Global streaming giant Netflix has boarded “Kingdom,” a period zombie thriller series by Kim Seong-hun, director of last year’s Korean hit movie “Tunnel.” The show will be Netflix’s second original series in South Korea.
The eight-episode series is set in Korea’s medieval Joseon dynasty, where a crown prince is sent on a suicide mission to investigate a mysterious outbreak. “Kingdom” will premiere exclusively on Netflix in 2018 to its members in over 190 countries. Netflix’s first Korean series, “Love Alarm,” is also set for a 2018 premiere. The company’s first Korean film production, Bong Joon-ho’s “Okja” will premiere in June.
“Kingdom” combines two genres that are currently popular at the country’s box office: period drama and zombie action thrillers. The production involves two high-profile storytellers that specialize in genre titles: filmmaker Kim, whose “Tunnel” was the fifth largest film last year; and hit TV series writer Kim Eun-hee, who wrote “Signal,” one of the top South Korean TV series in 2016. Production will be handled by local TV production company Astory, which produced “Signal.”
“‘Kingdom’ captured our imaginations from the moment we read the script with its visual feast of historical drama blended with supernatural fantasy,” said Erik Barmack, VP of international originals at Netflix. “We are incredibly honored by this rare opportunity of pairing two premier creative minds in Korea – film director Kim Seong-hun and television writer Kim Eun-hee.”
“I have been working on ‘Kingdom’ since 2011. I wanted to write a story that reflects the fears and anxiety of modern times but explored through the lens of a romantic fascination of the historical Joseon period. Working with Netflix helps us to unlock this creative vision for Kingdom and I am excited to further build this unique story with the director for whom I have tremendous respect,” said Kim.