PD Kim Kyu Tae of It’s Okay, It’s Love and That Winter Planning K-adaptation of Bu Bu Jing Xin for Late 2015 Premiere

This news took me completely off guard, not because it’s so improbable but because the timing feels so Johnny come lately. News broke today that famed SBS veteran PD Kim Kyu Tae, whose most recently directed dramas were It’s Okay, It’s Love and That Winter, the Wind Blows, has secured the rights to and is prepping the K-adaptation of the wildly popular Chinese period romance novel Bu Bu Jing Xin (Startling with Each Step). Those who follow my blog in the last few years may have never watched a second of a C-drama but must have an inkling of BBJX based on how much I write about it. The novel from writer Tong Hua started the time-traveling streak whereby the leading lady lands herself in some historical heaven/hell surrounded by endless hot royals while battling despairing fated odds of a happy ending. PD Kim is planning to start filming in late 2015, though the project may seep into early 2016 depending on the production schedule.

I still love BBJX to pieces, both the novel and the unexpectedly perfect C-drama adaptation starring Liu Shi Shi and Nicky Wu. It’s also notable for bringing the two together in real life, with the OTP not making it in the drama story but finding happily ever after in real life by getting married earlier this year. The best part of the drama wasn’t just leads Shi Shi and Nicky’s chemistry and incredibly on point acting, it also spawned a veritable treasure trove of amazing supporting male leads who played a bevy of Qing dynasty princes: Kevin Cheng, Yuan Hong, Lin Geng Xin, Ye Zhu Xin, and Han Dong. Every one of them have gone on to be leading men in subsequent dramas, not to mention making each prince utterly memorable even if not the main male lead. I have no clue how PD Kim will adapt the real life Qing dynasty princely struggle for the throne to Joseon era politics, which is what he’s planning, but I choose to remain optimistic he can make it work and cast the right actress and actors for the main cast.

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PD Kim Kyu Tae of It’s Okay, It’s Love and That Winter Planning K-adaptation of Bu Bu Jing Xin for Late 2015 Premiere — 77 Comments

  1. That’s shocking! I’m not sure how I feel about this. It could go either way; awesome or a huge trainwreck. And now, let our casting hopes begin. Who should be the princes and the most important female lead. Due to the ages I’m sure there’ll be some idols. There’s no way to get away from them since China is a huge market.

    • I love BBJX so much, that I am so excited and highly optimistic. YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!! BBJX is so memorable, it wasn’t all perfect, but boy it hit so many right notes.

      I wonder how they will adapt it- Joseon era politics is not the most interesting, and I don’t see how the strict, gender norms will affect the K-Rouxi, but it’s a fusion historical, so liberties can be taken.

      • They need a high budget, outside filming, not just set pieces. I noticed Sageuks this days, lack scale and pageantry and look so bland and canned. They also need to pre-film a lot of episodes ahead of time, no last minute shooting. Casting will be so important – a balanced mix of established and new actors. Casting the leading lady is key, if they try and go for looks or a Korea LSS, they will bomb. They need to find somebody that can embody the character.

  2. I didn’t like the original novel, but the drama was, and still is, such a gem. I expect Kim Kyu-tae to bring all the pretty, but that is definitely not enough to replicate the magic of BBJX. I’m still pretty optimistic though, and am anticipating what SBS can bring to the table.

  3. I am not pleased with this at all to be honest. BBJX has always been my favorite drama after these years and there is so much meaning in the novel and the words spoken in the dialogues of the characters. Added to the magic is how it integrated actual Chinese history into a fictional romance novel. I really don’t want the Korean adaptation to ruin the magic because it’s almost impossible to replicate it.

    • Lee Min Ho will never accept this even if the pay was huge.. train wreck in the making. LMH goes for luxury dramas, and Movies but not this. If you ever see a long saguek or anything close to it then LMH is the one who fled the scene

  4. What? No! The reason BBJX is such a success is because it feels believable, and as @drama girl here says it, it “intergrated actual Chinese history” into the story. Which period in Joseon can Korea get that many princes vying for the throne from? This is going to be like 相愛穿梭千年 (Love Weaves Through A Millennium), the Chinese adaption of Queen Inhyun’s Man, they had trouble finding a suitable time period in Chinese history and even so, there’s so much flaws in the characters and timeline. Maybe they will reduce the number of princes for the korean version of BBJX or replace them with other nobles and yangban.

