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Signal writer’s new drama Kingdom will be about Joseon zombie apocalypse

I’m very nervous, and at the same time very intrigued by this recent announcement: More details on Signal writer Kim Eun-hee’s (Sign, Ghost, Three Days) new project Kingdom have been released, and reports are saying that it’s going to be a zombie sageuk set in Joseon. Cue exploding brains of fans everywhere. So I guess when she said there was going to be a lot dead people in her drama, she wasn’t kidding.

She and director Kim Sung-hoon (of the movies Tunnel and A Hard Day) are teaming up for this upcoming 8-episode 100-percent pre-produced drama, and it looks like a good matchup because they’re both storytellers with extraordinarily keen senses when it comes to thrill-raising pacing and capturing the human emotion behind the actual plot. Personally, I think that Signal and Tunnel had similar tones, despite one being a fantasy-mystery drama and the other being a catastrophe-survival movie; both were dark, gritty, and showed how desperation affects the best of people. Therefore, I’m super excited for this writer-director pairing. The one thing that’s an unknown is this zombie apocalypse in Joseon angle.

It could go extremely well, like Train to Busan meets Joseon X-Files. I trust Kim Eun-hee with the sci-fi genre because so far, she’s delivered on making her low-key paranormal elements seem believable and interesting. But there’s such a plethora of badly done dramas that have tried and failed terribly at fusing sci-fi/fantasy elements with the traditional sageuk: Scholar Who Walks the Night, Records of a Night Watchman, Faith… But maybe Kim Eun-hee will be the exception who changes the game and creates a successful model for others to follow.

Well, I know that industry insiders seem to be enthusiastically optimistic about the potential of Kingdom, as reports have already stated that the drama (which has still yet to be completely drafted) is being negotiated to be broadcast by Netflix, even before being shopped by the Big Three or the powerhouse cable channels. Currently Kim Eun-hee is in the process of writing the zombie takeover of Joseon, and plans to start filming it with director Kim in September for a release later this year.

Via IS Plus

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It might be a good sign (sorry) that they're getting a movie guy to do the pre-produced drama. Movie guys know they have to get it right the first time, instead of changing course during the intermission ?

But what do I know. I liked Faith.

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So should I watch Faith?

I'm a fan of Lee Min Ho and I like sageuks (as long as they're not 50+ episodes).

It's one of those dramas I've always meant to watch, but just never got around to.

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Almost everyone (even me) thinks it dragged some in the middle, but I think the beginning and end were worth it. The 2nd half of the finale actually wrapped things up and explained all the loose ends !

At least watch episode 1 and see what you think. (I thought) it was a really good start. I also really liked episodes 5 & 12.

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Resounding YES!

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you should watch Faith, all the relationships are really nice King/Queen, Doctor/General, King/General, Queen/Doctor/MaidAunt, General/MaidAunt, General/Soldiers.

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I agree, the relationships made this drama. It was full of heart and it did give a lot of the secondary characters space to grow. It is probably what keeps me coming back to it again and again, even though all suspense is gone :).

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The music is cracktastic, IMHO. I loved the animated bits. And at times I was ready to tear my hair out because of loopy logic or whatever. But it still was a good show. Many excellent actors. I especially loved Court Lady Choi, auntie of General Choi Young, and King Gongmin.

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The soundtrack was epic, emotional and thrilling at the same time.

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Fan of LMH? Then you must watch Faith.

I wasn't a fan of his, couldn't really understand why people were captivated by him in BoF and City Hunter, then fell in love with the stoic Choi Young. The plot had its weaknesses, thought the heroine was tad overreacting in the first few episodes, but LMH's General and his interactions with the rest of the cast kept drawing me back. And I agree with the beanies here that the soundtrack was fab!

Give it a go! :)

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I personally LOVED Faith, and I love its author, Song Ji Na.

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Waving hand - another Faith fan here.

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I second it. Must watch faith, think one of lmh best drama. Love the king/ queen

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I'm Sooooo happy to see Faith being represented because it seemed folks at db thought it was rather meh. I didn't. It was where I saw and fell in love with Kim Hee Sun. In fact she was my favourite heroine until The Legendary Cheon Song Yi came along. I still think of it fondly and its always on rewatch mode at home because my little sis is obsessed with it.

