5 Things To Know About "Space Sweepers"—Netflix's New #1 Korean Movie
Netflix is on a roll—after its massively successful TV shows such as Lupin, The Queen's Gambit and Bridgerton, the streaming giant proves that it's also home to blockbuster movies. Entering the scene is Space Sweepers, the latest Korean movie that dropped on Netflix on February 5 has already topped the charts in various regions around the world, even just a few days after its release.
The science-fiction blockbuster is set in 2092 when Earth has become almost uninhabitable. UTS, a large corporation decides to build a new home on Mars but only for a selected few. The story follows Tae-ho (Song Joong-ki) and Captain Jang (Kim Tae-ri), who are part of a crew of The Victory, a space junk collector ship. Seemingly just tasked with collecting space junk and making ends meet, the crew's lives when they discover a child robot named Dorothy, who despite her appearance, is actually a highly dangerous weapon.
But whether you've seen the movie or not, there's bound to be some details about it that have you curious. Here are five things you should know about the latest Netflix hit.
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1/5 It's the first Korean space movie
Space Sweepers is heralded as the first Korean sci-fi blockbuster that's set in space, no doubt one of the reasons why it has become a massive hit just days after its release. While there have been a number of Korean sci-fi blockbusters, most of them were set in the future or in a more dystopian setting on Earth such as Time to Hunt and Illang: The Wolf Brigade. This new and refreshing first-of-its-king setting sets a promising tone for future Korean space films.
With the first all-civilian flight to space set to launch later this year, as well as the plans for a space luxury hotel slated for 2024, tales set in outer space will continue to fascinate our imaginations of life beyond the stars.
See also: Tatler's Guide to Going to Outer Space
2/5 The release has been delayed due to Covid-19
Like many other movies whose production and release have been delayed to Covid-19, Space Sweepers isn't an exception. The filming started in 2019 and was slated for a 2020 release until the pandemic hit. Plans were made to release it during South Korea's chuseok holiday (or autumn eve) but were once again postponed due to the rise of the Covid-19 cases in the country. Eventually, it was decided that the film will be released exclusively on Netflix.
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3/5 It boasts two star-power leads
Space Sweepers stars The Handmaiden's Kim Tae-ri and Descendents of the Sun's Song Joong-ki—two household names in South Korea. As early as June 2018, it was reported that Song already agreed to star in director Jo Sung-hee's next film after the success of A Werewolf Boy even before he read the script. On the other hand, Kim was offered her role in January 2019 and was instantly sold by the movie's premise.
Song's last movie was in 2017 for The Battleship Island while Kim's was Little Forest in 2018—making this sort of their comeback to the big screen. Other than these two star-power leads, Space Sweepers also stars The Outlaw's Jin Seon-kyu and top character actor, Yoo Hae-jin. English actor, Richard Armitage is also part of the cast, making it is his first Korean film.
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4/5 The story was written 10 years prior to the release date
The idea for Space Sweepers was conceived in 2009, even before director Jo's first massive hit, A Werewolf Boy in 2012 which also starred Song Joong-ki. The director said that he has always heard many stories about space junk and space sweepers from his friend, prompting the idea for what would eventually become a blockbuster hit.
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5/5 It's already #1 in Hong Kong—and various other countries
Space Sweepers was released on February 5 and debuted No.1 on Netflix in at least 16 countries including the Philippines, France, Malaysia and its home turf South Korea. The movie has already climbed to the No.1 spot in Hong Kong and shows no sign of stopping anytime soon.
The movie might be the first Korean sci-fi flick set in space but given the success of its premiere, it looks like it won't be the last.
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