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Disney+’s ‘Vigilante’ targets global audience as Korean dark hero action series

SEOUL, "Vigilante," the latest original Korean series by Disney+, raises a question that is frequently asked but hard to answer: Is the law fair?

Certainly, Kim Ji-yong, the protagonist of the dark hero series played by Nam Joo-hyuk, does not believe it is. So he assumes the role of a vigilante, making sure justice is done.

One of the top students at the National Police University, Ji-yong is a gentle, well-behaved and compassionate young man who can't just pass by an old lady without helping her collect discarded boxes on the street.

By night, however, he wears a big black hood to disguise his identity and goes on a vigilante spree to dole out justice. His targets are evil, unrepentant offenders who evade the law and go unpunished or get a slap on the wrist, if they are punished at all.

A poster for "Vigilante" is shown in this image provided by Disney+.

"I hope the series raises various questions, like whether the law is fair and functioning well, if a vigilante is a hero or a villain and what we need to do to have a more solid legal framework," director Choi Jeong-yeol said at a press conference in Seoul on Monday.

The dark hero action series on the Disney streaming platform is based on the Korean webtoon of the same name. The digital comic series has been viewed more than 370 million times on the Naver Webtoon platform since it started being published in April 2018.

"As the original webtoon is quite lengthy and covers a vast amount of stories, I picked impressive episodes from the webtoon to keep the tension high and try to make the series fast-paced," Choi said.

The main actor Nam, who starred in "Twenty-Five, Twenty-One" (2022) and "The Light in Your Eyes" (2019), did not attend the media promotion event as he is currently serving in the military.

In a video message, the 29-year-old said he poured a lot of effort into the series for a long time.

"Old Boy" actor Yoo Ji-tae plays Jo Heon, the leader of the police investigation team who goes after the vigilante, with the belief that the man's actions are not righteous if he enjoys violence regardless of his true intentions.

Yoo put on a substantial amount of weight, about 20 kilograms, to play the huge, muscular Monster Cop, who effortlessly lifts up a car with his bare hands.

Calling himself a big fan of the "Batman" franchise, Yoo hopes "Vigilante" will reach a global audience and become the "Batman" of Korea.

"I watched the series and was heavily influenced by it as an actor," Yoo said, adding, "Now is the time to have a (well-made) Korean action hero series, and 'Vigilante' could be the one."

The first two episodes of the eight-part show are set to premiere on the streaming site Wednesday.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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