Hwang Dong-hyuk has had a busy year as the originator of the Squid Game sensation (or a decade, if you count when he actually conceived of the story). To give you an indication of anyone’s hopes that the show was an awards candidate, Netflix premiered the Korean thriller on September 17—two days before the 2021 Emmy Awards.
But after the show gained instant popularity around the world, Hwang and his cast and crew started campaigning. They collected a number of nominations and victories from organizations like the Screen Actors Guild and the Golden Globes on their way to becoming the first non-Western, non-English-language production to receive major Emmy nominations, including best drama and best actor, for a total of 14.
Including the drama and actor categories. Hwang has also been working tirelessly on the second season, for which he garnered individual nominations for directing and writing (which Netflix commissioned soon after the show started streaming). He discussed how he’s been handling it all in a conversation with THR while using a translator.
Were there any particular nominations the show garnered among the 14 nominated ones that you are particularly proud of?
Of course, I’m proud of each and every one of the 14 nominees, but if I had to pick just one, I’d select supporting actor [Park] Hae-soo. He has long campaigned alongside us, but this is the first time he received a nomination on his own. I was overjoyed that his excellent work has been recognised by such a distinguished awards organisation.
Is there a way to put into words how it feels to be recognised, whether it be for being the most nominated Netflix show this year or for the historical significance of this honour?
Squid Game’s protracted journey feels like a dream. When I originally started writing the script in 2009, no one was interested in producing it, and there was no investor. However, today, we have 14 nominations for the Emmy Awards, the highest honour in the United States, and I am nominated for both writing and directing. This strikes me as being more dramatic than the protagonist Gi-hun triumphing in the Squid Game. Like a miracle, really.
Do you believe that since you first had the idea for Squid Game in 2009, the themes’ applicability have altered significantly?
When I first introduced the script to folks ten years ago, several of them told me it wasn’t practical despite being imaginative and innovative. Now, I believe that many people do not think that I went too far with the story. The most notable distinction is that. The poor are getting even poorer as a result of the conflict, the current high rate of inflation, the difficulty of repaying debt due to the high gas prices, and the increased interest rates. Ten years ago, it was believed that no one would ever participate in a Squid Game, but now that it’s so challenging, maybe people do want to.
Actually, Netflix is creating a real-life Squid Game reality series. How many exchanges have you had with the series’ creators?
In order to ensure that the show closely resembles the real Squid Game, the creators are looking for the set design or costume diagrams from us. I suppose this programme is a critique of capitalism in some ways, but let’s say that, after excluding the top 10% of earners, Gi-hun represents 90% of all people. Is this world just for the 90% of us, as he is attempting to ask us? If it isn’t fair, who makes the world unfair and who profits from the injustice we see?
I wanted to create this programme so that viewers would become aware of how unjust the world is and consider why and how to start changing things. I’m not trying to argue that capitalism is terrible in terms of itself; rather, I wanted to bring up the issue of what might be done to make our system more equitable.
I started the show with the intention of spreading this message, but I also wanted to be prosperous and make money. Given that we live in a capitalist culture, I believe it is only natural that there is commerce going on surrounding Squid Game. This show has received a lot of investment, all with the intention of making money. So, I believe that these firms emerging is only normal in a capitalist and competitive environment.
What state are you in mentally or emotionally when you multitask while writing? Do you benefit or suffer from Squid Game’s enormous success?
Because so many people are anticipating season two and because season one was so successful, it would be a complete lie for me to say that I don’t feel any pressure. The world I imagined feels less intimidating to me when I’m actually writing the script because I completely immerse myself in it. I completely forget about the real world I’m in when I sit down in front of my laptop and enter the universe I’ve created.
#SquidGame creator Hwang Dong-hyuk teases Season 2 of the global sensation.
“It’s here,” he says pointing to his brain. “Not on the page.” https://t.co/YlAM9sXfmR pic.twitter.com/KmmjOJpeUq
— Variety (@Variety) March 13, 2022
Squid Game boss reacts to Netflix’s surprise spinoff show
Creator of the Squid Game, Hwang Dong-hyuk, has offered his opinions on the reality TV offshoot on Netflix.Squid Game: The Challenge, which was unveiled earlier this summer, challenges 456 participants from across the world to take on cognitively and physically taxing tasks while also being subjected to some horrifying surprises.
Nevertheless, it will all be worthwhile because one lucky candidate has a chance to earn $4.56 million.
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