More drama for SBS’s Daemul: Just a week after swapping writers, the drama has director changes as well. Oh Jong-rok (Style, Working Mom) was the original director, but a new PD has been brought onboard, Kim Chul-kyu (Hwang Jini). This has led to a wave of speculation of trouble behind the scenes of the already-much-beleaguered production. (Seriously. I’m amazed Daemul even managed it onto the air.)
SBS hurried to counter rumors that Oh was being forced out because of discord with production house Lee Kim (Yigim) Productions, and said that they were merely adding Kim to the project. That SBS source said that this is to share the workload among the film crews, because they are already nearing live-shoot scenarios for the drama. (Already? After only two weeks??)
Reportedly, Oh will remain in charge of the overall production, and will spend more of his time working with the writer on the scripts rather than on outdoor filming, which will be handled by Kim.
Despite this hasty explanation, there are some who feel that there must be more to the story, especially when considering that even the cast felt confused and upset at this sudden news. PD Kim was introduced as a new PD on the 17th, and this abrupt change caused much chaos on set.
In fact, the cast temporarily refused to film until they were given a clear explanation, including star Go Hyun-jung. With the shooting schedule so tight, some feared that the drama wouldn’t be able to make its broadcast for this week’s episodes, but reps from SBS and the production company were able to persuade the cast and settle the matter, and filming resumed after a three-hour standoff.
The situation was already tense following the ousting of Daemul’‘s first writer last week: Hwang Eun-kyung was shown the door after writing the first four episodes due to clashes with PD Oh over the direction of the story, and writer Yoo Dong-yoon took over.
Although Hwang’s departure was glossed over by SBS as a mere difference of opinion, Hwang has come out with frank remarks: “It feels like I’ve been robbed,” she said, adding, “I feel angry and wronged.”
According to Hwang, Oh frequently rewrote her work, and his revisions took out the stories she wanted to tell and replaced them with his. She estimates that 80% of the first two episodes was written by her, but there’s little left of her ideas in episodes 3 and 4. When she asked Oh why, he merely told her that the reason was to “protect the writer.” He had begun requesting the writer change since late July, which is when he started refusing to let her come to rehearsals.
Aie, what a mess. And yet, Daemul is pulling in higher ratings with every episode! What else could possibly go wrong?