Everything You Need to Know About ‘Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area’

The Korean adaptation of hit heist series from Spain arrives on Netflix this June 24!

Are you ready for the biggest heist in Korea?

Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area is coming to Netflix this Friday! The new show is the K-drama adaptation of the hit series from Spain, which follows a gang of thieves taking over the Mint of a unified Korean Peninsula.

Watch the trailer for Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area below:


Set in a fictional Korea where the borders between the North and the South have been removed, this series follows the criminal mastermind known as the Professor who gathers a group of professionals to pull off the biggest heist in the mint of the unified peninsula.

Clad in red jumpsuits and traditional Hahoe masks, the group must handle their hostages from inside the mint while the authorities surround them from every corner.


The series is directed by Kim Hong-sun and written by Ryu Yong-jae. It is based on the Spanish TV series Money Heist or La Casa de Papel created by Álex Pina.

Cast & Characters

  • Yoo Ji-tae (When My Love Blooms) as the Professor
  • Jung Jong-seo (The Call) as Tokyo
  • Park Hae-soo (Squid Game) as Berlin
  • Lee Hyun-woo (The Liar and his Lover) as Rio
  • Lee Won-jong (My Unfamiliar Family)as Moscow
  • Kim Ji-hun (Flower of Evil) as Denver
  • Jang Yoon-ju (Citizen Deok Hee) as Nairobi
  • Kim Ji-hun (Chimera) as Helsinki
  • Lee Kyu-ho (The Good Detective) as Oslo
  • Kim Yunjin (Confession) as Seon Woojin
  • Lee Joobeen (Doctor Lawyer) as Yun Misun
  • Park Myung-hoon (Parasite) as Cho Youngmin
  • Kim Seung-o (Graceful Friends) as Cha Moohyuk

On adapting the Spanish series into a Korean Drama

In a recent press conference for the series, writer Ryu Yong-jae and director Kim Hong-sun shared their first impressions on the original series and how they ended up making a Korean adaptation for it.

“When I watched season 1 and 2 of the original Spanish series, I was very much intrigued, and I became a big, big fan,” shares Ryu. “So I was sure I wanted to make a remake of it. And because it’s a Netflix original series, I can’t just buy the copyright for it, they have to offer me the job. And we knew that we could twist this into a Korean tale, and we pondered a lot. And then, we showed our plan to the original creator and we talked a lot with Netflix, and we were able to make it into a Korean tale.”

Director Kim also adds: “I saw the original for the first time in 2018, and I thought that there were so many characters in the show, but what’s amazing is that all of them have their own personalities and charms, and it was just so fun to watch them all. And I knew that the characters would be very intriguing whenever and wherever they would be placed in. So I thought, if we translate the background and characters into something Korean, I thought we could give birth to something novel. And that’s how we started.”

Photo: Jung Jaegu/Netflix

A unique tale set in a unified Korea

Asked what their comments are on the premise of this Korean adaptation, actress Kim Yunjin says: “Well, the original series is so popular, so I was unsure of whether we should actually make it in the start because I felt a lot of pressure. But unfortunately, Korea is the only divided country left on the world and we were able to create something by compressing all the good essence of the original and writer Ryu actually created a really beautiful script. And reading the script, I thought that I would be able to do this because the script is so good.”

The Professor, Yoo Ji-tae also says: “It is a show with great fandom, I know, but a great story would be told well in any situation, any country, I thought. And Korean content is now beloved by so many people around the world, and that is probably because Korean content creators have really clever ideas and smart approaches. And that
was of course done on this show as well. I mean, our own charms and our own sense of humor are all infused in the show.”

The meaning behind the Hahoe mask

Money Heist‘s mask based on the Spanish artist Salvador Dali has become iconic since the rise of the show’s popularity around the world. Now, the Korean version of the Money Heist gang will be wearing the traditional Korean mask of Hahoe.

Berlin actor Park Hae-soo explains the meaning behind the new disguise: “In Spain, the Dali mask was used to send the message of freedom, and in Korea, we used the Hahoe mask from the Andong area, and Hahoe mask has some significance to it. It is embodying the criticism of the powerful, and it has the sense of humor in it as well. And when the mask was first brought to me, I actually felt this sense of overwhelming power when the mask is worn by every member of the cast. It has different angles from the center and from the side as well. I mean, the look that the mask is portraying from different angles may seem quite different, so that is something that intrigued me.”