    • He’ll probably go Moon Embracing the Sun style, make it a fictional Joseon with two princes (designated crown prince and other prince) vying to become heir while factional strife works around their “candidacy” by supporting one or the other while the King idly sits by.

      Could work thematically. Not with Mr. Closeup Overload, though.

      • That would mean only the general theme is the same and even then, it would deviate greatly from the original novel. It would be almost annoying to have the name plastered to the k adaptation if only the theme is the same. I mentioned to a viewer below but If you have read the actual novel the drama was based on, you would have realised the many subtle nuances captured in the dialogue were taken from the book. I don’t think it’s possible to really translate the beauty of the novel into a K adaptation.

      • @drama girl I feel the same too, and I also think that it is very difficult to adapt dramas that use specific elements of their country’s history as background story, unless their own country’s history also has a similar incident.

    • They just want the name value BBJX brings to the table (it was popular in the niche cable market), and will use the central selling point as a gimmick. Everything else (the novel’s historical setting and nuances, the structure of the plot, et al) will likely not be worth a lick to them. Wouldn’t be the first time they take a text, “disrobe” it of everything but the core selling point and sell a bastardization based upon so called Korean sentiment. Don’t expect a fair and honest remake because you won’t get one.

      • There’s one thing I’ve been quite curious for a while, do Koreans still watch Chinese dramas/movies? I know that Chinese dramas/movies used to be quite popular in Korea in the 1990s and before, but I don’t know about now. I just hope they’ll leave Empresses in the Palace / The Legend of Zhen Huan (后宫·甄嬛传) alone.

      • I actually saw BBJX airing on TV in Korea when I was there but it was still in Chinese with no Korean dub overs. The only people possibly watching it in Korea are those who actually know the language so I’m afraid that this korean adaptation will blow up in popularity and Koreans (who never watched the original series) will just think it’s their own work.

      • Yep. They’re all over cable, with a couple of channels completely dedicated to them. They’re not huge rating scorers but they have a dedicated hardcore fanbase.

        Actually, a few Mainland shows air in Korea before they do in China (the Sun Tzu biopic with Zhang Fengyi, for instance).

      • I just hope they don’t make the heroine “Rouxi” into a Candy Girl and be a backup to the man like so many Kdrama does to a female character. She really had a mind of her own and stood her ground, even the man she was dealing with was the feared Emperor of China. If they at least keep that, then the Kdrama version would be 50% saved. Now they just need to cast the right actors to play the Princes. Joo Jin Mo does have the “Nicky Wu” feels. Gu Hye Sun would be a good Rouxi or Roulan, She is really good in historical play and serious roles, I really liked her in that Joseon drama she did. I know a lot of people don’t like GHS, but she is really good in serious roles. Seo in Guk would be a good 14th prince the one that married Rouxi (the General one). BTOB’s idol (The one who was in High School 2015 TaeKwan? He would be a good 10th prince, since he can play the “Dufus” but likable role pretty well. I can’t think of any Kdrama actors who can play the 8th prince, the one that has so much depth.

      • I said WHAT I saw in Korea which was undoubtedly a version without any Korean dubovers. Maybe there were other versions but it just so happened that the one shown on the TV when I was there was completely voiced in Chinese.

        Please chill out. I didn’t “make things up” and I understand we can be a little emotional with regards to the series.

      • @drama girl Really? Not even korean subtitles? Haiz..if that’s the case, for the korean version of BBJX they’d better make it clear in their press releases/articles that it is an adaption of the Chinese novel/drama, if not I’ll be blowing my top.

      • It did have subtitles, which is how the majority of Korean people watch foreign series.

        Very chilled. Couldn’t care less about this show.

  5. I thought this was old news? I remember reading of a Korean adaptation at least since November of last year? It won’t be the same as the Chines version and I doubt it capture the same magic, but it will be interesting to see. BBJX drama did make almost all the characters memorable, even the maid that served the sister and Rouxi was memorable. As far as the poetic language, I am sure it would be similiar since the Koreans did use the Chinese Language prior to the adaptationof Hangul.

