SEOUL (UPI) — Netflix announced it will release more than 25 South Korean shows in 2022, up 67% from a year ago.
The record number of South Korean originals is impacted by the global success of Squid Game last year, Netflix Korea Vice President Kang Dong-han said Wednesday.
“Last year, South Korean originals won the hearts and minds of global viewers. As a result, time spent watching Korean content jumped six-fold compared to 2019,” Kang said in an online press conference.
“For Netflix, Korean-language contents are now indispensable. They are attracting not only Netflix but also other major global platforms, which are ready to invest in Korea,” he said.
Kang cited dramas including Squid Game, My Name, Hellbound, and The Silent Sea as successful South Korean shows 2021, a year in which Netflix released 15 Korean shows.
In particular, Squid Game has become a global sensation and is the most successful Netflix show on record. The show was viewed for more than 1.65 billion hours in the first four months after its premiere in September.
The nine-episode series officially hit No. 1 in all countries where the series was available on Netflix. In the dystopian drama, hundreds of cash-strapped contestants are pit against each other in six rounds of deadly childhood games. The winner gets $39 million.
Among the 25 shows set for release this year, the zombie series All of Us Are Dead will be the first to premiere, on Jan. 28, followed by the crime thriller Juvenile Justice and the fantasy The Sound of Magic.
Kang expressed his interest in All of Us Are Dead, an adaptation of a famous webtoon. The series is set in a Korean school where a zombie virus spreads.
Netflix also said it would produce five original films from South Korea this year, including the romance Moral Sense and the action film Seoul Vibe.
Reporting by Kim Hye-ran & Kim Tae-gyu
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