Squid game is a Korean drama that marked fantastic achievements in history. Inspired by the reality of South Korean capitalist culture, it gained millions of views worldwide. It comes with an interesting premise: hundreds of desperate, cash-strapped players are invited to compete in a number of children’s games throughout the show. They will walk away with billions of dollars if they win. What they don’t realize is that every game contains a deadly twist, and only a few people will survive. It may sound like a horror movie, but the director, Hwang Donghyuk, created this movie in multiple genres: thriller, horror, drama, and action. Therefore, no wonder that Squid Game is Netflix’s most-watched show or film of all time.
Beside its successful achievements, there are many interesting squid game facts behind the production. From the struggle of the director to produce the show, to the fascinating story behind each of the characters, we guarantee that you will be impressed by them. Especially if you have watched Squid Game, those interesting facts below will surely blow your mind. Let’s get started!
Table of Contents
- 1. The Show Is Based On Childhood Game
- 2. The Protagonist Backstory Was Inspired by 2009 Violent
- 3. The Doll and The Phone Number Actually Exist
- 4. The Story Took 10 Years To Finish
- 5. It Was Almost A Movie
- 6. The Walls Foreshadows The Games
- 7. The Stairs Was Inspired by The Relativity
- 8. Gi-hun and Sangwoo Are Inspired by The Director’s Life
- 9. The Masked Guards Could Have Looked Like Boy Scouts
- 10. The Mask Symbol Was Inspired by Ant Colony
- 11. The Show Used The Real News Report In The Final Episode
- 12. The Viral Dalgona Challenge
- 13. The Drama Almost Got Another Name
- 14. The First Korean Drama Ranked Number One In The US
- 15. 111 Million Netflix Users Watched In The First Month
1. The Show Is Based On Childhood Game
Hwang Dong-hyuk, the director, confirmed that he took direct inspiration for Squid Game from games he played as a kid. To draw South Korean viewers deeper into the story, the show followed nearly identical rules. It is both entertainment and human drama as a survival game. The games depicted are incredibly simple and straightforward. It helps viewers to concentrate on the characters rather than trying to figure out the rules.
For example, one of the games played is ddakji, also known as ttakji, which is based on a traditional Korean game that is similar in many ways to the popular 1990s game Pogs. Moreover, the original Dalgona challenge was devised by Korean street sellers, and Tug of War was used to bring towns together during harvest season. Dark twists play out against a backdrop of childhood pastimes in the show.
2. The Protagonist Backstory Was Inspired by 2009 Violent
The origin of Seong Gi-hun, the protagonist of Squid Game, is a dramatized version of the violent 2009 incident. Ssangyong, the automobile maker, clashed with 1,000 of the approximately 2,600 employees who were laid off. For 77 days, striking workers held off a harsh alliance of private security troops and Korean police.
In episode 5 (“A Fair World”), the central protagonist observes his fellow rivals turning on each other in a violent free-for-all, which is one of the more subtle tributes to Korea’s labor movement. As he recalls comparable episodes of fatal violence from his job as an auto worker, this traumatic encounter sends him into a trance. Squid Game imagines how such heinous acts could drive desperate workers to risk their lives for a shot at financial redemption.
3. The Doll and The Phone Number Actually Exist
For those Squid game fans, they may be interested in the game “Red Light, Green Light ” featured a huge doll with laser eyes in the first episode. In fact, fans of the show can really visit her in person. She can be found at the Macha Land entrance, a horse carriage museum in Jincheon County, some three hours north of Seoul. The doll wasn’t constructed for the show; it was just borrowed for the purpose of filming the sequence. The doll was returned to the museum after the shooting was concluded.
Meanwhile, the phone number in the show also exists in real life. While it may appear to be a harmless prank call to viewers, the poor owner of the phone number is in a lot of pain. The man explained that he couldn’t change his phone number because it has been the same for his company for ten years.
4. The Story Took 10 Years To Finish
Hwang Donghyuk, the writer-director behind Netflix’s limited series Squid Game, first came up with the concept in 2008. However, it took him ten years to carry it through. The South Korean filmmaker was advised fourteen years ago that his story was too unrealistic and violent to be economically feasible. He was broke after putting all of his effort into his script, so he had to put it on hold in order to focus on other projects.
After watching the rise of webtoons in Korea, he picked up the story for the first time in a decade in 2018 and reimagined it as a series. According to reports, the first two episodes alone took him over six months to create, and the director has been fighting for approval for the project ever since. He presented it to Netflix, which had only recently begun operations in the country, and corporate executives decided that the proposal was now timely enough to approve.
5. It Was Almost A Movie
Squid Game was originally intended to be a film. However, the director, Hwang Donghyuk believed it was practically impossible to fit all of his concepts and games into two hours. As a result, it was turned into a series to allow him and his writing team to create additional characters and flesh out the tale, ensuring that none of his original concepts were discarded. And it paid off in the end, with the series receiving 9 episodes varying in length from 32 to 63 minutes to tell the entire story.
Even Hwang acknowledged he left a lot out of his initial Squid Game movie script when he looked back at it. He was able to investigate every character competing in the game by making it a nine-part Netflix series.
6. The Walls Foreshadows The Games
The candidates remain in a dorm room similar to those used in the military throughout the series, which has a succession of doodles and sketches on the walls. Because they resemble pictures in a children’s book, most viewers may have overlooked them. They are, however, foreshadowing the forthcoming lethal games that the competitors will be required to participate in.
