The smash-hit Korean thriller series Squid Game is Netflix’s most-watched show – it is #1 in 94 countries around the world!
And the show is set to become the streaming giant’s most-viewed piece of content, in any language –EVER.
Squid Game‘s creator/writer/director, Hwang Dong-hyuk wrote the initial script for Squid Game as a feature film in 2009. It was rejected by Korean studios as too violent and totally improbable. Netflix green lit it in 2018, and the rest is … you know.
For the uninitiated, the series follows a group of outcasts who are lured by a mysterious organization into playing children’s games for a cash prize, with some deadly consequences.
The global fascination is making mega-stars of the cast, Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon, Jung Ho-yeon and fan favorite, model-turned-actress Jung Ho-yeon, who’s seen her Instagram go from a few hundred thousand followers to nearly 20+ million and counting.
The Hollywood Reporter spoke with Hwang this week… the following is excerpted from that interview.
“Well, when I began making Squid Game, I actually did target a global audience…
personally, I wanted to create a story that is very entertaining — something really fun to watch.
…these days we are, in fact, living in a deeply unfair and economically challenging world. Especially after the pandemic. I mean, there is more inequality, more severe competition and more people are being pushed to the edge of their livelihoods.
Currently, I would say that more than 90 percent of people across the world will be able to somehow connect and empathize with the plight of the characters that are portrayed in the series. More than anything else, that’s probably why the series was such a big success worldwide.
Personally, I’m not an optimist… the world of Squid Game is depicted in a very dark way, in a cynical way, with some very cold-eyed views on humanity.
Nevertheless, I believe that we cannot go on living without trust in other people — unless you choose to do wrong things and go down a dark path [but] if you don’t trust other people, and if you don’t have trust in the humanity that is inside yourself, then there is really no answer for you as to how you are going to live.
A lot of hardship is ingrained in this show — but then it became a blockbuster worldwide success…
I’m dumbfounded that this could actually happen to a director like me.
…this was a nine-episode series and I was the only one who was writing the scripts and directing the whole thing, so it was a really physically, mentally, emotionally challenging task.
…the pressure on me is huge now, with such a big audience waiting for a season two. Because of all that pressure, I haven’t decided yet whether or not I should do another season.
(Photos, Netflix; via THR)