It is a glorious day when there is a new space opera movie out. Better yet, when that movie is original, interesting, and yet still familiar. Better still is when that movie is on a popular streaming service. What really takes the cake? When on top of all that, the movie becomes wildly popular so you’ll have other people to talk to about your new find. Enter Space Sweepers. This new Korean space opera is the number one title on Netflix globally right now. It’s got a found-family storyline, follows a group of misfits collecting junk, a spaceship named The Victory, and a possibly-homicidal—but definitely adorable—robot child. You can watch the trailer below.
Space Sweepers takes place in 2092. The small group is traveling through the stars collecting junk and making their way through a life as misfits in space. There have already been quite a few comparisons to that storyline and Guardians of the Galaxy. Surprisingly, Firefly hasn’t been brought up much. While Firefly has the space-western element to it, collecting junk in space and then winding up with a stowaway and more trouble than you could have guessed is a very Firefly storyline. The girl on board that may be adorable and innocent, or may kill us all? So reminiscent of Firefly. So not something we can get enough of. Space Sweepers has a bit grittier feel to the aesthetics. The story is comedic and optimistic, but with a touch of cyberpunk aesthetics that definitely turn the eye.
Space Sweepers released on Netflix on February 5th. It was originally meant to premiere in theaters, but like many productions, plans changed due to the pandemic. Now, director Sung-hee Jo finally gets to bring his vision to audiences. His Korean space blockbuster is an idea he had before even his debut movie came out. It was originally titled Seungriho. His first movie to really draw attention was A Werewolf Boy in 2012. Nearly a decade later, Space Sweepers has finally been realized.
With Space Sweepers rising to so much attention, he’s naturally already been asked about a sequel. He told PinkVilla, “It hasn’t been that long since I’ve finished my work, and I think I’ll have to get out of here to think about the next thing, so I’m not sure yet. However, as a member of the audience, I am curious about the other stories of Seungriho, and I want to see not only Seungriho but also other space science fiction films currently being planned or produced as soon as possible.” If Netflix does move forward with a second installment for Space Sweepers we aren’t likely to hear about it for a few months yet. Netflix will be gathering data and making those decisions about the staying power of the film before they sign a new deal.
So far though, Space Sweepers seems to be hitting well with audiences. People are clearly watching. Reviews have called it “a live-action riff on Cowboy Bebop”, a “down-and-dirty space comedy” and have been comparing it to both Guardians of the Galaxy and Star Wars. If that sounds like something you’ll need to check out, the movie is exclusively on Netflix.