Squid Game's Director Can Teach Us All A Lesson On Never Giving Up

·2-min read
Squid Game director Hwang Dong-Hyuk says he came up with the idea over 10 years ago. (Photo: YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix)
Squid Game director Hwang Dong-Hyuk says he came up with the idea over 10 years ago. (Photo: YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix)

Squid Game is not for the faint hearted. It’s one of the reasons director Hwang Dong-Hyuk’s idea didn’t come to life even though he came up with the story in 2008.

In an interview with The Korea Times, the director revealed how it took years to get the hit Netflix show commissioned.

Investors and actors struggled to get on board the Korean drama-slash-horror because of the brutality of the storyline. But it didn’t stop him from trying again.

Netflix eventually green lit the show after they first took an interest in it back in 2019.

“After about 12 years, the world has changed into a place where such peculiar, violent survival stories are actually welcomed,” Dong-Hyuk said.

“People commented on how the series is relevant to real life. Sadly, the world has changed in that direction. The series’ games that participants go crazy over align with people’s desires to hit the jackpot with things like cryptocurrency, real estate and stocks. So many people have been able to empathise with the story.”

A behind-the-scenes still from the filming of Squid Game. (Photo: YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix)
A behind-the-scenes still from the filming of Squid Game. (Photo: YOUNGKYU PARK/Netflix)

Squid Game is now on track to become Netflix’s biggest ever show in any language following its release on 17 September, according to Ted Sarandos, co-CEO of the platform.

For anyone who hasn’t seen it yet (if you haven’t, where have you been) the series is a thriller about survival.

It follows characters desperately living on the poverty line who are roped into a game hosted at a secret location. The winner gets 45.6 billion won (£28 million), and the losers are killed.

The show has inspired countless memes, TikTok videos, and even cafe culture, with some shops in Seoul and Singapore recreating the sugar honeycomb from episode three.

A serving of the honeycomb featured in Netflix's hit series Squid Game at Brown Butter Cafe in Singapore. (Photo: Edgar Su via Reuters)
A serving of the honeycomb featured in Netflix's hit series Squid Game at Brown Butter Cafe in Singapore. (Photo: Edgar Su via Reuters)

And we know you’re wondering – will there be a season two? No official announcements have been made as yet.

In the Korea Times interview, Dong-Hyuk mentioned it was tough to write and direct the first series of Squid Game. He says it would be both a “burden and an honour” for people to compare any of his future work to Squid Game.

But it seems he’s not ruling out another instalment.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.

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