The Korea Herald


[Herald Interview] Director of 'Goodbye Earth' aimed to ask how we would face apocalypse

By Lee Yoon-seo

Published : May 5, 2024 - 16:01

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Director of Director of "Goodbye Earth" Kim Jin-min (Netflix)

Kim Jin-min, director of the Netflix original series "Goodbye Earth," under heavy criticism for its difficult plot and complicated sequencing, said he would consider the drama series a success if it could get the audience to ponder what they would do in the face of imminent demise.

The 12-part science fiction series, which is based on the popular Japanese fantasy novel “Shumatsu no Furu," tells the story of South Koreans who are told that a meteorite is slated to strike and destroy the country, as well as the neighboring region, in 200 days.

Since its release on April 26, the series has been under fire from audiences for its complex and slow development.

Addressing the criticisms, Kim said the backdrop of the series may have confused the viewers who are accustomed to the usual settings found in apocalypse-themed narratives.

"The novel speaks of the destruction of Earth," said Kim during an interview Friday.

"In the series, we decided to set up a situation where the meteorite would destroy the Korean Peninsula and the region around Japan. Therefore, the setting was quite different from typical backdrops found in dystopian narratives," he said.

"If such an event occurs, there will be people who manage to escape Korea and people who cannot. And (when discussing the story of people who can't escape Korea,) we were given two options -- to either explore the story of people who riot (in Korea) or the story of people who try to spend the remaining time in their own way. I chose to discuss the latter," he said.

"I think such a choice may have led the viewers to feel like fish out of water, as the viewers are usually expecting dystopian genre works to discuss the possibility of survival during an apocalypse," said Kim.

Kim added the decision to combine the separate stories told in the original novel may have added to the confusion.

"The original novel adopts an omnibus format, but in the series, we opted to interweave and blend the separate stories of the characters, resulting in a situation where the narrative could have appeared complex to the viewers," he added.

Kim said he would consider his work a success if he could have the audience pose just one question after watching the series: What would they do if an apocalypse were to take place?

"Also, if someone could say after watching this drama, 'Out of those characters, that one is the most similar to me,' I think the message I intended to convey through this work was delivered as I had hoped," added Kim.

All 12 episodes of "Goodbye Earth" are available for streaming on Netflix.

A scene from A scene from "Goodbye Earth," starring Ahn Eun-jin (Netflix)