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[Upcoming Drama 2019-2021] Kingdom, 킹덤 - Joo Ji Hoon, Bae Doo Na - Netflix - One-Episode-Special to premiere in 2021


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7 hours ago, Seoshi.love. said:

There better be a third season. I binge watched the second season today and while I know that zombie stories never have full closures, I could have lived with LC leaving the throne/palace and the kid becoming King.


But then the plot thickens in the finale's last minutes with one worm still living inside the King, the appearance of JJH as supposedly the story's final villain as well as the suspicious looking eunuch (is it Ahn Jae Hong?)... 


They just can't leave us hanging like this.


Do use Spoiler Alert.!


Many of us have not watched Kingdom yet. Just come to check out stills, interviews and not discuss. Do consider them!

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I love the Kingdom, this is even better than 'The Walking Dead'. I'm watching season 2 now. Season 1 I watched in a few days, so good :grin:

I find Korean movies and TV shows quite refreshing compared to Western movies/shows.

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Finally, I have the courage to brave the zombies yesterday afternoon. I wont dare watching it during nite time. With quarantine alone in the house.... What!!? 

However, I still avoid the gory, creepy zombie scene.. I do wonder why didnt they wipe their bloodstain face? Er.. I saw a lot of snow around them. Why didnt they change clothes after a night of fighting zombies? I believe they should have spare clothes in the palace. Talking about hygiene.. Hee... 


Yes, there seems like similarities between zombie plague and Covid-19 which coming from the same country. People dont believe them at first. Until there's no where to run. Can I say the patient zero is the King? Its a man made plague. 


For me, the true king is Lee Chang. So, hoping the 3rd season ends with him on the throne. Feels like Aragon (LOTR) that dont want to claim his throne but somehow end up as the rightful king. Bcoz that is his destiny. Its in his blood. I do believe the young *Cough* not prince/king will be infected by the plague. 

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‘Kingdom’ tackles power, greed: Creator knows fans like ‘gory’ scenes, but she chooses not to look

March 24, 2020


Kim Eun-hee [NETFLIX]


The second season of “Kingdom,” the Joseon Dynasty zombie apocalypse series from Netflix, satisfied fans’ desire for gore - with all sorts of body parts being chopped or bitten off throughout the show - but left them thirsty for more stories. 

Ironically, the show’s creator, writer Kim Eun-hee, revealed in an interview last Friday that she cannot watch things that are “too gory.” 

“People either don’t believe me or laugh when I say so, but if things get too scary or gory, I can barely watch them,” Kim said. “Except for parts that are absolutely necessary, I’m not the one to describe [the gory parts] too vividly or accurately. If the fans were satisfied by the sanguine details in this season, the credit goes to director Park In-je.”

Looking into Kim’s career, although she has tried her hand at various genres, her biggest successes have been suspenseful thrillers such as the SBS drama series “Sign” (2011) and tvN series “Signal” (2016). Last year, she became globally recognized after the first season of “Kingdom” immediately became a worldwide sensation. 


At top, Prince Lee Chang (played by Ju Ji-hoon) fends off zombies trying to climb the walls of the castle. Above, zombies hunt for blood. [NETFLIX]


“I’ve been wanting to do a zombie series for so long, and the first impression I got from the zombies was their hunger,” Kim said. “So I would ask myself, ‘Where does this hunger come from?’ And ultimately, I thought the hunger was a byproduct of bad politics. So when I questioned why [the royals and their subjects] would make bad decisions, it was due to their greed: bloodlines, heritage, things that they can’t have. That’s how I configured the Kingdom universe.”

“It’s also fine if people just enjoy the thrill of the zombie chase, but I also want them to ask themselves, ‘What is the meaning of politics?’ ‘What does it mean to become a true leader?’” Kim added. 


Of the many characteristics that fans of the show have enjoyed, what was most striking about the “Kingdom” zombies was their speed. The zombies even earned the affectionate nickname “K-zombies,” and this wasn’t the first time zombies in local films were noticed for their agility: Director Yeon Sang-ho’s 2016 zombie film “Train to Busan” featured zombies that inched closer and closer to the protagonists due to their exceptional speed. 

“I wanted the viewers to sympathize with the zombies,” the writer said. “I wanted the zombies to be pitied, because the plague spread because of their hunger. Even after they are dead, their hunger remains. That’s why they’re faster than other zombies. They have to be faster than the others to get even an ounce of blood.” 

