Drama Casting & News
New director brought on for Daemul, ousted writer speaks up
by | October 19, 2010 | 53 Comments

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?

Via Hankyoreh, DongA


53 Comments from the Beanut Gallery
  1. eliyos

    cant wait to watch this one

  2. estelle


  3. B3z

    I watched the first 3 so far. love it..please don’t be another “bad guy”..

  4. Quaggy

    Huh. It seems like they’ve got a director who really wants to be a writer and they’re streamlining the process to fit what he seems like he was going to do anyway. I wonder if fighting over the script with the writer is what lead to the scripts taking much longer to be completed.

    • 4.1 corrakun

      i doubt he wants to be a writer… to me it sounds more like he has serious control issues.

      • 4.1.1 belleza

        Big time control issues. Style was such a strange experience (for one thing, they changed the lead from Lee Ji Ah to Kim Hye Soo) that the lead Ryu Shi Won expressed to the media that he had no frigging clue what was going on.

        Now, having said that, Episodes 3 and 4 were MUCH better. There were a lot of bits that were hilarious AND relevant to local politics. The romantic building scenes were understated and therefore genuinely moving. Cha Syndrome gets to chew some scenery in their respective West Wing scenes. Somehow, it all worked.

        But, yeah, I expect to see Mishil’s Table of Evil (Seo Hye Rim’s Cabinet of Awesome?) at some point.

        • Jane

          Yeah, I don’t want to side with a control freak but those episodes were better.

        • supah

          Dude, not so sure about Seo Hyeo-rim’s cabinet of awesome, the antis’ cabinet has all the cool people in it PGH, City Hall’s BB who’s playing Da Cha’s daddio and Da Cha himself who’ll be puppet to both aforementioned. I kinda wanna be on their side.
          And anyone notice Lee Soo-kyung’s bodyguard dude is the same dude from the new 2NE1 video, the one who gets slap-happy with CL? Aw, he’ll definitely be in Hyeo-rim’s anti-squad.
          All that leaves her with then is gigolo… and maybe his dad and his boss, too. Now his boss I’m happy about. I like Lee Jae-yong.

          • belleza

            “he antis’ cabinet has all the cool people in it PGH, City Hall’s BB who’s playing Da Cha’s daddio and Da Cha himself ”

            Yeah, I call them the Gang of Cha (and all of them are true acting heavies, age of HEROES indeed.)

            But that’s okay. I’m sure at some point Seo Hye Rim will see a star split in two in the sky and VOILA, she’ll start talking in THIRD PERSON. This Seo Hye Rim will not be defeated!!

          • hanjiyoon

            “And anyone notice Lee Soo-kyung’s bodyguard dude is the same dude from the new 2NE1 video, the one who gets slap-happy with CL?”

            So THATS where the bodyguard dude from! I swear he looked extremely familiar. Hmm.. I always thought he got a lot of screentime that a “minor” character would not usually get. Maybe there are big plans for him in the future…

  5. absothe

    Why does Go Hyun-jung look like a deer in headlights on every picture of deamul? I thought she was supposed to be an amazing actress? Or is there something bothering her, seriously why does she look so uncomfortable? It’s making me uncomfortable!

    • 5.1 belleza

      “Why does Go Hyun-jung look like a deer in headlights on every picture of deamul? ”

      Because in the pictures she’s a president who is dressed as a beauty pageant. Cognitive dissonance is cognitive dissonance.

      However, she is definitely an amazing actress.

      • 5.1.1 Kiara

        I second that, she is an amazing actress. I wouldn’t bother with Daemul if she wasn’t in it.

    • 5.2 lukewarm.oasis

      ^ Agree!

      Her pictures are very awkward.

      I wish that they would have her wear Hillaresque-inspired power suits. I would love that! 😛

      Otherwise, they could always opt for the Michelle O.’s sleek & chic presidential style.

  6. Anonymous

    really, despite all of this drama the show is actually good quality and therefore deserves its high ratings? haven’t seen it myself, so i can’t judge, but if anyone recommends it to me, i mighht have to 🙂

    • 6.1 Yejin

      it’s really good. definitely watch i mean, why else would it beat out fugitive plan b?

  7. Jane

    It pulls in good ratings because the drama is good. So far, the behind the scenes drama hasn’t shown up in the final product. Let’s just hope this remains the same through out its run.

  8. supah

    JB: ^ What Jane said above.
    We haven’t felt the effects of the behind the scenes shenanigans (yet!), and the drama IS the better one of the three in the Weds-Thurs slot. It may not deserve all of its 27% but it deserves to be frontrunner because Runaway ain’t much competition and people may have a fondness for Playful Kiss but Kim Hyun-joong ain’t no Park Geun-hyung. ‘Namsayin…
    I have faith in Daemul’s heavyweight cast who are doing such a tremendous job and will keep this thing from sinking and I was really hoping they’d have generated enough noise to have SBS get rid of the PD for good. But oh well… maybe that’ll be next week’s news.

    • 8.1 anais

      “Kim Hyun-joong ain’t no Park Geun-hyung”

      Haha! This one had me in stitches.

