News bites: March 8, 2021
- Na In-woo (Mr. Queen) will take on the role of On Dal in River Where the Moon Rises and the show’s clearly been working overtime to get him ready to roll. The casting change was confirmed after the removal of former lead Ji-soo from the production. KBS had originally announced that they would air Episodes 7 and 8 as planned, and re-film starting with Episode 9 but new reports say that Na In-woo will appear starting in Episode 7. As for Ji-soo, in light of recent revelations about his past he’s been dropped from all of his ad contracts and will be enlisting in the army this October. He’ll serve as a public service officer due to a 2016 surgery he received relating to a bone infection.
[Sports Kyunghyang, Maeil Kyungje, Sports Seoul]
- 15 years after the original first aired, Goong is set to get a remake. I can see why the production company would be so tempted to remake the show, after all it launched careers (Joo Ji-hoon and Yoon Eun-hye in particular), birthed a spin-off and a musical, but I’d rather see new stories told rather than old ones rehashed (I’m including Que Sera Sera here as well). It’s hard to recapture the magic most of the time and I’d rather hold onto the memories. As of yet, there are no details on casting or production dates.
- Star writer Kim Eun-sook’s trying her hand at something new this year: drama showrunner. The pen behind hits like The Lonely Shining Goblin and Descended From the Sun is the creative power behind the new show, Writing Your Destiny. When a god plagiarizes a makjang writer in order to bring about a romance story for the ages, he inadvertently messes with fate and finds himself having to step into the human world to correct his mistakes. The first stills show leading man Ki Do-hoon (Catch the Ghost) as the plagiarist god and his costar is Jeon So-ni (When My Love Blooms). PD Kim Byung-soo (Queen In-hyun’s Man, Nine: Nine Time Travels) and writer Eun Sun-woo are also attached the the project. Writing Your Destiny, will be available on the Korean streaming platform Tving starting on March 26.
[Xports News, YTN]
- Moon Ga-young (True Beauty) and Super Junior’s Kim Heechul (Flower Grandpa Investigation Unit) are working on a web drama together called Recipe for Youth. Heechul will be playing a dating coach who’s famous for manufacturing scandals while Moon Ga-young is a rookie actress searching for fame. Well, that’s what she tells Heechul. In reality she’s a reporter who’s looking to get into his good graces so she can get an exclusive scoop. As the two tangle, Heechul finds his own path to true love. The rom-com will premiere on March 14.
- Netflix held a star-studded virtual roadshow on February 25 to announce their Korean content plans for the upcoming year. The streaming platform is set to invest roughly $500 million for 2021, which is a massive increase from their previous years (Netflix spent about $700 million between 2015 and 2020 on Korean content). Actors from several projects attended to speak about their work and Bae Doo-na (Forest of Secrets 2), Jung Woo-sung (Fly Dragon), and Yoo Ah-in (#Alive) were just some of the names in attendance. I feel both excited and apprehensive about all of this. On one hand, there have been a lot of fantastic Netflix originals that wouldn’t have been possible on a regular broadcast channel, but I have a creeping worry that what makes K-dramas special might end up being diluted (I really hate the “season” structure of some shows). The optimist in me thinks we could end up with the best of both worlds: lots of great, fresh movies and dramas on Netflix and all the Korean channels.
[Sports Chosun, SBS Entertainment News, Ten Asia]
- Park Gun-hyung (Working Mom, House Daddy) is now a father of two. His wife gave birth on March 3 to a healthy baby girl. Congratulations!
Bae Doo-na, Gong Yoo, Lee Joon