The director revealed that the production of All of Us Are Dead was discussed before the other Korean zombie series, Train to Busan and Kingdom. It was seven years ago when the director first read the original webtoon. After reading the webtoon, he was curious about “What choices will adults or children make when faced with the moment of death?”
It only took him a week to decide on a drama adaptation of the webtoon All of Us Are Dead. But the actual process took much longer. “Unlike now, when zombie series is widely accepted,” the director explained, “when I told people I’m working on a zombie series, they tried to stop me working on it.”
After purchasing the publishing rights, writer Cheon Sung-il joined the team and began the adaptation process. The director stated, “The stories accepted in webtoons and dramas are quite distinct. More settings, such as family relationships or behind-the-scenes stories about major characters, were required for a drama adaptation,” the director stated.
When compared to Webtoon, Nam On-jo is one of the examples where the character’s family relationship was added. Because she has a firefighter father in the drama, she is able to deal with an emergency situation quickly.
Another example is when students see zombies, they say, “It’s the Train to Busan.”
“Train to Busan was released in 2016, so it stands to reason that the students are familiar with the film, especially since the background of All of Us Are Dead is 2021,” the director explained.
In All of Us Are Dead, zombie viruses serve as a backdrop for demonstrating how humans react in extreme situations. The director stressed that children’s decisions may differ from those of adults.
The director added, “They are more likely than adults to make direct, instantaneous, or physical judgments and to act on them. Adults may look at their children and say they are immature, but children can make better decisions than adults do.”
When the drama adaptation of All of Us Are Dead was announced, the original webtoon’s author, Joo Dong-Geun, stated that he wished the drama version to include more cruelty. When the author saw the trailer, he was satisfied.
However, the director stated that he tried not to create a zombie series that only fans would enjoy because it is too cruel. “I wish more people who watch dramas would consider how cruelty in situations influences human behavior,” the director added.
Except for a few well-known actors who play adults in the drama, the actors who play students are relatively new. The director stated that he wanted students to exist as they do in the real world. Park Ji-Hoo, who played Nam On-jo, was cast because her looks could “represent the look of anyone’s daughter or sister.”
At the end of the interview, the director gave the audience a tip for watching All of Us Are Dead: “Making the sound 20–30% louder than usual and the lighting or screen a little darker in the room helps. It will also be entertaining to watch it multiple times, up to three times. You’ll start to notice things you’ve missed before.”
Source: Cine 21