Korean superstar Gianna Jun (“My Sassy Girl”) and celebrated screenwriter Kim Eun-hee (“Kingdom”) were on hand Wednesday to give a starry launch to the first season of “Jirisan,” a Korean drama series about mysteries uncovered by park rangers on the slopes of Mount Jiri.
The series is produced by Astory as a tvN and iQiyi International original that will be available from Oct 23.
Other cast include movie star Ju Ji Hoon (“Asura,” “The Spy Gone North”) and Oh Jung-se and Cho Han-cheul, best known respectively for their roles in “It’s Okay Not To Be Okay” and the current hit “Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha.”
Kim and Jun (aka Jun Ji-hyun) were previously connected by Jun’s role in Netflix’ “Kingdom” and its spinoff “Ashin of the North” in which Jun plays the title role. But Jun said that she had decided to cast for “Jirisan” prior to the Ashin role. “The charm in [Kim’s] scripts are the details that seem unimportant at the start, but which turn out to be crucial at the end,” said Jun.
Based outside China, iQiyi International has a freer choice of content that it can invest in, acquire and deliver to viewers, than the mainland Chinese, NASDAQ-listed parent company. And, like Asian streaming rivals, it has decided to make Korean TV content a significant part of its regional appeal – even though Korean entertainment is currently enduring a de facto ban in China.
Earlier this week, on the margins of the Busan International Film Festival, iQiyi announced an expanded investment and distribution slate that included four more Korean originals.