Apple TV+ joins Korean wave with ‘Dr Brain’, starring ‘Parasite’ star Lee Sun-Kyun


Apple TV+ has become the latest global streamer to invest in Korean content by ordering its first fully local-language show from the country – a sci-fi thriller based on a popular webtoon.

Dr. Brain is being written and directed by filmmaker Kim Jee-Woon (A Tale of Two Sisters), with Parasite star Lee Sun-Kyun set to star.

Korea-based studio Bound Entertainment is currently in production on the series, along with Kakao Entertainment, Studioplex and Dark Circle Pictures. The series has been slated to debut later this year.

The show is based on the webtoon of the same name and follows a brain scientist who is obsessive about figuring out new technologies to access the consciousness and memories of the brain.

His life goes sideways when his family falls victim to a mysterious accident, and he uses his skills to access memories from his wife’s brain to piece together the mystery of what actually happened to his family and why.

The commission marks the first fully Korean-language project for streamer, although it has already ordered Pachinko, a Korean-, Japanese- and English-language drama series based on the acclaimed novel. That show is being written and executive produced by Soo Hugh.

Korea has long been seen as a creative powerhouse, with formats such as King Of Masked Singer and I Can See Your Voice among shows to have been remade globally.

There is also surging interest in originals from Korea, with Netflix last week confirming it would invest close to $500m on local productions for its global audience. The streamer has already introduced more than 80 original Korean shows and films to its service, ranging from young adult scripted series Extracurricular to sci-fi feature Space Sweepers.

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