South Korea has made plenty of period dramas, but epic fantasies? We haven’t heard of any. Well, now that’s changed, with upcoming series Arthdal Chronicles, which stars some of K-drama’s biggest stars, including Song Joong-ki and Jang Dong-gun.
Song, who rose to superstardom with his role in Descendants of the Sun, will be reunited with his co-star in that show, Kim Ji-won. Kim Ok-bin also stars in Arthdal Chronicles, which was produced by Korean broadcaster tvN and will be released on Netflix on 1 June.
The fantasy series centres around the ancient city of Arthdal within the mythical world of Arth. Netflix describes the series as such in their press release: “Arthdal Chronicles depicts the birth of civilisation and nations in ancient times. It is a story of mythical heroes, their struggle, unity and love of people living in a virtual land called Arth.”
So far, tvN and Netflix have released a couple of teasers for Arthdal. On Sunday (28 April), tvN released a 30-second trailer while Netflix Asia posted a 15-second teaser.
The teasers give us a first-look at the characters, including heartthrob Song as Eunseom, a curly-haired warrior who fights to protect his tribe.
This is Netflix’s teaser:
Here is tvN’s longer teaser:
Veteran actor Jang Dong-gun (A Gentleman’s Dignity) plays Tagon, the charismatic and talented leader of Saenyeok Tribe, who is prone to outbursts of anger.
Kim Ji-won plays Tanya, the clan mother of Wahan Tribe, who realises her destiny to lead and protect her people against other powerful tribes.
Kim Ok-bin (Thirst, Steal Heart) stars as power-hungry Taelha, who is also the most beautiful woman in Arthdal.
Arthdal Chronicles was directed by Kim Won-seok (Sungkyunkwan Scandal, Misaeng), and written by award-winning screenwriters Kim Young-hyun and Park Sang-yeon (Deep Rooted Tree, Queen Seondeok).
Netflix’s strategy in South Korea has involved acquiring as well as producing Korean-language shows such as Kingdom and Memories of the Alhambra.