GHOST: The Japanese/Korean Remake
Nanami is a successful young entrepreneur and she has everything a woman could ask for—except the man of her dreams. On her birthday, she gets drunk and spends the night with a stranger, Jun-ho. Nanami feels he is the love of her life and they have a romantic wedding. The newlyweds spend the happiest time of their lives in the months following their marriage.
A year passes and Nanami’s birthday rolls around once again. On her way home, she encounters a bike thug and is killed. Unable to leave her devastated husband, Nanami remains on Earth as a ghost. She soon learns that her death was no accident and that Jun-ho is in danger. But as a ghost, she cannot be seen or heard by the living.
Only with the help of psychic Unten, the only one who is aware of her presence, can Nanami warn a skeptical Jun-ho to beware of the same attacker that killed her. — GHOST synopsis from CJ Entertainment
In 1990, Paramount Pictures’ fantasy/romance hit GHOST earned more than $500 million worldwide and was nominated for five Academy Awards (winning two). Two decades later, Paramount Pictures Japan has remade the film for Asian audiences.
The new version is a co-production between various Japanese companies such as NTV, Vap, and Shochiku plus Korea’s CJ Entertainment, along with its Japanese branch CJ Entertainment Japan. Marketed with the same English title as the original, the film was released in Japan as GHOST: IN YOUR ARMS AGAIN (ゴースト もういちど抱きしめたい, Gosuto: mou ichido dakishimetai) on November 13th, and in Korea on November 25th as GHOST: LOVE AND SOUL (고스트 : 보이지 않는 사랑, Ghost: Boiji Anneun Sarang).
The main cast features Nanako Matsushima from Japan and Song Seung-heon from Korea; both well-known stars in each country. Matsushima may be best known for her starring role in the internationally popular J-Horror classic RING (Ringu, 1998). Her other credits include RING 2 (Ringu 2, 1999), WHITEOUT (2000), and THE INUGAMIS (Inugamike no ichizoku, 2006).
From the Korean perspective, Song is one of the most prominent players in the so-called ‘Korean Wave’ (hanryu); the recent growth in the popularity of Korean pop culture in other Asian countries. He began as a model before moving into acting on a number of popular television series such as AUTUMN IN MY HEART (Gaeul donghwa, 2000) and EAST OF EDEN (Edenui Dongjjuk, 2008). Song’s film roles include the lead in A BETTER TOMORROW (Mujeokja, 2010), the Korean remake of John Woo’s Hong Kong smash from 1986.
In GHOST, Matsushima plays Nanami Hoshino, the CEO of a company, and Song is Kim Jun-ho, a potter. One day, Matsushima is killed by an accident and becomes a ghost. With the help of Unten Sazuki, a psychic played by Kilin Kiki (RETURNER, KAMIKAZE GIRLS), the couple tries to communicate and soon realize that they still love each other. This is a little twist in the plot, since in the original film, it was the guy (Patrick Swayze, may he rest in peace) who became the ghost and the girl (Demi Moore) was the potter.
Produced by Takashige Ichise, who brought us the JU-ON/THE GRUDGE series, and directed by Taro Otani (GOKUSEN), the remake ranked 2nd at the Japanese box office its opening week. GHOST has remained in the box office top 10 during its first month of release.