Ahh, this is a promising development: Park Ki-woong (Monster, Gaksital) is currently considering the Baek In-ho role in the Cheese in the Trap remake movie. After the tvN drama series fizzled out amid controversy and disgruntlement last year, I’ve been trying to keep hopes low and wariness on high about this movie version, but then they go and make casting choices that get me all excited and I can’t help feeling hopeful all over again.
The movie secured Park Hae-jin early on to reprise his role from the drama series as Yoo Jung, the mysterious college student whose perfect specs and polished facade hide a darker inner side. Then Oh Yeon-seo (Come Back Ajusshi) was tapped to play the main character, Hong Seol, the sensitive college student through whose eyes we see the story unfold. Oh Yeon-seo has a very different vibe (bolder, more comedic) than the quieter Kim Go-eun, who played Seol in the drama—and very well, at that—but despite their differences, I can also see her working in the role, and I’m definitely very interested in seeing how she’ll interpret the character.
Baek In-ho is a different can of worms altogether, especially given that the controversy surrounding the tvN series centered around this character. I thought Seo Kang-joon did a decent job in the role and liked him as In-ho—and that’s despite not liking him at all prior to Cheese in the Trap—but I definitely felt that the drama went off the rails, overemphasizing In-ho’s character in a way that felt disproportionate to his place in the story, while ignoring the more fascinating, more prominent Jung character. Frankly, I wasn’t sure that the movie would be able to cast a new In-ho who could make the role his own and not feel like a rehash of the drama… and then they went and offered the role to Park Ki-woong and suddenly I see it.
In fact, I’m even a little worried now that Park Ki-woong will be too good as In-ho, because I like my second leads to be relatively pain-free—I want them to be effective for the plot and to feel sympathetic, but I don’t want them to actually endanger my love of the main romance’s ship (being burned too many times will make anyone shy away!). I was safe with Seo Kang-joon, but I’m not so sure that’ll be the case with Park.
The original story mostly takes place from Seol’s perspective, and follows her life as an ordinary university student whose life starts to complicate through her interactions with an older student, Jung, whom she starts dating. She is intrigued by Jung, but is also vaguely unsettled by the glimpses of a darker, crueler underside that nobody else seems to notice. In-ho is Jung’s high school former best friend; a rift soured their relationship and makes their present-day interactions charged with hurt, anger, and tension. In-ho’s careless, rebellious attitude is a stark contrast to Jung’s controlled, principled personality, and he’s more rough and tumble than the polished hero. Park Ki-woong has that energy in spades, and always makes me feel for him even when he pushes too far and wants too much.
Cheese in the Trap’s webtoon writer, Soonkki, is currently at work on the screenplay. Park Ki-woong has not confirmed taking the role; his reps stated that he would make his final decision soon. The movie plans to begin filming in late April.
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