‘Sky Castle,’ Korean High Society Series Hit, to Get Japan Remake

Sky Castle,” one of the most iconic Korean TV drama series of recent years, is to be remade by TV Asahi in Japan.

The move follows the signing of a cooperation agreement between Korean content powerhouse SLL (previously known as JTBC Studios) and TV Asahi just last month. The two companies say that the Japanese retread is already filming and will begin to air from July.

The story revolves around four ambitious women who are willing to go to extraordinary lengths to ensure that their husbands and their children achieve professional success and that they in turn live like royalty in the Sky Castle among the elite.

In particular, their focus is on making sure that their children obtain top marks in onerous university entrance exams and that they are accepted into the best academic establishments.

The original series ran to 20 episodes and was produced by HB Entertainment and JTBC’s Drama House, before airing on JTBC in late 2018-early 2019. SLL reports that it achieved a 23% non-terrestrial rating at the time of release. The JoongAng Daily newspaper reported at the time that the show enjoyed the fourth highest cable TV ratings in Korean history. The show was subsequently picked up by both Netflix and Disney+ in different territories.

While the Japanese version will focus on high school exams, which are seen as more difficult than college entry exams, due to the intervention of parents, the plot point about life-changing public tests is being retained. Familiarity with a similarly onerous qualification process is reported to have helped make the original Korean series popular in China.

The Japanese cast is headed by Matsushita Nao (“Gegege no Honey,” “Get Ready”), Kimura Fumino (“Seven Secretaries,” “Mother Game”),
Higa Manami (“The Detective and the Prosecutor”) and Takahashi Merijun. The role of the university admissions coordinator is played by Koyuki (“You’re My Pet,” and the movies “Always – Sunset on 3rd Avenue” and “Blood the Last Vampire”).

“We are delighted to announce the news of a meaningful collaboration following the signing of a partnership with TV Asahi. Starting with the remake of ‘Sky Castle’ drama series, we will continue to plan, develop, and produce other works that are competitive in the global market,” said Park Jun-seo, CEO of SLL’s production division.


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