Pachinko Season 2 Might Focus On These Characters

We haven’t even gotten to the war yet.

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Director Soo Hugh intended for Apple TV's Pachinko to have four seasons. Here's everything to know a...
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It’s understandable if you’re still reeling from Pachinko’s finale. History, a forbidden love story, and an incredible cast — including an Oscar winner (Youn Yuh-jung) and one of Korea’s finest leading men (Lee Min-ho) — all make the Apple TV+ Korean period drama a gripping watch. The series, which premiered on March 27, is based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Min Jin Lee. And like its source material, the show was ambitious in scope and enjoyed a sizable budget reportedly similar to The Crown’s at around $13 million per episode.

On April 28, Apple TV+ officially greenlit the show for a Season 2 in welcome if not exactly surprising news. The show has been well-received critically, garnering a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. "Words cannot express my joy in being able to continue telling the extraordinary story of this indomitable family,” Pachinko creator, writer and executive producer Soo Hugh said in a statement. “I'm grateful to the amazing team at Apple and Media Res studio for believing and supporting this show and to our passionate fans who have cheered us on. It's an honor to be able to continue working with this amazing cast and crew.”

Hugh has previously mentioned that she wrote the series with long-term plans in mind. “It’s meant to be four seasons, with eight episodes each, with a departure every season that examines one crucial historical point in that story each season,” she said on The Hollywood Reporter’s TV’s Top 5 podcast.

Here’s everything we know about Pachinko Season 2 so far, including which cast members will likely return and which storylines it could explore.

Pachinko Season 2 Plot

Lee’s epic saga covers a lot of plot. It’s a multigenerational story that follows one family from 1910 to 1989. The Apple TV+ series doesn’t stray too far from the original source material, and while all eight episodes of Season 1 delve deep into the story, there’s still a huge chunk of Sunja’s life missing.

In the first season, viewers are given a glimpse into Sunja’s origins via flashbacks — from her childhood to getting pregnant by a married Hansu at 16. The latter episodes follow her new life as the wife of the pastor Isak and their migration to Japan. The final flashback of the series takes place in 1939 when Isak is arrested and Sunja, now a mom of two, becomes a kimchi vendor to financially contribute to the household.

In 1989, Sunja’s grandson Solomon is already working — though his attempts to land a big account fail. His father, Mozasu, is already a successful pachinko parlor owner, and the family is no longer impoverished. Sunja even gets to return to Busan on a quick trip and reunite with an old friend.

But there’s an entire middle — from 1939 to 1989 — left untold, particularly what happens after Isak is arrested, how Sunja expands her kimchi business, and what happens during World War II. Sunja’s sons, Noa and Mozasu, also have gripping storylines in the book largely left unexplored in the series, especially the events that lead Mozasu into the pachinko business. So there’s definitely a lot of potential for the show’s sophomore outing. In one episode, Sunja alludes to Noa dying by suicide, so that could definitely be explored come Season 2.

Though Hugh has taken some creative liberties with the series, tweaking some events and adding backstories for certain characters, it’s likely that she’ll remain faithful to the core timeline of the book.

Pachinko Season 2 Cast

Since all the main characters are relevant to the untold parts of Sunja’s family’s story, it’s likely most of the cast will return for Season 2.

Fan favorites Youn and Minha Kim, who play the older and younger versions of the character Sunja, will likely reprise their roles. The villain Hansu, played by the K-drama veteran Lee, is a fixture in Sunja’s life, so he’ll also likely return. Soji Arai and Jin Ha, who play father and son Mozasu and Solomon, will also likely come back.

Other characters, including brothers Isak and Yoseb, played by Steve Sang-hyun Noh and Han Jun-woo, as well as Jung Eun-chae’s Kyunghee also have bigger storylines in the novel, so if Hugh chooses to delve into the events before and after World War II, they should also come back.

Mari Yamamoto’s Hana, who was on the brink of death from AIDS in Season 1, will likely not reprise her role. Also, since Solomon left the bank he was working for, it’s unlikely that Solomon’s officemates, played by Jimmi Simpson and Anna Sawai, will reappear in Season 2. Inji Jeong, who plays Sunja’s mom Yangjin, will likely not reprise her role either. Despite her having a longer storyline in the book, reuniting with Sunja at some point, her character is killed off in the series.

If the next season does highlight Noa and Mozasu’s stories, two crucial characters will need to be cast: the older Noa and Mozasu’s wife, Yumi.

Pachinko Season 2 Trailer & Release Date

Now that Pachinko has officially been renewed for Season 2, it’s likely that Hugh will continue with her plans for another eight-episode season, with a release date and trailer announcement closer to the premiere (the exact number of episodes for Season 2 has not yet been confirmed by Apple; we’ll update this post once we hear more).

It’s unclear if the production has already begun filming the new season, or if it hasn’t, when filming could begin. The crew and cast will be busy in the meantime: Hugh has projects in the works, including Disney’s Flight of the Navigator, while Lee is set to star in the K-drama Ask the Stars, premiering in 2023.

This post will be updated as more details on Pachinko Season 2 are released.

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