      He is awesome, ain’t he. Though I haven’t begun watching Daemul, maybe I ought. Primarily because I’m so curious about the reunion of the old Sandglass daddy and daughter after 15 years!

      Korean drama is just so blessed to have so many fabulous elders (not necessarily solely in terms of age). I heart them.

      • 8.1.1 supah

        anais, that’s totally why I jumped in to watch this! And I’m not disappointed. Looks like they’ll be playing adversaries in Daemul, can’t wait! Though they’ve yet to actually meet each other.
        I agree about Korean veteran actors, they are so devastatingly COOL! Same goes for a lot of the child actors.

        • belleza

          “I agree about Korean veteran actors, they are so devastatingly COOL! Same goes for a lot of the child actors.”

          Yeah, it’s the whole 20-40 part that seems dicey. But, as I always say, a Korean actor doesn’t become an Actor until he’s finished his military and finished his 6-pack. Before, choco pie. After, choco abs!

          • zooey

            Amen to that! Can’t agree with you more. You must get that Before, choco pie. After, choco abs! part copyrighted because that just about sums it up. LOL x)

  9. v

    i’m speechless.

    after so much controversy even a whole YEAR before filming, i thought they had already experienced all their fare shares of problems… then there was the DUI controversy with KSW, then the writer change and now the DIRECTOR’s change/swap/sharing/whatever ???

    i feel bad for everyone involved… there needs to be some serious organization being done or this could go real wrong…

    what a mess.. like you said. let’s hope it’s not going to be one on screen.

    • 9.1 belleza

      Really, I think all the drama then AND now is due to the director. This project was aborted last year, because the director was a mess. But what observer said in another post is also true. This has been SBS’s golden project for many years. Even before War of Money (same author of Daemul), they were pitching this project to one A-lister after another. I think even Kim Sun Ah was mentioned.

      • 9.1.1 v

        yeah… i think i remember about hearing something about kim sun ah as well… (what is she doing now anyways??)
        and you’re probably right about all the issues stemming one way or another from the director… but he’s not a bad one from what i’ve seen. perhaps a bit too uncompromising though.
        oh well, SBS got the ratings they so coveted so i guess it’s is worth their trouble.

        • belleza

          “yeah… i think i remember about hearing something about kim sun ah as well… (what is she doing now anyways??)”

          The fact that City Hall’s Kim Eun Sook is writing Secret Garden means there’s a decent chance of a — wait for it, wait for it — SAMSOON/SAMSHIK reunion. On that fateful day, this site will shut down and SQUUEEEEE will be heard all over Hallyuland. Hell, if Kim Eun Sook really works the mojo, she’ll also bring in Lee Seo Jin and we can also have a DAMO REUNION. Why, this planet may even explode!

          • v

            omo… really? squeeee right now just at the thought….
            if that really happens, earth explosion looming on the horizon….

          • belleza


            I think the possibility is very real. Remember that during Kim Eun Sook’s On Air, there were guess appearances from stars of her other shows. And, of course, this being SBS, they know how to bring in stars. Plus, like On Air, Secret Garden is partially based in the entertainment industry. I mean, this can go many ways . . .

            Kim Sun Ah (City Hall) => Kim Sam Soon
            Leo Seo Jin (Lovers) => Damo
            Kim Min Joon (Lovers in Prague) => Damo, Friend Our Legend, Ireland
            Kim Ha Neul (On Air) => Days in the Sun

          • belleza

            Oh and . . .

            Wow. Bristol. Survived. ?!? Even I think she’s shocked she made it through this week. Florence Henderson being eliminated felt like an injustice, and everybody seemed genuinely sincere about her departure.

            Not happy that Team Baby were “in jeopardy.” I understand that they have a lot of antis, but I think only Brandy/Maksim can beat them.

          • v

            omo. you saw that too?… i was shocked… (i mean reallly SHOCKED) that Bristol survived… i’m going to miss florence.. dwts season 11 without mrs. brady won’t be the same… TT
            and i agree about maksim/brandy… like any partnership maksim ever had, it’s always feisty but he gets the job done.

            and wow… of course, now that you detailed it, this really might be a POSSIBILTY… kim sun ah + binnie … wow.

  10. 10 pohonphee

    Wow with all that mess, it still can maintain its high rating, how great is that..emm but I’m still not sold with this show, yet. wait & see then.

  11. 11 pabo ceo reom

    Seems like there’s more drama off camera than on screen….

    • 11.1 Qwenli

      haha, yes they should have another drama call the Making of Daemul!

      I pity GOH Hyun Jung and the rest of the crew. I mean changing both the writer and the PD almost changes the DNA of the drama!!

      • 11.1.1 dannaluk

        actually…i think ….i’d watch “the makiingg of daemu”l…all this drama could amount to a good show…lol

  12. 12 singingzombies

    Its when you see news like this that the drama “On Air” about making a drama seems less ridiculous with all the constant ego wars and tantrums. Oh well, sometimes there is truth in television and reality is more bizarre than fiction.

  13. 13 ockoala

    Kim Eun Sook called – she wants royalties from SBS for recycling her entire plot of On Air and then making it a fact rather than shrill fiction.

