School’s out for the apocalypse as the upcoming K-drama All of Us Are Dead revolves around a mysterious zombie virus that takes over Hyosan High School.
The 12-episode zombie saga is an adaptation of the Korean webtoon comic Now at Our School by Joo Donggeun. Compared to its counterparts Kingdom and The Walking Dead, the series starts with an act of school bullying that unfolds on the school rooftop.
With a lot of anticipation among fans, here are some of the exciting details we’ve picked up from behind-the-scenes.
‘Students who are not yet adults’
In a virtual press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 26, director Lee Jaekyoo said the K-drama is a glimpse into a zombie outbreak among young adults.
“There is a lot of zombie content and in most stories, we look at what happens to adults when they encounter a zombie virus. But [All Of Us Are Dead] is a little unique. It happens within a very confined space, a school, and to students who are not yet adults,” Lee said.
Based on the trailer, high school students fight for their lives as a bully victim gets infected with a mysterious zombie virus. The victim turns into a zombie and “gets his revenge” from his schoolmates.
The series features up-and-coming actors Yoon Chanyoung, Park Jihoo, Cho Yihyun, Park Solomon, Yoo Insoo, and Lee Yoomi. You might’ve recognized some of their faces, however, this K-drama is about highlighting the talents of these rising stars.
Despite their different personalities, the teenagers realize they can only rely on themselves for their survival. They learn how to rely on their wits and create their own weapons using school supplies.
Chanyoung and Insoo revealed that many of their castmates even got sick while filming. “People threw up because they wanted to do well during the next training.”
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A familiar callback
Perhaps, one of the most attention-grabbing moments in the upcoming series is the use of meta-humor. As the zombie apocalypse intensifies, a group of students locks themselves inside a classroom.
One student peers through the windows as he describes the scene, “Guys, it’s just like Train to Busan.” To recall, Train to Busan is the popular zombie flick starring Gong Yoo and Kim Suan.
Such reference is a funny touch for K-dramas because, in a rare turn of events, the characters know zombies.
A zombie outbreak that shows us how to be human
Jaekyoo, who has directed K-dramas like Beethoven Virus and The King 2 Hearts, said the story is about young adults who learn how to survive a zombie outbreak by themselves.
“We see many films about zombies but only a few have students as the main characters. In an enclosed place like a school where teenagers are clustered, they have to survive on their own. They have to run away from friends becoming zombies,” Jaekyoo said.
According to the director, the characters learn how to process their emotions without the help of “mature adults.” They learn how to protect themselves from the outbreak and accept pain in a life-and-death situation.
“The process of becoming zombies, usually there is an immense fear because you have this sense of fear and despair where you’re not trying to hurt them—but they’re trying to kill you. I think that emotional aspect is what will set us apart,” Jaekyoo added.
The zombie outbreak eventually forces Chungsan (Yoon Chanyoung), Onjo (Park Jihoo), Namra (Cho Yihyun), Soohyuk (Park Solomon), Gwinam (Yoo Insoo), and Nayeon (Lee Yoomi) to grow up on their own and learn more about themselves as individuals.
The first episode of All of Us Are Dead is set to premiere on Friday, Jan. 28.