Netflix’s Squid Game follows people competing for money in violent games – and has become one of the streaming giant’s biggest success stories.
The show was originally called something else
A still from hit Netflix K-drama Squid Game. Photo: Netflix
Netflix announced plans for the series in September 2019 and it was originally called Round Six.
Hwang Dong-hyuk began working on the script over a decade ago
Jee Jung-jae as gambling addict Seong Gi-hun in Squid Game. Photo: Netflix
This collaboration with Netflix was creator Hwang Dong-hyuk’s first time working with an international entertainment company.
Hwang began working on his script in 2008 and finished the first draft of it in 2009. It took the writer and director nearly six months to write the first two episodes of Squid Game alone.
He told Radio Times that at the time the story felt “unfamiliar and violent” and he worried people would find it too abstract to be commercialised and find a wider audience.
The creator said he also struggled with funding and casting until Netflix picked it up about a decade later.
“But after about 12 years, the world has changed into a place where such peculiar, violent survival stories are actually welcomed,” Hwang told The Korea Times.
Squid Game was originally meant to be a movie
A still from Squid Game. Photo: Netflix
In an interview with Variety, the creator said the project was also originally created as a feature film.
This isn’t too surprising considering Hwang’s film background. He wrote and directed major hit films like Silenced and The Fortress. He was also a screenwriter and director of the musical comedy Miss Granny, which is widely considered to be one of the most successful Korean films of all time.
The walls in the players’ room have doodles that foreshadow the games
Foreshadowing in Squid Game. Photo: Netflix
The dorm walls, which are initially covered by beds, actually have drawings that serve as clues for the players to see what games will be played.
The first game’s doll is a real creation you can visit
The creepy doll from Squid Game exists in real life. Photo: Netflix
The eerie oversized doll from the first episode of the show is real and can be found in Jincheon County, a rural area around three hours north of Seoul.
The doll was reportedly borrowed for filming Squid Game and then returned. According to Koreaboo, she currently guards the entrance of a horse-carriage museum.
The phone number in the first episode of the show is also real
The brightly coloured set of Squid Game. Photo: Netflix
Contestants get involved in the game by calling the eight-digit number on mysterious business cards.
Unfortunately, the phone number is real and belongs to a man who said he received about 4,000 calls a day. A South Korean presidential candidate actually offered to buy the number from him.
One of the challenges in the show is now a TikTok trend
Seong Gi-hun participating in a Squid Game challenge. Photo: Netflix
The challenge with Dalgona candy, a type of honeycomb toffee, has inspired TikTokers to create their own version.
The candy consists of two simple ingredients – sugar and baking soda – but the true challenge is eating around the image imprinted in the treat without breaking it.
“The production crew and I would joke about our series starting a Dalgona craze, like how Netflix’s Kingdom did with the gat – a traditional Korean hat – but I’m astounded that it actually happened,” the director told The Korea Times.
Squid Game may be helping to make similar shows popular on Netflix
A still from Squid Game. Photo: Netflix
Forbes reported that Squid Game is boosting similar shows that aren’t in English.
Since the show’s release, both the Japanese thriller series Alice in Borderland and Korean drama Sweet Home have been trending on Netflix.
It’s on track to be one of the best performing shows in Netflix history
Squid Game is one of Netflix’s top-ranked shows. Photo: Netflix
The show is rapidly becoming a sensation and is the first Korean drama to rank No 1 on Netflix’s top 10 show chart in the United States.
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said Squid Game has a very good chance of being the streaming service’s most popular show ever.
There currently aren’t any plans for a second season
There are no plans for Squid Game 2 currently. Photo: Netflix
Hwang said he’d want to look into creating more films before thinking about creating a second season of the show.
“I don’t have well developed plans for Squid Game 2,” he told Variety. “It is quite tiring just thinking about it. But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I’d consider using a writers’ room and would want multiple experienced directors.”
This article originally appeared on InsiderInternet Explorer Channel Network