As Korean dramas enjoy enormous success around the world, many fans are eagerly anticipating their next fix – and for UK viewers, the wait will be over just in time for Christmas.
A gritty new drama, Gyeongseong Creature, set to land on the streaming platform on December 22 is set to mix horror and thriller as it delves into 1945 Seoul – when the nation was technically still under Japanese rule.
The show also features an all-star cast, including renowned icon Park Seo-jun, who has recently starred as Prince Yan in The Marvels, and Wi Ha-jun, who won over hearts as a police officer who sneaks into the Squid Game to find his missing brother.
Han So-hee – who is known for action hit My Name and recently made waves after starring in Jungkook’s Seven video – plays a sleuth who teams up with a pawn shop owner (Park) to fight for survival.
There appears to be a sci-fi element to the tale, as the pair must fight a ‘monster born out of human greed’ roaming Gyeongseong (the old name for the capital) – and horror fans can expect plenty of violence and gore.
The supporting cast includes global stars like Claudia Kim, known for her roles in Avengers: Age of Ultron, who plays the enigmatic noblewoman, Yukiko Maeda.
Speaking of her gritty character Yoon Chae-ok, Han So-hee remarked on her ability to put on a brave face.
‘Chae-ok looks to be firm on the outside but suppresses so many emotions within her,’ she added.
‘I did my utmost to express the process of Tae-sang entering into the fenced heart of Chae-ok in a detailed way.’
Meanwhile, Wi Ha-jun plays Kwon Jun-taek, a soldier and close friend of the entrepreneurial Jang Tae-sang (Park).
‘Jun-taek fights for independence while feeling ashamed of his pro-Japanese father,’ he explained.
‘[He proves] his extraordinary presence by displaying his strong conviction and the fighting spirit.’
Netflix promises Gyeongseong Creature will deliver ‘promises a gripping narrative set in one of history’s darkest periods, fueled by a cast that blends seasoned talent with fresh energy’.
The series is slated for a two-part release, with Part 1 premiering on December 22, 2023, and Part 2 on January 5, 2024, on Netflix.
A theatrical trailer – released earlier this month – had social media fans in a frenzy.
The short clip, laced with ominous music, featured Han and Park running around with weapons as they clearly looked to be on the run from an unknown threat.
To add to the eerie atmosphere, words on the screen said: ‘Spring of 1945. There were humans and creatures in a hospital in Gyeongseong.’
It racked up more than 535,100 views on X as fans raved that they’re ‘sat’ and ready.
Many ‘can’t wait’ to see the superstar cast in action, adding: ‘this is going to be epic’.
The year of 1945 was a tumultuous time for the country which signaled the end of Japanese occupation as well as the division into North and South Korea.
For a brief period beginning in 1897, Korea was an independent nation. The Korean people had gained their freedom from Russian rule, formed their own empire, and finally won the opportunity to develop and revel in their own culture.
But not long after it had won its freedom, the Japanese swept in and took it away. By 1905, Korea was a protectorate of Japan and by 1910, they were completely annexed.
Japanese rule was harsh and Korea underwent drastic changes during this time.
Their Emperor – Sujong of Korea – and currency were abolished and Koreans were forced to speak Japanese.
The country remained under their rule until the end of the Second World War in 1945 when the allied armies defeated the Japanese. With this victory, it seemed, for a brief moment like there would be a free and united Korea once more.
However Korea was then divided into two zones by the United States and the Soviet Union, with the north occupied by the Soviets.
An invasion by North Korea led to the Korean War of 1950. There was a ceasefire in 1953, but no peace treaty was signed and the country remained divided.