Dae Jang Geum sequel confirms production plans
Really? We’re still going with the Dae Jang Geum sequel idea, a full decade after the fact? O…kay.
MBC has announced a confirmation of production plans for the sequel series to their 2003 smash sageuk hit Dae Jang Geum (aka Jewel in the Palace), which was an enormous success not only at home but internationally as well, becoming one of their flagship shows and a benchmark for Hallyu’s popularity over the past decade. So yes, it makes sense that they’d want to bring it back, as they have announced they would do with almost predictable regularity over the years; every now and then we’d hear of plans for the sequel, and then nothing for ages, and then more plans.
This time, however, MBC seems committed to seeing through the production. Furthermore, president Kim Jae-chul reportedly visited China last week to discuss a broadcast agreement with China’s Honam TV, which is the station that aired the original series in 2005. MBC aims to get Honam onboard with pre-sale of licensing rights and investments for the sequel, and possibly also as a co-producer.
Still, there are no concrete details about a production team or PD, nor are there casting leads (despite trying to woo Lee Young-ae back to the show), or a broadcast timetable, although MBC would like a 2013 broadcast.
Okay. Here’s what I said about the IRIS sequel, and it stands for the Dae Jang Geum sequel too: Is this still a relevant project? Do we still care?
It’s more of an issue for Dae Jang Geum 2 than IRIS 2, because dramaland is so completely different now compared to the landscape in 2003. Fan tastes have evolved, and so has the overseas market. Our expectations are a lot higher than they used to be, in all regards of execution: You still need the baselines of good story and acting and directing, but taste and style and aesthetic? Vastly different. Back in 2003, you could do a conventional sageuk and guarantee blockbuster ratings and ship it abroad for big money. These days, the sageuk market is almost entirely fusion, with a different pace and sensibility. And the competition for all dramas has become much more fierce.
I also worry whenever I hear of dramas putting the market/money/distribution considerations before its story. It’s the live-shoot mentality in extreme, and also premature. You wind up designing the whole thing for an imaginary audience, and then you wonder when the real audience doesn’t eat it up the way you expected.
Eek. Well, I’ll guess we’ll see in 2013.