Still reveling in the global success of “Squid Game” and “Hellbound,” multinational streaming giant Netflix has scheduled the launch of 25 South Korean shows in the current year. The total is the company’s highest to date.
The new slate includes “All of Us Are Dead,” in which zombies invade a high school, and is launching on Jan. 28, 2022; “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area,” an undated adaptation of the popular Spanish series “Casa de Papel”; and “Seoul Vibe,” an action film in which the adventures of a special-ops team take place against the backdrop of the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games.
The bumper 2022 slate follows Netflix’s commitment early last year to invest close to $500 million in Korean content in calendar 2021, and its parallel leasing of studios near Seoul. The streamer has not unveiled a production spend commitment for 2022.
In a blog posting, Don Kang, Netflix VP of content for Korea, enthused about the 2022 releases. But he did not hold the company to new any targets. “We will continue to invest in Korea’s creative ecosystem and, together, we will keep on showing the world that ‘Made in Korea’ means ‘Well-Made’.”
“Credit for this growing global interest [in Korean content] goes to the talented Korean creators we have been working with for the past few years [..] From 2016 to 2021, we launched more than 130 Korean titles. As a result, Netflix has become a compelling destination for fans of Korean content, who know that this is the home of diverse and high-quality Korean storytelling,” Kang said.
Other shows include: the glossy BDSM romance film “Love and Leashes” (Feb. 11); female-led friendship drama “Thirty Nine” (serialized twice a week from Feb. 16); and unscripted comedy show “Celeb Five: Behind the Curtain,” from producer Company SangSang (“Busted,” “Twogether” and “New World”).
The company confirmed “Squid Game” as the platform’s biggest ever show. It has been the most viewed Netflix show in 94 countries at its peak, with 95% of viewership came from outside Korea. Kang said that many viewers having discovered “Squid Game” then “went on to explore other Korean content.” Those that benefited include recent releases “Hellbound” and “The Silent Sea.”
“Two months after ‘Squid Game,’ we launched ‘Hellbound,’ whose premiere clocked 43.48 million viewing hours. ‘Hellbound’ was among the top 10 Netflix shows in 93 countries, and ranked number one in 34 countries. Sci-fi mystery ‘The Silent Sea’ also made it to the number one spot on the weekly non-English top 10 lists for its premiere.