‘Squid Game’ director Hwang Dong-hyuk: “I wanted to make a survival drama that was the most Korean”

The Netflix original series will premiere in September

South Korean director Hwang Dong-hyuk has shared the inspiration behind his upcoming Netflix original series Squid Game.

Hwang, who is known for his work on films such as 2017’s The Fortress and 2013’s Miss Granny, spoke about the forthcoming series in a new interview with South Korean news channel YTN.

The director revealed that he first came up with the idea for Squid Game over a decade ago, while reading a comic book about a group of people who were unwittingly made to play an extreme game. “I wanted to make a survival drama that was the most Korean,” he said, as translated by Soompi.


Squid Game will follow 456 contestants who are invited to play a mysterious, high-stakes game for a cash prize of ₩45.6billion (roughly £2.8million). The individuals face off against one another in a series of deadly mini-games that are derived from South Korean childhood games.

“I wanted to create a sense of connection between the nostalgic games we played in our childhood and the sense of never-ending competition that modern adults feel,” Hwang added. “There’s an irony in our most beautiful and innocent memories being changed into the most horrifying reality.”

Hwang also noted that he was finally able to turn his 13-year-old idea into reality – which he described as a “challenging project” – with the “physical and psychological freedom” that Netflix had been able to provide him.

Squid Game is set to premiere worldwide on Netflix on September 17. The series will star Lee Jung-Jae (Deliver Us From Evil), Park Hae-Soo (Memories Of The Alhambra, Money Heist), and Wi Ha-Jun (Romance Is A Bonus Book).