20 Netflix’s South Korean Series “Squid Game” Facts: Top Cast, Producer, Reviews, Reactions, Storyline, Net Worth

How much money did Squid Game make? Is there a season 2 of Squid Game? All about the trending Netflix’s South Korean Series “Squid Game”

Netflix‘s South Korean dystopian drama “Squid Game” has taken the world by storm since its premiere on September 17.

A few days after its release, it ranked No. 1 in the US and it’s on track to become the streaming service’s most-watched show of all time

By now, you’ll surely be familiar with the Netflix title Squid Game and all that it entails. But if you’re not, well here’s a rough synopsis:

A motley bunch of fishmonger aunties engages in a fearsome war, as they throw squids at each other in a 6-man deathmatch.

Or at least, that was what I surmised from the title until I read the actual synopsis:

“Hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children’s games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits with deadly high stakes. A survival game that has a whopping 40-million-dollar prize at stake.”

Suffice to say; it wasn’t what I was expecting.

But here’s the thing. Is that the only aspect that’s confusing about the show?

Without further ado, The Vibely explores all the mysteries and intricacies revolving around it in the latest rendition of our 20 Facts series – Keep reading to learn what exactly “Squid Game” is and why so many people are watching.

1. About Squid Game

Squid Game is absolutely worth watching if you can stand all the violence and tragedy. As much as it’s a show about people competing in a deadly, real-life version of Fall Guys (basically) it’s also a cautionary tale about the many terrible ways that money—whether you have too much or too little—can ruin lives.

Hundreds of cash-strapped players accept a strange invitation to compete in children’s games. Inside, a tempting prize awaits with deadly high stakes. A survival game that has a whopping 45.6 billion-won prize at stake.

2. Squid Game Storyline

A story of people who fail at life for various reasons, but suddenly receive a mysterious invitation to participate in a survival game to win more than 38 million US dollars. The game takes place at an unknown location and the participants are locked up until there is a final winner. The story will incorporate popular children’s games from the 1970s and 1980s of Korea, such as squid game, the literal translation of its Korean name, which is a type of tag where offense and defense use a squid-shaped board drawn in the dirt.

3. Squid Game Country of Origin

Squid is originated from South Korea. Most of the casts in the series are actors and actresses.

4. About Squid Game Director

Dong-hyuk Hwang is a writer and director, known for The Fortress (2017), Silenced (2011), and Miracle Mile (2004). He has won 10 awards out of 11 nominations off his body of work.

Squid Game was written, produced, and directed by Dong-hyuk Hwang.

5. Squid Game is a Multi-Genres

Marvel has a multiverse. Squid Game has multi-genres.

Indeed, at first glance, Squid Game is portrayed as a mere survival game drama. But as time goes by, you’ll realise that it’s much more than a simple game of death.

Apart from thriller, horror, and drama, the nine-episode series even contains dark comedy.

It should also be noted that Squid Game wasn’t initially called Squid Game.

Instead, it was announced as Round Six back in September 2019.

6. 456 people participated

In the show, it’s stated that 456 people, who hail from all walks of life, have been invited to participate in the “Squid Game.”

As it turns out, the number 456 is not just for show.

Incredible as it sounds, they really got 456 people to participate.

Alas, if you’ve watched the show, you would know that numbers dwindle rather rapidly. As actor Park Hae Soo said:

“I see them going home after the elimination, and I can feel the room is emptier. It also makes me feel emptier.”

7. Delay in premiering due to Covid-19

Did you know that Squid Game could have actually premiered earlier?

Indeed, the casting was actually determined as early as 17 June 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 outbreak in South Korea, the production crew had to halt filming in August 2020.

Apparently, filming only resumed one month later, in September 2020.

8. Squid Game apparently has Children’s Games features

By now, you may have seen viral videos of a giant doll, with perhaps even the caption “Red Light, Green Light.”

Well here’s the thing. Squid Game actually features games that were played by children in South Korea.

Yes, folks. Ironic, and as controversial as it sounds, children’s games are used to depict cold-blooded murder and violence. The “Mugunghwa has bloomed” game, for instance, is similar to “What’s the time, Mr. Wolf.”

