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"Reply 1994" Is Not A Prequel

BY Joan MacDonald | Sep 12, 2013 01:08 PM EDT

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If you liked taking a nostalgic trip back to 1997 in "Reply 1997," you may want to go back a little further in time and check out "Reply 1994" That's when the director Shin Won Ho and the drama's writer Lee Woo Jung originally wanted to set the drama. It was the year they both entered college.

But when they started casting they changed their minds.

One of the first people they cast was Eun Ji Won as the character Do Hak Won. Rapper and dancer Eun Ji Won was a former member of Sechs Kies, an idol group whose fame was actually peaking in 1997.

That got the writer and director thinking they ought to set the drama plot three years later. They could use the fame of Sech Kies to make an interesting contrast to the financial crisis experienced by the Korean economy that year. So they cast Eun Ji Won with several actors that were a decade younger than him and shifted the year to 1997

But Shin never forgot his college days when he was a chemical engineering major at Seoul University. Nor did the writer and director forget their plan to set a series in 1994. Fortunately their first series was a success, so they were given the go-ahead to make a second season. As the first series did, "Reply 1994" will use the events people were talking about and interested in to create the feeling of the time. This time, those cultural events will include the popularity of the idol group Seo Taiji and the Boys" and the Korean Basketball League.

"Reply 1997" focused on five friends who meet for a high school reunion dinner and recall their high school year of 1997. The drama starred Jung Eun Ji, Seo In Guk and Infinite's Hoya.

In "Reply 1994," three young men, played by Yoo Yeon Suk, Kim Sung Kyun and Jung Woo, take rooms in a boarding house while attending university in Seoul. The couple that runs the boarding house has a daughter, played by Go Ara, who recently appeared in the film "Papa." Go Ara's character is a big basketball fan.

The writers of "Reply 1994" stress that the new drama is not a prequel of "Reply 1997." It will have its own coming of age story with new characters.

Also appearing in the drama are Sung Dong Il, Lee Il Hwa, Baro, Min Do Hee and Son Ho Jun.

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