June 28 (UPI) — Netflix is increasing its footprint in Asia and will soon premiere a new South Korean period drama — a sign the top U.S. streaming media services provider is ready to leverage the popularity of South Korean film and television across Asia.
Kuek Yu-Chuang, Netflix’s managing director for Asia-Pacific, said Thursday in Seoul Netflix will increase investment in global content and provide an export channel for Korean cultural content, Yonhap reported.
Kuek said the plan is for Netflix to invest about $8 billion in global content, and that 55 percent of Netflix’s worldwide revenue comes from Asia.
Netflix has taken steps to forge relations with South Korea movie studios and key directors like Bong Joon-ho, who directed the film Okja, starring Tilda Swinton.
The film was directly released to Netflix in 2017.
On Thursday, Kuek said he hopes co-productions with South Korean studios will rise over time.
In May, the company said it will continue with a second season of a variety show, Busted! I Know Who You Are, featuring popular show host Yoo Jae-suk.
The period drama to be released in July, Mr. Sunshine, stars South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, and is directed and written by a South Korean team who created the drama Descendants of the Sun that generated direct and indirect revenues of $880 million in 2016.
Variety reported Mr. Sunshine will run for 24 episodes and stream simultaneously in the United States and Asia.
The story’s protagonist is a Korean boy who returns to his homeland as a United States marine officer in the late 19th century, only to learn of a conspiracy to colonize the country.