Although the Korean remake Money Heist Korea takes up the exact plot of La Casa de Papel, the new Netflix series takes some liberties. Have you spotted these differences? Warning, spoilers.
South Korean remake of Money Heistthe series Money Heist Korea is Like the Spanish series with planetary success, this new version tells how a criminal mastermind gathers eight thieves in order to organize a hostage-taking at the House of the currency which they will hold up with a spectacular way.
Despite the plot very similar to that of La Casa de Papel, Money Heist Korea is distinguished by a political backdrop – where the two Koreas are united by a major socio-economic issue – but also by some differences, more or less subtle. Have you spotted them?
The Professor and his glasses
It’s a fairly subtle difference, but it’s there. Sergio Maquina aka The Professor in the Spanish version, played by Álvaro Morte, has a very particular way of putting his glasses up on his nose. He does it through the middle between the two glasses.
His Korean counterpart Park Sun-ho or Professor, played by Yoo Ji-tae, pulls up his glasses by the right arm.
Personal stories of the robbers
Cultural differences oblige, the personal stories of the robbers contain some dissimilarities. Thus the Spanish Tokyo (Ursula Corbero) robber on the run after the death of her boyfriend is different from the Korean Tokyo (Jeon Jong-seo).
The latter is a former student enlisted in the army who lost everything when the two Koreas were unified and who had to combine several jobs before becoming a thief and being sought by the authorities.
For his part, the Spanish Berlin (Pedro Alonso) is a thief wanted for numerous breakages while the Korean Berlin (Park Hae-soo) is a refugee, whose parents were killed when they tried to cross the border, and who was imprisoned from an early age.
Moreover, Rio has become a student of a wealthy family in the Korean version but he is also a hacker like the Spanish Rio (Miguel Herran).
Finally, the Professor of the Korean version has an interesting peculiarity unlike his Spanish counterpart since he was actually a former professor who studied the economic impact of reunification. His studies even led him to meet Oh Jaeyun, in order to take part in the economic cooperation plan.
It was then that he decided to “become Oppenheimer”, the scientist who developed the atomic bomb. And therefore to develop its own bomb, that is to say the case at the Fabrique de la Monnaie.
The Professor and the negotiator knew each other before the robbery
In La Casa de Papel, the Professor meets Raquel Murillo (Itziar Ituño) in a cafe and offers her his phone so he can call his relatives because his phone has run out of battery. Obviously, this is a strategy for the Professor to get closer to her and to have information on the police forces and the robbery in progress.
If the negotiator is suspicious at first and almost stops him when she meets him again in the cafe, she ends up falling in love with him. The Korean version takes another side on this question: The Professor has engineered everything from the beginning and has not played the card of the false chance encounter.
He is the one who arranged for Seon Woo-jin (Kim Yun-jin) to be hired as a negotiator on this breakage case in order to get closer to her afterwards and extract crucial information from her.
The exit of the Professor from the junkyard
When the robbers risk being unmasked because of a scrapped car that Helsinki was originally supposed to sell, the Professor has no choice but to go to the scrapyard to eliminate the evidence.
In La Casa de Papel, the Professor erases all the fingerprints but leaves a clue that could lead the police to Berlin and then pretends to be a beggar to escape Raquel Murillo and the police who have taken over the place.
In Money Heist Korea, The Professor is close to getting caught by the police and he can’t think of anything better than driving the car and breaking through the police blockade. He throws himself at full speed into the river and blows up the car. Luckily, he then leaves on foot so that the police do not know who he is.
Berlin reveals its identity to the world
In La Casa de Papel, The Professor therefore leaves a clue about Berlin in the car left for scrapping. It is thanks to this clue that the police identify Andrés de Fonollosa alias Berlin and that his photo is broadcast in all the television news.
Quite the opposite happens in Money Heist Korea since it is Berlin itself that reveals its identity to the world when negotiator Seon Woo-jin enters the Mint Factory with a camera to verify that the hostages are still alive.
He takes off his mask and reveals himself to be able to communicate. We understand later that he has nothing more to lose because he suffers from an illness, like the Spanish Berlin, and that he will surely sacrifice himself afterwards.
During the heist, the police try to infiltrate an elite team. In the Spanish version, the mission is canceled because the robbers change their masks in the meantime and the commando soldiers have taken the basic masks to pose as hostages. So they go back to where they came from.
In the Korean version, the commando leader still decides to stay hidden and infiltrates among the hostages. He gets spotted at one point and shot by Berlin. The police will then try to put pressure, thinking that the soldier is dead, so that the information is disclosed to the public in order to tarnish the image of the robbers.
But they have a head start since Berlin did not kill the soldier, who was wearing a bulletproof vest. The robbers therefore prove to the public that the soldier is not dead and that they do not want to kill anyone during their heist.
Another different infiltration depending on the version, when Agent Angel enters the Coin Factory pretending to be a doctor to treat Arturo, the robbers take the opportunity to install a microphone in his glasses in order to spy on the police.
In the Korean version, Captain Cha Moo-hyuk enters with a camera built into his goggles to film the robbers from the inside. But the latter realize this and slip a microphone into his phone before he leaves the Factory.