Another unique aspect of the zombies featured in “Kingdom” is how they get infected. The epidemic originates from a particular herb, called saengsacho, where parasite eggs later hatch when consumed by humans and latch onto people’s brains and turn them into zombies. 

The motive comes from the writer’s fascination with parasites.

“I was always intrigued by parasites,” Kim said. “I’m interested in anything about parasites, viruses and germs. So I took reference from a lot of books, and thought it would be fun to fuse zombies with parasites. Since it would be realistically improbable for people to directly consume parasite eggs, I came up with saengsacho, the resurrection plant.” 

In her works, Kim is also famous for introducing fantasy elements that are close to reality. 

“In ‘Signal,’ it was the walkie-talkie. I wanted it to be a hope for the characters: That we can change the future with our will,” Kim explained. “For this epidemic, I wanted to dramatize the series’ message of that price that people have to pay due to their greed. 

“Plus, in a Confucian society in which social hierarchy is everything, once they turn into zombies, that doesn’t matter anymore. Whether they were originally kings or from the lowest of the social classes, it doesn’t matter once they’re infected. Hunger is a universal instinct that all living things possess.” 

How the zombie plague spreads in a blink of an eye and the different responses and actions that the characters take is eerily similar to the virus pandemic that the world is currently suffering from. However, at the press conference prior to the season premiere, Kim firmly concluded that it was “pure coincidence” that the season overlaps with the outbreak. 

“Nobody expected this kind of epidemic to happen in real life,” Kim said. “Regardless of linking the virus to the series, it’s serious enough to shake up everyone’s lives. I just hope that like in the series, this nightmare will end once spring arrives.” 

Kim also hinted at another season that is likely to arrive on the platform. But everything remains undecided for now, as the writer has yet to have signed any contract with Netflix for a third season. Although prior fans expected some deaths and sacrifices, what they didn’t anticipate were a large cluster of deaths among the show’s main characters. 

But Kim reassured them that there will be new villains for the prince to battle soon.

“There were some responses commenting that they were surprised at Lee Chang’s choice [of not taking over the throne],” Kim said. “But the way I see it is that I don’t think the character would have made the right choice if he decides to become a king without caring for what happens to his country. Saengsacho still exists throughout the country, and if the prince has truly grown up [to be a true leader], he will work to trace and exterminate the plague once and for all.”

His expedition takes him north to China where he meets a mysterious warrior, portrayed by actor Jun Ji-hyun, as Netflix hinted last November. 

“If Jun does agree to appear in the next season, she will definitely be one of the main characters that leads the story along with the prince,” Kim said. “And since the story will take place in China, in a place that hasn’t been mentioned in local films or series before, it will be about the residents there fighting fiercely for their survival.” 


BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr]





(Yonhap Interview) 'Kingdom' screenwriter proud of her Korean-style zombies

March 23, 2020


SEOUL, March 23 (Yonhap) -- Since the release of the second season of "Kingdom," a Korean-made Netflix original, 10 days ago, the series has been talk of the town among drama fans around the world.


Foreign media such as Forbes have compared the Korean historical zombie thriller with the American horror TV series "The Walking Dead" or the smash-hit fantasy "Game of Thrones."


Many fans have called the creatures in the six-episode series "K-zombies," modeled after expressions like "K-pop," and asked producers to come up with a third season.

A scene from the second season of "Kingdom," provided by Netflix (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


"I'm so sorry for being mentioned with 'Game of Thrones,'" Kim Eun-hee, the screenwriter of the Netflix series, said in an online interview on Friday. "I'm happy to hear that the drama is called a 'K-zombie' series."


"Kingdom" is about a mysterious plague that breaks out during the 1392-1910 Joseon Dynasty shortly after the Japanese invasions of the late 16th century.


Its six-episode first season, released in January last year, covered the struggle of crown prince Lee Chang, played by Ju Ji-hoon, to fight a deadly disease that even affects the king. The second season focuses on the crown prince becoming the only hope to save the zombie-hit kingdom.


The screenwriter attributed the series' global popularity to its period details, citing the traditional Korean hats, accessories and costumes that fascinated fans across the world last year.


"I think 'Kingdom' has its own dramatic, oriental atmosphere like the outfits and settings without guns and cars," said the author, who has created many hit TV series including the thriller "Signal" (2016).


"(In the second season) I wanted to show Korean beauty," Kim said, citing bloody battle scenes between humans and zombies on roofs of Korean palaces. "Old palace maps are beautiful, as the buildings are drawn as roofs. I wanted this beautiful scene to be dramatized."


