Reworking Chun-hyang’s folktale in Tale of Bang-ja
Ryu Seung-beom, Kim Joo-hyuk
Hm, interesting. They’re making another version of the famous folktale Story of Chun-hyang, called Story of Bang-ja [방자전]. The folktale tells of two young lovers in Joseon times, gisaeng’s daughter Chun-hyang and nobleman’s son Mong-ryong, and the trials and tribulations they overcome on their way to Happily Ever After. It’s already been made into several films and formed the basis for 2005’s trendy drama Delightful Girl Chun-hyang.
Then, there was the spoof-like Story of Hyang-dan starring Seo Ji-hye and Choi Siwon, which tweaked the story and played with the twist of Mong-ryong falling in love with Chun-hyang’s servant girl, Hyang-dan, instead. Purists may eschew this two-episode goof as a silly throwaway, but I loved the tongue-in-cheek humor of this near-parody version and the chemistry of the adorable leads.
As you can guess from the title, in this film version, Bang-ja is the protagonist and Mong-ryong his less-charismatic sidekick — and by “sidekick” I mean story-wise, not literally, since Bang-ja is still servant to his noble young master Mong-ryong. Playing Bang-ja will be Terroir‘s Kim Joo-hyuk, while Ryu Seung-beom takes on the role of Mong-ryong. As the article points out, this is quite an interesting bit of casting, given both actors’ images.
Directing will be Kim Dae-woo, who wrote the screenplay for Untold Scandal and directed Forbidden Quest; already Tale of Bang-ja is garnering attention for its “bright, clever screenplay.”