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Veteran filmmaker Kim Jee-woon feels ‘like a rookie’ before release of his first TV series

SEOUL-- Prolific filmmaker Kim Jee-woon said Wednesday he is nervous and excited like a rookie director ahead of the release of his TV series debut and the first Korean-language original of Apple TV+.

"I've worked only on films, and this is my first TV series," Kim said in a press conference streamed online to promote the sci-fi thriller "Dr. Brain." "Half concerned and half excited, I feel like I'm here to present my debut project."

Starring Lee Sun-kyun of "Parasite" (2019), "Dr. Brain" is based on a popular Korean webtoon of the same title. It revolves around Sewon, a genius cerebral scientist who is obsessed about figuring out new technologies to access the consciousness and memories of the brain.

After losing his family in mysterious circumstances, the cold-hearted and impassive scientist tries to link the brains of people involved in the events and collects their memories to get closer to the truth.

The six-episode show is the first Korean-language original produced by Apple TV+, which is set to officially launch its service in Korea on Thursday amid the worldwide spotlight on Korean content stemming from the survival drama "Squid Game" on Netflix.

Director Kim, who has made a number of critically and commercially acclaimed films, including the horror film "A Tale of Two Sisters" (2003), the action thriller "I Saw The Devil" (2010) and the period thriller "The Age of Shadows" (2016), said he was impressed by the original webtoon by Hongjacga a few years ago.

"Its drawing style was very unique, and it looked like a graphic novel in a film noir style," he said. "The webtoon features the human desire to read people's thoughts and peek into their mind."

To adapt the web-based cartoon into a six-hour TV series, the director said he has created more intricate relationships among characters, along with multiple incidents surrounding Sewon, who faces his human and emotional deficiencies during a series of cerebral connection.

"The new series will portray the multiple layers of emotions and feelings that Sewon has while piecing together other people's memories," the director said. "I've tried hard to maintain the narrative tension and interest throughout the whole series."

Actor Lee Sun-kyun said the screenplay for "Dr. Brain" had caught his eye from the beginning for its fascinating mystery plot coupled with the unique subject of "brain science." It is his first project to be released since the Oscar-winning "Parasite" two years ago.

"The plot of the first episode was a bit difficult for me due to some science terms," he said. "But as the story goes on, I couldn't wait for the next episode, which was still in processing."

The actor said he also wants to contribute to the rising global popularity of Korean-made content with "Dr. Brain."

"It's an honor to take part in this project led by a big global company," he said. "I want to play a role in heating up the mood but feel some pressure at the same time."

"Dr. Brain" will be released on a weekly basis starting Thursday on Apple TV+.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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