Global on-demand video streaming service iQIYI International recently announced the coming release of its first Korean Original, My Roommate is a Gumiho, based on one of Korea’s most popular webtoons called Living Together (간 떨어지는 동거). The show has been highly anticipated since the webtoon series gained popularity in 2017.
In the romantic horror comedy drama, Jang Ki Yong stars as the titular Gumiho – a nine-tailed fox spirit – who has spent the last 999 years trying to attain human form. Just as he is about to succeed, he bumps into a college student, played by Hyeri, who accidentally swallows his gumiho pearl without which he cannot become human. To find out how to extract the pearl from her body, she has no choice but to live in fear with him as her roommate for three months, a situation which brings about unexpected consequences.
“iQIYI International is thrilled to have produced My Roommate is a Gumiho as our first Korean Original show. We are privileged to work together with some of Korea’s greatest storytellers to turn this fantastical tale into an exciting new drama series for fans of the beloved webtoon and iQIYI fans around the world to enjoy. This is another milestone in our journey to bring more beloved Asian stories to a global audience,” said Kuek Yu-Chuang, Vice President of International Business for iQIYI International.
Written by Baek Sun-woo and Choi Bo-rim (What’s Wrong with Secretary Kim), and directed by Nam Sung-woo (Kkondae Intern), the series is jointly produced by leading production companies Studio Dragon and JTBC Studio.
Said the series’ Director Nam Sung-woo: “I’m excited to bring to life one of Korea’s most anticipated webtoon dramas and share it with the world through iQIYI International. iQIYI has been a great partner that deeply understands our passion for authentic Asian storytelling. We hope everyone will support the stars Jang Ki Yong and Hyeri and enjoy watching the show as much as we enjoyed creating it.”
“We’re excited to bring this news to our growing base of Filipino viewers. My Roommate is a Gumiho is yet another exciting addition to iQIYI’s growing portfolio of K-content. Viewers can look forward to even more Asian entertainment that we have in the pipeline over the next few months,” adds Sherwin Dela Cruz, iQIYI Philippines Country Manager.
My Roommate is a Gumiho will be streamed exclusively on iQIYI International in 2021, on www.iQ.com, or via the iQIYI mobile app. Subtitles for the show will also be available in 8 different languages.
iQIYI International Commits to International Expansion
iQIYI made the My Roommate is a Gumiho announcement at the recently-held Asia TV Forum and Market (“ATF”), as part of a presentation focused on iQIYI’s 2021 expansion and investment plans.
“This comes on the back of the pivotal year that 2020 was for us, a year that we embarked on our international expansion in earnest. We reinforced our content growth with investment in more markets and will continue expanding our local presence by bringing in more content and production teams. Over the coming years, we remain committed to bringing high quality, beloved Asian stories to our iQIYI service,” shared Yang Xianghua, President of the iQIYI Membership & Overseas Business Group. In the same message, he confirmed that iQIYI International now maintains country offices in Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and North America.
Chinese Entertainment: the New K-Wave?
Aside from K-dramas, there appears to be a growing uptake in Chinese drama and entertainment among iQIYI’s millions of users.
Of particular note are the popularity of C-drama series The Bad Kids, an iQIYI original produced under the LIGHTS ON franchise , which debuted to rave reviews and then won the Best Creative Award at this year’s Busan International Film Festival. iQIYI’s globally acclaimed NextGen Variety show Youth With You 2 was an international breakout hit that saw 300 million views on YouTube with over 429 related hashtags trending across 15 countries in Asia, Europe, South America and North America.
“These iQIYI originals have shown that the future of Chinese entertainment is bright especially outside of China. It is clear that our content is starting to gain mainstream appeal because of their universal themes and storylines. We believe that as long as we keep telling these beloved Asian stories, there will be audiences around the world who will want to watch them.”
“In 2020 iQIYI International brought the next big trends in entertainment to the global stage with great success,” adds Yang Xianghua, confirming that it will continue developing Chinese, Korean, and Southeast Asian content. He cited that in 2020 alone, iQIYI brought 29 Korean shows to the global fanbase. The Company is set to release its first Southeast Asian original production, Ferrymen: Legends of the Nanyang, in 2021, which will be followed by Sisterhood in 2022. Both shows star popular Singaporean and Malaysian favorites, like iQIYI International VIP Ambassador Lawrence Wong, Qi Yu Wu, Tay Ping Hui, and Xiang Yun.
iQIYI is available in the Philippines for free via the website, iQ.com, or on the platform’s free mobile application that can be downloaded from the Apple Store or Google Play Store. For a limited offer between December 1-15, 2020, new users can get a 3-month VIP subscription for the price of 1, or for only P99!