Winter Sonata sequel in the works

Winter Sonata sequel in the works

SEOUL - Fans of the popular South Korean TV series Winter Sonata can rejoice as a sequel reuniting crew from the hit drama is in the works, according to its producer yesterday.

"I'm planning to have as many staff members from the first series take part in the new project," Park Yeong Seok, chief executive of Pan Entertainment, told Yonhap News Agency.

These include scriptwriters and producers from the original soap series, which was immensely well-received both in South Korea and globally when it aired more than 10 years ago.

The KBS soap opera starred Bae Yong Joon, who played a man suffering from amnesia, and Choi Ji Woo as his lover.

The 20-episode series was directed by Yoon Seok Ho - who is expected to take on the role of executive producer for the sequel - and was written by Yoon Seun Gyeong and Kim Eun Hee.

The new series is presently in the planning stage, with its synopsis due out next month. Yet to be decided are the cast and main producer.

Park said he had been planning the sequel for a long time.

He added: "I've always thought I'll make a sequel after 10 years have passed since the first series aired, and I think now is the time for this."

Winter Sonata was broadcast from January to March 2002 on KBS 2TV and was a smash hit in South Korea thanks to its sad but poignant love story, trendy fashion and catchy soundtrack.

The show also attracted a large following in Singapore when it was shown on Channel U that year, sparking the hallyu, or Korean, fever. It prompted fans to travel to Nami Island in South Korea, where many scenes were shot.

The drama charmed its Japanese audience when it aired in Japan the following year, creating a wave of demand for TV dramas from South Korea and catapulting Bae to superstardom there.

Japan also saw sales of some two million copies of Winter Sonata soundtrack CDs and 450,000 DVD sets.

In 2004, South Korean economic research centres estimated the economic impact of the drama at 3 trillion won including revenue from tourism.

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