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Disney+ expands Korean slate for 2024 following creative success

Mar 20, 2024
  • Source by Yonhap
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Disney+ expands Korean slate for 2024 following creative success

 

SEOUL, March 12 (Yonhap) -- Disney+ will maintain its investment in original Korean content development and boost collaboration with local creators, a senior executive said Tuesday, citing creative talent and market success as key factors. 

 

"Among the top 50 best-performing international original titles, nine of the top 15 came from Korea based on viewership statistics last year," Carol Choi, Disney's executive vice president of Asia-Pacific content, said during a media day aimed at sharing its lineup for this year.

 

She underscored the global appeal of Korean storytelling, noting how Korean-produced stories resonate with audiences worldwide. This resonance, she said, has significantly contributed to the growth and early success of Disney+'s streaming business, particularly with the initial wave of Asia-Pacific originals.

 

"Creative excellence and commitment will remain key pillars of the company's future ... We will continue to invest in Korea's creative economy, and nurture and support this local creative community," she said.

 

The significance of the Korean market lies in its role as a testing ground for its global business, she said, adding, "We believe that if they're hits here, global audiences will find a way to appreciate the stories."

 

Carol Choi, Disney's executive vice president of Asia-Pacific content, talks during a media day to share its 2024 lineup 

in Seoul on March 12, 2024, in this photo provided by the company. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

 

Disney+'s lineup for this year features a slate of star-studded series, including the suspense thriller "Blood Free," starring Ju Ji-hoon of "Kingdom" and Han Hyo-joo of "Moving." Slated for release on April 10, the 10-part series centers on a string of mysterious incidents involving the CEO of a controversial lab-grown meat company and the bodyguard assigned to protect the CEO.

 

"Uncle Samsik" is also one of the most highly anticipated Disney+ original series, marking the television debut of "Parasite" lead actor Song Kang-ho. Set in the 1960s, the period drama explores the relationship between a man known as Uncle Samsik (played by Song), dedicated to providing three meals a day for his family, and Kim San (played by Byun Yo-han), a young elite with aspirations to rebuild the nation. It is expected to be released in May.

 

The mystery drama "Light Shop," created by Kang Full, best known for "Moving," which was the top-performing Disney+ original series last year, stands out as a highlight among the streaming service's offerings.

 

Based on Kang's popular webtoon of the same name, the eight-part series delves into the lives of a group of strangers grappling with the aftermath of traumatic experiences from their past. It is anticipated to debut in the latter half of this year.

 

Kim So-youn, managing director of the Walt Disney Company Korea, talks during a media day to share its 2024 lineup 

in Seoul on March 12, 2024, in this photo provided by the company. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

 

Having entered the Korean market in November 2021, Disney+ is still "at a very early stage of our creative journey," according to Choi.

 

"We are extremely encouraged by the tremendous critical and commercial success of our Korean originals last year."

 

Disney+ prioritizes "curating premium star-talent driven originals from Korea," she said, including anticipated titles such as "Uncle Samsik" and "Light Shop."

 

Meanwhile, the Walt Disney Co., the parent company of Disney+, has said it is on track to turn around its loss-making streaming service and has pledged to continue investing in the business.

 

Written By Woo Jae-yeon

Link:https://en.yna.co.kr/view/AEN20240312004200315?section=culture/entertainment

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