Squid Game is one of the most successful non-English shows Netflix has ever streamed. Garnering millions of views worldwide, Squid Game is a show that revolves around 456 players who participate in kid-like games with dire consequences. Three years after it first aired on the platform, people have still not forgotten about the show. To commemorate this award-winning film, here are 12 facts you may not have known about Squid Game.

1. The Squid Game Script was Written in 2008

Hwang Dong Hyuk. Squid Game’s writer and director.

Squid Game first aired on Netflix on September 17, 2021. However, the director, Hwang Dong-Hyuk, had written its script 13 years prior. It was initially called Round Six and still had some element of extreme competition amongst its characters.

At that point, Hwang’s script was rejected by many Korean production agencies, who claimed it was grotesque and highly unrealistic. However, when Netflix co-chief executive Ted Sarandos came across this script in 2019, he didn’t hesitate to produce it.

2. Director of Squid Game Lost Six Teeth While Writing the Script

While narrating how he came up with the Squid Game script, Hwang Dong-Hyuk mentions how he lost six teeth due to stress. Hwang highlights that it took him six months to develop only the first two episodes. He also mentioned that in coming up with the sequel of Squid Game, he would hire a support staff to help him write the scripts.

3. The Phone Number in the Business Card Handed Out to Players is Real

Remember the business cards the man would hand over to the potential candidates for the Squid Game? Well, the numbers displayed there are real. After the film’s release, two people filed complaints claiming that the number displayed on the card was theirs and that fans from Korea were frequently calling it. The two men alleged getting up to a thousand calls per day from people interested in playing.

4. Squid Game Had Very Poor English Translations

After its release, Squid Game was criticized for the poor translations the producers provided. This resulted from poor payment to the team coming up with the subtitles and mediocre working conditions. A Korean woman, Youngmi Mayer, sparked a discussion online by explaining how several instances in the film were mistranslated.

This poor translation made it impossible for people watching the English version of Squid Game to understand characters like Han Mi-nyeo. Several fluent-speaking Koreans also pointed out various aspects of mistranslation in the film.

5. Player 240 Was Meant to be a Boy

While the show was an overall hit, several characters from Squid Game became very popular amongst the fans. One of them was Ji Young, also known as Player 240. Played by Lee Yoo Mi, a K-drama actress, Player 240 was meant to be a boy in the initial script written in 2008.

However, director Hwang later on changed the character to a girl because he assumed that a connection between female characters was more emotional and relatable to the viewers.

6. The Director Based the Characters of Himself

In an attempt to portray modern-day challenges, Hwang based some of the characters from his life. Take Gi-hun or Player 456, for example; he was raised by a single mother and came from a poor background like Hwang. The same applies to Sang-woo or Player 77. He attended Seoul National University, and just like Hwang, he wanted to prove himself to society.

7. Player 001 Didn’t Make an Effort to Team Up During the Marbles Game

Very keen viewers noticed something was fishy with Il-nam or Player 001. In the marbles game, everyone is asked to choose a partner. He didn’t make any effort because he knew that if the numbers were odd, the last person left without a partner would not participate and would be sent back to the dorm.

8. Player 001 was the Only One without a Backstory

In the Squid Game, every player had their unique backstory except for 001. The only thing that viewers ever knew about him was that he had a brain tumor. Also, he’s the only player in the game who doesn’t need money.

9. The Drawings in the Dorm Walls Predicted Upcoming Games

The viewers and the players of Squid Game didn’t realize that the drawings on the dorm walls were predictions of upcoming games. This becomes more evident as the number of players shrinks, reducing the number of beds and making the walls and drawings more visible.

10. The Theory that Participants Would Have Been Chosen as Guards If They Picked the Red Card is False

There are multiple online theories on how guards were chosen in Squid Game. One of the most common is that players who picked the red card would have entered the game as guards. However, Hwang dismissed this Red-Blue Player-Guard theory as fake. He associated the red-blue cards with the old folklore of a ghost who would have killed you whether you picked the blue or red tissue.

11. Squid Game is Almost Similar to the Horror Film “As the Gods Will”

Anyone who has watched “As the Gods Will” can identify its similarities with Squid Game. The former is a horror film centered around a high school boy who plays a Japanese children’s game called Daruma-san ga koronda. The higher the levels, the more deaths occur.

Both films have similar games, such as Red Light and Green Light, sparking claims of plagiarism on Hwang’s side. However, he refuted these claims by mentioning his script was written in 2008. Therefore, it could not have copied “As the Gods Will”, which was released in 2014.

12. The Doll in Episode 1 is Real

The murderous doll from Squid Game episode 1 is real. Known as Young-Hee, the doll borrowed from Korean children’s textbooks can be found at the entrance of Macha Land, a horse carriage museum in Jincheon County.

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Last Update: June 27, 2024