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Squid Game creator reveals meaning and inspiration behind title

The South Korean series has been a huge hit since it arrived on Netflix earlier this month.

Published: Tuesday, 28th September 2021 at 3:35 pm

Since it launched on Netflix on Friday 17th September, South Korean action series Squid Game has become a monumental word of mouth hit – and it is currently the most-watched title on the streamer both in the UK and globally.


The action-packed series follows a group of 456 people who are invited to take part in a mysterious survival competition which sees them each risk their life for the chance to win ₩45.6 billion.


And if you're wondering where exactly the show's rather intriguing name came from, creator Hwang Dong-hyuk has revealed his inspirations for the title, explaining that it dates back to his own childhood.

"Squid Game is a game I used to play as a child in the schoolyard or the streets of the neighbourhood," he said. "This is a story about people who used to play this game as children and return to play it as adults.

"It was one of the most physical and it was also one of my favourite games. I felt that this game could be the most symbolic children’s game that could represent the kind of society we live in today."

Hwang, who has previously directed a number of feature films including Miss Granny and The Fortress, said that development on this project had first begun all the way back in 2008 – with a first draft of the script having been completed by 2009.

"I was reading a lot of comic books, and I finished the script in 2009," he explained. "At the time, it seemed very unfamiliar and violent. There were people who thought it was a little too complex and not commercial. I wasn’t able to get enough investment and casting was difficult. I dabbled in it for about a year, but I had to put it to sleep then."

Read more about Squid Game:

A decade passed before Netflix picked up the project – but, if early reactions are anything to go by, it was well worth the wait to get the project to the screen.

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.

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