    Also, word on the street is that crazy-eyes Shin Eun Kyung and eyebrows-Go Hyung Jung are planning to switch characters mid-drama.

    FoD shall henceforth be Flames of Devilish Amusement and Daemul shall be I-will-eat-your-liver-with-fava-beans-and-chianti-if-I-need-to-for-MONEY Female President of Korea.

    • 13.1 belleza

      “Kim Eun Sook called – she wants royalties from SBS for recycling her entire plot of On Air and then making it a fact rather than shrill fiction.”

      Reports say that SBS hasn’t replied. Apparently, SBS is observing Kim Eun Sook’s ongoing grievances with MBC over the show East of Eden.

      • 13.1.1 dannaluk

        lmao….i ws also thinking abt on air

    • 13.2 Dramawatcher

      Lol…the first switch got me thinkin about On Air and this one makes me think SBS ditch Daemul and convert it into On Air 2 or something.

    • 13.3 holey moley

      hahaha…so funny, i’m still behind daemul but i promised myself to catch up, because even if the drama onscreen is eclipsed by the drama off-screen (on-air much?)- maybe that’s why they get their numbers…mmmmm- the story seems to get better…

      ockoala, love you for the shin eun kyung comment..hahaha…its a fight between ghj and sek for the baeksang next year, though for me, moon geun young still deserved the award for her rendition of eun jo in the hair-pulling cin unni…hehehe

  14. 14 Observer

    Usually what mentioned to public is a diluted version of the debacles!! Behind the scenes, I believe the fights and clashes must be really bad to have both the PD and writer replaced. ^___________^

    That makes Daemul even more interesting to watch!! Am waiting for the cabbage wars to unfold!!

    I believe the senior management team of SBS and the production company must be under severe pressure themselves. I don’t think the debacle will stop at the level of PD and writer, I believe the job of one or two senior members of SBS board/management and the production company may be on the line too…..

    JB, please keep us posted on the management movement in the near future!! ^^

  15. 15 Observer

    Forgot to mention. Perhaps if GHJ cuts her hair short, she will look less of a beauty pageant, but more of a president!! ^^

    • 15.1 gala

      i think so too, esp if it’s similar to her H.I.T [my fave GHJ project out of all -shrugs-] hair. but maybe they wanted to show that a woman can be a powerful politician but managed to still look fashionable -shrugs again-

  16. 16 dannaluk

    this drama cnt catch a break can it??….Go Hyun Jung need.s to get an award for all the trouble she’s had with this production for a year nw…all this drama is either gonna make for good publicity which will further boost the ratings or it may earn some annoyance of the viewers….cnt wait to see hw ratings turn out this week…i find all the drama surrounding this show so much more interesting

  17. 17 notoriousnoona

    Wow! I haven’t even started this drama and I feel the weight of all the issues. However, it also seems that the latter eps have been better than the first so maybe crazy guy has a point. Perhaps her(writer girl) version wasn’t being executed appropriately on screen and he could see that. I definitely think there were better ways of going about things though.
    Its amazing how we are all supposed to learn how to play nice in kindergarten but somehow we never graduate from Preschool.
    Oh well, those that are enjoying the show, I hope it remains that way. I have faith the show will remain entertaining, for, though Style was crazy as CRAP I made it through; confused as heck but that confusion kept me skimming each ep 🙂

  18. 18 NY

    don’t know too much about all that, but Style was horrible and with no sence (that is purely IMHO, if someone liked it, please don’t be offended). So was not expacting much with the same person. I hope the new writer will do better job.

  19. 19 LadyIgraine

    its the no. 1 drama right now so dramas within the staff/productions are bound to happened!

  20. 20 jo

    What else could go wrong?
    I dunno…maybe KSW quitting? lmao.

  21. 21 jelly-jamboree

    real-life drama is never as fun to witness~

    i’m not interested in watching Daemul, but simply for Go Hyun-jung’s sake, I hope they figure what’s up soon…

  22. 22 hyerin1727

    aw., sbs drama is always like that.., Go hyun jung and Kwon sang woo is so professional indeed!

    after years and years the production is not yet fully iron things out? oh come on..,

    they giving hard time to the cast and crew..,

    but hopefully they pull things up.., daemul is so intriguing as it is so they should stop making a mess nyahaha.., i would love to see daemul 2 “the making” with the PD and the writer as the main lead..,


  23. 23 MsRetta

    gee whiz!

    the behind the scenes guys are killing the dramas this year! and then the actors take the fall for it.

    As a fan of both KSW and GHJ, I am hoping those guys can get it together real quick.

  24. 24 Yejin

    if you guys don’t know what’s going on, then don’t say anything. the writer didn’t get forced out. the PD just wanted the writer to follow the manhwa and make it more fun on set. but the writer wanted to create a whole new story line. what’s my authority? my aunt works on set.

  25. 25 Jeooo

    WTF NO WONDER!! THE 1ST AND 2ND EP WAS SO MUCH BETTER THAN THE 2,4,5 NOW I’M PISSED! korean government needs to be less corrupt than they already are.this is actaully getting me pissed. ignorant koreans piss the fuck out of me. I’M FREAKING KOREAN AND WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY =..=

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