The rights for the remake of the phenomenal Meteor Garden has been earned by ABS-CBN, it took the Asia by storm in the 2000s. It was introduced in the Philippines in 2003 and first aired on the ABS-CBN in the same year.
It gathered popularity in the home country Taiwan and across Asia that leads to many remakes in the different country like Japan and Korea. All the three dramas were aired in the Philippines. The drama then followed by Meteor Rain, the supplementary mini-series of Meteor Garden. There are three stand-alone episodes which happened at a different time, referred also as chapters focusing each member of the F4 except Hua Ze Lei. Meteor Garden II followed in 2002, where the focus is the life of the F4 after graduation and how the lead character regained his lost memory due to a car accident.
The story revolves around the girl who became the apple of the eye of the four rich, handsome and influential students at her university. The group of boys called themselves as the F4 short version for Flower 4. The group terrorizes the students by handing out red cards to those students that they do not like, which allows their fellow students to bully the victim until he or she decides to leave the university. She gets their attention when she stood up at the rampant bullying of the group to their fellow students that resulted in a red card for her own. However, due to the girl's persistence in standing for what she believes is right, she gradually gains the group respect and makes the leader of the group fall in love with her.
The show creator of the remake of Meteor Garden Angie Chan has been working hard since last year, holding auditions in the different universities of the following countries namely Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Los Angeles and China. She also revealed that the remake will have a new version of the show and it will be fuller and flashier adaption of the book Hana Yori Dango which means Boys Over Flowers. Meteor Garden was the first project of Angie Chan as a young producer. She worked hard to secure funding for the dram, she was even told by her boss to cut some scenes to save on cost but it turned out to be an incredible success, her boss did not expect it to be that popular. She admits that engaging with the new generation of viewers is the biggest challenge but she gives her assurance to ensure excellence in the production of the remake move.
The characters of Meteor Garden are the following: Dong Shan Cai, which was originally played by Barbie Shu. In the manga book Hana Yori Dango, the character was known as Makino Tsukushi, a very hardworking, tough girl who always defends the weak. Due to having a poor family, she always thinks that she is a weed in their school. The character first has a crush on Hua Ze Lei but eventually falls out to Dao Ming Si. As the events of her life become tougher and enduring it all, she gained the respect of all the members of the F4 and became good friend with them; Dao Ming Si, played by Jerry Yan and the manga character name was Doumyouji Tsukasa, the stubborn, hard-headed and ill-tempered leader of the group F4.
Very distrustful of everyone except to his three childhood friends. He always thinks that money and influence can solve anything he did wrong. At first he was so angry with the character of Shan Cai for her defiance but falls in love with her over the time; Hua Ze Lei played by Vic Zhou and in manga is Hanazawa Rui, the very quiet and superior member of the F4 but a very kind person whose opinion matters to his childhood friend Dao Ming Si. They almost end their friend due to conflict about Shan Cai but sort things out later. He becomes a close friend with Shan Cai and eventually her knight in shining armor.
Along the way he falls in love with her and fight for that love but decided to give up and went to Paris with Jing, Lei's childhood sweetheart; Xi Men played by Ken Chu and in the manga Nishikado Soujiro, the fun-loving playboy of the group who only dates a girl for a period of one week and eventually ditched after. He is nice to Shan Cai and become good friends due to Shan Cai friend Xiaoyou; Mei Zuo played by Vaness Wu and in the manga Mimasaka Akira, the other legitimate playboy of the F4 group. He is the funny guy in the group and is very loyal to his friends. He also likes Shan Cai with his friend Dao Ming Si.
The Japanese adaptation aired in 2005 entitled Hana Yori Dango and followed by the sequel Hana Yori Dango Returns in 2007. The cast composes of Mao Inoue as Makino Tsukushi, Jun Matsumoto as Domyouji Tsukasa, Shun Oguri as Hanazawa Rui, Shota Matsuda as Nishikado Soujiro and Tsuyoshi abe as Mimasaka Akira.
The Korean adaptation aired in 2009 entitled Boys Over Flowers. It is the third adaption of the manga. The characters are Gu Jun-pyo played by Lee Min Ho, Geum Jan-di played by Ku Hye Sun, Yoon Ji-hoo Played by Kim Hyun-joong, So Yi-Jung played by Kim Bum, Song Woo-bin played by Kim Joon and Chu Ga-eul played by Kim So-eun. The Korean version has some difference from the manga.
Like the relationship between Soujiro and Yuki, their relationship was merely hinted in the manga. While in the Korean version Yi-jeong and Ga-eul relationship gradually develop throughout the series. The characters have their own significant plotline instead of acting as a subplot. Another is the character of Yoon Ji-hoo or Hanazawa Rui in the manga, played a more significant role in Geum Jan-di's life compare to the Taiwanese and Japanese versions. The character depicted a romantic companion for most of the drama. Next is the storyline of how Geum Jan-di came to attend the same school with the F4 is completely altered. In the version of the manga, Makino was sent by her parents to Eitoku for her to increase her chances of marrying a rich guy. While in the Japanese series, Makino decides to apply in the school to follow the footsteps of Shizuka Todou and became an amazing person like her. Yet the Korean series has a different version. Geum Jan-di saves a student of Shinwa from committing suicide while delivering laundry from their family-owned dry cleaning business. For the Shinwa Group to subdue the negative impact of the news, they offer a scholarship to Jan-di. At first, she is reluctant to attend and declined but with the pressure of her parents put to her she finally decides to accept the offer. She is also a competitive swimmer she finds it not bad to attend the school for its state of the art swimming pool.
Both the Taiwanese and Korean version created a buzz in Asia, making the lead actors and actress shot to stardom. The actors Jerry Yan, Vic Chou, Vaness Wu and Ken Chu become so popular in Asia after the series. They have released studio albums as a boy band and have concerts in different countries. While the Korean version of the manga Hana Yori Dango launches the career of its lead actor Lee Min Ho. Also, the other cast becomes faces of various endorsement and advertisement.
The new set of F4 was introduced last November 7 Tuesday, the group of young men revealed to be a native of Taipei Darren Chen age 22, Chinese actors Dylan Wang age 19, Connor Leong age 23 and Caesar Wu age 21. According to the released statement, the young men were cast for their personalities which very likable, described as having a warm and bright persona with indications of stylish appearance, playfulness and versatile individuality.
Later after the revelation of the new batch of F4, the producer also introduced the new Shan Cai in the much-anticipated drama. The Chinese Shen Yue bagged the iconic character which was played and popularized first by Barbie Hsu back in the original Meteor Garden drama. She stars as a newbie in the Chinese drama "A Love So Beautiful", a story of a girl who falls in love with her classmate.
It was revealed that the remake has a massive budget of 23.74 million dollars or almost 495 thousand dollars per episode that is so big compared to its predecessor in 2001, it almost folds the budget of the predecessor 30 times more.
No other details were released as who will play specific roles and when will be the date of release but rest assured it is this coming 2018. As this was the third remake of the movie following the versions from Japan and Korea can the new F4 land in the same shoes as the previous one? Let us find out soon.