‘Cliffhanger’: 3 Reasons Why Fans Are Excited for the Action Mystery-Thriller K-Drama

On the list of Korean dramas debuting in 2021, fans have high anticipation for Cliffhanger. TvN announced the mystery-thriller K-drama would premiere in October with actors Jun Ji-Hyun and Ju Ji-Hoon in the leading roles. Based on the posters and official teasers, the K-drama will be riveting with a tense-filled storyline. Cliffhanger centers around two main characters and the rangers at the Jirisan National Park. The television show is not a typical mystery as the characters start to unearth dangerous truths about the mountain’s uninhabited areas and who visits.

Ju Ji-Hoon and Jun Ji-Hyun for 'Cliffhanger' tvN K-drama wearing hiking gear in forest
Actors Ju Ji-Hoon and Jun Ji-Hyun for ‘Cliffhanger’ I via tvN

‘Cliffhanger’ was inspired by the real-life stories of mountain rangers

The upcoming K-drama was initially titled Jirisan after the national park the K-drama’s storyline takes place. Written by Kim Eun-Hee, she used real-life stories as the inspiration behind Cliffhanger. She is widely recognized for creating and writing the hit Netflix political period horror thriller Kingdom and its prequel drama. According to Yahoo! News, Kim developed Cliffhanger after a series of interviews with national park workers. “When I wrote Jirisanat at the beginning, it didn’t focus on rangers. I was more interested in stories about mountaineers. However, I was more intrigued about their work after interviews.” said Kim.

Kim states that a rescuers’ primary objective is to leave the mountain alive, no matter the heinous weather conditions. As Kim became inspired by the risk the rescuers undertake, she adds a level of mystery and intrigue into Cliffhanger’s storyline. Viewers can expect emotional stories of survival under the mountain’s most challenging weather conditions intertwined with a dark secret.

Seo Yi-Kang and Kang Hyun-Jo dig up a mysterious truth about an event that took place in the mountain in ‘Cliffhanger’

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A chilling mystery takes place in Cliffhanger. Seo Yi-Kang (Jun) is the national park’s top ranger working alongside rookie ranger Kang Hyun-Jo (Ju). He harbors a deep secret only Yi-Kang knows. The two characters venture into the mountains and start to uncover a deep-rooted mystery surrounding a bizarre event in Mount Jiri. The two characters begin to investigate the people who visit the mountains and the bloody deaths that could lead to something worse at play.

Beyond the mystery surrounding the mountain, Hyun-Joo and Yi-Kang must fulfill their duty as park rangers. TvN released the K-drama’s official teaser poster. According to Soompi, the poster reader, “Our job is to survive and return from a dangerous place.” Fans can see Yi-Kang jump into the roaring flames engulfing the forest without hesitation. Yi-Kang’s features are unrecognizable as the flames and whirling embers surround her.

Cliffhanger’s teaser shorts reveal more of the dangerous terrain and situations the main characters will face. Yi-Kang’s video shows her hiking through an unrelenting snowfall while looking around in worry. Hyun-Joo is deep in the mountain and notices something in the trees. Instead of walking away, he goes to investigate. The video ends with Hyun-Joo at the top of the mountain looking confused and absent-minded. Fans can expect the K-drama to have moments of lightheartedness and comedy to counteract its mystery story.

The lead actors are well-known for other K-dramas

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In the lead role of Yi-Kang is actor Jun Ji-Hyun. The actor has won numerous awards in her career but rose to fame as The Girl in the 2001 romantic comedy movie, My Sassy Girl. The 2001 movie was later turned into a popular historical fantasy K-drama of the same name. Die-hard K-drama fans will likely recall her for her two leading roles in  My Love from the Star and Legend of the Blue Sea. Jun currently stars as the leading character, Ashin, in Netflix’s original drama Kingdom and Kingdom: Ashin of the North.

Cliffhanger acts as a reunion project for Jun and Ju Ji-Hoon. Both actors star in Kingdom with Ju in the role of Crown Prince Lee Chang. Ju has also starred in a well-recognized legal K-drama titled Hyena from 2020. The actor has made most of his career in movies like Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds and Dark Figure of Crime. Fans are excited to see the two actors’ in Cliffhanger as both have experience creating riveting thriller content.

Cliffhanger will be available to stream on iQiyi on Oct.23