Squid Game creator reveals it took 10 years to get hit Netflix series made

The global hit was rejected by several studios before Netflix picked up the project two years ago.

Squid Game

Squid Game director and creator Hwang Dong-hyuk has said that it took over 10 years for the Netflix series to be made.

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Earlier this week, Hwang revealed that he devised the plot behind Squid Game back in 2008 and wrote the script a year later, however the show wasn’t made until 12 years later after being rejected by several studios due to its “bizarre” concept.

Speaking to The Korea Times, the director said: “But after about 12 years, the world has changed into a place where such peculiar, violent survival stories are actually welcomed.

“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 empathize with the story.”

He added that he knew Squid Game would either be “a masterpiece or a quirky flop”.

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“The idea behind this work was very experimental. So I would keep on asking myself if audiences will find it convincing that the characters are risking their lives to play children’s games.”

Hwang spent a decade pitching the project, which is set to become Netflix’s biggest show ever, to several studios, however they found the series “too grotesque and too unrealistic”, he told the Wall Street Journal.

However, after the coronavirus pandemic hit and exacerbated the disparity between the rich and the poor, Netflix thought that Squid Game’s themes of class struggle spoke to reality, Huang said.

“The world has changed. All of these points made the story very realistic for people compared to a decade ago,” he added.

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The hit Netflix drama stars Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun, a gambling addict who takes part in a mysterious game to settle his debts and win 45.6 billion won, but soon learns that losing will cost him his life.

Squid Game is currently streaming on Netflix. Looking for something else to watch? Check out our guide to the best TV series on Netflix and best movies on Netflix, or visit our TV Guide.