Netflix has unveiled a bumper slate of Korean films and series for the year ahead including a historical feature from Park Chan-wook and the return of the streamer’s biggest ever series, Squid Game.
Fresh details on more than 30 titles were revealed as part of Netflix’s ongoing showcase of what is to come in 2024, which has included upcoming slates from the US and Southeast Asia among others over the past week.
Leading the shows from South Korea is season two of Squid Game, the highly-anticipated follow up to the 2021 series that remains the platform’s most popular series of all time with more than 1.6 billion hours watched.
Aside from being scheduled for this year, no date has been set for the series but Netflix confirmed that the second season will follow Gi-hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, as he abandons his plans to go to the US and “starts a chase with a motive”.
Director Hwang Dong-hyuk, who made history at the Emmys becoming the first Asian to win outstanding directing for a drama series, will again lead the series as director, writer, and producer. Lee Byung-hun, Wi Ha-jun, and Gong Yoo also reprise their roles from the first season.
The features in the 2024 showcase have all previously been announced but include a fresh title for Netflix’s first collaboration with auteur Park Chan-wook. Historical drama Uprising was previously titled War And Revolt and is due in Q4. Directed by Kim Sang-man, the period epic has been co-produced and co-written by Park, the director of Old Boy and Cannes 2022 award-winner Decision To Leave. It follows two childhood friends turned adversaries and stars Gang Dong-won and Park Jeong-min.
Further films include romantic drama My Name Is Loh Kiwan with Song Joong-ki (Vincenzo), action feature Officer Black Belt with Kim Woo-bin (Black Knight) and sci-fi disaster The Great Flood with Park Hae-soo of Narco-Saints.
The announcement follows Netflix’s recent release of Badland Hunters, starring Don Lee of hit franchise The Roundup. The dystopian sci-fi feature ranked as the most-watched non-English film on the platform last week.
South Korean series returning for new seasons includes fantasy horror Sweet Home; Gyeongseong Creature, in which Seo-jun and Han So-hee are transported to present-day Seoul; and Hellbound, from Train To Busan director Yeon Sang-ho, due in Q4.
Yeon has also directed a live-action adaptation of Iwaaki Hitoshi’s Parasyte: The Grey, which is due in the second quarter of 2024, starring Jeon So-nee, Koo Kyo-hwan, Lee Jung-hyun, Kwon Hae-hyo and Kim In-kwon.
Recently launched series include suspense drama The Bequeathed, historical romance Captivating The King and romantic comedy drama Doctor Slump, which all were made available in January.
Upcoming are crime thriller series A Killer Paradox, starring Choi Woo-shik of Oscar-winning feature Parasite and Son Suk-ku of D.P.,; romantic drama Queen Of Tears; Resident Playbook, a spin-off to medical drama Hospital Playlist; and Mr. Plankton, a romantic comedy with a twist.
Further titles include teen revenge romance Hierarchy; The Trunk, in which dark secrets from a clandestine matchmaking service come to light; mystery thriller The Frog; political drama The Whirlwind; and comedy series’ Chicken Nugget and The 8 Show, both based on popular webtoons.
Physical: 100, which was the first unscripted series to top Netflix’s global non-English TV titles, will also return with a fresh group of 100 contestants in a new underground concept. Further unscripted shows set to return include gameshow Zombieverse, matchmaking series Single’s Inferno and talk show Risqué Business.
New unscripted series include Agents of Mystery, in which “special agents” solve bizarre cases, while billionaires will be under the spotlight in Super Rich in Korea. The Influencer will feature South Korean influencers and Unknown Chefs will gather 100 cooks for a culinary showdown.
The slate is delivering on a commitment by Netflix to invest $2.5bn over four years in South Korea, where the streamer has an estimated 6.5 million subscribers.