The first casting stirrings are emerging in the K-drama adaptation of the Japanese manga Nodame Cantabile. Fans of the almost perfect Japanese version dorama starring Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri might still be cringing in fear of the eccentric story getting massaged into some sort of K-drama love triangle hero-in-training arc, but the production company Group 8 that owns the adaptation rights is pretty good with keeping with quirky intact. This manga isn’t one of those widely read classics or uber popular mania hits, more people have encountered this music academy story through the J-dorama than its source material. That means Tamaki Hiroshi and Ueno Juri are by and large the image everyone has of the two leads Chiaki and Nodame. Group 8 is currently working on the script but have extended a casting call to two leads that might actually be a good fit. Joo Won has been offered the role of the music prodigy male lead while singer-actress IU is favored to play the offbeat female lead.
Neither are confirmed and frankly too early for that since both sides reportedly haven’t even seen a script yet. IU is no stranger to manga roles since her last drama Pretty Boy (Bel Ami) was adapted from a Korean manhwa and also produced by Group 8. In fact, her character Kim Botong in PB was so 4D and beyond kooky she actually reminds me of Nodame in how far out her thought processes and actions can seem to the normal human being. Joo Won is a hit magnet when he does KBS dramas such as Baker King, Kim Tak Goo, Ojakkyo Brothers, Gaksital, and Good Doctor, and his one blip of a drama was the blah 7th Grade Civil Servant on MBC. IU is also a KBS regular as PB aired on the network as well as her The Best Lee Soon Shin and Dream High. I can see KBS picking up airing rights for the K-version of Nodame Cantabile if Joo Won and IU accepts the role, and my snap opinion is that the casting seems solid even if I’m personally not a Joo Won fan. For some reason I can see him as Chiaki, and IU’s acting has improved leaps and bounds with two back-to-back dramas last year and she’s got the music background and natural charm to pull off a character like Nodame. I’ll keep an eye on this as the casting shakes out.
I think Joo Won and IU would look really cute together, and their acting styles gives off the impression it’ll mesh quite well. What do you guys think?