Netflix Acquires Rights to South Korean TV Drama 'Mr. Sunshine'

Mr Sunshine
Courtesy of tvN

The period drama featuring 'G.I. Joe' star Lee Byung-hun will premiere July 7.

Netflix has licensed the new South Korean TV series Mr. Sunshine, inspired by historical events concerning a 19th-century U.S. expedition to the Asian country.

G.I. Joe star Lee Byung-hun, whose Hollywood track record also includes Red 2 andThe Magnificent Seven, plays the lead in the story of a Korean boy who runs away and boards an American warship. He later returns to his motherland as a U.S. marine officer, and falls in love with an aristocrat's daughter played by Kim Tae-ri (from Park Chan-wook's Cannes competition piece The Handmaiden). He also learns of the dark scheme by Japan to colonize Korea. (Korea was colonized by Japan from 1910 to 1945.)

The 24-episode series comes from the creators of the global hit series Descendants of the Sun and Goblin. Written by Kim Eun-sook and directed by Lee Eung-bok, Mr. Sunshine will premiere exclusively on Netflix starting July 7, with episodes streaming on the same day as its South Korean broadcast in the U.S. and Asian territories excluding Korea. The series will then premiere in Japan on July 8 and the rest of the world July 19.

Mr. Sunshine is produced by Hwa&Dam Pictures, one of South Korea's top drama production companies, and Studio Dragon, the company's largest scripted television production studio headquartered in Seoul. The two companies have previously teamed up with Hwa&Dam Pictures for titles including Goblin and Bravo My Life.

"We have seen so much passion for top quality Korean stories and the pedigree of a title like Mr. Sunshine is a significant step forward in building a strong Korean content library for our members around the world," said Rob Roy, vp content-Asia.