“Extraordinary Attorney Woo” almost Netflix original, but the production company rejected the offer 

The production team of “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” refused to sell the rights for reproduction, distribution, and adaptation of the series to Netflix. 

According to Yonhap News, the production studio behind hit K-drama “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” – Astory, turned down Netflix’s offer to produce the series as a Netflix original. Instead, the streaming platform can only purchase the drama’s overseas broadcasting rights. 

Previously, Astory also produced the historical zombie drama “Kingdom” (2019) and contingent installment “Kingdom: Ashin of The North” (2021).  However, as these two productions were all produced as Netflix originals, the streaming platform monopolizes all IP, including domestic and international broadcasting rights, rights for reproduction and control over derivative works.

As the two projects become international hits, Astory could only express regrets that they no longer hold the IP for them. 

We made ‘Kingdom’ but it was so regrettable that we didn’t have IP of such good content,” Lee Sang Baek, the CEO of Astory, said. Therefore, seeing that Astory did not garner much benefits for the success of “Kingdom”, they decided to hold the IP for “Extraordinary Attorney Woo”. 

IP helps a studio earn sustainable money and keep growing. Without IP, the company has to depend on outsourced deals”, Lee Sang Baek said, adding, “We’ve sold the webtoon to five countries and we’re developing three versions of musicals under the name of Woo Young Woo. All these businesses will help us stay afloat and produce better quality shows.”

As they have declined to sell the IP of “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” to Netflix, Astory holds the exclusive right to copy, distribute and adapt the original story. And their decision has proven to be a smart one, as the K-drama has attained resounding successes both in and outside of Korea, even becoming Netflix’s most-watched series for 7 weeks.

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