Netflix recently released a new trailer for its most recent spin-off, Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area. The new series will take the lead from its famous predecessor, Money Heist, a show that failed terribly in its home country of Spain until Netflix bought it and turned into an international success.
Money Heist became so popular not just because everyone loves a good heist movie, but because of how it used traditional tropes of the genre and made something surprising from it. The heist part of the series is bolstered by its 3-dimensional characters and intense drama that fills out a story that would otherwise just be Ocean’s 11 in Spain. Its narrative also takes the regular heist plotline and amps it up, turning a single robbery into all-out, V for Vendetta-style class warfare.
Money Heist had reasonable success in English-speaking countries despite being shot in Spanish. Netflix added two docuseries about the show as well — Money Heist: From Tokyo to Berlin and Money Heist: The Phenomenon. Now it seems that after the original series ended in 2021, Netflix is looking to take another bite at the apple with Money Heist: Korea.
The series is expected to be a big hit considering that data points to a massive increase in TV and film consumption in Korea. And with the success of shows like Squid Game, this new version of Money Heist aims to be the next big, creative Korean drama.
Money Heist: Korea: The Plot
The series takes place in a fictional world where North Korea and South Korea have reached a unifying agreement. The two countries have erased their border and have joined to create the titular Joint Economic Area. Along with agreeing to economic cooperation, the nations have created a single unified currency for the people to use.
But instead of everything being wine and roses, there wasn’t as much prosperity as the people thought. As the trailer puts it, “Once the North opened up, we thought everyone would benefit. But in reality, only the rich got richer.” The show puts forth its anti-capitalist basis in true Money Heist fashion.
“A genius strategist and his talented crew composed of top-class thieves attempting to pull off an unprecedented heist in the Korean Peninsula. The story portrays unexpected twists and turns as the crew stage a hostage while facing inexplicable challenges. All eyes are focused on the background and definition behind the title Joint Economic Area.”
But a little more about the plot can be told. The heist in question will be of the mint, inside the area between the Koreas, and a team of cooperative joint-nationalist security will be among those trying to foil our heroes.
Writer Ryu Yong-Jae, a big fan of the original Spanish series, spoke to Variety about how this plot will be different from the previous series. He stated:
“I was intrigued by the premise of the remake because not only is it about the conflict between robbers and police, but also it adds new layers such as the tension, mistrust, and harmony between North and South Korea. [It is] a situation where thieves from North and South Korea join forces, and police from North and South join hands to stop their way, [adding] a Korean lens to the original IP.”
Money Heist: Korea: The Cast
Many popular roles from the original series will appear in the new show. So characters in the show will share the titles of previous characters like Tokyo, Berlin, and The Professor, but a new set of Korean actors will take over for the Spanish cast.
Shots have been released of the crew standing, dressed in the familiar red jumpsuits and masks. But the masks, instead of carrying the caricature visage of Salvador Dalí, are traditional Korean Hahoe masks. An excellent change for the culture, they result in the same effect as the Dali masks, aiding the crew by projecting anonymity, national identity, and fear.
Yoo Ji-Tae, known for his performance in Oldboy, will play the Professor. Park Hae-Soo, a veteran of Korean dramas, most notably Squid Game, will play Berlin. And Jeon Jong-seo will be Tokyo. Yunjin Kim from Lost will play Seon Woojin. Lee Si-woo will play Ann. And Anzu Lawson from Blacklist and NCIS will play Ann’s mom. Park Myung-hoon from Parasite will play Cho Youngmin. Kim Ji-hoon will play Denver. Hyun-Woo Lee will play Rio. Won-jong Lee will be Moscow. Ji-Hoon Kim from Voice will play Helsinki. Kyu-Ho Lee will play Oslo. Jang Yoon-ju will play Nairobi. Kim Sung-oh will play Cha Moohyuk. And Joo-Bin Lee will play Youn Misun.
While more than a few are recognizable names in the United States, all of the actors have proved themselves in Korean movies and TV dramas, and no doubt will bring the intense thrill and fierce dramatic tension we’ve all come to expect from the show.
Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area will release on Netflix starting June 24, 2022.
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