So the next time you indulge in your area’s child-friendly games, beware.

That game of flag erasers may not be as innocent as you thought.

9. Inspiration

Always wondered how the plotline of Squid Game seems eerily reminiscent of a webtoon/manhwa you’ve read before?

Well, they were actually the inspiration behind it.

In an interview, screenwriter and director Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed that the drama was inspired by manhwa, otherwise known as Korean comics, that he had read before.

“At that time, I went to bookstores often,” he said.

“And when I read many manhwas, I want to make a story similar to the ones in manhwa that I read.”

10. Chart-Topping

Apparently, the drama is so popular with the crowd that it actually took the number 1 spot in the U.S. Netflix “Top 10 in U.S. today” list!

The accolade was achieved on 21 September 2021. In doing so, Squid Game actually edged out other high-flying contenders such as Sex Education and Click Bait.

11. Squid Game was written in 2009

During the Netflix press conference, Hwang also revealed that he had actually finished the script for Squid Game in 2009.

However, he said that the idea wasn’t exactly welcome at the time, and as a result abstained from creating it at that time.

“I finished the script in 2009,” he said. “At that time, people felt that the script was too unfamiliar, brutal, and the plot would be too complex.”

This notion would, however, conflict with certain speculations about the plot.

12. Plagiarism Squid Game vs. As The Gods Will and Liar Game

Despite the drama’s success, it should be noted that the drama is not without its own controversies.

Apparently, viewers have noticed similarities between Squid Game and Japanese productions such as As The Gods Will and Liar Game. In particular, the scene with the giant doll in Squid Game shares almost identical similarities with this scene from As The Gods Will:

YouTube video

However, As The Gods Will was released in 2014, five whole years after Hwang allegedly wrote his script.

It should be noted, however, that Squid Game also shares a certain similarity with the horror film series, Saw.

13. Minimal CGI

Nevertheless, in spite of its controversies, one can’t help but applaud Hwang’s dedication to his work.

Apparently, minimal CGI was used during the production process, in a bid to make the series more authentic.

And in order to achieve the effect, the set design was tweaked to be as realistic as possible. In fact, it was so realistic that the cast members themselves were surprised.

“The set and the giant doll are exactly what we see on screen,” said Park Hae Soo. “Everything amazes me.”

14. Playground

And it seems that Netflix has not spared any expense in the advertising sector as well.

Since a while back, a pop-up playground has opened daily at Itaewon station from 12:00 pm to 9:00 pm.

To emulate the drama experience, life-sized installations have been set up, including the ever-chilling girl with the pigtails.

You can even stand a chance to win a special merchandise set if you get the right answer!

YouTube video

Do take note, however, that it’s only open until 26 September 2021.

15. Trivia

The phone number used in the series was a real South Korean number. The owner of the number was called more than a thousand times a day.

16. Netflix sued by South Korean internet company over popularity of thriller series Squid Gam

Netflix bosses are being sued by a South Korean internet provider over the global popularity of its latest hit series Squid Game.

The Korean-language thriller series has become a worldwide phenomenon since its launch on September 17 and is poised to become the US streaming platform’s “biggest show ever”.

It has become so successful that SK Broadband has sued Netflix to pay the internet provider for a surge in network traffic and maintenance work caused by fans watching the series, according to Reuters.

The company said in its claims that it is South Korea’s second-largest traffic generator after YouTube and that Netflix should “reasonably” pay something in return, as Squid Game trends at number one worldwide.

It added that the popularity of Squid Game and other Korean shows have reinforced Netflix’s status as South Korea’s second-largest data traffic generator after YouTube, owned by Google – but the companies are the only two content platforms not paying network usage fees.

Other providers such as Amazon, Apple, and Facebook are paying fees, added SK Broadband.

Netflix said it will review the claim and “seek dialogue” with SK Broadband to make sure customers’ viewing is not affected.

In a statement on Friday, a Netflix spokesperson told CNBC: “We will review the claim that SK Broadband has filed against us.”In the meantime, we continue to seek the open dialogue and explore ways of working with SK Broadband in order to ensure a seamless streaming experience for our shared customers.”

