Netflix meant serious business when it reportedly doubled its investment in Korean content for 2021. And thanks to the platform offering bigger and better opportunities to try new genres (like Squid Game‘s death game genre) and formats (like Kingdom‘s multiple seasons), viewers got to watch some record-breaking K-Drama productions.
Following the recent huge success of Squid Game, Netflix Korea dropped an irresistibly exciting trailer for yet another massive original series!
Hellbound, set to premiere November 19, 2021, is based on a popular webtoon of the same title. As the name suggests, it is about hellbound people who receive mysterious ultimatums and eventually get hunted down by supernatural creatures.
In the world of Hellbound, people receive a message from an unknown sender that includes your name, the fact that you are going to hell, and how much time you have left. When the clock runs out, a supernatural being appears to send the condemned to hell. As the nation grapples with this new normal, a religious sect rises up to claim this is all a sign of divine will. Meanwhile, people must learn to survive through this horror.
— The Hollywood Reporter
The original webtoon, by Yeon Sang Ho—who is the director for the K-Drama adaptation as well—and cartoonist Choi Gyu Seok, launched in August 2019 and kept the readers on the edge for 55 episodes. Praised to be “a genius-level” work of art by a fellow iconic Korean director Bong Joon Ho, the webtoon Hellbound attracted fans from all genres like horror, fantasy, and dark drama.
Choi Gyu Seok’s sharp and keen drawing style goes well beyond depicting the modern Korean’s physique, expression, and wrinkles. It reaches a genius-level where we can feel the character’s anxiety and fear. A truly overwhelming world of fear that cannot be explained with words like ‘God’s prank’ or ‘grand nonsense.’ We are already burning in the center of the hell that Yeon Sang Ho and Choi Gyu Seok are portraying.
— Bong Joon Ho via The Hollywood Reporter
That being said, most Korean media and entertainment fans know that director Yeon Sang Ho has his ways of producing blockbusters for the big screen. His previous works, Train To Busan and its sequel Peninsula, have gained international fame. Plus, high-profile actors like Yoo Ah In and Park Jung Min had confirmed their roles as early as July 2020—thus, anticipation for the Netflix original adaptation of Hellbound is extremely high.
This [webtoon] clearly reveals the anxiety of this era through the simple yet dramatic setting of a prophecy to hell. It’s even fun and tense. It also feels like somewhere between ‘Train to Busan’ and ‘The Fake.’ In a world where even opinions become information, what do we believe? Why? How? This [webtoon] provides you food for thought.
— Park Jung Min via The Hollywood Reporter
On September 9, 2021, Hellbound became the first K-Drama to make it to the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival. Here, the adaptation screened its first three episodes for the “Primetime” category and was received extremely well. In fact, the adaptation toured all kinds of prestigious film festivals prior to its Netflix streaming premiere in November—including the 26th Busan International Film Festival in August and the 56th BFI London Film Festival in September.
It’s obvious that Hellbound is going to be a solid binge. Are you excited or ARE YOU EXCITED? 🔥 November 2021 is going to be extraordinary. 🔥
Watch the full trailer here: