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Korean Webtoon ‘Dr. Brain’ Nabs Live-Action Series Order at Apple TV+

Sci-fi thriller based on the popular webtoon is the first Korean-language project for the streamer; ‘Parasite’s Lee Sun-Kyun to star, with Kim Jee-Woon writing and directing.

Apple TV+ today announced an expansion of its international slate with a series order for Dr. Brain, a new sci-fi thriller based on the widely popular Korean webtoon of the same name. The show will be written and directed by Kim Jee-Woon (A Tale of Two Sisters, I Saw the Devil), and star SAG Award-winner Lee Sun-Kyun (Parasite); it marks the first Korean-language project for Apple TV+.

Now in production in South Korea and set to debut later this year, Dr. Brain is an emotional journey that follows a brain scientist who is obsessive about figuring out new technologies to access the consciousness and memories of the brain. His life goes sideways when his family falls victim to a mysterious accident, and he uses his skills to access memories from his wife’s brain to piece together the mystery of what actually happened to his family and why.

Dr. Brain is produced for Apple TV+ by Korea-based studio, Bound Entertainment, along with Kakao Entertainment, Studioplex and Dark Circle Pictures. Jee-Woon serves as executive producer alongside Samuel Yeunju Ha, executive producer of Jee-Woon’s Illang: The Wolf Brigade and Bong Joon-Ho’s Okja. Ham Jung Yeub and Daniel Han executive produce for Studioplex, and Joy Jinsoo Lee and Min Young Hong serve as executive producers for Kakao Entertainment.

Apple has previously announced a slate of Apple Original international dramas, including Pachinko, the Korean, Japanese and English-language drama series based on the acclaimed novel, written and executive produced by Soo Hugh; Masters of the Air, a new limited drama series from Apple Studios and executive produced by Steven Spielberg’s Amblin Television, and Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman’s Playtone; Slow Horses, an international espionage thriller starring Academy Award winner Gary Oldman; Shantaram, based on Gregory David Robert’s best-selling novel and starring Charlie Hunnam; Echo 3, a new action-thriller set entirely between South America and the US, and written by Academy Award-winning producer and writer Mark Boal; and, Suspicion, a high-paced thriller starring Uma Thurman and based on the award-winning Israeli series False Flag.

Apple is also busy in the animation news space, having just announced a multi-year deal with Skydance Animation to deliver animated films and TV shows for Apple TV+. Skydance Animation’s slate of projects joins Apple’s growing block of animation programming that includes recent Best Picture Golden Globe Award nominee Wolfwalkers, Daytime Emmy winner Snoopy in Space, and the animated musical comedy, Central Park, from Loren Bouchard, Nora Smith, and Josh Gad. The streamer’s multiple-Emmy Award-winning lineup of original kids’ series includes Helpsters from Sesame Workshop; new series from Peanuts and WildBrain including The Snoopy ShowDoug Unplugs from DreamWorks Animation; Stillwater from Gaumont and Scholastic; as well as upcoming series Fraggle Rock and Harriet the Spy from The Jim Henson Company; and a newly imagined original series based on the stories and illustrations of Maurice Sendak. 

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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.