“These days, all drama proposals go to Netflix,” a producer said. After the success of director Bong Joon Ho’s Okja and zombie historical drama Kingdom, more actors and directors are working to produce Netflix’s original content. About 10 original Netflix Korean films and dramas currently being produced are mostly thriller, SF or horror genres.
Zombie academy drama All of Us Are Dead, which recently announced the news of its production as Netflix original series, will de directed by Lee Jae Kyu, director of film Intimate Strangers and drama Damo. Mystery teen drama Sweet Home, which is expected to be released this year, is joined by Song Kang of Love Alarm (Netflix original series), Lee Jin Wook and Lee Shi Young. Then Jung Yoo Mi and Nam Joo Hyuk got together with director Lee Kyung Mi in The School Nurse Files, a psychic horror drama that received much attention from the production stage. All three works are based on popular webtoons and novels, and are all horror, mystery, or thriller genres.
The main reason behind these works’ move to Netflix is the possibility of portraying highly-rated scenes. All of Us Are Dead is the first work produced in JTBC that will be released as Netflix original series. Heo Nam Woong, a movie critic, said, “There are no new attempts being done recently in the Korean movie industry. However, Netflix continues to make headlines by challenging genres that are not usually used in Korea,” and added, “These works are also very appealing overseas.”
The SF thriller film The Silent Sea directed by Choi Hang Yong, a rookie director, is a good example. This mystery sci-fi thriller tells the story of a pathologist who sets off to moon after having nightmares every night since his brother’s death in the year 2075. Jung Woo Sung will produce and also appear in the film. Bae Doo Na, who starred in Kingdom, Persona, and Sense8, will take on a role.
Hwang Dong Hyuk, director of The Fortress, will direct a new drama Squid Games, which depicts a survival game. Lee Jung Jae and Park Hae Soo will star in the drama. Also, Lee Je Hoon of Time to Hunt, which overseas distribution rights dispute has been dramatically compromised, confirmed his appearance on Netflix original series Move to Heaven.