Korean films coming to Netflix in 2023: ‘JUNG_E’, ‘The Match’, ‘Believer 2’, and more
The global fandom for Korean content is continuing to grow, with over 60 per cent of all Netflix members watching Korean titles last year. Looking ahead, Netflix is debuting a diverse array of Korean TV series, films and unscripted shows in 2023.
Here’s a complete list of Korean films, reality shows, and documentaries that are coming to Netflix this year. You can also check out the complete list of K-Dramas coming to Netflix in 2023
JUNG_E – January 20
JUNG_E portrays a desolated earth in the 22nd century that is no longer inhabitable due to climate change. Amid the chaos, an internal war breaks out in the shelter built for human survival. Victory – meaning the end of the war – now hinges on finding a way to clone the legendary mercenary JUNG_E into a scalable robot. Orchestrated by Director Yeon Sang-ho of Train to Busan, Peninsula, and Hellbound, and with a colourful cast – Kang Soo-youn, Kim Hyun-joo, Ryu Kyung-soo — JUNG_E portrays a unique theme combined with dystopia, cloning, and technology.
Unlocked – February 17
A real-crime thriller following an ordinary woman whose entire life is upended after she loses her phone containing her personal information. With the worst possible things happening after the main character loses her phone containing everything, including her social security number, banking information and the details of her personal life, this movie will present a ringing sense of spooky reality and horror to viewers today who cannot live without their phones.
Yim Si Wan, who has already established himself as a talented actor with his role of the menacing antagonist in Emergency Declaration, will once again prove himself an on-screen chameleon as he plays Jun-yeong, who commits heinous crimes after stumbling upon the smartphone. Startup marketer Na-mi, who loses her phone, finds it, and becomes entangled in unimaginable schemes, is portrayed by Chun Woo Hee, who has a stellar track record of portraying colorful characters with her unparalleled acting.
Kill Boksoon – Q1
Boksoon leads a double life — she is both a mother of a teenage daughter and a legendary professional killer at the top-tier killing agency MK. Caught between the mission of killing someone and the mission of raising someone, Boksoon refuses to complete an assigned mission and is thrown into an inevitable fight. Written and directed by Byun Sung-hyun, the film stars Jeon Do-yeon, Sul Kyung-gu, Kim Si-a, Esom, and Koo Kyo-hwan among others
The Match – Q2
Teacher and student, but legendary rivals Cho Hoon Hyun (Lee Byung-hun) and Lee Changho (Yoo Ah-in), play the match of their lifetime in the game of Go. At a time when the game of Go was more popular than the World Cup, global legends Cho Hoon Hyun and Lee Changho engage in a heated game of Go in The Match where black and white stones are placed silently but dynamically.
Lee Byung-hun portrays Cho Hoon Hyun, who is both strict and warm with Lee Changho, whom he takes in as a student when Changho was just 10 years old as he showed much promise, right after Cho Hoon Hyun won the grand slam. Yoo Ah-in takes on the role of Lee Changho, a student who works tirelessly to exceed his monumental teacher Cho Hoon Hyun. Lee Byung-hun and Yoo Ah-in, who are known to bring their own interpretations to characters across any genre or plot, collaborate for the first time in The Match, adding to the hype of what to expect in this game between teacher and student. Kim Hyung-joo directs from a script he wrote along with Yoon Jong-Bin
Believer 2 – Q4
A crime action film on the nerve-wracking war between Won-ho, who is still pursuing Mr. Lee’s organization and the disappeared “Rak” after the bloody fight at Yongsan Station, and Brian, who has reappeared, and a new character “Big Knife.” Believer 2 follows Won-ho’s investigation of looking for “Rak,” who disappeared after Brian’s incarceration while getting to the core of the elusive drug cartel.
Director Baik showcases a different side of his directing in this film. Actor Cho Jin-woong portrays Won-ho, the persistent detective who has been tracking down the drug cartel for a long time; Cha Seung-won portrays Brian, who considered himself Mr. Lee as a hidden character within the organization; and Kim Dong-young and Lee Joo-young play Manko and Lona, the deaf siblings who are genius at making top-quality drugs. New character “Big Knife” is played by Han Hyo-joo, who is beloved for her wide spectrum of filmography spanning from mellow, action to comedy, and will immerse in a completely different kind of character for this film.
Ballerina – Q4
This film depicts the beautiful and ruthless revenge by Okju, a former bodyguard, for Minhee, her best friend. Ballerina is directed by Lee Chung-hyun, who shocked the Korean film scene with his short film Bargain and demonstrated sensational directing in the mystery thriller Call, with its interesting genre and colourful characters. Ballerina will present viewers with trendy and stylish action scenes and visuals, and garner attention for its refreshing cast lineup composed of Jun Jong-seo, Kim Ji-hun and Park Yurim.