The second season of "Kingdom" has also sparked curiosity about the story's future, as Korean star actress Jun Ji-hyun appears briefly in the last scene.


The writer said she suggested Jun take the mysterious role because the star actress is one of her favorites to work with.


"I like her image as a female warrior. Her acting and gestures are attractive," she said. "I've wanted to work with her on an action series."


She hinted at the possibility of a third season in response to the growing calls for one from fans throughout the world.


"The third season might be about the origin of the plague," she said. "While the previous keywords were 'hunger' for the first season and 'blood' for the second, I want to talk about the deep sorrow inherent in the mind of lower class people."


She also hinted that actress Jun will play a major role in the third season and that one more surprise character will show up.


The screenwriter was cautious about comparing the plague in "Kingdom," which was first planned in 2011, with the current global pandemic of the novel coronavirus. 


"Dramas are just the result of their creators' imagination," she said. "I hope this situation ends as soon as possible and everything returns to normal."




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On 3/22/2020 at 12:41 AM, towrite said:


Do use Spoiler Alert.!


Many of us have not watched Kingdom yet. Just come to check out stills, interviews and not discuss. Do consider them!


I come her to discuss the dramas. I want to know what others are thinking or their opinion on what happened in a particular episode. Also, Stills can also be spoilers.

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1 hour ago, lclarakl said:

I come her to discuss the dramas. I want to know what others are thinking or their opinion on what happened in a particular episode. Also, Stills can also be spoilers.

Of Course! Most here when they talk spoilers put them in hidden text, and we know not to read them. It does not mean that no one discusses the drama. What is this forum for then? :)


Just follow the protocol like kind people here who have seen the drama and discuss with the spoilers as hidden content. That is all. Liddi wrote a complete series review with absolutely no spoilers.

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[Herald Interview] Yeong-shin has own story to tell in ‘Kingdom’

Actor Kim Sung-kyu talks about second season of Netflix series


By Choi Ji-won
Mar 24, 2020


Kim Sung-kyu in "Kingdom" Season 2 (Netflix)


Just more than a week after global streaming giant Netflix released the second season of its original series “Kingdom,” actor Kim Sung-kyu sat down to talk about the smash-hit zombie show, his character Yeong-shin and the possibility of another batch of episodes to come.


Yeong-shin is a common-class fighter in the Joseon era who joins Crown Prince Lee Chang and his team of men to save the kingdom that has been invaded by a sudden outbreak of a zombie plague. 


“He seems like a lonely character who doesn’t develop relationships with other protagonists in the drama, but in the second season, he changes a little, becoming less cynical of the people in power, and especially gains more faith in Prince Lee Chang,” Kim said during a joint interview conducted online on Monday.


Although his role may not be as significant as Ju Ji-hoon’s Prince Lee Chang or Ryu Seung-ryong’s Minister Jo Hak-joo in unraveling the story, Kim says Yeong-shin is a key player in the show who may have more stories to tell.


“Not all the untold stories of Yeong-shin are revealed in the second season, but I tried to show some of the nuances through the actions and the passing conversations with other characters,” he said.



Kim Sung-kyu (Netflix)

In the first season of the series, Yeong-shin unintentionally sped up the spread of the zombie disease by feeding infected flesh to a group of impoverished, sick people. 


“Although Yeong-shin is portrayed as a figure who would do anything to achieve his personal vengeance, he tries to save lives and help the starving people. That’s why in the second season -- although he doesn’t put it into words -- he becomes more desperate to take responsibility and help Chang thwart the disease. He throws himself into the war, not for the sake of his own life, but to save others.”


With the second season yet again ending with still more mysteries and questions to be answered, the writer has hinted at another follow-up in season two’s preview press conference and other interviews with local media outlets, hinting more at what role Yeong-shin will have to play in coming episodes.


“I’ve seen the reports. Although I’m very satisfied with how the second season has turned out, as Yeong-shin is a commoner whose family had been sacrificed in the past, I think he’ll also have much to tell. As a cast member and viewer of the show, Yeong-shin seems like a realistic and relatable character, and I have high hopes for the third season.”


Season two picked up exactly where the previous season left off, as the protagonists realize that zombies could move in the broad daylight with the falling temperature, as the sun was not what stopped the zombies from running, but the warmth.


This means more running, more fighting and more action.


“Whereas I mostly ran alone in the first season, the characters all ran together in the second season,” Kim said. “For the actions, I tried to make them seem more desperate and raw, rather than polished and showy. Coming from my small and average physique, I had to maximize my actions and put in all the energy to make them seem dynamic.”


