As "Arthdal Chronicles" has struggled to exceed ratings above 8%, the forty five million dollar drama has set a poor precedent for the next major preproduction, "Vagabond". However, "Vagabond", with only about a twenty million dollar budget in comparison, does have a few more factors working in its favor.
The main obvious one is just in terms of ambition. "Arthdal Chronicles" tried, and failed, to sustain interest on a massive epic level that would last for years. "Vagabond", by contrast, only has the pretension of being a drama at about the production scale of a Hollywood action movie. Though more ambitious than previous productions, "Vagabond" is not much of an overreach compared to other recent SNS projects.
The budget for "Vagabond", in addition to being smaller than that for "Arthdal Chronicles", was also more efficiently spent on location filming in Portugal and Morocco. While the expensive southeast Asian location shooting of "Arthdal Chronicles" was of little benefit to the drama, as it theoretically takes place in ancient Korea, "Vagabond" can take advantage of local landmarks via its modern day spy story for its international Netflix audience.
Comments from the lead actors have also been more encouraging for "Vagabond" than they were for "Arthdal Chronicles". Lee Seung-gi has specifically praised the preparedness of the staff of "Vagabond", while Lee Seung-gi and Bae Suzy both expressed confidence in the project's completion after a year's work. Bae Suzy also spoke affectionately of leading co-star Lee Seung-gi, while also citing director Yoo In-sik as someone she learned a lot from.
Written by William Schwartz
"Vagabond" is directed by Yoo In-sik, written by Jang Yeong-cheol, Jeong Kyeong-soon-I, and features Lee Seung-gi, Bae Suzy, Shin Sung-rok, Baek Yoon-sik, Moon Sung-geun, Kim Min-jong. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/09/20~Upcoming, Fri, Sat 21:00 on SBS.
"Arthdal Chronicles" is directed by Kim Won-seok, written by Kim Yeong-hyeon, Park Sang-yeon, and features Jang Dong-gun, Song Joong-ki, Kim Ji-won, Kim Ok-vin, Kim Eui-sung, Park Hae-joon. Broadcasting information in Korea: 2019/06/01~Now airing, Sat, Sun 21:00 on tvN.
Staff writer. Has been writing articles for HanCinema since 2012, having lived in South Korea since 2011. Started out in Gyeongju, then to Daegu, then to Ansan, then to Yeongju, then to Seoul, lived on the road for HanCinema's travel diaries series in the summer of 2016, and is currently settled in Anyang. Has good tips for utilizing South Korea's public bus system. William Schwartz can be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org. He also has a substack at williamschwartz.substack.com where he discusses the South Korean film industry in broader terms and takes suggestions for future movies to review.
"[HanCinema's News] "Vagabond" Follows up "Arthdal Chronicles" as High-Priced Preproduction"
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