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.