Jun Jong-seo portrays Okju, a former bodyguard who has no physical limits when it comes to her self-defence skills, swordsmanship, and agility with guns and motorbikes. The so-called “Choi,” who is the subject of revenge, is portrayed by Kim Ji-hun. Rising star Park Yurim will play the ballerina Minhee. Moreover, the versatile musician Gray who can produce, compose, rap and vocalize, takes on the role of music director, making his collaboration with Director Lee Chung-hyun even more intriguing.
Physical:100 – January 24, 2023
An extreme survival entertainment program designed to find the best physique with the strongest physical capabilities. The vast filming site designed solely for Physical:100 sets the stage for an intense competition among 100 men and women who pride themselves on their physiques, regardless of age or sex, to determine the one person with the “perfect physique.” The process of coming down to the last one standing on an unprecedentedly enormous set where only the 100 exist shows fierce competition in its rawest form, making Physical:100 an entirely new type of survival entertainment show. Written by Kang Sukkyeong and Jo Keun Ae, the show is directed by Jang Ho Gi
Siren: Survive the Island – Q2
Siren: Survive the Island is a combat survival entertainment show where 24 women of top combat power and strategic thinking form 6 teams divided by career groups and fight one another. Entitled “Siren,” which means both “warning sound” and “beautiful temptress,” this show involves women with extraordinary physical capabilities and skills for strategies including police officers, firefighters, bodyguards, stuntwomen, military women, and athletes who form teams according to their jobs.
One team will emerge as the winner after a mission that puts their limitations to the test. For 6 nights and 7 days, their fight for survival on an unknown island requires aggressive mind games and tight teamwork. The extreme situations and unexpected twists and turns will add to the immersive nature of the show. Moreover, the vast scale of the location on a huge uninhabited island, the seamless plot development, and the background stories and relationships between the participants will have viewers hooked on this combat survival entertainment show. Written by Chae Jin-ah, the show is directed by Lee Eun-kyung
19/20 (Nineteen to Twenty) – Q3
19/20(Nineteen to Twenty) is a reality entertainment show that tracks the fresh and youthful lives of Generation Z in their last week of being 19 just before they turn 20. During that final week, they attend “19 School” to learn practical things about adult life and prepare for adulthood. Then on January 1, they all stay at “20 House,” a space where they are independent of their parents and teachers.
19/20 garners much attention as these 19-year-olds, who are on the cusp of adulthood, create unexpectedly vivacious and nostalgic moments throughout the show. KYUHYUN, actress Kim Ji-eun, and LEE SUHYUN from AKMU participate as emcees. Producer Kim Jae-won who is writing history in reality entertainment shows with his Single’s Inferno orchestrates the show. Written by Chi Hyun-sook, the show is directed by Kim Jae-won, Kim Jung-hyun, and Park Suji
Zombieverse – Q3
In Zombieverse, participants must complete quests to survive in Seoul, which has been turned into a zombie world. The art team from All of Us Are Dead and the zombie action choreographer from Kingdom work behind the scenes, adding to the anticipation of how realistically and thrillingly the zombie universe will be portrayed. Their endeavours to survive until the end by completing quests such as looking for food, transportation, or a safe haven; or deciding whether to save a colleague who has been infected by a zombie, will keep viewers at the edge of their seats.
Written by Yu Jin-young , the show is directed by Park Jin-kyung and Moon Sang-donn
The Devil’s Plan
Devil’s Plan is a mind game survival entertainment show that awards up to 500 million Korean won to the winner. Participants including celebrities and influencers and recruits of this game begin with the devil’s suggestion to take off their social masks and reveal one’s true identities.
The show is directed by the maestro of mystery and genre entertainment producer Jeong Jong-yeon with past works such as Great Escape with its vast filming set and seamless storyline throughout every season; The Genius which has unexpectable development and plot twists in every episode; and High School Mystery Club with its immersive storytelling and unparalleled chemistry among participants. As many fans have awaited his collaboration with Netflix, all eyes are on what Devil’s Plan has in store for them. The show is written by Heo Jung-hee and Jung Da-hee.
In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal – March 3, 2023
In the Name of God: A Holy Betrayal is an eight-episode true-crime documentary that explores the self-proclaimed ‘messiahs’ in modern Korean history and the shocking events behind them. Written by Ko Hye-rim, the docu-series is directed by Jo Seong-Hyeon.
Yellow Door: Looking for Director Bong’s Unreleased Short Film (WT)
Yellow Door: Looking for Director Bong’s Unreleased Short Film (WT) is a documentary tracing the quest for the Oscar-winning director Bong Joon-ho’s unreleased short film, Looking for Paradise. This 22-minute film was screened for some 10 members of cinephile club Yellow Door on Christmas, 1992, and has never been seen since. In the process of getting to the bottom of Bong’s mysterious film-making debut, Yellow Door (WT) pieces together the memories of the only witnesses to the film, and recreates an era of avid movie lovers. The film is directed by Lee Hyuk-rae