Masala: The Cast and Director of ‘Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area’ on the Uniquely Korean Twist of Their Remake

It’s a rich man’s world, and no one knows that better than the characters in “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area.” 

Set in an alternative future where North and South Korea are on the cusp of reunification, the series follows a rag-tag group of citizens of both countries as they cope with the realization that even in a unified Korea, money remains king. In the aftermath of their disillusionment, the team is approached by the mysterious Professor (Yoo Jitae) as he recruits them for the heist of the century at the newly created Korean Mint. But the crew must face off with a relentless police negotiator (Yunjin Kim) before they can make it out with their cash prize.

Four of the cast members, Park Hae-soo (“Squid Game”), Yunjin, Kim Ji-Hun (“Flower of Evil”) and Yoo, along with director Kim Hong-Sun, joined Character Media to speak about the series and how it differs from the 2017 Spanish show. Park, who plays the chaotic Berlin, explains that while the Korean and original characters share names, all Korean characters have their own personalities unique from their Spanish counterparts. His co-star Jihun, who portrays fellow robber Denver, notes that much of that difference stems from the characters’ individual backstories. “There is definitely a difference between characters due to their backgrounds, some coming from North Korea and some coming from South Korea,” Jihun said. “But all those elements were well blended into the script.”

Of course, while the series strives to remain faithful to the source material, the creators and cast still had to keep some obstacles in mind, namely how to adapt the show for a Korean audience. In particular, director Hong-sun mentioned the most challenging aspect was creating a time and space in which the heist would occur. “Amidst that whirlwind of events that lead to reunification, it would be possible that Money Heist could take place,” Hong-sun explained. “So, we began imagining the zone from the beginning because as interesting as the original series was, it was at odds with Korea’s reality.”

The rest of the cast also chimed in with their perspective on the differences between the two series, as well as their feelings on re-creating such an iconic series. Make sure to watch the full interview above, and don’t forget to catch the first half of “Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area” on Netflix now!