According to the claim, Netflix’s data traffic via the internet provider increased 24 times from May 2018 to 1.2 trillion bits of data processed per second to September.

Squid Game sees hundreds take part in a competition shrouded in mystery to play lethal children’s games for a multi-billion cash prize. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said: “Squid Game will definitely be our biggest non-English language show in the world, for sure, and there’s a very good chance it’s going to be our biggest show ever.”

Squid Game

“Squid Game” combines childhood games with violence and money. 

17. The series follows players as they participate in deadly versions of kiddie games to win cash

Squid Game
“Squid Game” players go by their numbers. 

“Squid Game” is created and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk and set in Seoul. 

Fans have called the show a mix of the young-adult movie “The Hunger Games,” Netflix’s dystopian series “Black Mirror,” and the Oscar-winning Korean thriller “Parasite.” 

The show’s premise involves 456 people who are deeply in debt and have been chosen to compete to win 45.6 million won (about $38.4 million USD) by playing deadly versions of traditional children’s games. 

The games have simple premises but deadly consequences.

For example, the first game is a version of Red Light, Green Light, where players must get to the finish line without being caught moving by the person who is it. If they see you moving, you’re out. In the “Squid Game” version of Red Light, Green Light, characters who are seen moving to get shot dead by an oversized doll.

Some of the other games include challenging participants to eat around the imprinted shape in a Dalgona honeycomb without breaking it. Some games involve marbles or tug-of-war. No matter the game, losers are killed by the masked guards. 

The players are dressed in identical track-suit uniforms and named by the number on their shirts. The show follows 456, protagonist Seung Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jae).

18. The dark series is an allegory of sorts that was created over a decade ago 

Squid Game childhood game
“Squid Game” has a childish element that’s also super dark. 

Creator and director Hwang has been working on this series’ script since 2008. Netflix picked it up in 2019

For a long time, the creator said, he worried about how “Squid Game” could be commercialized for a broad audience. He said he struggled with funding and casting until Netflix picked it up.

“But after about 12 years, the world has changed into a place where such peculiar, violent survival stories are actually welcomed,” he told The Korea Times.

Hwang described the show to Variety as “an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life.”

19. ‘Squid Game’ is also designed so that viewers can focus on the characters

Squid Game
“Squid Game” has a few lead characters with complicated lives. 

Hwang told Variety he wanted the series “to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life.” 

“People are attracted by the irony that hopeless grownups risk their lives to win a kids’ game,” Hwang said in an interview, per Yonhap. “The games are simple and easy, so viewers can give more focus on each character rather than complex game rules.”

20. Season 1 Episodes. When is Squid Game season 2 coming out?

There are only 9 episodes in season 1 of Squid Game. There are currently no plans for a second season. Squid Game was first announced in 2019, with production taking two years to complete. So even with the most optimistic timeline, Season 2 probably wouldn’t arrive until early 2023.

The 18 Top casts

Lee Jung-jae

1. Lee Jung-Jae played the role of Seong Gi-hun… and appeared in 9 episodes.

Greg Chun

2. Greg Chun appeared in 9 episodes and played the role of Gi-Hun.

3. Stephen Fu as Sang-Woo and appeared in 9 episodes.

Tom Choi

4. Tom Choi played the role of Frontman… in 9 episodes.

Park Hae-soo

5. Park Hae-soo played the role of Cho Sang-Woo… in 9 episodes.

Lee Byung-hun

6. Lee Byung-hun as Front man 9 episodes.

Gong Yoo

7. Gong Yoo as The Salesman in 9 episodes.

8. Jung Hoyeo as Kang Sae-byeok 8 episodes.

Paul Nakauchi

9. Paul Nakauchi as Deok-Su… in 8 episodes.

Stephanie Komure

10. Stephanie Komure as Mi-Nyeo… in 8 episodes.

Wi Ha-Joon

11. Wi Ha-Joo as Hwang Jun-Ho… in 8 episodes.

Halley Kim

12. Halley Kim as Mi-Ok…in 8 episodes.

Caleb Yen

13. Caleb Yen as Additional Voices in 8 episodes.

14. Anupam Tripathi as Ali in 7 episodes.

15. Hideo Kimura as Il-Nam in 7 episodes.

Donald Chang

16. Donald Chan as Jun-Ho in 7 episodes.

Oh Yeong-su

17. Oh Yeong-su as Oh II-nam…7 episodes.

Heo Sung-tae

18. Heo Sung-tae as Jang Deok-Soo… 7 episodes.

Series Directed by 

Dong-hyuk Hwang(9 episodes, 2021)

