Jin Lee’s Korean epic Pachinko is headed to Apple TV

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Pachinko
Pachinko, the story of a Korean family's tumultuous move to Japan, will be a TV series.
Photo: Grand Central Publishing

Apple was the high bidder for the rights to create a TV series based on Pachinko, a best-selling book about a Korean family written by Min Jin Lee.

This is one of nearly two dozen TV programs Apple is paying to produce, even though the company has announced no plans for a video service. Yet.

More about Pachinko

The iBooks review of Pachinko says, “An immersive and compulsively readable saga, Min Jin Lee’s novel follows one family for more than half a century, tracking their winding course from a seaside village in occupied Korea to gambling halls in Japan. We adore this 2017 National Book Award finalist for its beautifully realized characters, historical insights, and flawless depictions of family strife, loyalty, and love.”

Min Jin Lee will serve as one of the executive producers for the show based on her book, according to Variety. Another executive producer will be Soo Hugh, who will be showrunner. She previously was showrunner for the first season of The Terror ,and created The Whisperers.

Pachinko is being produced by Media Res, who also handles Apple’s upcoming Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon TV drama.

Extensive Apple TV plans

Apple is developing quite a lineup of TV programs. So far, it has committed to a version of Time Bandits, an epic starring Aquaman‘s Jason Momoa, and a sci-fi drama from the producer of  Battlestar Galactica. Steven Spielberg is even on board with an Amazing Stories reboot. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Despite paying for all these, the company has yet to spell out exactly what it’s going to do with them. The most obvious strategy launching an Apple TV service.

Despite the heavy completion this would face, the company has advantages over all its rivals. Most notably, it has a huge installed base of phones, tablets, laptops, and set-top boxes that could be pre-installed with its video streaming service.