'Kingdom' Netflix: New Special Episode on Crown Prince Origin Story in the Pipeline

A new special episode of Kingdom, the Netflix K-drama series, exploring the backstory of Crown Prince Lee Chang is in the cards. The filming of the episode is slated to begin later this year, according to Korean media reports.

The gripping zombie thriller returned last week with the highly anticipated premiere of the one-off episode "Kingdom: Ashin of the North" known as "Ashinjeon" in Korean.

The prequel revealed an engrossing revenge plot and several clues about the history of the resurrection plant and its connection to Ashin, the mysterious character who appears at the end of season 2.

The resurrection plant, which raises the dead back to life by turning them into zombies, is linked to the disease that spread in the south of the country.

The outbreak followed a series of events that unfolded in the north during the country's Joseon Dynasty, which ran from 1392 to 1897.

In seasons 1 and 2, the Crown Prince, who was born of a concubine, faces opposition from the queen and government officials looking to oust him and hide the truth about the zombie plague from the people.

According to a recent report by South Korea's Chosun Ilbo, the special episode focused on the origins of the Crown Prince (played by South Korean actor Ju Ji-hoon) will be directed by Kang Yoon-Seong.

The film director is known for the South Korean action comedy The Outlaws (also known as Crime City), which was screened at the London Korean Film Festival in 2017.

The Kingdom K-drama series on Netflix.
Crown Prince Lee Change (played by South Korean actor Ju Ji-hoon) pictured in Season 1 of the "Kingdom" K-drama series on Netflix. Netflix

The Chosun Ilbo reported the upcoming new Kingdom episode on the Crown Prince is currently at its pre-production stage, with filming expected to begin in the second half of this year.

While the premiere date for season 3 has yet to be officially announced, viewers were given a glimpse of what stories may be explored in the next season through the characters portrayed in "Kingdom: Ashin of the North," according to the writer of the series, Kim Eun-hee.

South Korea's Voice of the People, an online newspaper, reported Monday that Kim said at a production briefing event: "Many of the characters seen in 'Ashinjeon' were conceived and mapped out from contexts that are linked to season 3."

She added: "I wonder what kind of interesting story would unfold if Ashin were to meet the Crown Prince," noting the opposite goals of both characters. The Crown Prince attempted to save lives during the outbreak in the south, while Ashin is out to see the deaths of those who caused the obliteration of her village.

Season 2 ends with the Crown Prince traveling to the north in the area where Ashin is found.

One of Ashin's telling final words at the end of last week's special episode ("When my job here is done, after I kill every living thing on Joseon and Jurchen soil, I will also join you") left viewers with glimpses of several more questions to potentially be explored in season 3.

"Ashin is a really strong and dangerous character, with a very contrasting feel to the Jo Hak-joo character [one of the main villains in the series, played by Korean actor Ryu Seung-ryong]," Kim explained, hinting that Jo Hak-joo is expected to provide "dramatic tension" and help stimulate the growth of the other characters in later episodes.

The Kingdom K-drama series on Netflix.
Zombies pictured in a scene from the "Kingdom" K-drama series on Netflix. Netflix