Cover Photo: Netflix

The new series premieres on Netflix and Tvn, starring Lee Jae-wook, Jung So-min, and Hwang Min-hyun

Sibling writer-duo Hong Mi-ran and Hong Jung-eun are household names in the South Korean entertainment industry. Having written hit K-dramas including Hotel del Luna (starring IU), and The Master’s Sun (starring So Ji Sub), most of the Hong sisters’ works are tied to a fantastical and supernatural element.

The alluring storylines draw viewers in, making their works one of the most viewed dramas both in South Korea and internationally. And now, their hotly anticipated new work is Alchemy of Souls, a new fantasy Korean drama that will soon be released.

Read on below for more about what we know so far.

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The genre

Netflix’s newest k-drama is a fantasy romance drama about the fate of people that become twisted due to changes that their souls must overcome, starring award-winning actress Jung So Min (of Playful Kiss and Because This Is My First Life) and rising actor Lee Jae Wook (of Extraordinary You and Do Do Sol Sol La La Sol). 

Set in the fictional nation of Daeho, a country that does not exist in history or on maps, the drama is inspired by Korea’s Joseon period. Paired with a romance and fantasy element, an otherworldly genre is created to bring viewers away from reality. 

Television director Park Joon-hwa noted that both the cast and crew put in hours of work and effort into creating the drama, he stated in an online press conference: “We have put great effort into this drama, with things like computer graphics, costumes, hair, makeup, special visual effects, filming locations and more. The viewers will definitely enjoy the series.”

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The cast

Led by Jung So Min and Lee Jae Wook, Alchemy of Souls features a stellar cast. Jung So Min stars as Mu Deok Yi, who secretly harbours the soul of the great assassin Nak Soo. After becoming Jang Wook’s attendant and secret teacher, she begins training him brutally, mercilessly.

Lee Jae Wook plays the role of the sophisticated yet troublemaking young master of the Jang family, Jang Wook. Jang Wook has a tragic backstory, with the entire nation of Daeho whispering about the shocking secret behind his scandalous birth.

Other cast members include former Produce 101-formed k-pop boy group Wanna One member Hwang Min Hyun, k-pop girl group Oh My Girl’s Arin, and rookie actor Shin Seung Ho. 

Veteran actor Yu Jun-Sang also makes his return to the small screen after 18 months, noting that his break was for the preparation of his character in the drama. He spent his time studying action sequences, shooting those scenes with his “fullest effort”.

The script

Director Park also pointed out that the 20 episodes slated to be released were not enough to fully represent the superb script written by the Hong sisters, he said in the press conference that he thought they “would not be enough to really show the strengths of the scriptwriters who create very entertaining and comical stories.”

The cast members also held the script in high regard, with supporting cast member Hwang Min Hyun noting that the dynamic action scenes will excite viewers and the engaging storyline will draw viewers in. Lead actress Jung So Min expressed her confidence in the script, highlighting the complex relationship between the characters. 

The teaser

The newly released stills of the drama show Mu Deok Yi (Jung So Min) and Jang Wook’s (Lee Jae Wook) heart fluttering first encounter. With specks of moonlight seeping through from a nearby window, the duo make a picture-perfect couple as they gaze deeply into each other’s eyes. 

Netizens commented on Jung and Lee’s on screen chemistry in anticipation for the drama premiere this weekend. 

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