  6. i like bu bu xing jin, i didn’t watch watch chinese drama for a long time n move to korean drama but i heard about bu bu xing jin recently n watch it, i like it that’s why i thought i would never watch it, i never watch remake of the drama that i already like, but may be i change my mind if the cast actor that i like : joo jin mo,kim sung soo, bae so bin,lee jin wook or joo won but i guess it’s imposible

    • i’m curiouse who’s they gonna cast for this drama but i almost sure not gonna watch it, 8 prince is my favorit in this drama

  7. I thought “love weaves through a millenium” was a pretty good adaptation of Queen Inyuns man. I am sure you can take any dynasty in China, and it would be the same.Chinese Empress and the Concubines vying for power. This has been done in so many Hong Kong and Chinese dramas. The Chinese media always had a fascination of how the Emperors hundreds of women lived back then. The Chinese are pretty good at portraying strong women that doesn’t take the backseat to a man, even if he is the Emperor.

    • This was in reply to @Lilith above. Not sure why my reply was set as a stand alone comment – My phone was acting weird when I tried to post this.

      • While I can say you have a valid point, it’s not just about the general theme of the story. If you have read the actual novel the drama was based on, you would have realised the many subtle nuances captured in the dialogue were taken from the book. I don’t think it’s possible to really translate the beauty of the novel into a K adaptation.

      • *my above comment is with reference to bubujingxin, not queen inhyuns man but I think the general difference is bubujingxin was based on an actual novel where a lot of the subtleties were captured in the Chinese version. It would be difficult for a k adaptation to do that

      • @dramagirl – The Chinese language is hard to translate well into any other language. It is such a beautiful language, especially the poems and the literature. Honestly, it wasn’t in my adult years when I realize how beautiful the written language really is when I really started reading actual Chinese novels. (I speak Cantonese), so much meaning in so little words sometimes. Sometimes, when I finally read the lyrics of some of the Cantonese Songs sung by Jacky Cheung or Teresa or any of the Hong Kong singers from the 80’s to the 90’s I finally understood what they really meant and how beautiful the lyrics really were, although if you translated it to English it would sound so unrefined word to word. Korea and Chinese are two very different cultures, but at one point they did use Chinese Language for the scholars, so I am not too worried about them using the language as well, I wouldn’t expect everything to be the same. If everything were to be the same, then I would watch the dubbed Korean version of BBJX.

      • Haha I get what you mean but I think it’s because I’m a native Chinese speaker so I was abit annoyed as a lot of things in the book are so uniquely Chinese (esp some of the poems and idioms referenced) that it would be difficult to portray in the Korean language.

      • @jkfan @drama girl Me too, I’m a native Chinese speaker as well and I find Chinese poems really beautiful too, especially the lyrics of the theme songs in Chinese historical/wuxia dramas. So many of which I find romantic and endearing. I only read Chinese novels when I watch dramas adapted from them, the most recent being The Journey of Flower (花千骨).

      • @Lilith – I am currently watching Hua Xin Gu. It is a cute drama. I started reading a couple of pages of the book of The Journey of Flower (花千骨) and really liked it. I may continue reading if I have the time, but in the mean time, I’ll just watch it on T.V.
        The drama makes it seems like “Harry Potter” to me. I think I watched an episode where the disciples were learning how to stand on the sword flying that reminded me of Harry Potter. I’m not saying they are copying Harry Potter, but there seems to be some similarities.

      • @jkfan Yup, the drama version initially does feel similar to Harry Potter, with the classes on sword flying and making magic scents/fragrance (? not sure on the correct term) so far. However this part is short and slightly different from the novel. And from what I’ve read so far in the novel, the story does not focus on learning those anymore when 花千骨 became the disciple of 白子画, not to mention, sword flying has long existed in the wuxia and xianxia (仙侠) world way before Harry Potter as well. They have to be taught how to fly on a sword somehow XD

      • @lilith – Yep, I know, the Wuxia dramas in the past had similar scenes too even before Harry Potter the book was written, in fact I think some of Harry Potter plots sounds like a Jin Yong (Author of “Condor Heroes” and other Wuxia) dramas. It has been a while since I watched Chinese Wuxia dramas, and Harry Potter just came to mind. I just can’t seem to get into any of the newer Mainland Chinese Wuxia movies nor the recent TVB ones. The 80’s Wuxia drama from TVB was just that good I suppose. The only thing about the Hua Qian Gu drama is that all the Kung Fu seems to rely on special CGI effects. But, I can see past that and just enjoy the show, as I am not too picky. As long as I like the actress/actors I am happy just seeing them on the screen.

