Pokemon Go, the highly popular augmented reality (AR) mobile game in 2016, influenced the AR game theme in the ongoing tvN series Memories of the Alhambra. Elon Musk, meanwhile, is the inspiration for the drama’s male protagonist played by Hyun Bin.
Memories of the Alhambra writer Song Jae-jung made these revelations in an interview on January 15.
The writer, who also penned the fantasy series W-Two Worlds, revealed how she came up with the idea of combining suspense with an augmented reality game. According to her, the idea for the drama originally started as a time-slip story that should have been the last part of three time travel-themed series that include Queen In-hyun’s Man and Nine. That story centers on a man from the future and involves him staying at a hotel room and opening the door to a stranger who would shoot him with a gun. That man was Yoo Jin-woo, the male protagonist of the Memories of the Alhambra.
However, the time-slip story got cancelled indefinitely because Song “didn’t feel motivated” and she had already written so many time-slip stories. She then decided to search for new ideas to write about and learned about Pokémon Go which was the new craze at that time. “I got curious [about the game] and tried it out,” she shared.
She was reluctant at first to incorporate a video game theme into a series but ended up dropping the time-slip theme altogether in favor of a story involving AR.
“I didn’t think of doing a video game theme because it didn’t seem possible to recreate a virtual reality like the movie ‘Avatar.’ But if it were to involve augmented reality with items [on the screen] like Pokémon Go, it seemed doable. That’s when I dropped the time-slip theme and decided to keep only the character Yoo Jin-woo.”
Song also shared that Yoo Jin-woo is based on Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk. “I found Elon Musk intriguing after coincidentally reading his autobiography. I drew inspiration from his life and created Yoo Jin-woo,” she explained.
Both Yoo Jin-woo and Elon Musk have PhDs in engineering and are both self-made CEOs of extremely successful tech companies.
Memories of the Alhambra, which is helmed by PD Ahn Gil-ho of the critically acclaimed and award-winning thriller Secret Forest, tells the story of investment company CEO Yoo Jin-woo (played by Hyun Bin) who goes to Granada, Spain on business and meets a woman (Park Shin-hye) while searching for the cryptic creator of an innovative augmented reality game. The series will air on tvN its last two episodes on Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m. KST.