Director of Netflix's Squid Game reflects on South Korean show's unexpected success

Squid Recreation has grow to be certainly one of 2021’s surprising streaming hits.

Quietly showing on Netflix with little fanfare remaining month, it’s now not off course to be the streamer’s maximum watched display ever – overtaking the likes of The Crown and Bridgerton.

It has taken the number 1 spot in 90 nations inside 10 days of unlock.

Squid Game. Pic: Netflix/Youngkyu Park
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Loads of persons are invited to play – but when they lose, they die. Percent: Netflix/Youngkyu Park

The display, which is ready in South Korea, sees people who find themselves closely in debt invited to play a chain of video games which might see them scoop 45.6bn gained (round £28m).

Contestants have to overcome 455 people to win the cash whilst taking part in kids’s video games akin to Pink Gentle, Inexperienced Gentle – however the catch is when you lose, you die.

The director of the display, Hwang Dong-hyuk, says he by no means anticipated the display to have the “fever” it has won.

He stated: “We did goal an international target audience from the beginning, however this fever wasn’t the rest I had anticipated. I imply, who can have?”

The brutal drama has been in comparison to different displays akin to Black Replicate and The Starvation Video games – however Hwang says that his concept was once now not influenced by way of those tasks, and that he evolved the speculation in 2008.

“Once I first got here up with the guidelines in 2008, I used to be into the Jap survival comics – Struggle Royale; Liar Recreation: Reborn; Playing Apocalypse: Kaiji; to call a couple of,” he stated.

Squid Game. Pic: Netflix/Youngkyu Park
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Squid Recreation is ready and made in South Korea. Percent: Netflix/Youngkyu Park
Squid Game. Pic: Netflix/Youngkyu Park
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Percent: Netflix/Youngkyu Park

“As I learn on, I considered making the survival style in Korea. The Jap game-based comics centered extra at the video games than its characters. Whilst the video games had been elaborate and sophisticated, the avid gamers had been much less sparsely handled.

“I sought after contrarily to turn extra of the characters taking part in easy video games. I’ve watched The Starvation Video games and Black Replicate, which failed to have an effect on me for this paintings.

“I’ve now not watched As The Gods Will. Simplest later, after I heard that the primary sport was once the similar, I seemed up that exact scene.”

Hwang has in the past mentioned short of to make the display “distinctly Korean”, pronouncing: “I consider that the characters, their tales and the issues they confront now not handiest mirror the truth and the problems of South Korean society but in addition the ones of my very own.”

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“The video games and the way the avid gamers play and react in them is what I used to do with my pals in my formative years. This paintings accommodates the whole thing from my 50 years of lifestyles – reminiscences, reviews, households and pals; all of the characters’ names come from my pals, together with Seong Gi-hun (performed by way of Lee Jung-jae).

“Thus, this paintings is private and Korean.

“However I used to be positive that, on the identical time, they’re an identical reviews, reminiscences and emotions that everybody around the globe can percentage. Now we have all as soon as indulged ourselves within the video games and now, all grown up, we’re rising weary from the large sport of survival.”

Squid Recreation is streaming globally now on Netflix.

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