    • Hiya, saw your reply. But the thing is, in Queen Inhyun’s Man, Queen Inhyun regains her position and Jang Heebin was put to death, where as in Love Weaves Through A Millenium, Empress Xu died and Zhao Fei Yan became the new Empress. It is this difference that affected the rest of the storyline and made LWTAM went downhill.

      • I thought they just ran out of money for the production at the end for the C-Version of Queen Inyuns Man. Since I was confused as to why they didn’t show if the they actually got together or not, it was an open ending, which I really dislike in the Chinese Version. But I would say, it was still entertaining to watch, with the two leads having the same chemistry as the original K-version.

  8. I can just picture the Kdrama version filled with inexperienced Idols playing most of the roles. A pretty pretty picture with zero talent.

  9. Nothing but love for this drama! When something is this rare and close to perfection I don’t want it ruined.I don’t care how popular this PD is, he has never done a sageuk before.

  10. I love this drama too.

    But I can’t even begin to fathom who’s to be cast!

    Who would be your cast ms. Koala?!?

  11. I wonder how viewers can find the princes of historical Chinese dramas handsome….their hairdo is so unappealing!

    • I thought Qing Dynasty hairdo was really bad too and is my least favorite fashion for Men. But the princes in BBJX was an exception. All the prince looked good, they looked more than good, they looked manly and FINE!

    • Hehe only in the Qing dynasty. But isn’t it proof of how handsome those actors are, that they were able to pull off a hairdo like that and still look handsome and manly?

      • Thanks for the info….I haven’t seen any C-drama and hence I was wondering. No offence.
        I guess they must be charismatic 🙂

      • Lol, yep, BBJX was able to make all the princes looked so Fine and Manly! Even the “brainless” 10th prince looked pretty good. I wonder how they managed it, the lighting? The costume? or maybe like you said the Actors they picked was just that good looking that any hairstyle will look good on them, even half bald hairstyles. This is the only Qing Dynasty drama that the men looked good in, well this and the Original Huan Zhu Ge Ge (Princess Returning Pearl) drama.

  12. What if they make an adaptation in modern-classic korean society? I mean, the team production just ‘borrow’ the pattern of relationship and basic story but adapted into modern drama-look like instead.

    • The Chinese already did that. It was the sequel to the drama. I never watched it as it didn’t seem to capture my attention after the first 15 minutes of the drama. Having all the wives living underneath the same roof with ambitious sons in modern era? You are talking of ate least 14 wifes and 14 sons and the sons had several wives too. The dynamic work in old times because they all live in one “village” the forbidden city and worked together. I guess it would be a chaebol ala “Boys over Flowers” but the house would be full of people and they are all fighting over the conglomerate to be the CEO or Chairman. But then that will make Rouxi useless as she knew what was going to happen but still wanted the brothers to get along despite knowing the brothers will kill each other off for the Emperor Position.

      • Rouxi would not have a space in the modern era since well, she wouldn’t know the future. The modern Chinese version, had it where Rouxi still remembered all those years she was in Qing Dynasty and there might have been a mystery about the whole “doppleganger” that looked like Rouxi in the modern drama. So if Kdrama were to start it off as a Modern version, then Rouxi really would just be any other Candy Girl in another Kdrama romcom.

      • Hmm, what I described actually sounds like the drama that Yoo Seung ho was in. WHere his mom was fighting for the Conglomerate with any means possible.

    • I thought I was the only one who hated the modern day sequel (bubujingqing). I waited years for a happy ending and the sequel greatly disappointed me :/

  13. Would be interesting to see a korean version, just pray it does not go too over the top exaggeration.

    Dream cast for me (with chances of the budget being blown to bits and the backdrop reduce to only paper cardboard) Park Bo Young/ Moon Geun Young would have excellent capabilities playing the role of Rouxi fitting the role with the relevant experience (other choice would be Son Ye Jin, Ha Ji Won, Han Ga In or Jun Ji-hyun slightly older but full of experience, Moon Sae Ron or Nam Ji Hyun would be a interesting choice). Han Groo as the Maid, Gong Hyo Jin/ Han Hye Joo as Roulan

    The Princes would be nice if Jo In Sung/ Lee Tae Hwan/ Lee Sang-yoon plays 14th prince, Joong Ki/ Park Seo Joon as the 10th prince, Yoo Ah In as 9th Prince, Namgung Min as 8th prince, Lee Sang Woo/ Jo Jung-suk 13th Prince, Jung Dong-hwan as the King.

