A webtoon is a highly popular and trendy reading material in Korea. A lot of popular webtoons get adapted to Korean dramas, and some become well-received and successful as well.
Some popular webtoon-based K-dramas include Love Alarm, What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim, ID: Gangnam Beauty, and Extraordinary You. Park Seo-joon’s Itaewon Class this year was also based on a webtoon. Many of this type of series are scheduled to come in the second half of the year. Below are some of the upcoming webtoon-based K-dramas that you might not want to miss.
True Beauty will follow the story of a shy, average-looking high schooler with acne issues who loves watching beauty videos online. With the help of makeup, she becomes and internet star overnight, and eventually, the prettiest girl in school. As a consequence, she hides her bace face in order to continue to live as an online goddess. She falls for the only man who has seen her real face but unexpectedly finds herself in a complicated love triangle. Recently, Moon Ga-young (Find Me in Your Memory), Cha Eun-woo (Rookie Historian Goo Hae-ryung), and Hwang In-yeop (The Tale of Nokdu) have been confirmed to lead the cast. The drama is based on a webtoon of the same title created by Yaongyi and is currently one of the most popular webtoons in Korea with more than four million subscribers.
Amazing Rumor will feature stars Jo Byung-gyu (Stove League), Kim Se-jeong (I Wanna Hear Your Song), Yoo Jun-sang (Graceful Friends), Yeom Hye-ran (Mystic Pop-up Bar), and Ahn Suk-hwan (My Wonderful Life). The series is adapted from the popular webtoon written by Jang Yi. It centers on a group of demon hunters called “Counters,” who each have their own special power. Disguising as workers at a noodle restaurant, they set out to hunt down evil spirits who seek out eternal life on Earth. While the second installment of the webtoon is still ongoing, the drama aims to premiere this coming November. It will be directed by Vampire Prosecutor 2‘s (2012) director, Yoo Seon-dong.
Another webtoon-based drama in the works is about a high school student who moves into a new place after experiencing school violence and after his parents died. But strange things started happening in his new apartment, and he encounters monsters that are threatening to wipe out humanity. Sweet Home will star Song Kang (When the Devil Calls Your Name), Lee Jin-wook (Voice 3), Lee Si-young (Liver or Die), and Lee Do-hyun (18 Again). The series is one of the most-anticipated webtoon-based dramas as Lee Eung-bok, who is behind the hit series Mr. Sunshine, Guardian: The Lonely and Great God, and Descendants of the Sun, is helming the production. The webtoon is written by Kim Kan-bi and Hwang Young-chan and is set to air on streaming giant Netflix next year.
Frightening Cohabitation tells the story of a female college student who is forced to live with a male gumiho (a Korean mythical fox with nine tails) after accidentally swallowing his mystical orb. Being with each other every day, the two eventually find themselves falling for each other. Idol-turned-actress Lee Hye-ri (Miss Lee) is currently being courted to lead the cast along with Jang Ki-yong (Born Again), who was offered the male lead role. The series will be led by director Baek Seung-ryong, who is behind Pegasus Market (2020). The production is aiming to air the series in the second half of 2020.
All of Us Are Dead
Netflix is making another attempt to bring a series of the zombie thriller genre, following the success of two-season series Kingdom (2019, 2020). Its newest series All of Us Are Dead will follow a group of high school students as they fight to survive in the middle of a zombie outbreak when their campus gets infected. It is based on the 2009 chart-topping Korean webtoon Now at Our School by Joo Dong-geun and stars Yoon Chan-young (Nobody Knows), Park Ji-hoo (Beautiful World), Jo Yi-hyun (How to Buy a Friend), Park Solomon (Sweet Revenge), and Yoo In-soo (Chocolate). The webtoon is a big hit in Korea and other Asian countries, such as Indonesia, Thailand, and Taiwan. It is scheduled for release in 2021 in over 190 countries via Netflix.
Hell or Hellbound is director Yeon Sang-ho’s latest series. He is the director behind the hit 2016 zombie action film Train to Busan and writer of the 2020 occult thriller series The Cursed. The series is set in a fictional world where supernatural beings condemn people to hell and a group of people fight with everything they have in order to survive with the emergence of a new religion. Choi Kyu-seok, the author of the webtoon “Songgot” that was adapted into the JTBC series Awl in 2015, will reportedly pen the drama’s script. The series will feature a star-studded cast comprised of Kim Hyun-joo (WATCHER), Park Jung-min (Entourage), Yoo Ah-in (Chicago Typewriter), Yang Ik-june (Bad Guys: City of Evil), and Won Jin-ah (Melting Me Softly).
Borrowed Body is a well-received webtoon, which is set to be produced by Jaedam Media, an agency managing in-demand comic contents. It is a coming-of-age story where three childhood friends experience their very first love. Set in a high school, it features a magical fountain where two of the main characters make a wish, only to wake up the next day to find their bodies switched. While the webtoon is already confirmed to be adapted into a series, the cast as well as the broadcast date are still waiting confirmation. The drama is reportedly targeting to air within the year.
Senior, Don’t Put on That Lipstick
Featuring rising stars Won Jin-ah (Melting Me Softly), SF9’s Rowoon (Extraordinary You), Lee Hyun-wook (Strangers from Hell), and Lee Joo-bin (Find Me in Your Memory), Senior, Don’t Put on That Lipstick is an office noona (term for older sister used by males) romance series about a corporate man falling in love for his pretty sunbae (senior) at work. It is based on a popular 2017 webtoon of the same title written by Elizeu. The series is scheduled for broadcast in the early half of 2021.