, right? I mean, they’ve maxed out on their in-drama drama, haven’t they? It’s not going to become another Boys Before Flower-esque drama curse… is it?