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6 webtoons, web novels from Naver set for screen adaptation by end of year

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Clockwise from top left are promotional posters for
Clockwise from top left are promotional posters for "The Law Cafe," "The Golden Spoon," "Gaus Electronics," "Moon You," "Unlock the Boss" and "The Forbidden Marriage." Naver Webtoon unveiled the list of six webtoons and web novels that will be adapted for silver and small screens during the second half of 2022. Courtesy of Naver Webtoon

By Park Han-sol

Naver Webtoon has unveiled a list of six webtoons and web-based novels, which will be adapted for silver or small screens by the end of this year, as part of the internet giant's latest effort to expand the exploitable scope of its intellectual property (IP).

The first in line is "The Law Cafe," a popular web novel that has accumulated over 25 million downloads in Korea alone. Starring Lee Seung-gi and Lee Se-young, KBS' legal romance series of the same name premiered on Sept. 5, with its latest episode garnering a 5.5-percent viewership, according to Nielsen Korea.

The series revolves around a gifted prosecutor-turned-landlord and a passionate lawyer tenant, who join hands to provide clients with legal services through the cafe-cum-law firm they run together.

The 4DX cinematic adaptation for sci-fi black comedy webtoon "Moon You" is scheduled to hit local theaters on Oct. 12. The webcomics centers on a zoologist who, after an asteroid destroys the Earth, is stranded in a research facility on the moon. As the "last man alive," he decides to launch an exploration of the lunar surface, only to discover on the way that he may not be alone as he initially presumed.

At the end of July, the Chinese film adaptation of "Moon You" ― titled "Moon Man" ― was released, grossing over 580 billion won ($417 million) as of the beginning of September, according to China's largest online movie ticketing service Maoyan.

The film, which has become the second-highest-grossing movie of 2022 in the country's box office so far, marked the first case of a Chinese motion picture based on a Korean webtoon series.

The psychological fantasy drama "The Golden Spoon," starring actor-singer Yook Sung-jae of K-pop boy band BTOB and Jung Chae-yeon, will premiere on MBC, Sept. 23. The original webcomics, which has also been translated into English and Mandarin, launches a satirical commentary on Korean society's materialistic fixation through the story of a child who grew up in poverty but is given a chance one day to "change his family" with a magic golden spoon.

"Gaus Electronics" is another webtoon series coming to the small screen on ENA, Sept. 30. The digital comics surpassed 2.6 billion views worldwide during its long run from 2011 to 2019, gaining popularity for its comedic yet realistic portrayal of the lives of office workers at a multinational electronics corporation. The workplace sitcom will feature Kwak Dong-yeon and Ko Sung-hee in the lead roles.

Others in the list include comedy thriller webtoon series "Unlock the Boss" and period romance web novel "The Forbidden Marriage" set during the 1392-1910 Joseon Kingdom, both of which are slated for small screen adaptation on ENA and MBC, respectively.


Park Han-sol hansolp@koreatimes.co.kr


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