Kim, with his distinctively sharp face with strong lines that made him the perfect match for Yeong-shin in “Kingdom,” has made most of his acting career in the crime and action genres.


While officially kicking off his acting career in small theaters around 2011, Kim made himself known through a supporting role in 2017 film “The Outlaws.” Becoming popular among the general audience with season one of “Kingdom,” he took on his first lead role in 2019 as the serial killer in thriller “The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil.”


Kim also stars as a depressed yet talented classical pianist in TV romance drama “A Piece of Your Mind,” currently airing on tvN. 


By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)

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7 hours ago, Helena said:

In the first season of the series, Yeong-shin unintentionally sped up the spread of the zombie disease by feeding infected flesh to a group of impoverished, sick people. 


That moment when Bae Doona's character nearly takes a sip of this broth....it was one very well done moment in S1.

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Traditional Korean zombie series creates global sensation on Netflix

By Choi Ji-won

Mar 27, 2020


"Kingdom" Season Two (Netflix)

Two weeks since its release, the next season of Netflix’s original series “Kingdom” continues to garner more fans worldwide, firmly maintaining its place in the global streaming site’s top 10 list in numerous countries.


“Kindgom” tells the story of how Crown Prince Lee Chang and his followers try to save the Joseon era kingdom (1392-1910) from falling apart due to the sudden outbreak of a zombie virus. 


The second season continues to follow Lee Chang and his men’s fight against the zombie horde. Meanwhile, Lee Chang’s stepmother Queen Consort Cho continues her cold-headed plan to win over the throne by faking her pregnancy.


While the first season was well received by global viewers, raising the bar high for the Korean zombie genre, its follow-up was evaluated to have likely topped the original. On Friday, the show skyrocketed in the popularity ranking on the Internet Movie Database website, reaching the No. 9 spot. 


Spoiler alert from here on for those readers who have not watched the second season yet.


The balance between unfolding the story of the zombie plague and the political power play ongoing inside the doomed palace is one of the key elements grasping viewers through the six-episode series. Revealing the secret behind resurrection and how politicians blind for power intentionally used it to start the disease answers many hanging questions continuing from the first season. 


The realistic portrayal of historical background is another element that grasps not only Korean viewers, but a wider audience. The details in the historical form of architecture, different wardrobes according to the deeply entrenched social hierarchy and the use of colors for emphasis, are some elements polishing the period series.


Actor Ju Ji-hoon shows how a true crown prince must act when his kingdom falls in danger through the second season. Throughout the series, Ju acts as Prince Chang who never cowers away from the zombies, nor his rivals trying to seize power. His leadership is perfected when he gracefully gives up the throne for the better good of the kingdom.


The model-turned-actor, dressed in hanbok and gat -- a variety of hat worn by men during the Joseon era -- has created a sensation across the world, even generating the sales of gat on Amazon. 


Along with Ju, actors Bae Doo-na, Ryu Seung-ryong, Kim Sung-kyu and Kim Hae-joon of the original cast continue their story in the second season.


As in the initial season, the second also ends with a cliff-hanger hinting at another season. Top-notch actress Jun Ji-hyun and rising star Ahn Jae-hong appear in the episode, raising the expectations for new stories in the next batch of episodes. Through previous interviews with local media outlets, writer Kim Eun-hee had affirmed these new cast will take on important roles in the coming third season.


Kim, through the interviews, stated she is already planning stories for the third season.


“I have finished mapping out the first two episodes of the third season. I am thinking of further expanding the story’s universe,” Kim said during an interview with a local newspaper, adding that details have not been set yet. 


Though the producers of the series could not have known that the show would be released amid the state of the worldwide virus pandemic, the story is almost prophetic. With only six episodes in a season, even for those who have not watched the first season, 12 episodes in total is not too much to binge over the weekend. 



By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)

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Ju Ji-hoon is looking forward to his 40s: He’s glad hormonal days are over, yet still enjoys action scenes

March 30, 2020


Ju Ji-hoon [NETFLIX]


It’s an axiom among movie fans that dramas with actor Ju Ji-hoon never disappoint. No one can pinpoint exactly when that trust was built among Ju’s fans. Maybe it was the 2017 and 2018 movie series “Along with the Gods” or maybe it goes all the way back to the drama “Princess Hours,” also known as “Goong,” in 2006. That was his first lead role after his debut as a model in 2002. 