Lee Hyun-woo who plays Rio also shares how the mask gives him confidence during filming.

“When you put on the Hahoe mask, people can’t see your facial expressions. So somehow, I got a little more confident so I could act a little more boldly when I’m behind the mask. And when we’re in the red jumpsuit altogether and when we’re standing together, that kind of uniformity gives that camaraderie. So I felt backed up and I felt more energetic when I was wearing the red jumpsuit,” said Hyun-woo.

The Professor and Seon Woojin

In the original series, we got to see the complex relationship between the Professor and Spanish Police Inspector Raquel Murillo. In the Korean adaptation, the heist’s mastermind will go against Seon Woojin.

“Seon Woojin is a senior inspector at the Gyeonggi Police Crisis Negotiation Team,” explains actress Kim Yunjin. “As a negotiator in the joint task force team, she is really excellent in her own prowess and she is really calm and cold-hearted. And she is looking into the weakness of the robbers to finish the situation as soon as possible.”

“Woojin and the Professor actually have something in common. They do not want any harm on anybody. So Woojin doesn’t want to go for armed repression. She wants to finish things in peace. With ideas and conversations, she wants to address the situation peacefully. So I think in that sense, Woojin and the Professor have something in common. And Woojin is a single mom on the outside of the joint task force and she is having a custody dispute with her ex-husband. And what makes her heart broken is that her mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s, and she has to deal with the big crisis while taking care of her sick mother as well,” Yunjin adds.

Photo: Jung Jaegu/Netflix

A very different Tokyo joins the team

Jun Jong-seo who starred opposite Park Shin-hye in The Call, will be playing Tokyo in the new series. According to the actress, she really wanted to play the role of Misun, but naturally, she got the role of Tokyo. She also shared that the Korean version of Tokyo will be the most different from the original character.

“She is a Gen Z, she’s in her 20s, and the realistic elements of those in her 20s are reflected on the show,” said Jun Jong-seo. “She is the most pure, I would say, and she is so much into the conviction of the Professor so she doesn’t get distracted, she’s very stable, and she is just focusing on one goal. And she is trying to lead everybody
to go to that goal, so she is not a troublemaker.”

Moscow and Denver’s tight-knit relationship

Korean actor Lee Won-jong plays Moscow, the dependable father of Denver, who hopes for a better future for his son. According to Won-jong, he also feels father-and-son relationship between the two characters even from behind the scenes.

“In our shooting process, the most difficult actions were played by my son Denver,” says Won-jong. “And there were so many dangerous scenes. He was rescued from the wall, and in that moment, I was really holding onto
him really tightly because I didn’t want him to get hurt. So I kind of felt this fatherly love towards Ji-hun naturally.”

Photo: Jung Jaegu/Netflix

Denver’s actor Kim Ji-hun also agrees, saying “I’ve been in many projects, and I’ve acted as a son many times, but he was a dad that really cared for me like I was his real son. I could really feel that love. So I could open up to him really fast, and he was a dad that really pulled at my heartstrings. It was just natural that we felt this love towards each other. He talked about us hugging after a dangerous scene, I think it was the first scene where there was an explosion of the wall. Moscow comes out from the explosion and he almost died, well I wouldn’t say that, but I could feel that in my ears because the explosion was so loud, it looked so realistic. So I just had to go and hug him.”

Will Money Heist: Korea beat Squid Game?

During the global press conference for Money Heist: Korea, Park Hae-soo who played Cho Sang-woo in the hit Netflix series Squid Game and is now playing Berlin in the new series, was asked if he thinks that Money Heist: Korea will beat Squid Game in popularity.

Hae-soo answers: “I’m not quite sure how it will unfold, but what I want to tell you is that there is a really big strength in Money Heist Korea. That is the great ensemble of the great cast. And the show is set against the backdrop of the divided nation and there are some emotional conflict that is inherently embedded in the storyline. And I think the global audience will be able to find joy in watching the show. And we have great artists and creators in Korea, and Squid Game actually followed the path of these creators and I’m sure Money Heist Korea will follow the same path and create more opportunities for the people who are following. So I really hope to see great progress in that regard going forward, and I’m sure that we’ll see that coming.”

Photo: Jung Jaegu/Netflix

Money Heist: Korea – Joint Economic Area starts streaming on Netflix this June 24, 2022.

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