Netflix acquires Korean drama ‘Mr. Sunshine’ for July premiere

Streaming giant Netflix announced on June 21 that it has licensed the new Korean original drama Mr. Sunshine, a 24-episode series from the creators of global hit shows Descendants of the Sun and Goblin.

Mr. Sunshine, written by Kim Eun-sook and directed by PD Lee Eung-bok, will premiere exclusively on Netflix beginning July 7, with episodes streaming on the same day of its Korean broadcast in the U.S. and Asian territories excluding Korea. The drama will then premiere in Japan on July 8 and the rest of the world on July 19.

Mr. Sunshine centers on a Korean boy born into a family of a house servant running away to board an American warship during the Shinmiyangyo, or the US expedition to Korea in the late 19th century that turned into a conflict and killed hundreds of Koreans. Later he returns to his homeland as a US marine officer, falls in love with an aristocrat’s daughter and discovers the dark scheme to colonize the country. Lee Byung-hun (Iris) and Kim Tae-ri (The Handmaiden) play the marine officer and the aristocrat’s daughter, respectively.

Mr. Sunshine Poster 1
Lee Byung-hun as Eugene Choi

The series marks the continuing partnership between writer Kim and director Lee. Their third collaboration is causing a buzz among fans who have been waiting for the premiere of the completely pre-produced series. Aside from the writer-PD pair and its pre-production format (versus the live-shoot style), the series boasts of Korea’s top drama production companies, Hwa&Dam Pictures and Studio Dragon which teamed up with the former for titles including Goblin and Bravo My Life.

The expectations for the drama are high and the projected results seem positive. Rob Roy, Netflix’s Vice President of Content – Asia said, “We have seen so much passion for top quality Korean stories and the pedigree of a title like Mr. Sunshine is a significant step forward in building a strong Korean content library for our members around the world.”

This development is good news for all the fans who have access to Netflix. On one hand, fans who either don’t use Netflix or have no access (due to geographic limitation) to it have been angered by the news. This is because usually, Korean titles acquired by Netflix are hardly found with proper English subtitles on other illegal sites used by thousands of international viewers.

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Me? Just an ordinary lad with an extraordinary (says this something called 'stereotype') habit of watching Korean dramas. It started with action-filled City Hunter and the rest, as they say, is history.