The creator of Netflix’s ubiquitous new Squid Game series said this week that he knew the world was ready for it after a series of global financial crises and other pressing economic concerns… and the election of Donald Trump .
Squid Game creator talks Trump’s influence on Netflix smash hit: “He looks a little bit like one of the VIPs”
The Korean-language drama, which has reportedly become one of Netflix’s most popular shows, revolves around a group of 456 people facing massive debts who voluntarily compete in a series of simple games in an attempt to win a $40 million cash prize.
Speaking to IndieWire, writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk said he conceived the series in 2008, inspired by the real-world financial crisis.
“At that time, there was the Lehman Brothers crisis; the Korean economy was severely affected and I was also having financial problems,” Hwang told IndieWire through a translator.
He said he had initially envisioned the story as a film, but both studios and artists met with resistance when he presented the idea.
However, the appetite for such a show grew as other issues-the rise of cryptocurrency, the election of Trump-began to dominate the global conversation, he said.
“In the last 10 years, there were a lot of themes: there was a cryptocurrency boom, where people all over the world, especially young people in Korea, bet everything and invested all their money in cryptocurrencies,” Hwang said.
“In addition, IT giants such as Facebook, Google and, in Korea, Naver, have emerged and are transforming our lives. It’s groundbreaking, but these IT giants also became very rich.”
“And then Donald Trump became president of the United States. After all these problems happened, I thought it was time for this program to go out to the world,” Hwang continued.
He said the former U.S.president is similarto the show’s so-called “VIP” characters, a group of ultra-wealthy fans of the game who wear animal masks to remain anonymous while watching the contestants play.
“I think he looks like one of the VIPs on the Squid Game,” Hwang said. “It’s almost like he’s running a game show, not a country, like he’s giving people horror.”