TVB has purchased the copyrights of Japanese drama Hanzawa Naoki <半沢直樹> in hopes of remaking a Hong Kong version. Revolving around the banking industry, the series achieved 42.2% ratings in its finale and broke ratings records in Japan. Chilam Cheung (張智霖) or Kevin Cheng (鄭嘉穎) is rumored to be the lead.
Believing that the drama can be adapted to the Hong Kong scene, TVB senior executives are convinced that the sufferings and plight of the oppressed in the banking drama will resonate strongly with the working sector in Hong Kong.
Many netizens expressed earlier that Roger Kwok (郭晉安) or Michael Tse (謝天華) will fit the title role while Pong Nan (藍奕邦) seems to be the ideal candidate for the villain role. However, TVB prefers to cast either Chilam Cheung or Kevin Cheng, who has managed to make the commoner lawyer, Law Ba, a household name. TVB believes that the two actors would be able to bring out the dual characteristics of gentleness and cynicism of the main role perfectly.
Both actors expressed interest in taking part in the series. Chilam said, “I need to spend more time looking into the role. I know this show was a hit. It was the highest grossing drama. But I have only seen a few minutes. I haven’t finished it but will definitely watch it.” Chilam believed that if he were given the role, he would revamp the role to suit his style and his co-stars.
Kevin, who has not seen the drama, is excited to be part of the line-up. He said, “I heard the script was very well-written. If I am really invited to film, I will definitely be happy! I will be even more honored if it’s the male lead. Actually it doesn’t matter what role it is, as long as I get to be part of it.”
In addition, TVB has also bought the broadcast copyrights of the series from Japanese television station, TBS and the first episode will be released on November 16 in the paid channel. Hong Kong is the second country after Taiwan to release the drama. Because of TVB and TBS’ good relationship, TVB is currently running Legal High <律政狂人>, another series featuring Sakai Masato. The actor, together with actress, Aya Ueto , will be in Hong Kong next month to promote Hanzawa Naoki.
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