Writer Kim Eun-hee of thrillers Three Days, Sign, and Ghost is heading back to SBS with a new drama titled Signal (a working title), which is in planning for a broadcast later this summer. This drama is reported to be a reworking of the much-lauded Bong Joon-ho film Memories of Murder. Wait, wasn’t that already a drama, and wasn’t it called Gap-dong?
It’s certainly possible, and even common, for multiple dramas to be about similar topics — Hyun Bin’s Hyde, Jekyll, Me and Ji Sung’s Kill Me, Heal Me are two current examples — but I’m taken aback by this news because Signal and Gap-dong both explicitly state that they are based on Memories of Murder specifically (and I believe in some instances, the distributors actually used the English title Memories of Murder to market Gap-dong).
The movie Memories of Murder was inspired by the true case of the Hwaseong serial murders that occurred in the 1980s, which claimed the lives of ten women victimized by a rapist-murderer who was never caught. Gap-dong set its story in a fictional setting that served as a thinly veiled substitute for Hwaseong, and imagined that a new string of murders arose after the original case’s statute of limitations had expired. More of a psychological thriller than a crime investigation, it intertwined the crimes and twisted psyches of a copycat murderer with those of the original perpetrator.
Signal will be taking yet a different approach to the Hwaseong case, and promises to tell its story in Writer Kim’s own style. I’m taking that to mean more of a slick crime-procedural than twisted dark mystery, since she’s had success with that kind of format in her past dramas. Plus, I don’t expect a broadcast television show to be take a hard-hitting, grim approach to the macabre cases, especially when comparing with a cable station that has more freedom (even if the station’s a bit softer like tvN). But that doesn’t have to be a bad thing, since I’ve already seen Gap-dong; if we’re going to see another version of the same story, I’d rather at least get a fresh approach.
Signal will be a Wednesday-Thursday drama on SBS and is looking at an August launch.
Via Star News
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