Fantasy is a growingly popular genre for K-Drama series, with countless notable mentions like Goblin, My Love From the Stars, Queen In Hyun's Man, and many more. One of the reasons why this genre is the ultimate choice of so many K-Drama producers is because of how flexible and boundless it can be, often times giving the adequate capacity for writers to maximize their creativity.
This makes me wonder, what new sparks could be produced if foreign movies were to make a crossover with K-Dramaland? And this brings us to the list of foreign fantasy movies that can be adapted into K-Dramas!
1. Edward Scissorhands
Needless to say, this is hands down my favorite fantasy romance movie of all time. The emotions, sincerity, and heartfelt messages of this bittersweet movie make it one of the most memorable movies that Tim Burton and Johnny Depp has ever made. The synopsis:
An inventor dies before he could finish assembling Edward, an animated human, leaving him with scissors in place of hands. One day a nearby resident encounters Edward and welcomes him into the suburb, where she falls in love with an Avon lady. He tries to adapt to the new life by befriending the citizens. Things come to a dark turn when the cruel citizens begin to frame him for crimes he did not commit, and his scissor-like hands become an impediment against his desire to belong and express love like a normal human being.
The male lead would be like a pure and innocent puppy that everyone wants to protect, kind of resembling Nam Shin III in Are You Human Too (the synopsis is also similar). Anyone who gets cast as such a lovely fluff ball will probably skyrocket in popularity afterwards. The story will also bring anyone to tears. The closest match to Edward imo would be Taemin, since he can pull off both the sinister and mysterious side and the cute and fluffy side equally as well. I don't have a preference for the female lead but someone like Kim So Eun should be fine since the female lead is a typical daughter character who is young and inexperienced.
2. The Time Traveller's Wife
This is also one of the movies that will have you bawl your eyes out by the end of it. Since it is difficult to stretch the story into a complete 16 episode K-Drama, this is best to be adapted loosely with more additions to the storyline and characters. This should fall into the melodrama category, and have everyone's hopes up for a possibly good ending to a doomed relationship.
A Chicago librarian has a mysterious hereditary disease that makes him time travel against his will, sometimes back in time, and sometimes forward, causing problems with his marriage. The story deals with how his wife copes with this problem, and the limited moments they spend together.
Put all this into the K-Drama context and there you go, a melodrama that will leave you in tears. The first actor that came into my mind was Gong Yoo, probably due to his mysterious image in Goblin (who appears and disappears suddenly all the time) plus he suits the age of the main character who is a father of a little girl. For the female lead my vote goes to goddess Son Ye Jin, perfect wife material and well-known for her roles in classic romance films. (They have similar ages too which is a plus.)
3. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
A list of fantasy movies won't ever be complete without this movie. I can't help but ponder why all these movies here are melancholic *sigh*... Here's the synopsis:
A boy named Benjamin Button is born as an old man and slowly "grows up" back to being youthful. He meets different women in his life and goes through the hardships as a person who ages backwards.
The CGI or makeup needs to be strong for this drama to work out, since the lead will have to play characters of different ages. Or they have to find an actor who can look young and old at the same time to be able to pull this off... someone like the cute ahjusshi that is Ji Sung. He is so baby-faced he could probably make for a believable high schooler. For the female lead to co-star with Ji Sung it would definitely be his wife Lee Bo Young. I'm sure everyone has been secretly rooting for this OTP all along!
This is a very old Hong Kong movie starring Cecilia Cheung and Richie Ren. The reason I chose this out of all the possibly more famous movies is mainly due to the classic melo K-Drama vibe it gives off. This movie reminds me of 49 Days, because both involve an already dead person who is granted a chance to live again with the exception of having to fulfill a certain task/not break certain rules. Here is what the movie is about:
Onion, a blind and mute man falls in love with a nurse, Autumn. Fate sets them apart when Onion gets into a car accident and dies. Since he is the 6th billion person to enter Polaris (heaven), he is granted a wish and is allowed to return to Earth for 5 days, but the condition is that he cannot tell anyone who he is. He is teleported back to Earth with a different face, where nobody can recognise him.
This movie makes me cry every time I watch it. Such a beautiful story, with a pinch of comedy and slice of life, a story about cherishing every single moment as if it were our last. As for the cast of the K-Drama remake, I do not have a specific preference since any actors/actresses would likely excel at these characters. If I had to choose though, I would like Suzy to be the female lead because she would look completely like a nurse! I had wanted to cast Irene instead since she does remind me of Cecilia Cheung sometimes, but so far she has not shown herself in the acting compartment. The male lead after "resurrection" can be Park Bo Gum and the cameo character before death can be Lee Hyun Woo, because they bear a great resemblance to each other.
5. The Wolves of Mercy Falls (BONUS)
I apologize for including this since it is not a movie, but a book series that I personally love. It was almost made into a movie but the plan was cancelled, unfortunately. The Wolves of Mercy Falls is a series about a love story between a werewolf and a human girl, with three books in total - Shiver, Linger and Forever. As a big fan of supernatural beings like werewolves and vampires and having hated the Twilight series, this was the ultimate book of fan service for me, and definitely a better love story than Twilight. For those who haven't read the book, here is the synopsis:
Since a young age, Grace has been watching the wolves in the woods behind her house. Once rescued by a yellow-eyed wolf when she was little, she is struck by a feeling of déjà vu when she meets a boy who seems to have the same eyes. Meanwhile, Sam lives two lives - the leader of the pack in winter, and a few precious months of being human in summer, until the cold makes him shift back again.
The romance was great and I really loved how believable the spirit and hierarchy the wolf pack had. It makes me wish K-Dramaland would have its own werewolf drama. CGI for the wolves should be doable given that dramas like Gu Family Book have already explored on semi-beast humans and have been successful in that regard. Besides, there are already many K-Dramas about vampires and nine-tailed foxes but none about werewolves so I don't see why they shouldn't make one already. Right? Right?? *cough*
The best is of course reserved for the best, and the Sam of my dreams would definitely be my ultimate bias, Seo Kang Joon. Just look at his eyes, they already look yellow/gold without the need for contact lenses. Who is more suited for a wolf character other than our precious puppy bot? Since I loved Kim Ji Won in Fight For My Way and she's really GRACEful (pun intended), she would be fitting as Grace.
And that's it for my take on the foreign fantasy movies (+ a book) that can be adapted into Korean dramas! Feel free to leave your comments down below and tell me more about what movies you guys think can also go well as K-Dramas. It could be anything, anime, short films, musicals, you name it!