6 K-dramas that cost the most to make in 2022: Woo Young Woo stands at the bottom?

As the Korean drama industry grows, our favorite series are also costing a lot more to make. 

Recently K-dramas have seen massive improvement from the past, with their perfect filming, casting, and CGI, and as a result, also cost a fortune to make. If in the early 2000s, 20 billion won is a number rarely seen, then now, it’s the bottom of the tier. Below are the 2022 K-dramas with production costs that far surpass this figure:

Extraordinary Attorney Woo (16 episodes): 20 billion won

In the later half of 2022, “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”, while unexpected, has become the most popular K-drama. Alongside its concrete writing and interesting characters, the drama is also well-loved for its production quality. The CGI of the female lead’s favorite whales, along with cinematography, props, and styling, are all top-notch.

To film 16 episodes of such quality, “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” consumed 20 billion won – which was a huge number once only reserved for box-office hits. And, surprising, it is by no means the most expensive in this day and age. 

Alchemy Of Souls (20 episodes): 40 billion won 

Alchemy Of Souls” marked the return of the legendary screenwriter duo Hong Sisters in 2022. With its fantasy concept that follows mages with elemental magics, the series is extremely costly to make. 

In particular, to bring the magical effects and a whole new worldbuild to life, production cost for “Alchemy Of Souls” raked up to 40 billion won for 20 episodes. This is actually an understandable number, seeing that the series is filled with CGI, action sequences, and cinema-like scenes. 

Unfortunately, “Alchemy Of Souls” has been receiving negative comments for their styling, and some netizens even said that the production crew must have spent all their money on the CGI. 

Bulgasal (16 episodes): 40 billion won

Also a fantasy drama with an excellent cast consisting of Lee Jin Wook, Kwon Nara, Lee Joon, Gong Seung Yeon, and more, “Bulgasal” follows “immortals” who have been alive for over 600 years. With top-notch quality cinematography and world building, 16 episodes of “Bulgasal” cost 40 billion won to make. 

True to this hefty sum, “Bulgasal” was hailed as having movie-like quality, with extremely immersive filming and graphics. Unfortunately, its heavy theme and dark storyline made “Bulgasal” perform badly commercial-wise. 

Nevertheless, “Bulgasal” is a watch-worthy series, and anyone that had watched it can’t seem to hold back praise. 

Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area (6 episodes in Part 1): Over 40 billion won 

“Money Heist: Korea” is among the most major productions of Netflix within the year 2022, and is adapted from the mega hit series “Money Heist”. As a result, its production cost surpassed the outstanding number of 40 billion won. 

As of the moment, only part 1, consisting of 6 episodes have aired, and so there are no exact numbers. Nonetheless, “Money Heist: Korea” is undoubtedly one of the most expensive K-dramas. 

To make it even more shocking, Netflix has invested in 15 original works with an average cost of 35 billion won. This makes “Money Heist: Korea” a special case as it is way more costly. Hopefully, part 2 of the series will attain commercial success worthy of this investment. 

Moving (20 episodes): 50 billion won 

While not yet released, “Moving” is a highly-anticipated project with the appearance of various top stars like  Jo In Sung, Han Hyo Joo, Ryu Seung Ryong, Cha Tae Hyun, and more. With a reported cost of around 50 billion won, the series made it to the top of “Most expensive 2022 K-Dramas.”

The production cost of “Moving”, a story about people with painful past secrets, amounted to 50 billion won. Since “Moving” is a fantasy drama, CGI effects are inevitable. There are also going to be epic action scenes, leading to high production cost. “Moving” has finished filming and is currently in the post-production phase before getting released on Disney+ by the end of this year. 

With a high budget and a star-studded cast, “Moving” promises to become another hit OTT series of 2022. 

The Accidental Narco (6 episodes): 40 billion won

The K-drama with the No.1 highest production cost of 2022 is Netflix’s upcoming original series “The Accidental Narco”. 40 billion won is not the biggest number in this ranking. However, “The Accidental Narco” only has 6 episodes, so each episode cost nearly a whopping 7 billion won.

“The Accidental Narco” also features an all-star cast including Ha Jung Woo, Hwang Jung Min, Park Hae Soo, Yoo Yeon Seokc,… Based on a true story, the drama depicts the journey of a Korean drug lord in South America and a civilian businessman who is involved in a top-secret mission by the National Intelligence Service.

Considering its setting, filming of “The Accidental Narco” is expected to partly take place in South America. With such a large scale, it comes as no surprise that Netflix invested huge amounts of money into this work. 

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