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K-drama 'Blood Free' explores a future that's forged by science

By Melanie Uson Published Apr 12, 2024 4:45 pm

Set in a near-future world, Disney+'s Blood Free dives into a fast-paced society that is committed to a time when animal products are no longer consumed. To achieve this, lab-grown meats have become the dominant force in the market, though their rise is met with controversy.

While themes of war and vicious politics between large conglomerates are not new in Korean dramas, the sci-fi thriller Blood Free gives a fresh take by focusing on using science to create culture meats with the vision of creating a “blood-free” world in the future—a first in Korean series. 

The drama follows Woo Chaewoon (played by Ju Jihoon), a former captain in South Korea’s elite Naval Intelligence Command who is on a mission to find the suspect of a traumatic attack that left the president of Korea permanently injured. 

Meanwhile, Han Hyo-joo portrays Yun Jayu, a mysterious CEO who faces criticisms and threats following her biotech company BF (Blood Free)’s disruptive effect on global agriculture for its cultured meats.

Impressive CGIs 

Set in the “near future,” expect that the series will use futuristic hologram-like features, smart technologies, and virtual realities. 

There's a scene where Chaewoon trains to be Jayu's bodyguard using VR. Jihoon said this was a "new experience" for him, even though he's done action movies before.

Ju Jihoon as Woo Chaewoon

“I had to wear a full bodysuit, and the premise in the show is that Chaewoon can feel pain while wearing it. I had to imagine and do all of the action and combat on my own,” Jihoon explained during a press conference.

Hyojoo, for her part, had to imagine and make her speech using holograms and CG graphics look as natural as possible.

"While she presents, there are holograms and CG graphics but she can't see them (during filming). It's such a long scene and she could imagine all the holograms and make everything perfect," said Jihoon, saying that it was “impressive.”

Subtle yet intense acting 
Han Hyo-joo as Yun Jayu

Despite the thrill, actors from Blood Free will not overwhelm you with “exaggerated acting.” They were able to carry out their roles naturally. Yun Jayu, for one, is good at keeping her character mysterious, even when things get intense.

Han Hyo-joo—who has been known for her versatility from playing bubbly roles in romantic-comedy series W and The Beauty Inside, to intense and dramatic roles in the thriller series Happiness, Always, and the recent hit series Moving—shared how she prepared for the role.

“As CEO, she barely ever reveals her feelings, so it was an interesting challenge for me to try and convey the subtle nuances of her emotions,” she said. She also made sure to “own” the character by cutting her hair short and curating her wardrobe to create an image of Yun Jayu. She added that she worked closely with the series’ writer to portray the role better and to stay true to the storyline. 

Ju Jihoon, meanwhile, is no stranger to the action and thriller genre. You've probably seen him in the series and films The Spy Gone North, Dark Figure of Crime, Asura: The City of Madness, and Along with the Gods. In this series, Jihoon as Woo Chaewoon carries a heavy burden and trauma following the heinous attack where he lost some of his comrades. 

Outside his mission to hunt the person behind the attack, he shows his softer side to his loved ones. And like his other roles in romantic-comedy series, you can still expect a subtle comedic touch from his character.

Also starring in the series are Lee Moo-saeng who will play On San, a lead researcher at BF and a close friend of Jayu; as well as Lee Hee-joon who will play Seonu-jae, South Korea’s prime minister who may or may not attack Jayu. 

Agendas that are yet to be unveiled 

In this K-drama, you won't know who to trust. The drama will keep you guessing who the good guys and bad guys really are because everyone seems to be hiding something.

"Every character has a hidden story. If you watch closely and take note of why a particular character does something or why an event happens at a certain time you’ll enjoy the story even more,” Jihoon noted. 

Blood Free is now available on Disney+. It will have a total of 10 episodes which will be released every Wednesday.

Watch the trailer below: