Production has begun on Thai-language mystery series “Forbidden,” which is positioned by WarnerMedia as an original for HBO Asia. The YA-targeted show is set to be delivered with eight one-hour episodes and will premiere on regional streaming service HBO GO and HBO later in 2021.
Co-directed by Anucha Boonyawatana (“Malila: The Farewell Flower”) and Korean-American Josh Kim (“How To Win At Checkers (Every Time)”), the series follows four friends who travel from Bangkok to a remote village in the mountains for the funeral of the estranged father of one of the group members.
There they unleash a curse that had been long held at bay by the villagers and discover multiple layers of cover-up. While everyone becomes a suspect in the mystery, they discover that the woods hold a still nastier surprise — the whole group is being hunted.
The cast is headed by popular actor and singer Krissanapoom Pibulsonggram (“Tootsies & The Fake,” Netflix series “In Family We Trust), better known as JJ.
Boonyawatana is a transgender, independent filmmaker who previously directed “Love Audition” for the United Nations, promoting health and relationships among Thai gay teens. Her feature debut “The Blue Hour” premiered in Berlin in 2015, while 2018 title “Malila” won the Kim Ji-seok award at the 22nd Busan International Film Festival.
Kim’s “Checkers” premiered in the Panorama section of the Berlin Film Festival in 2015 and was later selected to represent Thailand in the foreign-language section of the Oscars.
While Thailand has suffered from the coronavirus only lightly compared with some of its Asian neighbors, national borders have been largely closed and the economy has taken a severe hit. Film and TV production is ongoing, but with restrictions. Production of “Forbidden,” for example, will make use of three main locations, fewer than had been previously planned, in order to minimize local travel. That in turn will require non-sequential filming.
WarnerMedia confirmed that “Forbidden” is its third original Asian series currently in production. It joins horror series “Folklore” season 2 and action-fantasy series “Halfworlds” season 3, which were both renewed in late 2020. “Halfworlds” is currently filming in the Philippines. Anthology series “Folklore” is at various stages of production across seven different Asian territories.