Following the example of “Love Rain,” “Doctor Stranger” is going to become a film. The 20-episode drama “Love Rain,” which did not get top ratings in Korea was wildly successful in Japan and after was also released as a two-part film there.
Now “Doctor Stranger” is set to get a similar cinematic treatment in China.
Although the medical espionage drama starring Lee Jong Suk and Jin Se Yeon, Kang So Ra and Park Hae Jin, still has a few episodes to go, plans are already underway to release the film version.
A production company representative for “Doctor Stranger” told the Dispatch that a movie version is already in the works.
“There will be more detailed talks with the China side when the drama ends,” said the representative.
To make it movie length, the 1,400-minute drama will have to be cut down to 120 minutes. But additional footage will also be shot. And then the actors’ voices have to be dubbed.
“We’re also in talks to have it dubbed in Chinese to be more accessible to Chinese fans,” said the representative.
While it is not the first time that a k-drama has been shortened to film length, it’s not that common. If a k-drama is successful, production companies in foreign countries usually try to get the publishing rights and make their own version starring local actors.
There are also political implications for the popularity of this drama in China and for the release of the film.
From showing North Korean assassination attempts, medical experimentation and torture, “Doctor Stranger” portrays the nation’s regime in a very negative light. China remains North Korea’s biggest ally. China has vowed to defend the North Korean government, but lately some political strategists hint that China is losing faith in the North Korean regime.
The producers warned that the storyline of the Chinese film version is expected to differ from the drama. The story will be changed but they did not indicate what might change. “There’s a possibility that we’ll change the story line a bit in consideration of the emotions of the Chinese viewers,” the drama representative told the Dispatch. “Because of this, there will be an additional one week of filming. We’re currently fixing the schedules of both the production crew and the actors.”
Will changes in the storyline mean that North Korea is portrayed in a more positive light?
The film will only be released in China and no premiere date has yet been set.