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Netflix announced on Monday its second South Korean original TV series, Kingdom, a zombie period drama slated to premiere in 2018.
Set during Korea’s medieval Joseon era (1392-1910), Kingdom is about a crown prince who is sent on a suicide mission to investigate a mysterious outbreak. The new series fuses genres by crossing elements of historical period dramas with zombie action thrillers. Costume dramas are staples on both the big and small screens in Korea, while local filmmakers have recently ventured into the zombie genre with success; two of 2016’s highest-grossing films, Train to Busan and The Wailing, both featured the undead.
The eight-episode series will bring together top local talent, including filmmaker Kim Seong-hun, who directed 2016’s summer blockbuster Tunnel, and writer Kim Eun-hee, who penned the smash-hit TV series Signal. Korean TV drama production company Astory will produce the series.
“I am thrilled about partnering with an eminent writer like Kim Eun-hee. Kingdom presents the opportunity to work on longform television at its most ambitious and on a truly cinematic scale because of the unparalleled creative freedom that Netflix as a global internet television network provides,” said director Kim Seong-hun.
“I have been working on Kingdom since 2011,” said writer Kim Eun-Hee. “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.”
“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 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.”
Kingdom will premiere exclusively on Netflix to its members in 190 countries. The streaming giant’s first Korean original series, Love Alarm, based on a comic strip by graphic novelist Kye Young Chon, is also set to debut in 2018.
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