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I love Faith--it was my third kdrama after the typical gateway drama Secret Garden and City Hunter. You have to be ready for some campy qualities--the sets are so cardboard-like, the villains so overdone (although I've seen two of them in other dramas and they were very good actors), anachronisms and plot holes everywhere plus some repeated conflicts that make you wonder whether your heroine is dumb. But I ended up watching it over and over because of the sizzling chemistry between leads (first and second, OMG the king and queen...), the awesome bromance (LMH and king, and of course the woodalchi who give you all the bromance you do not get in Hwarang), a (to me) interesting enough arc concerning how to make a weak new king established, and some dramatic moments that truly touched my heart despite the overall silliness of the show. I feel that the roles suited the two leads like a glove--LMH playing quiet, contemplative and a bit standoffish, Kim Hee Sun playing adorably silly and spunky at the same time. It just melted me to see how confused, shocked and at the same time touched LMH was all the time watching the completely alien creature that was KHS.
So I recommend it 100%--as long as you can enjoy campy/silly/production so cheap that at times is part of the fun, there's plenty of value in here if you're open to it.

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You've made a perfect list( and precautions lol) for watching Faith.

I really liked LMH's jaded and exhausted with life, hero. He had no aspirations except to sleep his life away, but he always took his job seriously.

Watching Moon Lovers made me appreciate Faith even more, inspite of its flaws, it achieved what Moon Lovers failed to do with its huge budget, a compelling heroine with an agency, with( logical) motivations of her own, with street smarts( lol) and just adorably hilarious( but grounded) reactions to the crazy/bloody world she found herself in.
Even the cartoonish villains had clear cut goals, at least.

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YAY, it's great to see Faith getting so much love, because I also had the impression the most beanies thought it was a mess, or mediocre at most. I agree that the music is epic, the heroine is one my favourites, and of course there are the WOODALCHI! (with a young Yoon Kyung Sang).

I also happened to watch Faith after Empress Ki and was ecstatic to discover the timelines basically overlap = villain in Faith is Empress Ki's brother. Of course this made me dig into the historical background and find that Empress Ki was really a historical mess, in which regard Faith is actually superior (aside from the fantasy elements).

I need to rewatch Faith... again.

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The king's acting in faith will pull you in. He's quite good.

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This sounds exactly like that movie Hyun Bin is doing

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Yeah, what gives? Literally the same idea. K-Ent's tendency of milking one theme to high heavens strikes again? Or maybe the drama and the movie are actually related somehow, although I doubt it. One thing is for sure, we should all thank Train to Busan for even making a zombie drama possible.

Hey, The Priests was a hit too, now where's my exorcism-themed drama?

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Wait, what movie Hyun Bin is doing? I did a quick Google search and could only find info about his North Korea movie. Do you have a link to an article about this movie?

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Nvm just found it. Interesting. I doubt Kim Eun-hee would just intentionally rip it off. Who had the idea first? ?

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KEH talked about writing this drama from quite a time now.

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Same for the movie director. He has been prepping for it for several years now (this goes without saying a big flick like that doesn't get ready in one month). Feel like they just happened to have the same idea (not like it's a revolutionary one) and this got boosted by TTB success since SK was cold about zombies before.

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I read about Hyun Bin doing zombie joseon and I thought for a sec he'll be back to dramaland with Kim Eun Hee! Now this is just awkward, almost like that time when KMHM is airing at the same time with that drama with Hyun Bin and multiple personalities too.

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" almost like that time when KMHM is airing at the same time with that drama with Hyun Bin and multiple personalities too"

Poor guy.

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So down for this. I think Kim Eun-hee can do no wrong. And ZOMBIES- ha!

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*blink* *blink*

well, that was fast.

I feel like I just received a cute wobbling hanbokked zombie tied up with a pretty bow for a name day present.

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Zombie Ah Ro might actually be a thing now.

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oh nooooooo..... do you think she´ll pay a visit to this drama? no, we don´t need a zombie love triangle...or actually, perhaps we do need it, but with someone else in the center.

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omg, nooooo! She must not be allowed to live forever!

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Zombie Aro may be more interesting!

Have you watched iZombie? A doctor who was scratched by a zombie and became a zombie herself? And now works at the medical examiners office (great source for brains). Since Ahro is a doctor and we're talking about zombie Aro...

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redfox I literally just came on here to find your comment because are we were legit JUST talking about a proper Zombie Saguek and I'm laughing so hard because now it's happening? and by Signal's writer no less?

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Can we have Lee Je-hoon back? :)

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YES PLEASE!!!?

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Uuhhh... Zombie?? Hmm... I'm not so sure whether I'll watch this, zombie being one of my least favorite theme. But since it's my favorite writer Kim Eun-hee, I'll just wait for more news and trailer before deciding.

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Sweet Jesus!

Three of my favorite things, kdrama, sageuk, and Walking Dead, all in one.

Who else is ready to see Rick, zombie-hacking sword in hand, all decked out in robes with a funny-looking Joseon-era hat?

I'm down... ;)

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zombies that change outfits, too. like "this is my "waddle through the river get foot stuck in algae fall face down on a duck" outfit", while this is my "wander the neighborhood stores in search of dried brains" outfit." etc.

