Disney appears to be having a Squid Game moment.
The star-studded Korean spy series Moving has become Disney+ and Hulu’s most-watched K-drama ever — in the U.S. and globally — within just seven days of release. The show launched on Disney’s streaming services on Aug. 9 and has become the company’s most popular series in any language, based on hours streamed, across the Asia Pacific region, including in Korea, Japan, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Taiwan. That means viewers in Asia have already watched Moving more than Disney’s core franchise series like The Mandalorian. (Disney declined to share more precise viewership data.)
“The global consumer response towards the first 11 episodes of Moving has exceeded our expectations,” said Carol Choi, Disney’s executive vp of original content strategy in APAC. “From the U.S. to all across APAC, it is fast becoming a breakout hit with its captivating storyline, world-class cast and incredible post-production effects — all coming together to deliver exceptional storytelling.”
Moving is an adaptation of a popular webtoon created by the influential Korean artist Kang Full, whose works have been adapted into several local films. The show stars some of the biggest names in Korean film and television, including Ryu Seungryong (Miracle in Cell No. 7), Han Hyojoo (20th Century Girl) and Zo Insung (Smugglers) in his long-awaited return to the drama series format.
Moving tells the story of a group of South Korean spies working to protect their super-powered children from harm and exploitation at the hands of malicious government agencies. Initially recruited because of their extraordinary abilities including flight, instant healing and enhanced senses, the spies disappeared without a trace after being tasked with carrying out increasingly dubious missions. Now with their children exhibiting similar abilities and a dangerous assassin rapidly picking off super-powered individuals, the parents must leave their peaceful lives behind to become the “monsters” they once were.
The first 11 episodes of Moving are now available on Disney+ and Hulu, with two new episodes dropping every Wednesday. A three-part season finale is slated for Sept. 20.
Disney+ launched in South Korea in November 2021 and has steadily ramped up its local content output to tap into the surging global popularity of K-drama. Some of Disney’s most well received Korean titles include the Blue Dragon Series Award-winning Big Bet, starring Korean screen icon Choi Minsik (Oldboy) as a law-breaking casino operator; The Zone: Survival Mission; Soundtrack #1, Snowdrop, and various others.