The 38-year-old actor is in the just-released Netflix series “Kingdom,” as well as the ongoing SBS drama “Hyena.” In the former, he is a crowned prince leading the Joseon Dynasty in the 15 to 16th centuries. In the latter, he plays an elite lawyer at a large firm. 

“My curiosity is stronger than the dread one feels for something new,” said Ju in a video interview, the safest kind during the coronavirus. He told the JoongAng Ilbo what his days have been like at a time of great productivity. 



Q. Tell us about season two of the Kingdom series?

. It is very straightforward. The drama is very determined in what to show in its scenes. There is more action than in the previous season so I worried a bit that such spectacle may keep the audience from understanding what the show intends. But I think everything turned out well, given that I, not as an actor on the show but as one audience member, can’t wait to see the next season. 



Do you think that decadent desires led the entire kingdom into chaos? Does that theme speak to contemporary audiences? 

Human beings all have some decadent desire, whether romantic affection, wealth or power. However, if such desire reaches the level in which not only you but others are hurt or destroyed, there is no point in making your desire come true. I aim to make a life in which I eat something good with people I love, and encourage one another when we go through hardships. 

It seems like you always pick characters that are difficult to act.

I had no idea this role would be so difficult. I like scripts that are easy to follow along with. So I really have respect for someone who can understand something difficult as if it is so easy, because that means that person really put a lot of effort into it to make [the script] read smoothly. The writer for the show was really cruel. She made the more difficult, higher-level acting seem like it would be so easy to act out [in the script.] In the show, my character kills his own father as well as another figure who raised him. That really drove me nuts. She was so good at writing that even I couldn’t guess what was going to happen later on in the show.  

How do you feel about the action scenes you did?

Maybe because I’m tall [187 centimeters, or 6 feet, 2 inches], I looked like I was not running as urgently as I should have been. People said all the actions scenes looked so easy, but they were really difficult. We had to rehearse so many times. When I was filming a scene where I was running on a roof, we wanted to finish it all in one long, complete shot. Each time I filmed it, it felt like I was running out of oxygen. But what I had gone through cannot be compared to all the difficulties for the actors playing zombies. Zombies in the “Kingdom” series don’t move their arms, so it must have been difficult for them to keep their balance. They must also have a hard time looking straight ahead because of the special contact lenses they wore. I was worried a lot that they might get injured. 

It is known that you meet with fellow actors as well as the production crew as often as possible once you start working with them. Is that true for the ongoing TV drama, with the romantic scenes with veteran actor Kim Hye-soo?

There is no reason for me to not do that. Her energy on the set is amazing. You just naturally get into a romantic mood when you look into Kim’s eyes. 

It seems like you are very interested in taking care of your health. Any worries these days?

I wish there was a pill that kept me from gaining weight even when I eat a lot. If I have to do many action scenes in seasons 3 and 4 of “Kingdom,” I will need to manage my condition. I suffer from constant problems with my elbows and ankles, [and even though it couldn’t be helping my condition,] I want to be able to continue to drink. When I was filming the movie “Asura: The City of Madness” (2016), other actors like Jung Woo-sung and Hwang Jung-min said they would have wanted to play my role if they were a few years younger. Now I understand what they meant. When I look at actor Kim Sung-kyu, I feel the same way because his role is just too cool. 

What do you want your 40s to be like?

I want to be an actor whose face and eyes really show how I have lived. Since I started in my 20s with a drama that appeals to youngsters, I was worried people would only see me as someone young. Thankfully, I was able to expand my range and show what I can do with the 2014 movie “Confession.” It wasn’t too popular [about 400,000 tickets sold], but that was a kind of breakthrough role for me. That’s why I liked my 30s more than my 20s. I got much more comfortable than the times when I had to deal with some nervousness mixed with surges of hormones that got me in trouble. I have not yet experienced my 40s, but when I take a look at older actors like Jung Woo-sung or Ha Jung-woo, it looks like their 40s have been better than ever. 

BY MIN KYUNG-WON [summerlee@joongang.co.kr]






Actor Kim Hye-jun, queen of Netflix's Kingdom, speaks on her role, drama


By Park Ji-won | 2020-03-29



Actor Kim Hye-jun poses in this undated photo. Courtesy of Netflix


About one month since its release, the second season of "Kingdom," Netflix's first original series in Korea, continues to enjoy undeniable success among fans worldwide thanks to its unique story and setting of a zombie-apocalypse in the ancient Joseon Kingdom. It has entered the streaming services' top 10 lists in many countries.


