Moving is a South Korean superhero series with A-list cast and big budget
LOS ANGELES – A very Korean superhero series: That is how the stars and creators of Moving describe one of the most ambitious and keenly anticipated South Korean shows of the year.
Debuting on Disney+ on Thursday, the science-fiction and fantasy show uses elaborate computer-generated imagery to tell the tale of three teenagers who have inherited superpowers from their secret-agent parents – but have to keep these gifts hidden from the world.
It is based on the wildly popular South Korean webtoon of the same name, which racked up 200 million views after it was released in 2015.
Its creator, pioneering webtoon artist Kang Full, also wrote the new 20-episode show.
The series is one of a growing number of screen adaptations of webtoons, a type of digital comic that originated in South Korea and is designed to be viewed on smartphones.
And Moving is generating considerable buzz in the country because of its cast of A-list stars such as Han Hyo-joo, Zo In-sung and Ryu Seung-ryong, as well as its reported budget of 50 billion won (S$51 million) – which is high for a South Korean TV show.
At a press conference in Seoul that was streamed to media abroad, the actors admit they felt extra pressure working on such a high-profile, big-budget show.
Ryu, 52, plays a character named Joo-won, a man with the ability to recover from injuries quickly and painlessly.
The actor describes the series as having the quality of a film.
“If you look at the running time, it’s like 10 movies in total or a really long movie,” says the actor, who starred in the hit comedy films Miracle In Cell No. 7 (2013) and Extreme Job (2019).
“And I think we’re kind of like the Avengers. We have a truly star-studded cast, we have a wonderful crew, and we wanted to create this masterpiece together and then show it to the audience,” he says, referring to the hit Marvel superhero films.
For the younger actors who play the teens, there was the added pressure of working next to veteran performers whom they have looked up to for years.
Lee Jung-ha, who plays Bong-seok, a student who can fly, says: “It was the biggest honour of my life, because since I was young, I’ve watched them act in shows and movies.”
“And now, I’m working together with them. It’s just so touching,” adds the 25-year-old, who starred in the television series Nevertheless (2021).
Kim Do-hoon plays Gang-hoon, a young man with superhuman strength.
“I felt a sense of responsibility and an ambition to do well, so I was a little nervous and tense.
“But my peer actors and director Park (In-jae) were so nice to me, and they created an atmosphere where I could relax and show everything I’ve got,” says the 24-year-old, who appeared in the 2022 romantic drama The Law Cafe.
Cha Tae-hyun, whose character has the ability to generate electricity, adds that the series brings a culturally distinctive touch to the genre.
“There’s a lot of Korean-ness to it, so to speak,” says the actor, singer and television personality, who starred in the comedy film Hello Ghost (2010) and fantasy drama Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds (2017).
“But nevertheless, it transcends culture, so I feel like global audiences will be entertained and that it will tug at your heartstrings too. So, as much as I want Korean audiences to love it, I also hope that global audiences will find the show entertaining and intriguing as well,” says the 47-year-old.
But to Kang, 48, the series is much more than just a superhero big-budget action thriller.
The screenwriter and webtoon creator says: “What’s really important for stories is not just the narrative, but also the characters.
“So, I wanted to make sure there are 20 episodes so that we can dive deep into each of these characters.”
- Moving debuts on Disney+ on Thursday.