    Hard to think K actors that would fall into 4th and 8th prince role that well. Kim So Hyun would prob be first in mind for 4th prince but have yet to see him play a similar role with that depth Hyun bin for 8th prince? Gong Yoo/ Cha Tae Hyun/ Ji Sung Would prob be a good 8th prince i guess.

    Dream list cast personal preference.

    • The problem is how they will share the screen time and focus amongst so many people (provided they keep the same characters) as the original chinese version balanced the screen time really well. The typical korean dramas usually has 3-5 leads.

      Kim Soo Hyun may possibly suit 4th prince but this could be too similar to his Moon Embracibg The Sun character so it’s less likely he will take it up.

      Imo it’s much harder to cast Ruoxi because she has to be the right age (tech Ruoxi was 13 at the start of the book but oh well) and she needs to act well. Tbh, Liu Shi Shi isn’t really that good an actress but she fitted Ruoxi so well so they need to find an actress with a similar vibe.

      • True, and Chances are the K adaptation would prob be half the run time of the Chinese version unless they can make it a 50 episode run, not to mention the need to fill in informations for the viewer unlike the chinese version where one would know the characters prior or before if it is going the fiction way.

        I guess LSS was able to blend in well as Rouxi is because her other roles were supporting, so like a blank piece of paper not pre judged before.

      • Th only one with Liu Shi Shi vibe would be Lee Bo Young (Ji Sung’s) wife. Too bad they are filming the drama late 2015, since Lee Bo Young just gave birth to a beautiful baby with Ji Sung. otherwise, Lee Bo Young would have been a great Rouxi.

      • Yep, LBY could possibly suit Ruoxi and it just came to me that Jisung could suit 8th prince lol but they are unlikely to participate cos of the baby as you have said.

      • why not… think she would fit the role nicely during the stage when rouxi is wreaked illness and dying.

      • Haha but unfortunately Han Ga In would only fit that part well. She’s not particularly good at expressing subtle emotions and she ruined METS for me. I like her as a person but she’s just not a really good actress.

  14. for 4th prince/main lead:
    1.ji sung
    2. kim soo hyun
    3.kim jae won
    4.

    ruo xi:
    1. han hyo joo
    2. moon chae won
    3. park min young
    4.jang na ra

    • KSH- unlikely cos similar to METS
      Jisung- imo he suits 8th prince more because he has the kind, calm vibe
      Kim Jae Won- suits 8th prince more for the same reason

      Out of the 4, I actually prefer Jang Nara partly because I have seen her in Bratty Princess (Chinese) where she played a princess that was like the more liberal type of Ruoxi.

  15. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

    • /end meltdown

      This is a horrible idea, and there is no actress, actor, time period, etc. that could pull this off.

  16. BBJX is one of my all-time favourite dramas in every conceivable way… and I am excited as well as apprehensive to see how it would translate in a K-adaptation. Truly hope that the remake will do the incredible source material justice. Can’t wait.

  17. I hate the bald look unless it’s a Caucasian. Most Asians can’t pull the look off. Hopefully the actors will have hair.

    • The bald hairstyle was the hairstyle of the Manchus which ruled China during the Qing Dynasty, and thus it was demanded that all men wear the same hairstyle. Although it may look weird, it’s historically accurate.

  18. And for the recorded, there ain’t gonna be more than like 4 princes. If there are more, they would be side characters. Plus they will get maybe 1 or 2 A lister actor. It would get too expensive to have more than 2-3 A-list actor in a drama

  19. I absolutely love Bu Bu Jing Xin. I tend to avoid dramas that deal with palace politics, but BBJX was amazing. (I need to read the actual novel now.)
    Although I am excited to see what a K-version would be like, I also feel very apprehensive. What I adored about BBJX was the use of language and it’s historical accuracy. The poems and flowery language used in BBJX were absolutely beautiful. And being a huge Chinese history fanatic, the great historical accuracy was amazing. I never knew that a piece of historical fiction could be so intertwined in history and actually work. The setting and the relationships between the princes was spot-on.
    I just don’t think there is a time in Joseon history where this whole dynamic fits, especially with all the princes and such. I’m afraid that the plot will just be reduced to two or three princes (like 4th, 8th, and 14th), erasing the other princes who were also very memorable characters. As for the language, I have a feeling that that would translate better than the plot.

  20. Can I ask something. ?I hear saw in instagram that yoon eun hye and jo in sung are casting fto drama. .is it true?

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