What if your life hinged on one tiny choice?
Apple TV+’s adaptation of bestselling novel “Pachinko” premieres on the streaming platform March 25, kicking off a generational epic family drama that spans continents, languages, and eras.
Academy Award winner Yuh-Jung Youn (“Minari”) leads the cast as Sunja, an elderly woman reflecting on her life. Minha Kim portrays the teenage version of Sunja, and Yu-na Jeon is child Sunja.
Lee Minho plays love interest Hansu, and Jin Ha portrays Sunja’s grandson Solomon. Anna Sawai, Enchae Jung, Inji Jeong, Jimmi Simpson, Junwoo Han, Kaho Minami, Steve Sanghyun Noh, and Soji Arai also star.
“Pachinko” is created by Soo Hugh, who serves as writer, executive producer, and showrunner.
The logline reads: “Filled with universal themes of family, love, triumph, fate and resilience, the series chronicles the hopes and dreams of a Korean immigrant family across four generations as they leave their homeland in an indomitable quest to survive and thrive. Starting in South Korea in the early 1900s, the story is told through the eyes of a remarkable matriarch, Sunja, who triumphs against all odds. It juxtaposes her story with that of her grandson, Solomon, in the 1980s.”
The series is told in three languages — Korean, Japanese, and English — and takes place in Korea, Japan, and America. Starting with a forbidden love affair, “Pachinko” captures the scope of a full life.
The eight-episode series will premiere globally on Apple TV+ with the first three episodes followed by new weekly installments each Friday through April 29.
Kogonada and Justin Chon are executive producers and directed four episodes each, with Kogonada directing the pilot. Michael Ellenberg and Lindsey Springer executive produce for Media Res; Theresa Kang-Lowe executive produces for Blue Marble Pictures; and Richard Middleton also executive produces. Media Res’ Dani Gorin co-executive produces along with David Kim and Sebastian Lee.
Lead star Youn previously told IndieWire that her nickname “One Take Wonder” is well-earned: “Unless a director says ‘cut,’ I’ll just go on,” Youn said. “That’s my principle.”
The “Sense8” star channeled her own experiences with her great-grandmother to portray a grandparent in “Minari.”
“After the war, it [was] not very hygienic in Korea. I thought grandma was dirty or something. That’s why I didn’t like her,” Youn said. “Because I was born in 1947, after the Korean war, we were all poor. Sometimes, we skipped lunch in order to save food. She’d say she always wasn’t hungry. Now, I realize, I am sure she was hungry, but she sacrificed herself for us. She tried to get more food for us. I didn’t know at the time. My heart breaks.”
Now, “Pachinko” offers a chance to step back in time (literally) to understand the generational differences.
Watch the trailer below!