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Netflix to release record 25 Korean-language originals this year

This combined image provided by Netflix shows the streamer's 2022 lineup. (Netflix)
This combined image provided by Netflix shows the streamer's 2022 lineup. (Netflix)
Global streaming service Netflix said Wednesday that more than 25 Korean-language works, including five original films, will be released in 2022, expected to fuel the stellar drive led by the global sensation "Squid Game" last year.

"In a bid to continue the successful Korean storytelling, Netflix will release more than 25 Korean contents this year," Netflix said in a statement. "We will provide Netflix-exclusive creative stories and high quality that meets viewers' demand."

Last year, Netflix provided 20 Korean-language shows, including the survival drama "Squid Game," the fantasy horror "Hellbound" and the sci-fi thriller "The Silent Sea," all of which topped the company's official weekly viewership chart for non-English TV shows.

In particular, "Squid Game" made history to become the most successful Netflix show in history. It was viewed for more than 1.65 billion hours in the first four weeks after its release on Sept. 17.

"Last year, it was significant that Netflix joined hands with Korean creators to open the new era for Korean-made shows that are enjoyed globally," said the streamer, which has introduced some 130 Korean shows and invested more than 1 trillion won ($839.3 million) in South Korea since its entry in 2016.

"The partnership helped South Korean shows settle at the center of the global industry trend."

It said demand for Korean content rose sharply in 2021 as Netflix subscribers spent six times more time watching Korean shows at the end of last year than the past two years.

"Squid Game" saw about 95 percent of its total streaming hours come from foreign countries including the United States, Brazil and France.

Among its 25 Korean-language slates for 2022, the dystopian zombie series "All Of Us Are Dead" will be the first to make its global premier on Jan. 28. Adapted from the longtime popular webtoon "Now at Our School," the show is set in a high school where a zombie virus outbreaks.

The crime thriller "Juvenile Justice," starring Kim Hye-soo and Lee Sung-min, and the fantasy "The Sound of Magic" with Ji Chang-wook in a starring role, will come next.

"Money Heist: Korea - Joint Economic Area," a Korean adaptation of the hit Spanish series "Money Heist" is also on the list.

Moreover, Netflix, which has not produced films in South Korea since its entry, said there are five original films on its 2022 timetable. Its 2017 original film, Bong Joon-ho's adventure "Okja," was produced in the United States.

The five are the romance "Moral Sense," the action film "Carter," the action blockbuster "Seoul Vibe," the sci-fi film "Jung-E" and the romance "20th Century Girl." (Yonhap)