The comic-based action thriller series tells how Crown Prince Lee Chang and his court try to save the zombie-hit kingdom while tracing the secret behind Lee's dynasty and the creation of the flesh-eating creatures.


The series ignited people's curiosity as it introduced the zombie character which is not common in Asian films. Korea's traditional culture and clothes also became popular among fans after the drama's release; sales of "gat," a hat which was commonly worn by aristocrats in the Joseon Kingdom, have increased at online shopping malls such as Amazon.


In a recent group online interview with The Korea Times, Kim Hye-jun, who plays Queen Consort Cho in the drama, shared her thoughts and experiences about playing one of the most important roles.


Spoiler alert. This story includes spoilers for the series, so those who don't want to learn about the story, please stop reading.


The 25-year-old actress plays a villain in the second season who decided to spread the zombie virus in the palace and the country in order to not to give up her position as de facto queen. She served as the queen of the nation after marrying the king, who was some 30 year older than her and was made a zombie under a scheme hatched by her father, the chief state councilor and leader of the Haewon Cho clan, to take over the country through her. She is tasked with giving birth to a boy to succeed the crown. She fails to give birth by herself and steals a baby boy from another mother. She is also turned into a zombie later.


She said playing a zombie was not an easy task as they run quickly while at the same time making unhuman movements with their bodies.


"Most of the time, I was playing a role sitting in a chair as queen. However, it was not an easy job to become a zombie because I had to run fast like somebody who was about to collapse, even though I was wearing proper running shoes, while showing some zombie movements from top to toe. I came to understand how hard the zombie actors, who made up half of the drama, worked and I truly appreciated their performances from heart," Kim said.


When asked about her queen costume, she said the full-costume was too heavy for her, making it difficult for wear.


"It was summer and the weather was really hot when we were filming. And my queen hat and costumes were so heavy, which made me physically very tired."


She put effort into on portraying a queen who is smart and ambitious but who goes insane under the extremely oppressive and patriarchal society. The queen appears to be immature in the first season as a puppet of her father who wants to amass power as the ruler of the country, but ends up becoming a villain by ordering her servants to spread the zombie virus to remain as a queen in the historical record even though she will be killed.


"When I read the script, I thought the queen was a very smart and ambitious figure to be able to play fool and control her father … but it is hard to describe her having a self-led personality because she uses cruelty to resolve problems surrounding her. People may have loved my character not because of her independence but the way she expresses her ambition despite her position and regardless of others' perspectives under the oppressive norms of Joseon society."


"I felt sorry for her, as well. When I was thinking about her: an extremely ambitious person, she was put in a certain situation in society. But at the same time, I couldn't understand how an individual could be so cruel under an oppressive situation."


She added that, at the same time, the fact that her character is loved by many made her sad because it reflects the reality where there is still discrimination and oppression (against people) and she hopes the situation will improve in the near future.


Despite criticism about her "bad" acting in the first season, she overcame this by focusing more on her character with the support of colleagues, silencing the negative comments in the second season.


"I lost my confidence at the time. It was me, the actor, anyway, and it was my responsibility. I was embarrassed and became self-reflective … But I thought it was the time to show better acting in the second season by understanding the genre more…. My colleagues also gave me positive comments and said they believed in me, which made me easily overcome the situation."


Stressing that playing the queen in the Netflix's series was a huge opportunity and a stepping stone in her career, she pledged to become better as an actor.


"I was just happy at the beginning as a new actor and was surprised and worried by the fact that I was able to act with these great writers and actors. At first, I thought the job was for a film role; I didn't know much about how Netflix works. As an actor and an individual, I learned how to be myself and take responsibility in playing a role while being harmonious with others…. I want to become an actor who can give faith to people so that they can expect something from me and I can respond to them."

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Film directors make inroads into small screens

Filmmakers push boundaries with introduction of OTT services

By Choi Ji-won | Mar 30, 2020


“The Kingdom” (Netflix)

In recent years, film directors have been making inroads into the small screen, creating serial productions, “Kingdom” -- the smash-hit Korean zombie thriller produced and distributed by Netflix -- being one of the successful examples.


The first season of the Netflix series was helmed by director Kim Seong-hoon of films “A Hard Day” and “Tunnel,” who made the small screen debut with “Kingdom.” For the second season of “Kingdom,” Kim directed the first episode while another filmmaker Park In-je directed the five remaining episodes.


Kim is joined by several other directors in moving to small screens.


