A prince faces his enemies both alive and undead in Netflix’s Kingdom
How excited am I for this, you guys!! Netflix has finally released a trailer for its upcoming original Kingdom, and the clip promises lots of gore and palace intrigue, as I would expect from a Joseon zombie apocalypse. We also get our first glimpse of Joo Ji-hoon (The Spy Gone North), Bae Doo-na (Matrimonial Chaos), and Ryu Seung-ryong (Seven Years of Night). Their roles are, respectively, the crown prince, a nurse, and a government minister who seemingly tries for a power play in the midst of an outbreak of the undead (uh, priorities, sir).
The teaser starts with the decayed body of the king on his bed, curiously wearing a metal collar and making involuntary movements, with Ryu Seung-ryong’s character, Jo Hak-jo, calmly standing bedside. As soon as a man announces offscreen that the king has passed away, the zombie king opens his creepy milky eyes.
There seems to be a lot of confusion generally, regarding the fate of the zombified king, and the crown prince, wearing the red robes reserved for the reigning king, bows in a courtyard and asks whether his father is really alive and well. Two palace guards throw a wrapped body, tied to anchoring weights, into a lake, where it joins an ominously large number of other similarly wrapped bodies in the water. Based on my knowledge of zombie fiction, I’m just going to call it and say that this strategy is going to backfire, hard.
Zombie outbreak aside, I worry about how many human enemies the crown prince has inside the palace, with guards brandishing swords to his neck, and Minister Jo warning that no matter how long the crown prince waits, his father won’t be coming to him. He basically has to fight this war on two fronts, against his political enemies, and against the undead, who start to haunt even the palace. Thankfully, he’ll have some help from nurse Seo-bi, played by Bae Doo-na, though she mostly faces the zombies outside the palace walls, where they’re predictably wreaking havoc, burning down villages and flooding the streets with dead and undead alike.
So many chills, and only half of them from the zombies! I knew to expect some pretty stunning visuals, especially given the money that’s been reportedly poured into production, but I’m still really looking forward to seeing just how grand-scale this show will be. I’m disappointed that the show is only slated for 6 episodes, but I’m somewhat mollified by the fact that Netflix has already commissioned a second season, which is supposed to start production right after the release of the first. Knowing writer Kim Eun-hee, of Signal fame, and director Kim Sung-hoon (Tunnel, A Hard Day), we’re gonna end season 1 on a massive cliffhanger, leaving us antsy for more episodes.
Netflix’s Kingdom is slated to release on January 25, 2019.
Via Seoul Kyungjae
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