Actress Ha Ji-won (Hospital Ship) has left the cast of the upcoming big-budget spy drama titled Prometheus. The actress reportedly discussed everything with the production staff and made the final decision not to appear in the series. This was confirmed on October 10 by her management agency, Haewadal Entertainment, which did not disclose the reason why the actress quits as the female lead, saying “the exact reason [behind her decision] will be revealed in the future.”
Prometheus‘ story kicks off with the sudden disappearance in an unspecified foreign country of North Korea’s leading scientists who hold the top-secret knowledge about the country’s intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear weapon. When the news about the situation is revealed to the public, several nations from around the world deploy their agents to find the scientists and acquire their knowledge. South Korea sends a team composed of an elite National Intelligence Service (NIS) agent and a North Korean defector under the operation titled Prometheus. The two then meet a mysterious genius girl named Song Chae-yool while doing their mission.
Ha Ji-won was confirmed in July to play the character of the NIS agent named Chae Eun-seo. Jin Goo (Untouchable), meanwhile, will be playing the lead male character—a North Korean defector and a former military officer who gets involved in an incident in Russia and finds himself working as a day laborer in South Korea. Ha Ji-won’s decision to leave the cast is a big loss to the production as a source from the production staff revealed in July that the character of Chae Eun-seo was created and developed with the actress in mind.
KBS2 was the major broadcaster that announced Prometheus on October 11, 2017, with a staggering estimated production cost of 30 billion won or about $26.5 million, an amount that is bigger than Descendants of the Sun‘s total budget of 13 billion won by 131 percent. If the drama will have 16 episodes, its cost per episode (1.875 billion won) will far exceed the average budget for Kdramas (350 million won per episode) by a whopping 536 %. The network purposely set Prometheus to be a drama on a grand scale, thus the massive production budget which is supposedly tantamount to a top-notch quality series that will cater to the demand of a global audience.
The idea and plans for Prometheus basically originated from KBS2. However, as of today, the production team has yet to confirm and announce the actual network on which the series will be airing in the first half of 2019.