Squid Game reality show isn't actually ushering in the apocalypse, per Hwang Dong-hyuk

·2 min read
Hwang Dong-hyuk
Hwang Dong-hyuk

Hwang Dong-hyuk

Take it from Squid Game’s creator Hwan Dong-hyuk, who wrote the first treatment for the script in 2008: any reality show based on the premise isn’t actually going to be life or death. Brandishing his newly-won directing Emmy, Dong-hyuk shared in a post-awards interview panel with Variety that he’s aware of a brewing reality adaptation of his series—and he’s remaining hopeful.

“I actually met with the creator yesterday and they had many questions for me,” Dong-hyuk shares via a translator. “What I hope is that they will be carrying on my vision and intention as much as possible for the show.”

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The adaptation, which was first announced back in June, unites 456 players to play a series of challenges for a prize of 4.56 million dollars. Despite the initial horror of a real-life Squid Game, a casting website for the project assures potential players that “in this game the worst fate is going home empty-handed.” The reality series has been touted by Netflix (naturally) as “the biggest reality competition series ever,” a clear attempt to chase Squid Game’s status as the streamer’s biggest premiere ever.

“I think that even though our show does carry quite a heavy message, and I know that there are some concerns of taking that message and creating it into a reality show with a cash prize... I feel like when you take things too seriously that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry,” Dong-hyuk muses. “It doesn’t set a great precedent.”

Even as a creator who worked tirelessly for years to get big-budget notice, Dong-hyuk isn’t threatened or offended by the idea of an expanding cinematic universe, whether it’s Squid Game’s bloody playground or any other “reproduction” of a series.

“I would say that reproductions of such efforts are going to bring new meaning to the industry,” Dong-hyuk concludes, “and I hope that this is going to be a great new direction for the industry overall.”