Netflix is investing USD$2.4 million per episode of the live-action adaptation of popular webtoon Sweet Home, surpassing the budget for Kingdom and Arthdal Chronicles.
According to a report by Koreaboo, Netflix picked up the rights to produce Korean Naver webtoon original Sweet Home, which revolves around a teenager battling a world that has been corrupted by greed.
Sweet Home is actually one of the most anticipated webtoon to TV drama adaptations not only because of the popularity of the source material but because it is being produced and directed by Lee Eung Bok, the genius behind Netflix's own Mr. Sunshine, KBS' Descendants of the Sun and tVn's Goblin: The Great and Lonely God.
Netflix is reportedly investing $2.4 million per episode of the fantasy drama which needs a huge budget since it requires heavy graphics and animation from the fantasy perspective of the story. As some characters are presented in monster form, this will require a lot of effort and funding for the CGI.
Rising star Song Kang, who also took on the lead role in Netflix's Love Alarm, reunites with the streaming giant for this project as he takes on yet another lead role for Sweet Home.
According to the actor, he is currently busy with filming for Love Alarm Season 2 but he landed the role for Sweet Home because he was handpicked by Lee Eung Bok.
"The director told me that I seemed like Hyun Soo, the main character [of 'Sweet Home'], during my audition. It was an amazing opportunity to work together with a famous director, and I really learned a lot," he said.
Another young and talented actor Lee Do Hyun, who appeared in recent hits like Hotel del Luna, Clean with Passion for Now, and Still 17, will also join the cast for the Netflix series.
With Sweet Home's budget, it surpasses Netflix's most expensive series like fantasy drama Arthdal Chronicles, which cost USD$2 million to produce per episode, period drama Mr. Sunshine (USD$1.2 million per episode) and zombie drama Kingdom (USD$1.78 million per episode).
Recent data suggests that Netflix is investing heavily in Asian content due to the surge of subscriptions brought on by the Coronavirus pandemic as countries implement lockdowns and quarantines. Most of these subscriptions came from Asian countries which gave the streaming platform a new market to explore after hitting a saturation point in the US.