'Bride of the Water God' director says narrative structure of drama is similar to 'Goblin'

Says he avoided watching 'Goblin' after first two episodes.

Bride of the Water God
An official still from tvN's 'Bride of the Water God.' facebook.com/BrideoftheWaterGod2017

There have been comparisons made between tvN's upcoming drama 'The Bride of Habaek' (Bride of the Water God') and 'Goblin.' Director Kim Byung-soo addressed this issue.

As noted by website Soompi, at a recent press conference of 'The Bride of Habaek,' the director was asked about comparisons being made between the drama and tvN's own 'Goblin: The Lonely and Great God.' The stories of both the dramas revolve around a romance between a supernatural figure and his human bride.

Kim Byung-soo said, "After 'Goblin' aired, we made many changes to the script. There are still inevitable similarities between the two even after our changes, as the overall narrative structures are similar." The director added, "I didn't watch 'Goblin' after the first two episodes. Our writer watched 'Goblin' and told me to avoid watching it."

Nam Joo-hyuk, who plays Habaek, was earlier asked in the same press conference about whether he noticed the similarities between speeches of his character and that of Gong Yoo in 'Goblin.' He had responded by saying, "It isn't something that I thought of beforehand. When reading the script, that way of speaking just naturally came out."

Director Kim Byung-soo also talked about the degree to which the drama would be faithful to the popular South Korean manhwa 'Bride of the Water God.' He said, "It was hard to portray the water world. We took only the essentials from the narrative of the source material to create a spin-off. The water world is a significant part of the source material's story so it does appear in the drama a little bit; however, we ask for your understanding. We will leave the portrayal of the water world to methods like film or animation, which are better suited for that."

Regarding his decision of choosing younger actors rather than well-known faces for the drama, the director said, "When I was casting, I first went about looking for actors and actresses who had otherworldly beauty and who gave off a god-like vibe...I also wanted to work with actors who are still growing over actors who have a fixed image, as that could lead to prejudice and lack of believability."

Nam Joo-hyuk indeed is a surprising choice for a drama like this. However, looking at the casting from the director's perspective, it makes sense to not cast famous actors; to distance it from the casting choices of 'Goblin.' It'll also be easier for audiences to accept Nam Joo-hyuk as Habaek because he is young and doesn't have many famous roles under his belt yet. This was the same philosophy used while casting Christopher Reeve for 1978's 'Superman,' or Christian Bale in 'Batman Begins.' Poeple relate easily to a lesser-known actor than a famous one.

F(x)'s Krystal, also talked about her goddess character in the drama, saying it's an interesting role. "As far as I know, there has never been a goddess character in a Korean drama before. I think I'm the first person to try it. I practiced everything from walking, talking, and even my gaze so that I can really look like a goddess," she added.

The first episode of tvN's 'Bride of the Water God' will air on July 3.

This article was first published on June 29, 2017