Hot on the heels of announcing its operation expansion in Asia and leasing 16,000 sq metres of stage and supporting space in South Korea, Netflix unveiled its plans to continue heavily investing in Korean content for 2021 following a massive 3.8 million paid memberships in the country. Netflix vice president of content, Minyoung Kim highlighted that the streaming giant will spend nearly US$500 million on Korean films and series, reaffirming Netflix's continued commitment to South Korea's globally expanding entertainment industry.
The plans were announced during Netflix's "See What's Next Korea" event held in Seoul where a number of Netflix creative executives and Korean directors gathered to discuss and promote Netflix's current and future projects. The plans shouldn't come as a surprise though, given that Netflix has already produced over 80 original Korean show and films. Its first original, the period zombie drama, Kingdom proved to be a smash hit as well as the latest Space Sweepers, whose successes Netflix continued to build on. In fact, a special episode of the series, titled Kingdom: Ashin of the North starring Jun Ji-hyun will air this year.
"The K-Wave, or Hallyu as we call it here in Korea, is a huge moment of national pride and we’re proud to be part of it. Great Korean stories are nothing new, in fact, storytelling is deeply rooted in Korean culture. But today we live in a world where Parasite is an Academy Award Best Picture winner, Blackpink plays in Coachella and over 22 million households tune in to a horror TV series, Sweet Home," says Kim.
In the event, Netflix also shared its upcoming 2021 line-up, consisting of a variety of genres and stories, from series to movies to sitcoms and stand-up comedies. Bae Doona and Lee Joon of the upcoming The Silent Sea and Train to Busan director, Yeon Sang-ho who will be helming the supernatural thriller, Hellbound together with the cast including Yoo Ah-in of #Alive also joined.
First look images of the upcoming line-up were also revealed including the ones teased before such as No Name (previously known as Undercover) starring Han So-hee of The World of the Married and Ahn Bo-hyun of Itaewon Class and Love Alarm 2 with Song Kang and Kim So-hyun. Another zombie drama, All of Us Are Dead, adapted from a popular webtoon, which includes a stellar cast of rising stars and its first Korean sitcom, So Not Worth It were also announced.
In addition to that, Netflix revealed two previously unannounced original Korean films at the event, BDSM drama Moral Sense and action thriller Carter. "We are working with top talent and filmmakers as well as exciting emerging voices from across Korea to make best-in-class stories across every genre. We can't wait for our members around the world to fall in love with these Korean stories," says Kim.
See also: 15 New Korean Dramas To Watch In 2021