Leading comedy director Lee Byung-heon successfully aired his first drama “Melo Is My Nature” on JTBC last year, while director Kim Chang-hee made his small screen debut with the webtoon-based OCN thriller “Strangers from Hell.” 


“The Cursed,” a fantasy-thriller involving elements of shamanism and demons that recently aired on tvN, was helmed by two film directors. While Kim Yong-wan of 2018 film “Champion” took charge of the overall production, Yeon Sang-ho who directed the hit zombie flick “Train to Busan” wrote the screenplay.


Yeon, whose zombie flick spinoff “Peninsula” is due to be released this summer, is also due to direct his first drama series, “The Hell.”



“The Cursed” (tvN)


It was the Cannes-winning Park Chan-wook, who cleared the path for directors to crossover to the world of television with his 2017 BBC series “The Little Drummer Girl.” 


“It wasn’t TV drama that I wanted to do, but (the production of) ‘The Little Drummer Girl,’” Park said about the miniseries during a press conference in March 2019. The series was an adaption of John le Carre’s novel by the same title.


“If I were to make a film, I would have had to cut down the characters considerably. Even the six episodes had involved much reduction (in story),” Park said.


Greater creative freedom is one of the reasons why more filmmakers are jumping into the television industry. 


Directors’ move to the small screen was accelerated by Netflix, which released its first Korean drama series “Kingdom” in 2019. During a press conference held ahead of the “Kingdom” season one release, director Kim said he produced the series as if he were producing a longer film.


An official from Netflix said the company does not prefer film directors, but look for creators who would manage each production the best and this naturally led them to cooperate with film directors.


“Our service is not run by advertisements from other companies and we grant the whole budget for the production, so we have no reason to interfere with the direction,” said the Netflix official.


The production environment for TV shows has been changing with the emergence of OTTs.


With OTTs releasing both films and series, drama productions have been increasingly employing film staff and expanding budgets to catch up with OTT productions.



“Strangers from Hell” (OCN)


“It wasn’t easy for film directors to jump into the drama industry before. The dramas had a much smaller budget and they weren’t preproduced before being aired, so there was time pressure. Filmmakers aren’t used to such an environment,” culture critic Jung Duk-hyun told The Korea Herald.


“Director Park Chan-wook’s move sent a message that the dramas didn’t have to be different from films. Each episode could be like a film in itself, just as Park had done with his ‘The Little Drummer Girl.’ It was same for ‘Kingdom,’” Jung said.


The viewers also tend to prefer contents by filmmakers due to the diversity of their genres and the more advanced technologies employed by film directors.


“The traditional Korean television dramas were mostly limited to romance and melodrama in the past, but this changed in the last few years as Korean dramas had to compete with film-like series shows made by US producers, such as HBO. With filmmakers directing dramas, their characters are much more evident in their productions compared to the traditional drama producers. This has now become another point to note for the audience,” film critic Ha Jae-keun said.


More dramas from film directors are expected to be released this year. 


On Monday, OCN announced that “Team Bulldog: Off-duty Investigation” produced by director Kang Hyo-jin of film “The Dude In Me” will start airing May. The upcoming drama series is the third set from the cable channel’s “Dramatic Cinema” project. Launched last year, the project aims to introduce new formats and genres by having filmmakers produce drama series. 


Netflix is also slated to release serveral series by Korean filmmakers, including “The School Nurse Files” by director Lee Kyoung-mi, featuring Jung Yu-mi, and “The Squid Game” (unofficial title) by director Hwang Dong-hyuk.



By Choi Ji-won (jwc@heraldcorp.com)

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It is obvious that during the 7 years after the showdown, BFFs Youngshin and Beom Pal have had plenty of time to go shopping for gat  :lol:




The painstaking make-up process that goes into bringing the zombies to life :o


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See... even JJH thinks it's incomplete. S3 please, KEH writer-nim! :D


Joo Ji Hoon Talks About Being Impressed By “Kingdom” Zombie Actors + Playing A Crown Prince Again After “Goong”

Joo Ji Hoon Talks About Being Impressed By “Kingdom” Zombie Actors + Playing A Crown Prince Again After “Goong”

Apr 6, 2020
by S. Cho

Joo Ji Hoon, the lead of hit Netflix’s original series “Kingdom” and SBS’s “Hyena recently commented, “I think these days have been a time of luck.”

