[INTERVIEW] Director depicts school as microcosm of society in 'All of Us Are Dead'

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[INTERVIEW] Director depicts school as microcosm of society in 'All of Us Are Dead'

Netflix series “All of Us Are Dead” premiered on Jan. 28. Courtesy of Netflix

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

‘Potential season 2 can be about survival of zombies’By Lee Gyu-leeNetflix’s new Korean original series “All of Us Are Dead” has been going strong since making a successful debut on the platform on Jan. 28 and is on track to follow in the footsteps of “Squid Game,” which was a global sensation last year.

[INTERVIEW] Director depicts school as microcosm of society in 'All of Us Are Dead'

“All of Us Are Dead” director Lee Jae-kyoo / Courtesy of Netflix

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The gory, zombie-apocalypse series landed on the platform’s official top 10 weekly chart for non-English series in its opening week, with about 124.8 million hours viewed. It has topped the daily charts in various countries, including the U.K., Japan, Brazil, Thailand and France. The series’ director and creator Lee Jae-kyoo, who is also known as Lee JQ, shared his excitement for the series’ success, adding that it feels like two years of production are finally paying off. “We put our hearts and tried hard in making this series. And I think the viewers responded to the sentiment and story that the series told,” he said in an interview with The Korea Times, Monday. “Unlike previous zombie flicks, which focus on how adults handle the apocalypse, ‘All of Us Are Dead’ is about how adolescents respond to the scenario. And I think that was something new and refreshing about the genre.”Based on the popular webcomic of the same name, the 12-part horror series centers around a high school that becomes ground zero for a zombie virus outbreak.A group of students ― played by Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon and Lee You-mi ― try to make their way out of the school alive, fighting against zombies who were once their schoolmates.The series delves into the major social issue of school bullying, while also touching on various topics like social class hierarchy, teenage pregnancy and adults’ negligence. “On the surface, the story talks about school bullying but I don’t think society at large is much different (from school),” the director said. “At first, you might think how cruel those kids can be. But as you get through the episodes, you will see that some of the elements run parallel to this society. I hoped that the series could offer viewers a chance to reflect on where they stand in that society.”

[INTERVIEW] Director depicts school as microcosm of society in 'All of Us Are Dead'

A scene from the series “All of Us Are Dead” / Courtesy of Netflix

Lee noted that he tried to include real-life events in the story, like the school’s principal neglecting the safety of the children and one of the students, Hee-soo, giving birth in a bathroom.”The story has blended in different tragedies that have happened and are happening in our society,” he said. “(In regards to the story of Hee-soo,) there are a lot of young single mothers… she tries to abandon the child but goes back. And I felt that the 18-year-old taking responsibility for her child aligned with the series’ overall theme.”The series has different types of zombies, like the villain Gwi-nam, who turns into a zombie but retains his human consciousness, and the class president Nam-ra, who remains a human but gains zombie strength. The director explained that he treated Gwi-nam as “immortal,” by surviving after being infected by the zombie virus, and Nam-ra as “immune” due to having stronger antibodies to fight off the zombie virus. He noted that he adopted the variations in the infection to expand the series’ plot into different stories for the future. “With COVID-19, it’s different how the immune system works for people: even though people dine together in a closed space, some might get infected while others test negative. And I thought that a zombie virus might also have such variations where people are not 100 percent infected,” he said. “There are traditional forms of zombies from previous zombie flicks, but I felt there could also can be other variants. That way, I can open up different stories within the plot.”Although he is still uncertain if the series will have a second season, the director added that he has implemented some elements to develop further into future seasons. “I think it’s possible to do a second season if viewers show their support for the series. I’ve taken a second season into account when I was building the story, so there is a story to delve into for the next season,” he said. “If season 1 was about the humans’ survival, season 2 will be about the survival of the zombies.”

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