10 K-Dramas That Need Hollywood Movie Adaptations

10 K-Dramas That Need Hollywood Movie Adaptations

With talks that the Netflix K-drama Extraordinary Attorney Woo will get a U.S. remake, more and more people are turning to Korean TV. The popularity of K-dramas has risen somewhat rapidly in the past few years, with the overnight success of Squid Game, and the Korean movie Parasite winning an Academy Award, but some English-speaking viewers are still intimated by subtitles, which holds them back from watching amazing, heartwarming and action-packed shows.

If some of these K-dramas were adapted to their full potential with the time, money, and tools of the western film industry, more people will appreciate the writing. From Crash Landing On You to My Name, these 10 K-dramas need Hollywood remakes.

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Crash Landing On You (2019 – 2020)

Starting off with a fan favorite, Crash Landing On You tells the story of a South Korean woman who accidentally makes her way into the North, into the path of a soldier, whom she falls for.

Related: Every Main Character’s First & Last Line In Crash Landing On You

This story is expertly written, portraying something that the characters know is dangerous and for the most part illegal, as something that still can be so beautiful. Although a unique situation between the North and the South of Korea, the age-old tale of forbidden love with the element of fear added in is definitely one to recreate with the technology and money of the western film industry.

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay (2020 – 2020)

Actors Kim Soo-hyun and Seo Yea-ji in It's Okay To Not Be Okay

It’s Okay To Not Be Okay follows the dark story of a children’s book writer who isn’t completely satisfied with her life and a caretaker in a psychiatric ward who takes care of his autistic brother, Sang-Tae. Gang-Tae’s and Sang-Tae’s strong sibling bond is one that truly captivates audiences.

This show delicately handles a discussion around mental health while incorporating children’s fairy tales, definitely making it stand out among other K-dramas of this genre. The show’s protagonist, Ko Mun-Yeong, accurately displays that even though some people have money and beauty, their life isn’t always perfect. She struggles with her mental health while her love interest, Moon Gang-Tae, has his own challenges in taking care of his brother.

Vincenzo (2021 – 2021)

Vincenzo speaks Italian while dangling a thug off building in Vincenzo

This action-packed show follows Vincenzo, a Korean-Italian man born into the Italian mafia. Vincenzo is a perfect combination of humor, action, and a little sprinkling of a thriller that constantly keeps the viewer on edge. It knows its boundaries and doesn’t take itself too seriously, which is a refreshing change for the genre, and the shocking twists keep viewers hanging on.

Related: 5 Reasons Vincenzo Is The Netflix K-Drama We Needed (& 5 Ways It’s Typical)

Each of the characters develops throughout the show, and all have time to breathe. This exciting drama would make an amazing Hollywood movie and could really be something special using the tools at its disposal.

Sweet Home (2020 – )

Sweet Home Netflix

A thriller following one teenage boy fighting off humans-turned-monsters in an apocalyptic setting is always a big hitter for the American box office. With its dark, tense atmosphere and interestingly varied characters, the story takes a classic genre and goes completely against viewers’ expectations.

Related: 10 Scenes From K-Dramas That Came From Its Webtoon

Each monster is as unique as the last one, having not undergone government experiments or a deadly virus, but given into intense emotional desire, making the plot a refreshing change from many of the movies of this genre. This show would add something to the Hollywood scene that it is lacking right now.

Bad And Crazy (2021 – 2022)

Two young men walking side by side in the K Drama Bad And Crazy.

Another show based on topics surrounding mental health, Bad And Crazy follows the story of a promotion-seeking cop who realizes his attacker, K, played by Wi Ha-Joon, is himself, as he has dissociative identity disorder. Essentially, this is a tale of two sides of one story – except it’s the same person.

K’s compassion for his ill mother and clueless brother, not to mention his devastating childhood, makes the character vulnerable, and the audience can sympathize with him. He becomes a loveable character and the love/hate relationship between him and K, his alter ego, makes this an enjoyable watch.

My Name (2021)

Ji-woo in My Name

Following her father’s death, a woman seeking revenge puts her trust in a powerful crime boss and enters the police force under his order. This truly action-packed show is exciting from start to finish, and with a passionate heroine like Yoon Ji-Woo at the helm, the strongest character in My Name, the series would make a perfect adaptation as a mainstream movie.

The writing is consistently fast-paced and emotionally compelling and the fight scenes are expertly shot. This isn’t your typical Korean drama, which would make it popular with a wider audience.

Vagabond (2019)

2019 South Korean k-drama Vagabond

In another exciting action-packed storyline, a stuntman involved in a tragic airplane crash ends up discovering a national corruption scandal in the process.

Hollywood is no stranger to a plot like this, and Vagabond would be a welcome addition to the scene. The heart-wrenching story of the main protagonist who loses his nephew in the crash definitely brings in some intense emotion. Although the budget for this show was already a big one, Hollywood’s expertise would definitely bring this interesting story to new people.

Strong Girl Bong-Soon (2017)

Actors Park Bo-young, Park Hyung-sik and Ji Soo in Strogn Girl Bong Soon

Strong Girl Bong-Soon tells the lighthearted story of a girl from a long line of women with super strength who becomes the bodyguard for a rich game company’s CEO. The appeal is clear, a strong, independent heroine, cute love interests, and a beautiful soundtrack.

Related: 10 Reasons Why The K-Drama Strong Girl Bong-Soon Is So Memorable

There is a slightly dark side to the show that balances out the adorable romance and adds a new layer of thrill. She fights crime and also gets to live out her life as normal as she can with not one, but two love interests. Bong-Soon has so much passion and one heroine who would be very cool to see her story played out on the big screen.

What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim (2018)

This drama follows a narcissistic, rich CEO, played by Park Seo-Joon, as he attempts to find a way to make his assistant of nine years decide not to quit and to stay as his assistant. This heartwarming rom-com is perfect for American audiences as it has all the classic elements of the genre plus quirky characters and cute fairground dates.

There are also themes surrounding a mystery and long-lost love, along with childhood trauma, which makes the pair’s relationship build beautifully. It’s a change of pace even for K-dramas but still works, making the show perfect for a Hollywood adaptation.

Itaewon Class (2020)

Actors Park Seo-joon and Kim Da‑Mi in Itaewon Class

Ex-con Saeroyi and a misfit group of friends attempt to turn their modest bar into the number one bar in Itaewon while taking down the ruthless CEO that landed him in jail in the first place.

It is an earnest, underdog story with characters who have lots of heart, all while collecting a found family along the way. The drama also has a lot of diverse characters, something lacking in other dramas. The protagonist’s unwavering determination and strength make this an enjoyable watch and definitely one to bring to an American stage.

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