Series Writing Credits  

Dong-hyuk Hwang(9 episodes, 2021)

All the Series Cast  

Lee Jung-jae Seong Gi-hun / …9 episodes, 2021 
Greg Chun Gi-Hun9 episodes, 2021 
Stephen Fu Sang-Woo9 episodes, 2021 
Tom Choi Frontman / …9 episodes, 2021 
Park Hae-soo Cho Sang-Woo / …9 episodes, 2021 
Lee Byung-hun Front man9 episodes, 2021 
Gong Yoo The Salesman9 episodes, 2021 
Jung Hoyeon Kang Sae-byeok8 episodes, 2021 
Paul Nakauchi Deok-Su / …8 episodes, 2021 
Stephanie Komure Mi-Nyeo / …8 episodes, 2021 
Wi Ha-Joon Hwang Jun-Ho / …8 episodes, 2021 
Halley Kim Mi-Ok / …8 episodes, 2021 
Caleb Yen Additional Voices8 episodes, 2021 
Anupam Tripathi Ali7 episodes, 2021 
Hideo Kimura Il-Nam7 episodes, 2021 
Donald Chang Jun-Ho7 episodes, 2021 
Oh Yeong-su Oh II-nam / …7 episodes, 2021 
Heo Sung-tae Jang Deok-Soo / …7 episodes, 2021 
Nick Martineau Additional Voices7 episodes, 2021 
Eugene Young Additional Voices / …6 episodes, 2021 
Steven Allerick Additional Voices6 episodes, 2021 
Kim Joo-Ryung Han Mi-Nyeo / …6 episodes, 2021 
Alan Lee Additional Voices6 episodes, 2021 
Steven Lim Additional Voices6 episodes, 2021 
Sura Siu Additional Voices6 episodes, 2021 
Aaron Yamawaki Additional Voices6 episodes, 2021 
Brian Kim Byeong-Gi / …5 episodes, 2021 
Raymond Lee Sang-Hun / …5 episodes, 2021 
Yuuki Luna Ji-Yeong / …5 episodes, 2021 
Edward Hong Player 244 / …5 episodes, 2021 
Jennifer Yun Additional Voices5 episodes, 2021 
Rama Vallury Additional Voices / …4 episodes, 2021 
Yu Seong-Ju Byeong-Ki4 episodes, 2021 
Kim Dong-Won No. 3034 episodes, 2021 
Kwak Ja-hyoung No. 2784 episodes, 2021 
Lim Ki-Hong Jung Min-Tae4 episodes, 2021 
Ryan Colt Levy Additional Voices4 episodes, 2021 
Jason Lin Additional Voices4 episodes, 2021 
Ming Lo Additional Voices4 episodes, 2021 
Kim Si-Hyun No. 2444 episodes, 2021 
Reuben Uy Additional Voices4 episodes, 2021 
Keone Young Additional Voices4 episodes, 2021 
Lee Yoo-mi Ji-Yeong3 episodes, 2021 
Nathan Yi Cheol / …3 episodes, 2021 
Lee Shorten Yeong Uk / …3 episodes, 2021 
Kim Young-ok Seong Gi-Hun’s mother3 episodes, 2021 
Emily Kuroda Additional Voices3 episodes, 2021 
Moon Byung-Joo No. 0213 episodes, 2021 
Yoon Don-Sun No Sang-Hun3 episodes, 2021 
Kim Dong-Hyun No. 1963 episodes, 2021 
