21 Questions about the American Boys Over Flowers remake answered
Speculation has been brewing ever since the announcement that a new adaptation of Boys Over Flowers would be shooting in the United States. Yesterday, the cast and some plot details were unveiled. The following questions and answers about the project are gleaned from a Q and A thread on My Drama List, and the series' official Tumblr.
The questions and answers in quotes have not been changed, although some have been edited for clarity:
Q: "What can you assure fans of the manga or other adaptations who are having doubts about an American adaptation?"
A: "As Americans ourselves, we do get wary when other Americans announce that they are remaking or doing an adaptation of foreign films. So we completely understand. We are fans of Hana Yori Dango and the adaptations of it, so we will be sticking close to the manga, with minor changes to fit American culture. There will be only one season of 16 episodes, so no dreadful dragging out a story for several seasons. Our actors will be talented individuals who have yet to be discovered. We have developed story lines for characters that were not present in the recent adaptation. We do ask that all present fans support us and reserve judgment. Thank you for being respectful with your question. If you have something specific that you are worried about please feel free to ask."
Q: How much will the story resemble the original Boys Over Flowers, and how much of the story will you change?
A: "Every adaptation has their own charm and ours will too. The event are the same but the story line is different. Every adaptation changes to fit the culture it goes into. By staying close to the Manga we mean main events and how the story unfolds."
Q: So it's a remake of the Korean version, not the Japanese one?
A: "This is an adaptation of the Original Japanese Manga. Not a remake of the Kdrama. Many media outlets are posting that but it is wrong. Hana Yori Dango translates to Boys Over Flowers so they just assume that we are remaking the KDrama even though we keep saying Japanese Manga."
Q: "Since this series is considered to be a classic, have you purchased the rights to re-make the series for an American viewing audience? I can imagine that would be fairly expensive. Secondly, you say that this adaption is supposed to follow the manga closely. I read the entire manga. But you have stated that it will be set in a grad school, not a high school, that the main character will be a dancer, and that you will be adding in different background characters. With those changes alone, you have already strayed very far from the original. The very essence of the series relies on behavior prominent in high school, like bullying and cliques among students. How will you capture the essence of the original story with these changes? And lastly, since this is supposedly a remake of the original Japanese manga, have you contacted the original mangaka and gotten her blessing?"
A: "...asking questions to a production company about if they have purchased rights, how much they cost, etc is generally not the public's business but as it has been said in many different outlets and comments by fans, this is a great concern. This information is not released to the public but what we will say is that we are in contact with Shueisha and we are not currently being sued."
Q: What title will you use?
A: "We are trying to stick with the name Boys Before Flowers but we are waiting to hear back from Shueisha as to if they will allow it. Stay Tuned."
Q: Will your series follow the Asian drama format with 16-24 episodes, or will there be potential for more seasons?
A: "There will be a total of 16 episodes. The last episode is a pretty definite ending so there really isn't any room for a second season."
Q: When will we be able to watch the new series?
A: "We are aiming to have the first episode out on November 21st."
Q: Will the actors be Asian?
A: "Actually, we have a very multi-racial cast. We have a little bit of everything."
Q: Won't there be a bit of culture clash? Cultural issues like bullying and the elite school system in Asia are different from those in America.
A: "We have a very multi-racial cast. We have a little bit of everything... The story line is the easiest to adapt to American culture. Americans have bullying and elite schools as well."
Q: Where will it be filmed?
A: "The majority will be filmed in Los Angeles, CA and a few other locations."
Q: What rating are you going for?
A: "Series is most likely going to be PG-13 and aimed more towards Young adults than kids or teens although they will watch it."
Q: "Will you give Akira more to do? Because he was always just there... and I don't think he actually really contributed much to the story in either version, so it may as well have been an F3."
A: "Yes. He has his own story line as well. We have written him to be more of a main character."
Q: "I wonder how much bullying we'll see in this remake or if we'll even get a red notice at all, how poor she'll actually be, like will they put her in a house or keep her into a small apartment, and if they'll keep the perm."
A: "There will be a version of the Red notice in this and the bullying will be more intense. It will be more like in the original manga. As far as how poor she is, she is standard middle class."
Q: "I feel Asian drama have their own touch what will u do if this drama didn't get popular becoz it was good drama? in other word maybe this drama will be popular just becoz another country is going too do a remak of an Asian drama ? is that what u hoping for ?"
A: "Please understand that we love the fact that this series has such a huge fan base. But to be blunt, that fan base isn't big enough to get acknowledgement from traditional American channels. We want to stay true to the series to make sure the fans are happy but we are aiming for the American Audience to experience and love this series. It is an American Adaptation. Whether the American public loves it or not will depend on our production, scripts and actors not based on the fact that it originally was an Asian Drama or Manga. Someone said that earlier, American media ignores Asian TV programs and series. We have chosen not to."
Q: "One thing that annoys me in [A]sian dramas is the lack of chemistry when it comes to actual skin to skin contact. They are all pink and pretty while talking but when it comes to kissing and making out sessions they kind of mess it up. Is you[r] version going to show how real teenagers act around each other when it comes to dating?"
A: "We will have a traditional American couple. They will kiss, hold hangs, hug, date etc. They are in Grad school so they are mature and understand what a relationship is."
Q: "I'm really curious what made you decide to make a remake of a manga...I mean most american companies tend to ignore asian entertaiment when it comes to TV shows"
A: "We tried to go through a traditional network and we go the same answer, change this, change that, make the cast very "traditional." We didn't to be Gossip Girl so we went independent. We are all fans of TV from other countries since most of us were not raised in the US. We are all global travelers that have seen the world and want to bring the world to the US."
Q: "As you probably already now all the series have some scenes that remained in our heads when we talk about BOF,HYD.The "waiting in the rain" and "amnesia part" are really popular...are you going to keep them or do something similar?"
A: " 'wink' wait and see. Seriously, we will not remove iconic scenes that made fans love the series instead we will adapt them to make you love them more."
Q: "Are you going to be interweaving any Korean music into the drama, or is it going to all be American music that sucks?"
A: "We are open to music suggesting through sonicbids.com but we feel having korean music is disrespectful to the others that have had their own adaptations."
Q: "in all the versions, each has their own spin on things, will you be doing the your own spin?"
A: "We are doing our own spin on things. Some examples are, we have turned the lead girl, Zoey, into a dancer and the school is one that is for the rich, famous and elite but one day out of the year they hold auditions and testing for "commoners" to get accepted. Zoey gets in. There is lots of music, sports, dancing and traditional American activities. We have also written stronger story lines for some of the characters that didn't get seen as much like Akira Mimasaka. There are other changes as well as some things don't fit well into American culture but we think we did a pretty good job."
Q: "One of the reasons the korean version is my favorite is that it had the best production value. in meteor garden and hana yori dango the sets/locations props and costumes really didn't ooze wealth the way BoYs Over Flowers did. if you meet your funding goal will you be able to create that kind of feel?"
A: "We went on Kickstarter to raise a small amount of funding that was still needed to complete our budget. I think the misconception was that $100,000 was our entire budget when in reality, we have a multi-million dollar budget for this series. Our actors are unknowns but have enough experience that they are considered professionals."
Q: Do you plan on adapting other Asian dramas?
A: "You can absolutely expect to see other dramas get American make overs. We are already in the process of adapting two, one of which will begin to air right after the completion of this one."