Troubled Hwayugi pre-empts episodes in wake of accidents
It has been a pretty awful launch for tvN’s big buzz drama Hwayugi, and now the production is taking a week off to regroup and get back on track, with this weekend’s planned airings of Episodes 3 and 4 being pushed back to next weekend instead. That means no episodes till the new year, when they’ll resume with their normal schedule.
The troubled launch was a shame since the problems were all behind-the-scenes; the story itself got off to a strong start and general positive reception. It’s just that the production has been hit with issue after issue, and that rather overshadows the narrative side of the show.
The first sign of trouble came in Episode 2, which aired this past Sunday, which included scenes with improperly edited CG sequences. Stunt wires were left in frame and computer graphics weren’t completed, making a fight scene full of supposed ghostly demons look like a choreographed aerobic exercise with stunt dudes instead. In another case, a magical painting was shown with the green screen still in place, rather than the moving picture originally intended. Worst of all was when the episode cut out early, mid-scene, with no ending.
These snafus were cleaned up in the rebroadcast the following day, and initially the production announced that they would only pre-empt one episode this weekend (moving Episode 4 one week back). But then news arose of an accident on set wherein a staffer fell from the ceiling while hanging a lighting fixture; the accident occurred on December 23 (premiere day), and it was reported that the staffer suffered paralysis in the lower half of his body.
In response, the Ministry of Employment and Labor sent a labor supervisor to inspect the set. Moreover, now a police investigation has been opened as well: The company representing the injured staffer, MBC Art, has pressed charges with the police against Hwayugi’s production house, JS Pictures, as well as its CEO and art director, for criminal negligence resulting in injury and also for threats and intimidation.
As a result, tvN announced today that it would be postponing broadcasts by a week in order to inspect the production environment. A rep apologized for the trouble and stated that work would be done to ensure improved conditions and future safety on sets.
- Hwayugi (A Korean Odyssey): Episode 1
- Deals with demon kings and rascal monkeys in tvN’s Hwayugi
- Premiere Watch: Hwayugi
- Cutting through clouds and hands of fire in Hwayugi
- Hwayugi brings on the mystical mystery in new stills
- Two demons and a human woman face off in Hwayugi
- Exorcist romance drama Hwayugi’s leading trio is ready to fight
- Lee Seung-gi hits the ground running after army discharge
- Bora and Kim Ji-soo join Hwayugi as top star and first love
- Hwayugi gains a mythical cast of characters