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‘The Silent Sea’ sets to inherit the momentum of ‘The Squid Game’

‘The Silent Sea’ sets to inherit the momentum of ‘The Squid Game’

Posted December. 23, 2021 08:01,   

Updated December. 23, 2021 08:01


“Challenge” is the most commonly mentioned word at the premiere of Korean sci-fi drama “The Silent Sea” by its director, screenwriter, and actors. The drama, slated to be released on upcoming Friday, is Netflix’s final Korean-language television series for 2021. The Korean sci-fi drama illustrates space explorers on a special mission to the Moon (the “Balhae” Base), which was shut down five years ago because of a mysterious accident. All eyes are on whether Netflix’s new sci-fi series will open up a new chapter for Korean dramas to broaden their external dimension to a new genre of science fiction.

Actor Gong Yoo, playing Han Yoon-jae, the youngest space expedition team leader, said that he has felt thirst for diversity in genre. “I have long been yearning to play roles in different genres. Korean sci-fi series is truly an out of the ordinary subject,” Gong said. “I really wanted to go for it and try something new.” Bae Doo-na, who plays Song Ji-an, an astrobiologist in the team, said that a Korean sci-fi film felt like an off-the-wall project at first. “I thought ‘The Silent Sea’ could bring an imagination into life,” she said. “‘Why not give it a try?’ I wanted to take a challenge.”

The series is an adaptation of Director Choi Hang-yong’s short film “The Sea of Tranquility,”his graduate work for the master’s degree program at the Korean National University of Arts in 2014, into a television series. “When I first saw the short film, I was so impressed by the film’s amazing quality. It was admirable given that it was made on such a low budget as opposed to Hollywood blockbusters,” said Bae. “As an actor, I wanted to make an attempt for a space movie by Director Choi.”

The series is set in the not-so-distant future, where resources have dried up and the Earth is dying. The fate of the Earth rests on a number of specialists on a mission to the Balhae Base on the Moon to find a key to survival. “As a short film was adapted into a television series, the story could extend further into the survival of human beings, instead of narrowly focusing on the survival of space explorers,” said the director.

As “The Squid Game” and “Hellbound,” the forerunners of Netflix’s Korean series, hit a grand slam in the global market, all eyes are on whether “The Silent Sea” can keep up the momentum. “To say I am not under pressure would be a lie,” said actor and the series’ executive producer Jung Woo-sung. “All actors participated in a film with a challenging spirit. I hope the unique Korean sentiment in ‘The Silent Sea’ resonates with a global audience.”

Hyo-Ju Son hjson@donga.com