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We’ve seen Netflix take this approach successfully with series like Chilling Adventures of Sabrina: Take a Netflix successful series and splice in a standalone episode to surprise and please the fanbase.  This time it’s for a series we pegged as one of the Top 40 of the past decade, the South Korean brilliant horror mash-up, KingdomTwo seasons of the series (the first reviewed here, the second reviewed here) have everything: a great historical drama, royal family betrayals, medieval action, pandemic politics, and zombie horror, all supported across a giant, beautiful Korean landscape.  Kingdom isn’t what you’d think of as K-drama, at least not your typical romance heavy fantasy.  This month Netflix is surprising its viewers with what it calls a “sidequel,” a feature-length movie about a fringe character that arrived in the second season.  Check out a preview and images from Kingdom: Ashin of the North, below:

Kingdom Ashin poster

Netflix bills the new 92-minute feature as “A sidequel from Kingdom season two and a backstory about the mysterious character Lee Chang’s group encountered on their journey north to discover the origins of the infected.  Ashin will unveil the mystery behind her identity.  The new story will detail what had happened to Ashin in the past in the northern region and how the two characters’ fates intertwined.”

Ashin (played by Jun Ji-Hyun) is the mysterious woman who arrived at the end of the second season, and the new feature will explain this cliffhanger and unanswered question, filling in her backstory and the origin and transformation of the resurrection plant into its wild and deadly form.

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The world of Kingdom is as much science fiction as fantasy, but it’s like that science fiction you’ve seen from Stan Lee superhero creations, and all his character origin stories resulting from misapplied science.  You’ll also find plenty of heroes and villains.  And it’s zombies, so of course that means horror.

Here is the trailer for Kingdom: Ashin of the North:

Deception.  Murder.  Conspiracy.  Gorgeous, truly cinematic imagery.  In the first season director Kim Seong-hun hid the secret to the plague in plain sight, and in the second season he hid the nature of a possible cure there as well, further bolstering the richness of the fact-meets-fantasy lore found in his worldbuilding.  Now we see what’s ahead as we learn how it all began.

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Find out in Kingdom: Ashin of the North, coming July 23, 2021, only on Netflix.

C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg