Everything You Need to Know About the Netflix K-Drama ‘All of Us Are Dead’

Catch the new zombie thriller from Korea this Friday!

You’re a high school student, and a zombie outbreak happens while you’re on campus– will you and your friends survive? This is the premise of Netflix’s new zombie K-thriller All of Us Are Dead which premieres on the streaming platform this Friday, January 28, 2022. Directed by Lee JQ and Kim Nam-soo, the series stars Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun, and more.

Watch the official trailer of All of Us Are Dead below:

Before we see the zombies unleashed this Friday, we got to join series creator and co-director Lee JQ, alongside the show’s main cast– Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon, Yoo In-soo, Lee You-mi, and Lim Jae-hyeok — where they talked about how this intense YA zombie horror series was brought to life on screen, the relationships between the actors, and more!

Here are things you need to know about All of Us Are Dead:

The Story

This 12-episode series is based on the 2009 Naver webtoon Now At Our School by Joo Dong-geun. It follows the students of Hyosan High, who are just living the normal high school life. But when their school becomes ground zero for a zombie outbreak that spreads across the town, a group of students, each with their own distinct personalities, must use their skills and limited resources to fend off the undead and survive the terrifying onslaught while trapped inside their school.

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Lee JQ’s filmography includes The King 2 Hearts, Beethoven Virus, and Intimate Strangers. The series is written by Chun Sung-il of the drama The Slave Hunters and the films The Pirates and 7th Grade Civil Servant.

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The Cast & Characters

Park Ji-hu as Nam On-jo

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Park Ji-hu who starred in the films House of Hummingbird and Black Light will play Nam On-jo in this new series. On-jo’s father is a firefighter who has taught her survival skills since she was young, skills that would surely come in handy during the apocalypse. Fun fact, Park Ji-hu is the only real high school student among the main cast members during the show’s filming.

Yoon Chan-young as Lee Cheong-san

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Yoon Chan-young of Mama, Doctor John, and Light for the Youth stars as Lee Cheong-san, On-jo’s close friend since childhood. Staying composed and quick-thinking in critical situations, Cheong-san exhibits fierceness and unwavering leadership skills.

Cho Yi-hyun as Choi Nam-ra

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Cho Yi-hyun who you might have seen in Hospital Playlist and Metamorphosis, plays Choi Nam-ra in All of Us Are Dead. She is a reclusive student who, as the class president, stands on top of her grade. Joining On-jo’s group, Nam-ra must gradually break down her walls.

Lomon as Lee Su-hyeok

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Lomon who has appeared in the film The Guardian and web series Lookism stars as the good-looking and athletic Su-hyeok. When the zombie outbreak erupted, he becomes a pillar of support for his friends, and takes on dangerous tasks to protect the people he cares for.

Other key characters in the series include the notorious school bully Yoon Gwi Nam, played by Yoo In-soo (My ID is Gangnam Beauty, Strong Girl Bong-soon); the wealthy and selfish Lee Na-yeon played by Lee You-mi of Squid Game fame; and the optimistic kid with explosive strength, Yang Dae-su played by Lim Jae-hyeok (Alice).

Building Hyosan High

While viewers may think that most parts of the series were shot in a school, it was actually a set they built to become the Hyosan High campus.

“I think the space, the location, in a zombie content is very important,” director Lee JQ said. “There’s a lot of [blood], that’s why I thought we needed a set of our own. So when we looked into the set, it was like 100 meters wide, so it was basically like a four-story school building inside the set, and we would just be there all the time so it felt like we were really going to school.”

“Apart from these great young actors, another main cast would be the school itself,” the director added.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

The Intense Zombie Scenes

Director Lee JQ also talked about the scale of the intense scenes in the series. He shared that they used many one-takes and long takes at the beginning of filming, like the scene at the cafeteria where 200 students gathered as the zombies swooped in. According to the director, rehearsal was everything in pulling it off in just one take.

“I’ve never had full-day rehearsals, but for the cafeteria scene and the library scene, we would have all of the zombie actors and the crew members, and then we would do some test shooting, and then we would have another rehearsal with the cast. I think that was most important because what I wanted most was the realistic sense [of] the scenes. I wanted people to feel really immersed,” explained the director.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

While the zombie actors were trained through the collaboration of a dancer and a choreographer who used to act, the main cast also underwent training for 3 months in preparation for the stunts and action scenes. Yoon Chan-young, Lomon, and Yoo In-soo who have the most action scenes were grouped together for a more intense training. The three actors also shared about the experience during the press conference.

“The special training for the three of us was really, really difficult,” shared In-soo. “So we had the first 20 minutes, and I couldn’t control myself, I couldn’t control my body. So I went to the bathroom, I threw up, and then I was coming out and I saw someone else who was also vomiting, it was Chan-young.”

Meanwhile, Lomon who didn’t throw up during training revealed: “At that time, I also wanted to throw up, but I work out all the time so I wanted to not throw up. So I just told people I’m fine, but for three days after that, I just stayed in bed and I went to get some herbal medicine and acupuncture [Laughs].”

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Creating the Chemistry of the Cast

During the press conference, some of the cast members talked about their relationships with each other during filming. For one, Park Ji-hu, who was actually the only real high schooler when the series was being filmed, had the nickname “Baby Angel” on set and is revealed to jokingly call her onscreen classmates “Aunties” and “Uncles”.

It was also revealed that the stars would stick their co-stars’ name tags on their phones, but Chan-Young only left On-jo’s name tag. The actor explained, “At that time, I wanted to show Cheong-san and On-jo’s relationship. Cheong-san wanted to protect On-jo and put her before his own safety. So I wanted to make sure that I become that character, so I wanted to think about On-jo every day, and think about how I could protect her and be nice to her.”

Photo courtesy of Netflix

Meanwhile, Yoo In-soo whose character is in tension with Chan-young’s character, admits that they are actually close friends in real life and that they enjoy going to the karaoke and singing “oldies” together.

To further build the camaraderie between the actors, director Lee JQ would also make them play games with each other. “Before the shoot, we would meet up and you know, talk about the script, we have to be close to each other, because we are actually friends in the show. So we would play some traditional Korean games and some board games as well. Dae-su really likes to become the emcee when we play games. So we really felt like we were classmates and when the shooting was done, I felt like we were graduating,” shared Park Ji-hu.

Photo courtesy of Netflix

What Sets ‘All of Us Dead’ Apart from Other Zombie Titles

This is not the first time that South Korea has pumped out a thrilling zombie title. Some of the most popular zombie horror films and shows from Korea are Train to Busan, Kingdom, and #Alive. So what sets All of Us Are Dead apart from these titles and other zombie titles out there?

“There is a lot of zombie content and in most stories, we look at what happens to adults when they [encounter] a zombie virus,” said director Lee JQ. “But this was a little bit unique. First, it happens in a very confined space that is a school, and it happens to students, who are not yet mature adults. We often say things like, some adults are ‘childish’, but I wanted to look into what kind of choices– and I felt that it would be extremely interesting and intriguing to look at the choices– that these young adults make, and I felt like it could bring a new meaning to the zombie genre.”

Watch All Of Us Are Dead when it starts streaming on Netflix this Friday, January 28.

About ‘All of Us Are Dead’
Director: Lee JQ, Kim Nam-soo
Writer: Chun Sung-il
Original work: ‘Now At Our School’ / ‘All of Us Are Dead’ by Joo Dong-geun
Episodes: 12
Cast: Park Ji-hu, Yoon Chan-young ,Cho Yi-hyun, Lomon, Yoo In-soo, Lee You-mi, Lim
Jae-hyeok
Produced by: Film Monster by JTBC Studios, KIMJONGHAK PRODUCTION
Distributed by: Netflix
Logline: At a school overrun by the zombie virus, trapped students struggle together to stay alive until
help arrives.
Release date: January 28, 2022

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TV Info

All of Us Are Dead
Produced by
Netflix
Creator
Lee Jae-kyoo, Kim Nam-su
User Rating
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