‘Squid Game’ creator Hwang Dong-hyuk said he sat on the concept for years until he finally felt the world was ready
The creator of the hugely popular international hit “Squid Game” for Netflix revealed that the election of Donald Trump, along with the financial crisis over the past decade, prompted him to create the show.
“The Squid Game” follows 456 people who are all in dire financial situations. He has been tapped by a mysterious organization to appear in a series of six children’s games for a prize of nearly $40 million. However, it quickly becomes clear that the consequences of losing any of these games are fatal. In addition to its violence and nail-biting drama, the show is a commentary on capitalism and the economic inequality between the ultra-rich and the poor.
Filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk spoke with IndieWire where he revealed that he originally came up with the idea for “Squid Game”, which he envisioned as a film in 2008.
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“At that time, there was the Lehman Brothers crisis, the Korean economy was badly hit and I was also struggling financially,” he explained. “In the last 10 years, there were a lot of issues: there was a cryptocurrency boom, where people all over the world, especially young people in Korea, would go all in and invest all their money in cryptocurrencies. And there was an increase in Facebook, Google and Korea. Just like among the IT giants, there is Naver, and they are just restructuring our lives. It is innovative but these IT giants have also become very prosperous.”
However, it wasn’t until he noticed Donald Trump’s election in America eight years later that he was convinced the world was ready for a “squid game”.
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“And then Donald Trump became President of the United States and I think he looks like one of the VIPs at the squid game,” he explained. “It’s almost like he’s running a game show, not a country, scaring people. After having all these issues, I thought it was time the show went out into the world.”
For those unfamiliar, VIP in the context of the show refers to the handful of ultra-rich people who watch the game and bet on the results. They wear masks to protect their anonymity as they are given extraordinary VIP treatment by the people running things.
The producers, who also directed each episode, noted that the concept became more and more relevant over time as Netflix’s restrictions on experimenting with more creative endeavors widened.
“10 years ago at that time the concept itself was not realistic. It was very bizarre and people thought it would not be a money making film, because it was violent and there would be some problem with ratings and target audience would shrink,” Dong- Hook said. “But 10 years had passed and for Netflix, their distribution system is different from the movies; they have fewer restrictions, so I could go about my own way of making this film and I was less stressed about these issues.” be felt.”
It seems that Dong-hyuk was right about the relevance of the “squid game” not only in South Korea, but throughout the world. The TV show was recently started by Netflix boss Ted Sarandos Most popular show on stage, ahead of previous hits such as “House of Cards” and “The Crown”. While those shows were profitable for the streaming giant in its home country of the United States, “Squid Game” topped charts around the world.