Why would Netflix greenlight the remake of not only one of its own original series, but one that already represents one of its biggest successes? Well, how about for the sake of wider success in different markets around the world, or just the opportunity to tell the same story from a different point of view? Those seem to be the driving forces behind Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area, the South Korean remake of the Spanish heist drama Money Heist.
A teaser trailer for the upcoming Netflix series dropped on Tuesday, revealing the main series cast. Replacing Álvaro Morte as the enigmatic heist mastermind, The Professor, is Yoo Ji-Tae (Oldboy). Park Hae-soo — who Squid Game fans will remember as Sang-woo, Gi-hun’s childhood friend — takes Pedro Alonso’s place as Berlin, The Professor’s second-in-command. Kim Yun-jin of Lost fame plays crisis negotiation team leader Seon Woo-jin. You can see the teaser below.
The trailer also reveals the actors who will be playing The Professor’s gang, all with the codenames of cities, just like in Netflix’s original Money Heist. Jun Jong-seo (Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon) plays Tokyo, Lee Won-jong is Moscow, Kim Ji-hun is Moscow’s son Denver, Jang Yoon-ju plays the forgery expert Nairobi, Lee Hyun-woo is the hacker Rio, Kim Ji-hoon will be the veteran Helsinki, and Lee Kyu-ho is Helsinki’s cousin Oslo. Of course since Money Heist: Korea is a remake set in a different country, there will no doubt be some differences between the characters’ backstories. Helsinki and Oslo, for example, may both still be veterans, but of different conflicts. The versions played by Darko Perić (Helsinki) and Roberto García Ruiz (Oslo) in the original were former soldiers from Serbia.
Originally airing on Spain’s Antena 3 in 2017, the first Money Heist debuted on Netflix in 2019. The Professor and his gang of crooks take a bank hostage and maneuver expertly against law enforcement for money, for thrills, and to give the proverbial finger to the government. At the same time, characters on all sides of the conflict find their most deeply entrenched beliefs challenged while surprising bonds form between those who should be at each others’ throats.
Money Heist has already proven to be a massive boon to Netflix, as evidenced by the numbers the streamer released in September 2021. Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos revealed the streamer’s top 10 series, based on performance over the first 28 days of release. Money Heist made up not one, but two of the top 10 list’s spots. Part three of Money Heist was in the #9 spot with 426 million hours watched, while part four of the series made the #2 spot with 619 million hours — just 6 million hours shy of the top spot, held by Bridgerton. Of course, as Variety and others reported in November, Squid Game would later dominate the list with a staggering 1.65 billion hours watched, but the survivalist thriller was just starting when Netflix released their first top 10 list.
Unfortunately, the trailer for Money Heist: Korea — Joint Economic Area doesn’t announce Netflix’s release date. We’re left with a vague “Coming Soon.” Keep checking out GFR, and as soon as we know, you’ll know.