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Korean Dramas Remade in Philippines, Japan

2008/04/15 Source

By Cathy Rose A. Garcia
Staff Reporter

When the SBS drama "My Girl" was shown on primetime Philippine TV in 2006, the dialogue was dubbed in the Filipino language and the characters played by actress Lee Da-hae and actor Lee Dong-wook were re-named Jasmine and Julian.

Filipino audiences fell in love with the romantic comedy series, making it one of the most popular Korean dramas in the Philippines. Since it was such a big hit, ABS-CBN, the broadcasting network that aired the drama, decided to remake "My Girl" with an all-Filipino cast.

ABS-CBN bought the rights to remake the drama from SBS, and the Philippine version of "My Girl" is scheduled to air next month.

"We're retaining the basic core of the story, but we're `Philippinizing' it in so many ways. So it's going to be different. Ours is a combination of drama and comedy. It's a younger version definitely. The number of episodes is slightly more as well. Our version should run for about 16 to 20 hours", ABS-CBN business unit head Deo Edrinal said in a statement.

While the story is set in the Philippines, the producers are trying to inject some Korean flavor to the drama. A Korean stylist has been hired to create a trendy "Korean look" for the Filipino actors and actresses.

GMA Network, another major broadcasting network in the Philippines, also reportedly acquired the rights to remake the 2005 MBC drama "My Name is Kim Sam-soon".

This is not the first time for a Korean drama to be remade abroad. The first was the Japanese drama "Hotelier", a remake of the Korean drama starring hallyu icon Bae Yong-joon, which was aired last year by TV Asahi in Japan.

Bae, who remains wildly popular among Japanese women, even made a cameo appearance in the drama. However, ratings for the drama were quite low.

In recent years, Japanese production companies have been acquiring drama adaptation rights for Korean movies.

A Japanese drama version of the successful 2001 Korean film "My Sassy Girl" called "Ryokiteki na Kanojo" will hit TV screens this spring. Tsuyoshi Kusanagi, a member of the popular group SMAP, and actress Lena Tanaka will play the lead roles.

However, the original plot and characters have been slightly changed. Instead of the lead characters playing college students, Kusanagi will play a marine biology professor, while Tanaka will play a writer. The drama airs April 20 on TBS network in Japan.

Incidentally, the Hollywood version of "My Sassy Girl", starring Jesse Bradford and Elisha Cuthbert, will be released this year.

"My Boss, My Hero", based on the Korean film "My Boss, My Teacher", was one of 2005's biggest hit Japanese dramas. Tokio lead singer Tomoya Nagase played the role of a tough but idiotic gangster forced to return to high school to get his diploma, which was originally played by Korean actor Jeoung Jun-ho.

On the other hand, Korean production companies have been snapping up rights to remake several popular Japanese manga and dramas. Last year, MBC aired the Korean remake of the Japanese drama "White Tower", which garnered high ratings.

There are plans to do a Korean drama version of the popular manga "Boys Over Flowers" (Hana Yori Dango), this year. It has already been turned into a successful drama in Taiwan (Meteor Garden) and Japan.

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