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Films and drama series adaptations are booming thanks to streaming services

Nov 30, 2023
  • Source by Cine21
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The continued success of series based on other works


Films and Drama Series based on K-Webtoons are booming thanks to streaming services. Contents that are verified with popularity and quality originally are now benefiting as robust production in Korea and global network are joining hands. Majority of successful films and drama series in streaming services this year are based on K-Webtoons. 



​D.P. ​(Image: Netflix) 



Continued Success of Original Streaming Series based on K-Webtoons


A case in point of drama adaptations based on webtoon would be D.P., a Netflix original series. D.P. - the first season released in 2021, is the forerunner of the successful original series. Based on K-Webtoon, D.P. Dog’s Day by Kim Bo-tong, the drama series shed lights on fresh concept of Korean military police catching deserters and the violence and irrationality of the organization. Backed by the popularity of the first season, the second season, released in July this year, recorded 2.9 million views after being released and immediately ranked 5th in non-English TV drama series on Netflix. 




​Poster for D.P. ​(Image: Netflix) 




The biggest hit this year goes to Moving. According to FlixPatrol, a statistics site ranking global streaming service content, Moving, a Disney+ original series, immediately ranked itself as top 21st worldwide TV drama series, and reached the most viewed series in South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong. After the release of the series, Disney+’s South Korean subscribers skyrocketed to 1 million, with analysts giving Moving the credits. 


On top of that, Mask Girl, a Netflix original series based on Webtoon by writer and illustrator Maemi and Heese, ranked No.2 in Netflix and Doona!, also a Netflix original series by Min Song-a was ranked No.1 in 9 countries such as South Korea, Indonesia, Japan, Singapore and Vietnam, according to FlixPatrol. The list of well-received adaptation of K-webtoons goes on with Disney+ Original Vigilante and Daily Dose of Sunshine.



​Poster for Moving ​(Image: Disney) 



Korean Production with Seasoned Contents Creator Galvanized with Global Network


D.P. describes writer Kim Bo-tong’s first-hand experience. The original webtoon was published on Lezhin Comics- a Korean webtoon platform, and Hankyoreh, a daily newspaper publisher, and was sold as books. In 2021, the webtoon moved its platform to Naver Webtoon and Naver Series. Now, Kim is expanding his D.P. universe with a sequel, SPT- Time of the Bat. Climax Studio produced the adaptation of D.P. Climax Studio is a production label under SLL – formerly known as Studio Lululala, that owns 14 other labels. CEO of Climax Studio, Byun Seung-min is an old hand in the industry, as he was the first to work in distribution team and investment team in Next Entertainment World, a Korean film company, and has been a director in Korean Film division of Warner Bros. Climax Studio also produced Concrete Utopia, the third most viewed blockbuster this year with 3.84 million audience, and Ballerina, a Netflix original movie that ranked No.1 globally. 



​D.P. ​(Image: Netflix) 



Moving is also an adaptation of a webtoon by writer Kang Full. Kang Full – taking the role of scriptwriter for the first time for Moving, has been an old hand in K-Webtoon adaptation. For the last 17 years, his webtoons such as Apartment, Pure Love Comics, I Love You, and Neighbor were adapted into films in 2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012 respectively. His works have a humanistic touch and sound strong telling with familiar and universal genres. He continued on expanding his universe of characters with superpowers by creating Timing, Bridge and Moving. Moving was produced by Studio &NEW, a subsidiary of Next Entertainment World that produced Train to Busan, a global blockbuster, after just focusing on investment and distribution of film. 




​Poster for Moving ​(Image: Disney) 




Studio Dragon, a leading Korean film, drama series production company, has joined hands with Studio N, a subsidiary of Naver Webtoon, to create Doona!. Studio Dragon single-handedly produced Disney+ Vigilante as well. Daily Dose of Sunshine was produced by Film Monster, a SLL subsidiary, led by Park Cheol-su, who was in charge of investment, strategic planning, and business strategy in CJ ENM for more than a decade.


As examples showcase, film and drama adaptation based on webtoon are the fruit of talented writers and produces. Production companies that have experienced film industry first handedly boosted the quality by adapting already verified webtoon. On top of that, global streaming services network helped creating domestic and global blockbusters. Followed by Yong Film’s Reawakened Man that will be distributed by Lotte Entertainment and Sweet Home season 2, a Netflix original series, the trend of K-Webtoons’ adaptation will continue to please the audiences.



by Chae Sora

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