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The Legend Drama to Get Korean/Japanese Animated Remake

posted on 2009-05-12 05:57 EDT
Historical fantasy featured Winter Sonata's Bae, Ponyo's Hisaishi, Versailles' Ikeda

The Yonhap News Agency reports that a joint Korean-Japanese animated remake of The Legend (Tae Wang Sa Shin Gi/Tai Ō Shi Jin Ki) historical fantasy television series has been revealed on Tuesday. The original drama, whose Korean name literally translates as "Story of the First King's Four Gods," centers on Damdeok and Hwanwoong, two figures loosely inspired by the Korean legends about the country's founding and early rulers. The story weaves in mythology with the four heavenly guardians who watch over Damdeok and his land. Bae Yong-Joon, the international star best known for Winter Sonata, played the dual lead roles. (Winter Sonata is also being remade as animation in South Korea and Japan.)

The Legend drama scored ratings in the range of 30% in South Korea in 2007, and its successful 2007-2008 Japanese television run spawned theatrical screenings and a 2009 stage musical. Joe Hisaishi, the composer of almost every film from Studio Ghibli, wrote the music for the original drama. Riyoko Ikeda, the author of the classic historical manga Rose of Versailles, has been drawing a manga adaptation in Kodansha's Tokyo Isshūkan and Kansai Isshūkan magazines since September. No official word has been given on whether Bae, Hisaishi, or Ikeda will be involved in the animated version.

The official signing ceremony for the animated project's joint financing and production agreement will take place on Thursday during the Busan Content Market 2009 event in the southern Korean city of Busan. The original drama's GNG Entertainment production company, South Korea's Mix Film, and Japan's Neo video-on-demand service provider are jointly financing and producing the project. The partners are planning to invest US$3 million (about 292 million yen), and are aiming to complete the 26-episode animated series at the beginning of next year. GNG Entertainment plans to unveil the animated version's pilot film and solicit overseas distribution partners at the Busan Content Market.

Image © TSG Production Company LLC


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