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What Is the ‘Squid Game’?

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Attempt to win or die trying. From the minute it debuted on Netflix in September, Squid Game drew in viewers with its high-stakes spin on popular Korean children’s games.

Squid Game was the most physically abusive childhood game I played in neighborhood alleyways as a youngster,” creator Hwang Dong-hyuk stated at a South Korean news conference. The show’s title and premise were announced the same month. “I chose it as the show’s title because it’s the most emblematic game that depicts today’s competitive culture.”

After accepting a frightening invitation to play a series of children’s games, 456 participants battle for their lives—and a financial incentive starts at 38 million dollars and rises into the billions—starting in episode one. Each round is overseen by the Front Man, surrounded by masked guards dressed in pink uniforms.

When the candidates understand that every challenge comes with the risk of harm or death, the nine-episode series swiftly takes a grim turn. Fans discover more about each participant, including Seong Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-Jae), who lived with his mother after getting divorced before entering the brutal tournament.

Week after week, viewers must decide which participants, who have all been assigned a number and a matching uniform in their isolated bubble, can be trusted and which ones will go to any length to survive.

The fatal hurdles and high-risk results, according to Dong-hyuk, 50, also serve as a commentary on the globe during the previous decade.

“I need to write a novel that was an allegory or fable about current capitalist society, something that depicted a fierce rivalry, similar to the fierce competition in life. However, I wanted to employ personalities we’ve all encountered in real life, “He told Variety last month. “It is both entertainment and human drama as a survival game. The games shown are incredibly simple and straightforward. This allows viewers to concentrate on the characters rather than attempting to figure out the rules.”

The showrunner, who has previously written Silenced and The Fortress, said that the concept originated as a film in 2008. The notion that the affluent get richer—the wealthy are referred to as VIPs on the program, and they watch and wager on the contestants—while the poor are left with few alternatives has only grown in the last ten years.

“At the time, ten years ago, the notion was unthinkable. It was too strange, and many assumed it wouldn’t make money, partly because it was violent. Some issues with ratings would reduce the target demographic, “In October, Dong-hyuk told IndieWire. “But ten years had gone, and Netflix’s distribution structure is different from that of films; they have fewer constraints, so I was able to make this film in my manner and felt less pressure about these concerns.”

Squid Games was an instant hit for Netflix, debuting at No. 2 on its top streams just one day after its release. Two days later, it was No. 1.

Scroll down to read more about the survival drama:

When Did It Premiere?

The drama series dropped on Netflix on September 17.

Who Are the Big Stars?

Jung-Jae plays Seong Gi-hun, the series’ protagonist, who is a chauffeur with a gambling debt. The other main characters include Seong’s childhood friend Cho Sang-woo (played by Park Hae-soo), police officer Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-Joon), and North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok (Hoyeon Jung).

Are There Comic Book Ties?

After several fans linked the series to The Hunger Games or Battle Royale and 2014’s Japanese feature As the Gods Will, Dong-hyuk told Variety in September, “I readily acknowledge that I’ve received significant influence from Japanese comics and animation over the years.” “I was broke when I first started and spent a lot of time in cafés reading comics like Battle Royale and Liar Game. I began to worry about how I would react if I were to participate in the games myself. However, I considered the games too difficult, so I concentrated my efforts on utilizing children’s games.”

What’s the Premise?

Hundreds of desperate, cash-strapped participants are asked to compete in several children’s games throughout the show. They will walk away with billions of $$ if they win. They don’t realize that every game contains a deadly twist, and only a few people will survive.

Is There a Real Squid Game?

The program’s title is based on a real childhood pastime and is named after a squid-like artwork drawn on sandy fields. Participants are divided into two teams in the actual game who compete to reach the “land,” or home base, while attackers attempt to push and drag their opponents outside the boundaries.

Which of the Children’s Games Exist in Real Life?

Episode one depicts a game of Red Light, Green Light, but instead of starting and stopping when competitors hear “green light” or “red light,” the players were only allowed to run when they heard “Mugunghwa flower has blossomed.”

Episode four’s juldarigi challenge is similar to that of tug of war in the U.S. However, the Korean version is very traditional and originated as a way to bind communities together and bring about bountiful harvest, according to NBC News.

Ddakji appeared in two separate episodes and is somewhat similar to America’s Pog game. The goal is to turn over your opponent’s folded paper tiles, or ddakji, and make them pass a fixed-line to win.

Will There Be a Season 2?

” I don’t have well-developed plans for Squid Game 2,” the show’s creator told Variety last month. “Just thinking about it is exhausting. But if I were to do it, I would not do it alone. I’d contemplate using a writers’ room and would want numerous experienced directors.”

What Was the Show’s Initial Title?

While ojingeo (which translates to “squid game”) is a real kids’ game in Korea, it’s not very popular with kids today, so the series’ creators almost went in a different direction.

In October 2021, Netflix VP of Content in Asia Pacific Minyoung Kim told the Hollywood Reporter, “We knew we wanted this program to go, but we were scared the title Squid Game wouldn’t connect since not many people would comprehend it.” “So we opted with Round Six instead, since we wanted it to be more generic and useful for explaining what the program is about— the game has six rounds.”

Dong-hyuk eventually proposed returning to the original title since the program is “unique” and “this game is the soul,” according to Kim.

Kim told the newspaper, “I think the more honest title has performed pretty well.” “The title, Squid Game, and the eye-catching artwork truly engage attention within our service— especially for people who have never watched a Korean program before but are seeking exciting things to watch,” says the producer.

Does Creator Hwang Dong-hyuk Stand by the Ending?

After Lebron James told teammate Anthony Davis that he didn’t like the ending of the hit Netflix series, Dong-hyuk hit back at the criticism.

” Have you seen Space Jam 2?” Dong-hyuk responded during an interview with The Guardian in October 2021. “LeBron James is laid-back and free to say whatever he wants. That’s something I admire. I’m grateful he finished the series, but I wouldn’t modify my conclusion. That concludes my remarks.”

The writer also suggested that the athlete should “make his own sequel” for Dong-hyuk to watch so he could respond with, “I liked your whole show, except the ending.”

Season 2 Is on the Creator’s Mind

“As a result, there’s been a lot of pressure, desire, and affection for a second season. So it’s almost as if you don’t give us a choice, “According to the Associated Press, inventor Dong-hyuk stated during a red carpet appearance in November 2021. “However, I believe there will be a second season. It’s now on my mind. I’m presently in the planning stages. But I believe it is too early to predict when and how that will occur.”

A Possible Season 2 and 3?

In December 2021, director Hwang Dong-Hyuk addressed Korea’s KBS regarding future seasons of the blockbuster Netflix hit, “I’m now in the midst of conversations with Netflix about season 2 and season 3 [of Squid Game].” “I believe we’ll find a conclusion [to our negotiations] soon… we know a lot of people are waiting, so everyone is performing hard to be ready for the new season with a positive approach.”

Hyuk also teased the focus of the second season will be on Seong Gi Hun (Lee Jung Jae) as he pieces together the game’s origins, telling the outlet, “The tale of the individual’s Gi Hun encounters, and the ones he hunts will be the major thread of Season 2.”

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