Moon Chae-won offered lead in tvN’s Bride of the Water God 2017
Time to cross your fingers and send up your collective fan prayers, because Moon Chae-won (Goodbye Mr. Black) has been offered the lead role in buzz project Bride of the Water God 2017, which will be written by Misaeng and Arang and the Magistrate writer Jung Yoon-jung and directed by Queen In-hyun’s Man and Nine director Kim Byung-soo.
I have to admit that I can’t quite see her pairing with Nam Joo-hyuk (Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-ju), who was previously offered the leading male role of Ha-baek, aka the water god. He just seems very young next to Moon, who’s always had a mature air; I like him and I like her, but I’m not sure about them together. On the upside, his casting is not yet confirmed, so there is a chance we’ll get a different pairing. And if he does end up taking the role… well, I have a lot of trust in this writer and director, so I’ll have to hope for the best and wait to see how it turns out.
In the original manhwa from which the drama is adapted, Ha-baek was the god to whom villagers offered up a young woman as human sacrifice, hoping for an end to their long drought. The original was a fantasy-historical story, but this drama version is calling itself a spinoff rather than remake and relocating the proceedings to modern-day Seoul, although it will still retain its fantasy-rom-com angle.
The character Moon is up to play is a neuropsychiatrist whose father was more driven by a love of humanity as a whole than for his family in particular, which led her to have a rather sad childhood, and has saddled her in adulthood with mounds of Dad’s debt. She worked intensely through her medical school days to put herself through school, but that just added to the debt Dad left her, and in order to pay it down sooner, she immediately opened up her own doctor’s office after becoming a specialist. No word yet on how water god Ha-baek will be modernized, but hey, we’re in the era of modern-day gods and reapers and wistful fantasy romances, so sign me up.
I’ve been dying for Moon Chae-won to make a good drama again, after sitting through the drudgery of her last, Goodbye Mr. Black. (And despite 2013’s Good Doctor being a hit, I thought her underutilized in it, compared to how wonderful she was in The Princess’s Man and Nice Guy.) I’m definitely excited to see her in the hands of a strong writer and director, and dipping her toes into the tvN pool—which, frankly, is a lot bigger than it once was, and now rivals major broadcast waters.
Bride of the Water God 2017 will be pre-produced and plans to begin filming next month, aiming for a broadcast in the latter half of the year.
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