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Yes!

Honestly this whole setup seems to have a lot of possibility!

Think of all the zombie spin you could apply to all the sageuk tropes.

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like, you CAN have bad archers, cause zombies are dead anyway. the arrows dont need to hit them.

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Zombie PPL clothing...

Zombie Ah-ro in 4.1 above

I love this place !

(and could zombies BE the bad archers?)

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THIS IS ALL MY FAVORITE THINGS IN ONE DRAMA.

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me too. I hope kim eun hee watch the walking dead every season so she know how to do the right things

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Well, I'm excited.

This is a very interesting mix, and could be excellent depending on the execution. I would never have even considered a zombie apocalypse in Joseon.

It fits quite well when you think about it however. There is a lack of technology, and due to the nature of how news travels, and the general societal interactions of the time, it could be something unique.

8 episodes also sounds like it could be quite a strong series because it won't be padded. I'm hoping it's like a very long movie essentially.

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+1

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:flails: Please let it be awesome like Train to Busan.

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Can we get Gong Yoo? We know how well he does zombies and saeguk.

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Ahahahaaaa...and at the end we discover that it is his fate to be born in every incarnation as a zombie fighter. Suckiest fate EVER.

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Omg sounds like Edge of Tomorrow x Train to Busan.

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I'm trying not to be too optimistic but this sounds awesome. I'd actually purchase a Netflix membership for it (if it's available in the US). I hope they can bring Kim Hye-soo into the mix!

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Gee, I am trying not to watch zombies in anything, with the exception of Train to Busan because duuuuuh, Gong Yoo. But if she writes it, I consider watching it, I love her works by far.

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Heck Yeah! This sounds freaking awesome! OMG~I hope it blows me out of the water!

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... *laughs*
oh HELL yes. I don't even care if the zombie thing doesn't make sense and most zombie films I don't like. Or if fantasy sageuks do not have a great track record. I am SO down for a Joseon Zombie drama by Kim Eun-hee.
redfox - if you're not here to make a plethora of fantastic jokes and commentary with me in the comment section when this comes out, I'm disowning you from a friendship status you didn't even know you had till now. hahahah

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how could I miss the zombies? You know, my pet show wouldn´t be "Mari and me", but "Zombie and me". and on my fence, I would not have a sign that says "Vicious dog", but "Friendly zombie (except bites when hungry)".

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*happy claps* oh you've already started! How wonderful! hahaha

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Reminds me of last year's steampunk anime Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress. That... was not a very good show.

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Ya know, I've been a bit tired of zombies lately. After watching Walking Dead for a few seasons (and really enjoying it), I just kind of got bored of it after a time. But I did enjoy Train to Busan and LOVE Joseon X-files to bits, so if this could become a mix of them, then I'm certainly game. I also like the short episode count for something like this.

I'm excited to see the cast they get for this.

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remember, no matter how tired you are, zombies are always more tired!

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"So I guess when she said there was going to be a lot dead people in her drama, she wasn’t kidding" Lmao indeed :D

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Now someone has to pen a Dracula or Hellsing Joseon era version and we are good to go.

Actually that wouldn't be bad at all. If they kept the premise of people dying mysteriously and coming back to kill people and having a hunter. That would be interesting.

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For Saeguk Van Hellsing, think Lee Jun Ki in Joseon Gunman.

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I don't know, sounds strange. For me zombies exclusively goes with contemporary/future set up, I don't see them being possible in the past (or any way, tbh).

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sick of zombies, but this is an 8 episode sageuk and will be written by Kim Eun Hee so I'm on board

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I'm hoping the hero will be a woman. Don't get me wrong but I feel that there are not many female-centric heroes in kdrama land. Kim Eun Hee has worked with Kim Hye Soo in Signal and she was superb and badass in it. Need more of actressess being leads in kdrama land rather than the damsel in distress characters. And if there is a woman in this drama, I hope Moon Chae Won gets an offer because that Criminal Minds remake sounds terrible from the start.

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I'll trust my favorite writer in this. She is one of those with very well thought of dramas so I won't be surprised if this comes out as another hit.

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I don't normally watch a series before it's already been completed but there are so many things about this tease that it's already won me over. I guess I'll be breaking my rule for the first time in years.

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I was so wired up by Signal (haha), so I'm definitely looking forward to Kim's work! I've always loved Korea's period dramas because of their very intricate props and costumes. Excited about the collusion and mix of the post-world dystopia zombie element with the past!! Hope it will take a different tone/plot from Scholars of The Night, not really a fan of that show due to its pacing issues. I believe the eight episides will likely keep us on the edge everytime!

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