Prime Video recently began diving into the realm of K-drama as it scrambles towards the crowning glory of being the biggest streaming platform in the US, but Island is set to be its most glamorous Korean release thanks to its stacked cast and high budget. Premiering its first two episodes on December 30, Island was a long-awaited project for fans of the fantasy thriller genre. The series is based on the infamous manhwa and its webtoon sequel, which follows three powerful individuals who band together to protect Jeju (and the world) from evil forces that threaten to invade.
Island was first announced in late 2020 before its cast was merged, and finally began filming last fall with popular actor Kim Nam-gil as Pan, sometimes romanized as Van, an immortal and amoral monster hunter who isn’t quite human. . Whether by chance or fate, he’s joined on his quest by rebellious heiress Won Mi-ho (played by Lee Da-hee, best known to Western audiences as one of the hosts of Netflix’s Single’s Inferno). Rounding out the unlikely trio is young exorcist priest Jun Skillp (played by Wave star Hallyu Cha Eun Woo), an expat who arrives from the United States to strike back at a higher power.
Island is a completely new genre for Cha Eunwoo
The Island trailer promises thrills and chills galore, with painstaking CG work done to an array of terrifying monsters and demons. Sensing that evil is rising from the land of Jeju, Pan gathers his comrades to fight for their lives. While Jun is shown throwing himself into both exorcism and battle, Miho is more hesitant and doesn’t seem to understand why she became the target of the so-called “flame demons”. Since the art (illustrated by Yang Kyung-il) was one of the greatest strengths of Youn In-wan’s story, it’s only natural that the creative team stick to the drama’s unsettling aesthetic.
But the biggest surprise for K-entertainment fans is seeing bloodied Eun-woo battling monsters, as he’s known for winning hearts in romantic comedies like True Beauty, when he’s not singing “Candy Sugar Pop” with his fellow Astro members, that is. Although he’s already shown off his dramatic skills in Decibels, Al Jazeera will be focusing on him thanks to a worldwide release on Prime Video. According to the production team, “Cha Eun-woo surprised the crew members on location by playing John more freely as filming progressed. The drama will be full of Cha Eun Woo’s new charm not seen anywhere else, so please show a lot of interest.”
Island also boasts Sung Joon, known for mid-2010 hits like Hyde, Jekyll, Me, and High Society, in one of his first roles since being discharged from the army. He plays Goong Tan, the most enigmatic of the main characters so far. Thanks to the source material, audiences can expect him to be a former partner of Pan, and his character poster reveals that he has since learned to distrust all humans. How it will return to the story and whether Pan will be able to work alongside Miho and John when their nature is so brutal will be the main points to watch out for when the series premieres. Island is produced by CJ ENM, the media mogul behind this year’s Parasite and Decision To Leave, and will air on their TVING platform in Korea at the same time as Prime Video’s global launch.
The first two episodes of Island will air December 30 on Prime Video, followed by the weekly Friday releases set to air in Korea.
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