When a project gets lodged in development hell, months and years go by without any updates. If by the grace of drama gods it gets resurrected, suddenly the flood gates burst and everything shifts into power gear. The TW-drama adaptation of the popular manga Skip Beat, which has been languishing for 2 years (and multiple lead actor changes), has finally gotten the green light.
As I mentioned a few weeks ago as a possibility, which various TW news outlets have now confirmed, Super Junior members Choi Si Won and Lee Dong Hae will be playing the leads in Extravagant Challenge, opposite TW-actress Ivy Chen (stepping in for Ariel Lin). The drama is expected to enter pre-production in April, with filming to commence shortly thereafter.
If Ariel couldn’t play Kyoko, I’m glad that it’s Ivy who will be taking on the challenging role of a country bumpkin who follows her childhood best friend Sho to Tokyo as he embarks on a popstar career, only to discover the friend has been using her lovesick adoration as free maidservice. In her utter disillusionment and anger, Kyoko vows revenge on Sho by becoming an even bigger star than he is, and then rubbing it in his face. Along the way, she meets Ren, who Sho considers his biggest rival, and they become friends and co-workers of sorts.
I have very mixed feelings about Skip Beat. On one hand, the concept is brilliant and fraught with so much room for interesting plot and character developments. On the other hand, the execution by the writer is godawful, with the story meandering all over the place, only to get good in the middle stretch, and now puttering along at snail’s pace.
When I read Skip Beat, the first thought going through my mind was that this manga is better suited for a drama adaptation than any manga I’ve read in recent years. I think Ivy is up to the task of transforming into Kyoko, and Si Won will be playing reticent Ren and Dong Hae will be playing short-fused Sho.
I’m pretty sure this drama is now a go since the Taiwan newspapers are reporting on it, but I’ll be waiting for the Korean newspapers to further confirm Siwon and Donghae’s involvement in Extravagant Challenge as the airtight confirmation that this ambitious project is for sure going to happen.
[Credit: United Daily News UDN]