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‘Parasite’ Star Song Kang-ho to Make Series Debut With ‘Uncle Sam Shik’

Variety logo Variety 8/30/2022 Patrick Frater
© Michael Buckner for PMC

Song Kang-ho, known for his roles in “Memories of Murder” and “Parasite,” has signed up to make his TV series debut. He will star in indie-produced drama “Uncle Sam Shik.”

“Uncle Sam Shik” is a 1960s-set tale of two men, their pride, greed and bromance, local Korean media reports. Song’s co-lead actor has not been disclosed.

The series is to be directed by Shin Yeon-shick, with whom Song has recently shot feature films “Coweb” and “One Win.” Both films have completed physical production but have not yet been released.

The series is reported to be a ten-episode drama, produced by Slingshot Studio. A broadcast or streaming partner has not yet been announced.

The announcement was made by Slingshot on the eve of the Broadcast WorldWide convention in Seoul, which acts as a major showcase for Korean TV content. The event runs Wednesday to Thursday.

Song has dominated Korean movies since the beginning of the modern era, with his first significant screen role in Hong Sang-soo’s “The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well.” Since then he has starred in “Joint Security Area,” “The Host,” “Snowpiercer” and “A Taxi Driver.” At Cannes this year, Song won the Palme for best actor for his starring role in Kore-eda Hirokazu’s competition film “Broker.”

While Korean film has a stellar reputation, and an Oscar win since “Parasite,” the sector suffered badly under COVID. Cinemas were closed or restricted for long periods of time, causing the releasing calendar to become backed up and production companies to be financially weakened. Korean audiences and, increasingly, film-making talent are now drifting across to TV and streaming.

Song is currently to be seen on Korean cinema screens in “Emergency Declaration.” The film debuted at Cannes in 2021, but is one of many that lost its release slot.

“Uncle Sam Shik is the lead character of the series with a complex narrative,” the production company Slingshot said according to Korean media. “We expect that Song Kang-ho will certainly bring this character to life with great vivacity.”

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