The star is currently appearing in “Hyena” as lawyer Yoon Hee Jae and as crown prince Lee Chang in zombie sageuk “Kingdom.” As “Kingdom” has two seasons, Joo Ji Hoon compared the two series. He shared, “Even though it’s divided into season one and two, if you look at it like a Korean drama, it is still not finished yet. If you combine season one and two, you only get to around episode 10 or 11 of a mini-series.”

In 2006, Joo Ji Hoon starred in his breakout role as crown prince Lee Shin in “Goong.” When asked how the two princes in “Goong” and “Kingdom” compare, Joo Ji Hoon replied, “For ‘Goong,’ I was picked by director Hwang In Roe even though I had not yet learned anything. Lee Shin was a shy high school student under pressure, but in ‘Kingdom 2,’ I am more mature and have to solve problems on my own.”

Joo Ji Hoon also expressed his gratitude for the “Kingdom” zombie actors. He commented, “The zombie actors go through a lot. They all wear contact lenses so being unable to see must have been uncomfortable. I also wonder how hard it must have been to run without using their arms. We even had one-takes. It was so impressive. I really saw their passion.”

“Kingdom” has also received praise from Forbes Magazine for its realistic representation of how a virus spreads. Although the situation in the show has similarities with the current COVID-19 pandemic, Joo Ji Hoon reassured, “The plans for ‘Kingdom’ began a long time ago. We cannot afford to compare this project to the reality we are facing all over the world right now. I hope the coronavirus will soon subside. I pray every day that we will be able to overcome this difficult situation.”

Lastly, he once again addressed his hopes for a third season of “Kingdom.” He shared, “I laughed at a viewer’s comment that said to hand over season three. Nothing’s been confirmed yet. If the viewers encourage it, Netflix will act as well. I would like to return with season three.”



cr. Soompi

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  • Guest changed the title to [Drama 2019-2020] Kingdom, 킹덤 - Joo Ji Hoon, Bae Doo Na - Netflix - Season 2 out now!
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Netflix’s ‘Time to Hunt,’ ‘Kingdom’ nominated for Baeksang Arts Awards

By Song Seung-hyun

May 10, 2020 


“Kingdom” (Netflix)


A Korean film and series released via streaming service Netflix -- “Time to Hunt” and season two of “Kingdom,” respectively -- have been nominated for the Baeksang Arts Awards, set to take place in June.

This is the first time that Netflix releases have been nominated for the annual Baeksang Arts Awards.

This year’s nominees were chosen among TV programs, films and plays presented between April 1, 2019 and April 30 this year.

On Friday, the second season of “Kingdom” was nominated in the category for best TV drama. The Netflix original series is a zombie mystery thriller set in the Joseon era. It was written by star screenwriter Kim Eun-hee, who has created hit TV series here including “Sign” (2011) and “Signal” (2016). 

KBS hit TV series “When the Camellia Blooms,” tvN’s “Crash Landing on You,” SBS’ “Hot Stove League” and “Hyena” are other nominees in the category. 

“Time to Hunt” is a dystopian action-thriller from director Yoon Sung-hyun. 

The film’s Lee Je-hoon will compete in the best actor category, while Park Hae-soo will compete for best new actor.

The movie was originally due to open in local theaters in late February, following its world premiere at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival’s special gala section. However, the cinematic release was canceled after its opening was put on indefinite hold due to the COVID-19 outbreak, and it was released exclusively through the streaming platform.

Meanwhile, multiple-Oscar-winning film “Parasite” has been nominated in all the movie-related categories, including best film -- barring the category for best new director. 

Song Kang-ho, who played the father of a down-and-out family in “Parasite,” is nominated for the best actor, while Cho Yeo-jeong, who played the mother of the rich family vies for best actress.

This year has seen more categories for those who work in the theater industry. Three new categories -- for best play, actor and actress -- have been added to the existing best short play prize. 

The Baeksang Arts Awards will be held on June 5 at Kintex in Goyang, Gyeonggi Province. Due to the ongoing pandemic, the ceremony will be held without an audience.

By Song Seung-hyun (ssh@heraldcorp.com)

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I really hope Kingdom will win Baeksang for best drama (although I have a feeling this category might goes to CLOY), I think this series is almost perfect. Very well written and well executed. 
CLOY might ended up winning this category (due to its portayal of NK-SK situation and its cultural relevan e), but otherwise Kingdom is another level good.

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  • Guest changed the title to [Upcoming Drama 2019-2021] Kingdom, 킹덤 - Joo Ji Hoon, Bae Doo Na - Netflix - One-Episode-Special to premiere in 2021

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