'Anna': Coupang to drop director's cut as response to legal action, fans ask 'no apology'

The director of the K-drama is threatening to sue the OTT platform for editing and changing 'Anna' without her approval


                            'Anna': Coupang to drop director's cut as response to legal action, fans ask 'no apology'
Coupang Play will release the director's cut of 'Anna' which has two more episodes and was approved by the director (@coupangplay/Instagram)
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Following the hit 2020 K-drama ‘Start-Up’, Bae Suzy is back on our screens with the Coupang Play original drama ‘Anna’. As a psychological thriller, fans were excited to see the idol actor play the role of Yumi who has Ripley’s Syndrome and pretends to be the rich Anna due to a small lie. It was a commercial success and Suzy was commended for her acting. K-drama fans felt that ‘Anna’ was a breath of fresh air among the lengthy 16-episode drama as it only had six episodes with crisp editing and cinematic storytelling. However, it seems that the ‘Anna’ that aired was not the final product.

On August 3, director and scriptwriter Lee Joo-young revealed that Coupang Play had cut down ‘Anna’ from eight to six episodes and edited it without her approval. Lee explained that the OTT platform’s meddling had affected the integrity of the story. A few hours later, even the editor of ‘Anna’ shared a similar statement explaining that the “sleepless nights” that he and director Lee had spent had been wasted as their version of the drama had been scrapped without their approval to tell a different story. In response, Coupang Play will be releasing a director’s cut of ‘Anna’.

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Coupang’s edits were in adherence with contract terms

Following the finale of ‘Anna’ in July, fans of the show and Bae Suzy clamored for more content which led to Coupang Play sharing that they would be releasing an extended version in August. It seems that this extended version will be the director’s cut that had the director and editor’s approval. The two crew members had been extremely unhappy with the ‘Anna’ that aired and had even asked Coupang to remove their names from the credits but to no avail. With director Lee also threatening to sue the platform, Coupang Play has finally responded to the allegations.

Coupang Play revealed that the director’s version did not agree with the story they had initially agreed upon. They added that they had communicated regarding the editing but could not come to an agreement. The platform shared,” With the consent of the producer, and in accordance with our rights stipulated in the contract, Coupang Play edited the work to match the original production intent, and as a result, a work that received great reviews from viewers was produced.” However, the extended version is the director’s cut out of respect for Lee Joo-young which includes the 8-episode version that was approved by her and will be released earlier than planned.

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‘Give us the original’

However, fans are not happy with Coupang’s statement. One K-drama fan tweeted, “That’s it? no apology? i hope the director goes ahead as sues their ass. they should remove the edited version and give us the original.” Another asked, “Why did Coupang Play cut it in the first place?”


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Knetizens were confused as one asked, “I still don't understand why a video platform is editing dramas at all when their only job is to distribute content?” Another wrote, “The audacity of Coupang to claim that the drama received praise thanks to their editing of it... hul.” One viewer felt, “No wonder so many of the scenes felt like it was happening all at once towards the second half. It didn't feel natural. Please just release the director's original 8 episodes.”

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Another viewer added, “Honestly, a lot of the drama did feel like parts were deleted out. I'm curious to see what the director's original vision was... There is no way that a drama that the director who produced it claims is broken can ever be loved by viewers in good faith again. This is a big mistake by Coupang. If you hired someone for the job, you have to give them the respect to complete it on their terms. Not sure why anyone would want to work with Coupang again in the future.”

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