As the number of contestants decreases and more beds are removed, you can see the picture on the wall clearly. If the contestants had known this, they may have planned beforehand to maximize their chances of surviving each challenge.
7. The Stairs Was Inspired by The Relativity
Squid Game is definitely an aesthetic masterpiece, combining a futuristic plot with stunning, bold, and mesmerizing sets. The director revealed that the series’ colorful and sometimes disorienting stairs were inspired by Dutch artist M.C. Escher’s lithograph work Relativity. The print depicts a planet where the rules of gravity are vastly different from those in the real world, and it features seven perplexingly organized stairways. This is nearly identical to the maze-like staircases shown in the series in terms of complexity. They were used to contribute to the set’s eerie atmosphere.
8. Gi-hun and Sangwoo Are Inspired by The Director’s Life
Donghyuk claimed that the primary characters Seong Gi-hun and Cho Sangwoo were based on his own life experiences. Gi-hun and Sangwoo were named after two of Dong-real-life hyuk’s buddies, whom he regarded as his “inner clones,” according to Dong-hyuk. They aren’t just made-up characters since they are based on the realities of growing up in a low-income area and dealing with enormous expectations.
Meanwhile, Donghyuk’s early life is mirrored in both of the characters’ stories. Dong-hyuk, like the characters, hails from a poor part of South Korea. Moreover, liike Sang-Woo, he attended Seoul’s top university and became the pride of his community. Another fascinating fact about the program is that Donghyuk’s grandmother, like Sangwoo’s mother in the series, worked at the Ssangmun-dong Market.
9. The Masked Guards Could Have Looked Like Boy Scouts
The masked guards were supposed to seem like Boy Scouts, according to director Donghyuk. Regrettably, the initial uniforms revealed far too much of the men’s figures. They didn’t appear like ants in a colony at all. They needed to cover their complete body, and a jumpsuit was the greatest option for remaining unknown.
Furthermore, he wanted the men to look more like ants in an ant colony, so the outfits were changed to bright pink jumpsuits. He also made them all wear masks to conceal their identities, making their presence more threatening and creepy than the initial Boy Scout concept he had in mind.
10. The Mask Symbol Was Inspired by Ant Colony
When it came to designing the troops’ uniforms, director Donghyuk was inspired by an ant colony. To that goal, he assigned distinct names to the masks. For example, some had a circle to symbolize worker drones, while others had a triangle to represent warriors, but the square to represent the group’s administrators.
Managers, workers, and soldiers on the show all have defined responsibilities to complete and are unable to divert from them. They’ll face the same fate as candidates who fail a challenge if they do.
11. The Show Used The Real News Report In The Final Episode
According to one of the interviews, Hwang mentioned that he wanted to emphasize the reality of Korean families as much as possible throughout the series. Therefore, he utilizes a real-life news story in the last episode. In the episode, a news announcer declares that household debt in this country is rising faster than the global average.
It is the largest increase in the world as a result of the government’s lifting of limits on financial lending. Hwang said that although this news item is from a few years ago, debt is now “ballooning” due to the coronavirus.
12. The Viral Dalgona Challenge
Dalgona Candy, also known as Korean Honeycomb Toffee, is the candy featured in the Squid Game, which has become the internet’s newest challenge! Dalgona candy, made famous by the Netflix series, is a traditional Korean sweet that is simple to prepare at home and enjoy. The task is similar to the one shown on the show, in which the contestant must eat around the image on the toffee without breaking it.
Furthermore, the Dalgona Candy Challenge technique of licking the toffee was inspired by filmmaker’s childhood experience of licking the candy to remove the shape. He claimed to have won multiple big prizes using this strategy. He also claimed to have tried it out the night before the actors shot the scene to ensure they could pull it off. They also had a professional candy maker manufacture honeycomb toffee with the Dalgona Candy challenge designs.
13. The Drama Almost Got Another Name
It’s difficult to envision the hit Netflix show being labeled anything other than “Squid Game.” Given that no genuine squids appear in the series, this is somewhat ironic. However, Netflix revealed in 2019 that the producers were working on a new show called “Round Six.” Given that the participants on the show must go through a succession of rounds in order to reach the finals, this makes sense.
But writer-director Hwang Donghyuk insisted on Squid Game instead, citing the show’s “uniqueness” as a selling point. Netflix now attributes the show’s name and eye-catching artwork with enticing viewers to try it for the first time when they might have otherwise passed it up. The show was subsequently renamed “Squid Game” by the producers.
14. The First Korean Drama Ranked Number One In The US
Squid Game is the first Korean show to top Netflix’s list of most-watched shows in the United States. The series has also topped the charts in a number of other nations, even defeating the highly popular British drama “Sex Education.” The show has maintained its position as the number one show in twenty-one nations and the top two shows in fifty others.
On September 17, 2021, the drama Squid Game was first released. It started at the fourth chart on Netflix TV Shows Worldwide. After that, it rose to the top chart on September 23 and 24. This is the first time a Korean series has ever topped Netflix TV Shows Worldwide.
15. 111 Million Netflix Users Watched In The First Month
During the first 28 days after its launch, 111 million Netflix subscribers watched Squid Game. This was the streaming service’s biggest debut to date. It even outperformed Shonda Rhimes’ hit Netflix show “Bridgerton,” which drew 82 million views in its first 28 days.
However, the popularity had a minor side effect. According to the local internet provider, Netflix was sued because the show’s success resulted in a massive surge in traffic in South Korea. After all, this is still one of the most impressive achievements from Netflix.