Unless you’ve lived under a rock for the past few weeks, you couldn’t help but hear of “Squid Game.” The South Korean series is the first on Netflix in 90 countries and threatens to become the most-watched non-English-language movie and those who watched the series know why.
Because of these details, they will appreciate it even more.
Manga as inspiration
The creator of the series Hwang Dong-hyuk came up with the idea for this story in 2008 when he was in deep debt and his family was struggling with financial problems. At the time, he was reading manga, Japanese comics like The Battle of the King, to get his attention. That’s how the story of people playing deadly games for a huge amount of money, but in the social conditions of South Korea, came to his mind.
It took him a year to write the script, but also ten years to convince someone to accept it. All studies rejected it until in 2019 Netflix said “yes”.
A movie, or a Series
The screenplay was originally written for the film, but when he decided to write a series instead, he added new characters like Jun-ho, a police officer who was not part of the first draft.
A game of squid is children’s game
“Squid game” means “squid game”, and Hwang said that he was inspired by a real children’s game that he adored as a child. He chose her because he believes that she represents the society in which he lives.
The main positive and the main negative roles
As soon as the script was approved, Hwang wanted Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo to play the main roles, who play Gi-Hun and Cho Sang-woo, that is competitors under numbers 456 and 218. All other roles were later selected.
Since they interpret the roles of men who have known each other since they were little and share many memories, the actors spent most of the time on the set with each other, to evoke that old friendship.
Park (who plays the villain Sang-woo said that the most important scene in the Squid Game season 1 was when his character did not warn his friend about the game in question.
“That was a key scene for me. I talked to the director several times about how we should go through it” – said the actor.
He also added that he realized how successful the series was only when the famous American host Jimmy Fallon invited them to include them in his show.
Park welcomed his first child on the same day when the Squid Game first season was released on Netflix, so his friends jokingly gave the boy the nickname “Baby Squid”.
Beauty Kang Sae-byeok character
Casting for Kang Sae-byeok, a beautiful and smart robber, a refugee from North Korea who is trying to bring her mother to the South and get her brother out of the orphanage, was not easy at all, Hwang revealed. However, as soon as he saw the video of Jung Hoyeon, who was working as a model in New York at the time, he knew that he had found the right person.
The beautiful Hoyeon has already profiled herself as a model, and this was her first big acting opportunity. Before that, she appeared in only a few music videos.
I was thinking about my career and realized that maybe it wouldn’t be bad to get into acting waters. I worked as a model on the other side of the world, but during the holidays, summer, and winter, I would return to Korea and take acting classes – she said. At the same time, for this role, she hung out with people from North Korea to better master the accent.
Her popularity skyrocketed after this series. Before the broadcast, it had about 400,000 followers, while now it has over 19 million.
If you take a closer look, you will realize that they are dying of laughter
Lead actor Lee Jung-jae improvised a lot during the filming, and one of those scenes is when he first meets the beautiful robber Sae-beyok. He tries to shove a straw into her coffee and persistently fails. Hoyon was so funny that she didn’t dare raise her head. If you take a closer look, you will see her shoulders shaking.
Ali Abdul character
Anupam Tripathi, who played Ali, came to South Korea from India to study acting, and director Hwang said that it was not easy to find a foreign actor to take on this role. Anupam came to the casting and impressed them all with his impeccable Korean. So much so that they allowed him to keep his tracksuit number 199 at the end of filming.
A giant creepy doll
The giant doll from the first game “Green Light – Red Light”, is based on an iconic illustration from children’s books from the 1970s and 1980s.
Playing with sugar
For the “Dalgona” game challenge, another game with sugar, the team brought in experts to make these cakes that melted the sugar for three days while filming went on. Everything smelled sweet.
At the same time, the playground is made to look huge, because that’s exactly how it works for us when we are children.
Pulling the rope
When filming this game, all the teams on the other side had a machine that pulls the rope towards them. The actors said that it was extremely difficult to keep the rope because of that.
Playing with glass
In the fifth game with glass, the actors were a little more than a meter away from the ground, so those who were afraid of even the smallest height didn’t care at all.
The bedroom is designed to resemble a warehouse, in order to emphasize that human beings are treated as objects here. The beds act as shelves in the hall, but at the same time as seats in the arena, to provoke the fighting nature in people.
The coffins look like gifts because the one who holds all the strings in his hands sees himself as a god, the one who gives the participants gifts even in death. The room in which the bodies are burned was modeled according to the crematoria in Auschwitz.
The masks worn by the guards are inspired by fencing masks, but also by traditional Korean masks.
Is there going to be season 2 of Squid Game
If there is the Squid Game second season, it will deal with Frontman, said the creator Hwong of the Squid Game season 1.
On the other hand, Lee Jung-jae (lead actor) and Lee Byung-hun (who plays Front man) have been friends for years, ever since they embarked on acting careers. They have always wanted to work together, and this is their first opportunity.
Our friendship is unique, but somehow we didn’t have a chance to work together. We only had one scene, but if it is the second season, I would like to shoot more with Lee Byung-hun, said Lee Jung-jae. Fans who noticed Gi-hun’s red hair think that the second season is almost certain.
Squid Game Cast
- Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun, Ki-hoon
- Park Hae-soo as Cho Sang-woo, Sang-woo
- Wi Ha-Joon as Hwang Jun-ho
- Jung Hoyeon as Kang Sae-byeok
- Oh Yeong-su as Oh Il-nam
- Heo Sung-tae as Jang Deok-su
- Anupam Tripathi as Ali Abdul
- Kim Joo-Ryung as Han Mi-nyeo
- Lee Byung-hun as Front man
- Greg Chun as Gi-Hun
- Stephen Fu as Sang-Woo
- Paul Nakauchi as Deok-Su
- Donald Chang as Jun-Ho
- Stephanie Komure as Mi-Nyeo
- Tom Choi as Frontman
- Brian Kim as Byeong-Gi and more…