Four Men in danger of being shelved (again)
This drama just can’t catch a break. It’s been one tumultuous road for mystery-romance drama Four Men, the Park Hae-jin vehicle and prequel to his JTBC spy comedy Man to Man: The series was initially picked up by SBS and then dropped last fall, around the time it lost its first director, PD Oh Jin-seok (My Sassy Girl, Yong-pal). Then it was revived just a month later with You From Another Star PD Jang Tae-yoo. Things were looking up at that point, and filming for the fully pre-produced drama began in November of last year.
But according to recent reports concerning the production, only four episodes’ worth of footage has been shot, and production halted back in mid-May and has yet to resume. Some sources are saying that the cast and crew have not been paid, and there are rumors of PD Jang Tae-yoo disappearing without contact. The director (whose star-worthy credits also include Painter of the Wind and Tree With Deep Roots) reportedly sought psychiatric treatment due to the stress and suffering caused on set, and is not in contact with the production company, Victory Contents. Some say PD Jang even dipped into his personal funds to pay some of the crew members.
Victory Contents denied the allegations and stated that production would resume soon, and that the crew had been paid. In their version of events, PD Jang demanded a higher salary. (I honestly don’t know who’s telling the truth at this point, as the story changes every half hour.) The drama began as a coproduction between Mountain Movement Entertainment (which is also Park Hae-jin’s agency) and Victory Contents, but problems arose in funding the production budget and Victory took over as the sole production company in January. In the four months following, there were allegedly three incidents of staff salaries going unpaid.
Four Men was being planned for a November broadcast and was initially in talks with both SBS and MBC for a time slot, and later TV Chosun. It tells the story of a man digging into his mother’s death, only to come across other men who look identical to him. Nana (The Good Wife), Kwak Shi-yang (Chicago Typewriter), and Lee Ki-woo (Just Between Lovers) co-star.
There was excitement over Park Hae-jin’s reunion with You From Another Star’s PD Jang, not to mention curiosity over how he’d manage to play four different characters in one drama. Now I’m not sure we’ll ever get to see these things come to pass on the small screen. It’s a shame, but these don’t sound like small problems to be swept under the rug. I’d say having a director or a broadcaster is pretty high up there on my list of priorities, if I were a drama. I know they’re always saying that the show must go on, but maybe some dramas just aren’t meant to be?
- Jo Hyun-jae out, Lee Ki-woo in for fantasy romance Four Men
- SBS revives Four Men with You From Another Star PD
- SBS pulls the plug on Park Hae-jin’s drama Four Men
- Jo Hyun-jae joins Four Men as villainous brother
- Supporting cast confirmations for Park Hae-jin’s mystery rom-com Four Men
- Nana up to romance Park Hae-jin in Four Men
- Park Hae-jin’s Four Men to be prequel to Man to Man
- Park Hae-jin becomes Four Men for Yong-pal PD’s new drama
- Park Hae-jin to take on four roles in new mystery romance drama