Netflix’s ‘Squd Game’, a South Korean web series has been receiving rave reviews ever since it started streaming on the OTT platform, last month. But did you know that the series, had no producers for almost a decade, until the OTT giants invested in the project in 2019? Well, here are five facts about the series, its unique storyline and characters, you probably weren’t aware about.
‘Squid Game’ was originally a movie
‘Squid Game’ creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, said that title and key game were inspired by the real squid game, which was his favourite game when he was a child. He also chose this as the title of series because he thinks it symbolizes society. In a recent interview had revealed that he came up with the idea 13 years ago in 2008, when he was going through a financial crisis and his family was also under debt. It took him a year to write its script, and after he completed the script in 2009, there were no producers ready to invest into the project. Then in 2019, Netflix decided to fund the project and thatswhen he decided to turn it into the series, after adding more characters like Jun Ho, and adding more details in the storyline.
Actors Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo were always the first-choice actors for Hwang Dong-hyuk, tp play the roles of Gi-hun and Sang-woo respectively. Lee Jung-jae worked closely with Hwang on set in order to enhance Gi-hun's characterization, and make sure he was likable. However, he deliberately searched for not-so-popular actors for the roles of Sae-byeok, Il-nam, and Ali. Getting the right actress for Sae-byeok was a challenge, but his search stopped in New York, where he saw actress Jung Ho-yeon, who was pursuing a career in modelling in the Big Apple. The character of Ji-young was originally written as a boy, but was later changed to be a girl, since Hwang Dong-hyuk wanted to explore the friendship between two women.
According to several reports, the very first game in the show -- Red Light, Green Light—along with the giant doll of a girl, is based on children’s textbooks from the 70s and the 80s. The makers bought in an expert to make the real dalgona, for the dalgona challenge in the second game, who was on the set for three days. While filming the tug-of-war game, the makers used a machine to "tug" from the other side, making it very difficult for the actors, who were on the other side of the rope. Similarly, the makers, had created a one-metre-high gap between the ground and the glass way, for the glass stepping game, which made the cast genuinely scared.
The playground set was deliberately made huge, to trigger childhood memories associated with a huge playground. Since one of the many themes, was around the objectification of human beings, the dorm-room was designed like a warehouse, with bunk beds symbolising shelves while also reinforcing the themes of the class and cut-throat competition in a capitalistic society. The coffins in the series had a bow tied around them because the creator of the game felt that he was gifting death to the contestants. The design with the incinerators in the room was inspired by the concentration camps in Auschwitz, Poland.
The front man’s story will be discovered in the season 2, if it ever gets a green light, the series creator had revealed in the interview. The masks worn by the staff involved in the game was a combination of fencing masks and traditional Korean masks called Haehotal.