Pachinko, an epic historical fiction novel written by author Min Jin Lee, is all set to be released as a Television Series on March 25 on Apple TV+. The three-part, 490 pages long novel portrays the life of Koreans after the annexation by Japan which began officially in the year 1910.
The novel is named ‘Pachinko’ after the Japanese gambling machine which contributed to a greater portion of the Japanese GDP indicating the ‘gambling nature’ of life for the people during that period. Venturing into the depths, the novel begins with a family from 1883, before the annexation. The novel describes the 20th-century Korean experience in Japan from a character-driven perspective.
The plot follows the journey of a Korean family to Japan amidst World War II and the struggle of the future generations due to their family secrets and their identities. The series will be filmed across multiple continents with the story being enacted in Korean, Japanese and English adding in the depth to the plot. The novel includes themes like racism, stereotypes and power, demonstrating ‘exclusion and otherization’ as mentioned by the author in her interview.
Consisting of 8 episodes, of which 3 will be released on Apple TV+ on March 25 followed by 1 episode each every Friday, the television series is to be produced by Media Res alongside Soo Hugh, the showrunner, writer and executive producer. Meanwhile, Author Min Jin Lee will be working as an executive producer for the same.
Earlier in October 2020, it was announced that South Korean filmmaker, Kogonada will be directing four episodes which will include the pilot episode followed by Justin Chin who would also be directing four episodes. As for whether the series will be following the same story from the novel or if there would be any new addition of plot, is yet to be known.
The main protagonist of the novel ‘Sunja’ would be played by ‘Minari’ star Youn Yuh-Jung as confirmed by her agency Hook Entertainment. In a question asked in an interview with Los Angeles Times about Pachinko, the Oscar-Nominated actress said that she read the novel and was really touched. She said, “It’s me, and I can play this role really well.” The young version of ‘Sunja’ will be played by the Korean actress Kim Min-ha.
Another character named ‘Hansu,’ a Korean man adopted into a rich prominent family in Japan, would be played by the popular ‘Boys over Flowers’ Hallyu star, Lee Min-Ho. In an interview with GQ Korea, the actor mentioned how he had to audition for a role that did not guarantee the role. He mentioned it had been almost a decade since he last auditioned and expressed the pressure he felt and his determination to get the role.
The series would also see actress Jung Eun-Chae, in supporting role-playing the character of ‘Kyunghee,’ the best friend and sister-in-law of ‘Sunja’. Korean-American actor Jin Ha would be seen playing the role of ‘Solomon’, the grandchild of ‘Sunja’. JoongAng Daily had earlier reported in January that actor Jung Woong-in is set to join the cast of Pachinko.
The series also sees Japanese actor Soji Arai, who would play the role of ‘Mozasu,’ the second child of ‘Sunja’ and the father of ‘Solomon.’ Actress Kaho Minami would be seen playing the role of ‘Etsuko.’
For more detailed information on the cast of ‘Pachinko’ click here.
The series consisting of 8 episodes and produced in three different languages will premiere on March 25, 2022, on Apple TV+.