KBS plans blockbuster spy action drama Prometheus for 2018
The Princess’s Man, IRIS
Wow, this is one ambitious project. KBS has announced a grand-scale action thriller drama called Prometheus: War of Fire for their 2018 lineup. Planning for this project commenced last year, but the station has kept it under wraps until now and is expecting to start the casting phase soon. Filming is being planned for the first half of next year.
Prometheus’s plot will unfold on the international stage, as North Korea’s top scientists privy to information regarding the country’s nuclear and long-range missile arsenal disappear in an unspecified foreign country. When their disappearance becomes known, multiple countries deploy their agents to locate and acquire the scientists for their own purposes. South Korea, of course, is one of those countries, and will send a team consisting of an elite government agent and a North Korean defector to get to these scientists first. As they race against agents from foreign governments, they’ll come across a mysterious genius girl, who I assume has something to do with their mission.
Just by reading Prometheus’s short synopsis, the show sounds remarkably reminiscent of another KBS blockbuster spy action drama, IRIS. With recent escalated tensions over North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, though, it might be interesting—or terrifying—to watch a dramatization of current events. We can expect a lot of action, as well, if CP Choi Ji-young’s credits on IRIS, Chuno, and The Princess’s Man are anything to go by. The production company behind Prometheus, JL Media Group, has worked with Choi before, as well, on The Princess’s Man.
KBS really isn’t holding back on the scale of this drama: Filming will include five overseas locations, and the show will reportedly cost 30 billion won (roughly $30 million, for those of you in the States). And in addition to casting top actors for its lead roles, the producers of Prometheus are also reportedly looking to Hollywood to find actors for their substantial number of non-Korean roles. Producers are already in negotiations to pre-sell rights to the show to an “online platform with a global distribution network” (Is that you, Netflix?), so it sounds like there’s some buzz about Prometheus beyond just Korea.
It’s pretty exciting to see dramaland get bigger in scale and reach beyond Korea’s borders, but a part of me is also a bit wary that this project won’t live up to its expectations, or outright flop in the worst scenario. Not that better ratings always mean better quality, but I feel the level of resources dedicated to Prometheus would just magnify the disappointment if it ends up not being a hit.
Whatever the result, I will definitely be following updates for the show as it starts its casting process. Between Prometheus and tvN’s Mr. Sunshine, it looks like we can expect 2018 to be the year of epic blockbuster dramas.