Moon Jung-Dae No. 1513 episodes, 2021 
Christian Lagahit No. 2763 episodes, 2021 
Jully Lee Additional Voices3 episodes, 2021 
Sang-hee Lee No. 0173 episodes, 2021 
Yang Mal-bok No. 4533 episodes, 2021 
Hye-jin Park Cho Sang-Woo’s mother3 episodes, 2021 
Seung-Hoon Yoon Park Ju-Un3 episodes, 2021 
Johnny Young Additional Voices3 episodes, 2021 
Yoon Young-Kyun No. 0403 episodes, 2021 
Kim Yun-Tae No. 0693 episodes, 2021 
Daniel C Kennedy VIP 22 episodes, 2021 
John D. Michaels VIP 12 episodes, 2021 
Reagan To Ga-Yeong2 episodes, 2021 
Ko Byung-Taek No. 4072 episodes, 2021 
Lee Doo-Seok No. 0622 episodes, 2021 
Jo a In Seong Ga-Yeong2 episodes, 2021 
Lee Ji-Ha No. 069’s wife2 episodes, 2021 
Mal-Geum Kang Seong Ga-Yeong’s mother2 episodes, 2021 
Seo-Hwan Lee Seong Gi-Hun’s friend2 episodes, 2021 
Si-wan Park Kang Cheol2 episodes, 2021 
Park Si-Won Cho Sang-Woo (child)2 episodes, 2021 
Min Tae-Yul No. 2712 episodes, 2021 
Jung Woo-Hyuk No. 0962 episodes, 2021 
Kim Yeon-Ung Seong Gi-Hun (child)2 episodes, 2021 
Woo Yeong-Taek No. 1942 episodes, 2021 
Hwang Youn-Hee No. 3082 episodes, 2021 
Geoffrey Giuliano Vip 41 episode, 2021 
Jae-Sup Choi North Korean defector shelter employee1 episode, 2021 
Won Choon-Gyu No. 0661 episode, 2021 
Pyo Dong-Jun Seong Ga-Yeong’s brother1 episode, 2021 
Heo Dong-won Guard 281 episode, 2021 
Lee Dong-yong Kim Sang-Hyuk1 episode, 2021 
Kim Hee-Seo No. 1981 episode, 2021 
Jang Hyun-Jin No. 0831 episode, 2021 
Song Hyung-soo Doctor1 episode, 2021 
Park Ji-Hoon No. 2501 episode, 2021 
Wie Ji-Yeon Teller Ha Sun-Young1 episode, 2021 
Hyun-Sook Jun Fish Shop Customer1 episode, 2021 
Park Jung-Eon No. 0731 episode, 2021 
Lee Jung-Jun Guard1 episode, 2021 
Kye-sun Kim Dormitory Owner1 episode, 2021 
Min-Che Kim Hair Stylist1 episode, 2021 
Min-sik Kim Kim Jin-Woo1 episode, 2021 
Pub-lae Kim Loan Shark1 episode, 2021 
Seo-ha Kim Factory Owner1 episode, 2021 
Choong-goo Lee Gang Member1 episode, 2021 
Jeong-heon Lee Banker1 episode, 2021 
Yeong-Soon Son Flower Seller1 episode, 2021 
Park Sun-a Kim Mi-Ok1 episode, 2021 
Hong Woo-jin Oh Yeong-Uk1 episode, 2021 
Kim Young-Sun Seong Gi-Hun’s friend’s wife1 episode, 2021 
Yeong-geol Yun Surgery Room Guard1 episode, 2021 

