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Bela Padilla, Marco Gumabao in the PH Adaptation of Korean Film "Spellbound"

The 2011 South Korean film it was based on featured Hallyu stars Son Ye-jin and Lee Min-ki

Bela Padilla and Marco Gumabao are starring in the Filipino adaptation of the top-grossing 2011 South Korean rom-com film Spellbound.

The Korean film, also known as My Girlfriend Can See Ghosts, starred Hallyu A-listers Son Ye-jin (Crash Landing on You) as Kang Yeo-ri, a woman who can see ghosts, and Lee Min-ki (The Beauty Inside) as Ma Jo-goo, a magician who falls in love with the female lead character. It marked the directorial debut of South Korean film director and scriptwriter Hwang In-ho. It also gave Son Ye-jin a Best Actress nomination at the 48th Baeksang Arts Awards. 

The film "Spellbound" stars Bela Padilla and Marco Gumabao for its Filipino adaptation and Lee Min-ki and Son Ye-jin for the original South Korean version.
The film "Spellbound" stars Bela Padilla and Marco Gumabao for its Filipino adaptation and Lee Min-ki and Son Ye-jin for the original South Korean version. | Photos from Viva Films and CJ Entertainment

The characters Marco and Bela are taking on in the Spellbound remake are the same with the original versions and the plot stays true to the material. Marco's Victor is a street magician who saw Yuri (Bela) among the audience during one of his performances and made her the inspiration for his horror magic show. Meanwhile, Bela's Yuri acquires the ability to see ghosts after a vehicular accident when she was in high school. 

The PH adaptation is directed by Jals Zarate and is a pre-Valentine offering of Viva Films. This project was announced back in 2019 and filming began in January 2020, only to be postponed due to the COVID-caused nationwide lockdowns. Filming resumed late last year. 


This is not the first time Marco and Bela have worked together. The James Robin Mayo-directed film Apple of My Eye starred Marco opposite Krystal Reyes, and had Bela working as a screen writer. 


Bela, who is now based in London, is vocal about her love for Korean content, and her dossier features projects related to the Hallyu scene. In 2019, she starred in the Philippine adaptation of the popular 2013 South Korean drama film Miracle in Cell No. 7.

Late last year, in December, her movie with Korean actor Kim Gun-woo and Canadian actorJasper Cho, titled Ultimate Oppa, was released. This movie was directed by Hwang In-roe, who also directed Princess Hours, which happens to be one of Bela's all-time favorite K-dramas. 

Bela—who made her directorial debut via the film 366 that she also starred inis continuously inspired by K-dramas. She has another upcoming film titled If, for which she is taking on the roles of the director, writer, and actor. In an interview with Forbes, she shared that the inspiration for this film about a novelist who is a K-drama fan is the 2018 Korean series Because This Is My First Life which starred Jung So-min and Lee Min-ki (who also happens to be the male lead in the movie Spellbound). 

Spellbound is out in cinemas nationwide on February 1.

Lead photos from Viva Films and CJ Entertainment