Kakao Entertainment has announced its content line-up for the rest of the year, which includes more than 20 TV shows and movies to be aired through global streaming platforms, television networks, and in movie theaters. With top-notch creators in-house and a strong network of production subsidiaries, the company is looking to expand its reach in the global market with its K-movies and dramas.
A number of Kakao Entertainment shows were well received this spring such as “Business Proposal,” “Forecasting Love and Weather,” and “Military Prosecutor Doberman,” raising expectations for upcoming series that are set to be released in the coming months, such as “Again My Life,” “Gyeongseong Creature,” and “Greatest Evil of All.”
Kross Pictures, which produced the webtoon-turned hit drama “Business Proposal,” will be co-producing yet another webtoon-based TV series “Again My Life.” The much anticipated “Gyeongseong Creature,” (Story & Pictures Media) written by Kang Eun-kyung is also in the making with actors Park Seo-joon and Han So-hee as lead roles. While the crime action thriller “Greatest Evil of All” (Baram Pictures and Sanai Pictures) that centers on an undercover investigation to eradicate a Korea-China-Japan drug trade network is also in the pipeline.
Upcoming KakaoTV mid-form originals are also in the spotlight. “Welcome to Wedding Hell,” starring Lee Jin-uk and Lee Yeon-hee, is a romantic comedy that follows the mishaps and drama surrounding a couple in their 30s as they make wedding preparations. “Borrowed Body” is a mystery series that follows the commotion and confusion that ensues after a high school loner and one the most popular kids experience a body swap. Also in production is coming-of-age fantasy drama “Aquaman,” which follows the friendship of Ji Seong-jun and Shin Na-ru, who have been friends for almost a decade.
“Narco-Saints,” the first TV drama to be produced by Moonlight Film, and “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area” will be unveiled to global audiences through a number of streaming platforms. “Narco-Saints” is a Netflix series about the life-threatening journey of a civilian businessman, who gets caught up in a covert operation to arrest a Korean drug lord in South America. As the first drama to be directed by Yoon Jong-bin, the series stars leading actors such as Ha Jung-woo, Hwang Jung-min, Park Hae-soo, Jo Woo-jin, Yoo Yeon-seok, and Chang Chen. “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area,” co-produced by BH Entertainment and Content Zium, will also be available through Netflix during the first half of the year. The Korean adaptation of the globally acclaimed series follows an unprecedented hostage robbery, in which strategists and thieves fight against unexpected odds on the Korean Peninsula. It features Yoo Ji-tae, Kim Yun-jin, Park Hae-soo, Jeon Jong-seo, Lee Won-jong, Park Myung-hoon, Kim Seong-oh, Kim Ji-hoon, and Jang Yoon-ju, and is directed by Kim Hong-sun, known for his popular works that include “Son the Guest,” “Voice,” and “Black.”
Kakao Entertainment also has a solid lineup of movies that is expected to captivate audiences this year. Included are “Broker,” “Hunt,” “Night Voyage,” “Remember,” “The Match,” and “Accident” (tentative), which are either in production or soon to be released. “Broker,” the first Korean film to be directed by Hirokazu Koreeda, stars leading actors such Kang Dong-won, Bae Doo-na, Lee Ji-eun, and Lee Joo-young, and will be released in June this year. The film depicts the extraordinary story that unfolds around a baby box. Song Kang-ho plays the role of Sang-hyun, a self-proclaimed good-willed broker who tries to find the right person to raise the baby.
“Night Voyage” (Sanai Pictures), starring Ha Jung-woo and Kim Nam-gil, tells the story of an older brother who hunts the murderer of his younger brother, and a best-selling author, who discovers that clues to that murder are within his novel. Directed by Lee Il-hyoung, “Remember” (Moonlight Film) is a story of a man in his 80s who seeks revenge against Japanese collaborators in the past to whom he lost everything. “The Match,” starring Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in, is a film about the game of Go and the match between legendary rivals and masters of the game, Cho Hoon-hyeon and Lee Chang-ho. Kim Hyeong-joo, well known for “Kundo: Age of the Rampant’” and “The Sheriff in Town,” directed the film. “Accident” (tentative, Cinema Zip), a remake of a Hong Kong thriller of the same name, follows the story of an organization that carries out contract killings but masks them as accidental deaths. Kang Dong-won takes on the lead role in the movie, while Lee Yo-sup, known for “Queen of Crime,” directed the film.
“A lot of our focus is on how to build greater synergy and encourage great collaboration between all of our production subsidiaries and the great creative talent we have. By providing support in development, production, marketing and distribution, we’re trying to help our creators focus on the story itselt and new ways to engage audiences,” said Jang Sejeong, Kakao Entertainment’s director of the media content business. “We look forward to making bold investments and bringing top-class Korean content to fans worldwide.”
*Images courtesty of Netflix (“Narco-Saints,” “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area”), Megabox Plus M (“Hunt”), CJ ENM (“Broker”)