Series Produced by 

Dong-hyuk Hwangproducer (unknown episodes)

Series Music by 

Jaeil Jung(9 episodes, 2021)

Series Sound Department 

Tae-young Choiaudio director (9 episodes, 2021)
Serge Perronlead re-recording mixer (9 episodes, 2021)
Airi Moridialogue editor (8 episodes, 2021)

Series Editorial Department 

Kim HyungSheksenior colourist (9 episodes, 2021)

Series Music Department 

Walter Mairsoundtrack (9 episodes, 2021)

Series Additional Crew 

Mayank BadhwarMarketing Consultant (9 episodes, 2021)

Quick Facts About Squid Game

Netflix’s “Squid Game” is a South Korean dystopian series with violence, competition, and games.

Fans are calling “Squid Game” a violent mix of “The Hunger Games,” “Black Mirror,” and “Parasite.” 

The dark series was created by Hwang Dong-hyuk in 2008. 

Netflix‘s South Korean dystopian drama “Squid Game” has taken the world by storm since its premiere on September 17.

A few days after its release, it ranked No. 1 in the US and it’s on track to become the streaming service’s most-watched show of all time

Release date: September 17, 2021 (United States)

Country of origin: South Korea

Official site: Official Netflix

Languages: Korean, English

Also known as: Trò Chơi Con Mực

Production company: Siren Pictures

Runtime: 1h

Color: Color

Sound Mix: Dolby Digital

Aspect ratio: 1.78: 1

Taglines: 45.6 Billion Won is Child’s Play

Genres: Action, Adventure, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Certificate: TV-MA

Parents guide: emphatically advised.

FAQs

Why is it called ‘Squid Game’?

“Squid Game” is named after a children’s game played on a court that is shaped like a squid. It’s among the six games that the contestants have to play on their quest to leave the island alive.

Who created Squid Game?

“Squid Game” creator Hwang Dong-hyuk came up with the idea for the show more than a decade ago while living with his mother and grandmother. He had to stop writing the script at one point: He was forced to sell his $675 laptop for cash.

Is Squid game a real game in Korea?

The ‘Squid Game’ Games Are Based on Real-Life Children’s Games. The Korean and international games have taken over social media. “The games portrayed are extremely simple and easy to understand,” the producer, told Variety.

When was squid game written?

Though initially scripted in 2008, Hwang had been unable to find a production to support the script until Netflix around 2019 found interest as part of their drive to expand their foreign programming offerings. Hwang wrote and directed all nine episodes himself.

Is there a season 2 of squid game?

There are currently no plans for a second season. Squid Game was first announced in 2019, with production taking two years to complete. So even with the most optimistic timeline, Season 2 probably wouldn’t arrive until early 2023.

How many episodes does squid game have?

Season 1 of Squid Game series has 9 episodes. In a deep dive on the show’s breakout success published by Vulture, Netflix’s global TV head Bela Bajaria appeared optimistic about the potential for “Squid Game” Season 2. At this time, however, no second season has been officially ordered.

Is Squid game about capitalism?

Squid Game writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk has said his series is an allegory for modern capitalist society.

What is Squid Game age-rated?

The hit Netflix show that everyone’s talking about – from children in the playground to critics on TikTok – is a 15 rating, covering very grown-up topics such as gambling, sex, violence, murder, and drug use.

Are Squid Game subtitles accurate?

Overall, the inconsistencies in the subtitles and closed captioning aren’t overly egregious, according to three Korean-speakers The Daily Beast spoke with, who all say the subtitles are much more accurate than the closed captions. Still, they admit the translations could use some improvement.

How long is “Squid Game?”

The nine episodes range in runtime, with the shortest at 32 minutes and the longest clocking in at 62 minutes. As a whole, the series is just over eight hours long.

Who is the police officer in squid game?

Korean actor Wi Ha-jun—sometimes spelled Wi Ha-joon—played the role of Hwang Jun-ho, the policeman who infiltrates the game facility disguised as a staff member.

Who won the money at the end of the game?

Gi-hun realizes that and opts to stop the game and give up the money instead of letting Sang-woo die. However, in his last moment, Sang-woo stabs himself, letting Gi-hun collect the prize money, and asks Gi-hun to help his mother.

Who is in the black mask squid game?

The Front Man (played by South Korean actor Lee Byung-hun, familiar to Western audiences from the G.I. Joe film series) oversees the survival competition. Giving Grim Reaper vibes, the mysterious character appears in an all-black outfit, including a black mask.

How much does Gi hun owe in squid game?

The main protagonist, Gi-hun, is a down-and-out man struggling with his life. After losing his job in a car manufacturing company – a stark reminder of how Ssangyong Motor laid off over 2,600 workers in 2009 – he decided to open his own fried chicken shop, but chalked up over 400 million won in debt.

How much money did squid game make?

Flix Patrol, a website that tracks streaming statistics for the top platforms in the world, reported that “Squid Game” is the No. 1 show in dozens of countries, including the U.S., the United Kingdom, and South Korea. It has 45.6 billion won and according to Forbes, the net worth of the series is around $38 million USD since it’s released.

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