Netflix’s ‘Kingdom’ director Kim Seung-hun talks about reactions to series

Fans of the 2016 Korean zombie film Train to Busan were in for a treat on January 25 when Netflix released the first season of zombie period drama KINGDOM. In the two weeks that it has been online, the series has become one of the most talked-about shows on the internet, with fans posting and discussing multiple theories. The man behind this fascinating show, director Kim Seong-hun, sat down for a chat with the press at a cafe in Samcheongdong, Seoul.

Kim, already well-known within South Korea’s film circuit as the director of hit films A Hard Day and Tunnel, collaborated with writer Kim Eun-hee (Signal) to bring to life the groundbreaking concept of a zombie drama set in medieval Joseon. Kingdom follows a crown prince who has to outrun mysterious monsters that feed on human flesh as he attempts to learn the horrific secret behind his father’s death and escape the charge of treason. The series stars Ju Ji-hoon, Bae Doo-na and Ryu Seung-ryeong in lead roles.

Kim opened up about the reactions to Kingdom. He laughed and remarked, “I try to pretend not to see the reactions, but I actually look forward to them a lot. I check articles and comments. There are a lot more reactions to a TV series than a movie. I even saw YouTube reactions!”

Which reactions stuck with him the most? “Some people nicknamed Kingdom as K-zombie. I felt proud of that,” he said.

Kim also commented on one famous scene from the show—reactions to which have ranged from awe to disgust—which depicts patients who have turned into monsters forming a tower-like structure as they climb over each other to have their share of a woman’s body. “I was really disturbed after shooting that scene, but it was something new and we worked hard to create it, so I believe it came out well,” he shared.

Kingdom is currently garnering a lot of interest among zombie horror fans worldwide and is supposed to begin production for the next season in February 2019.

Sources: 1


Indoor Enthusiast (Esha) is a staff writer at Kdramapal. She is responsible for bringing all the latest happenings in Kdramaland, as well as features and recaps of currently airing dramas, to the readers of the site. As a gender studies student, she loves analyzing K-dramas through the lens of gender politics and social justice. You're most likely to find her droning on and on about how Ji Hae-soo from It's Okay That's Love and Sung Bora from Reply 1988 are the best heroines to ever grace our screens. Her favorite dramas tend to be thrillers like Secret Forest and Signal, as well as heartwarming shows like Misaeng. When not in the mood for either of those, you can find her binging on shows about female friendships a la Age of Youth or rom-coms that come with sprinklings of feminism, like Because This Life Is My First. She lives in India, spends all her free time reading books, and would love nothing more than to meet Gong Hyo-jin and sign away her life's earnings to the actress. Indoor Enthusiast can be reached at [email protected]