Squid Game Would Have Been a Webtoon Comic If Not for Netflix

Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk says he was looking to adapt his long-gestating story into a webtoon series before Netflix ultimately picked it up.

It’s no secret that Hwang Dong-hyuk initially wrote Squid Game over a decade before the Korean drama became an overnight mega-hit for Netflix. However, the writer-director recently revealed that before the streaming giant picked up Squid GameI have actually considered adapting his story into a webtoon series.

“It could be in 2018, but what I was actually thinking at the time was looking into creating Squid Game into a Webtoon series, and I thought maybe we’ll do a webtoon first, and if the people like it, we can then move it into a live-action,” Dong-hyuk said in an interview with The Playlist. For the uninitiated, a webtoon is a digital comic meant to be read on computers and smartphones. The medium originated in South Korea. One of the most popular distributors of webtoons is, of course, WEBTOON.

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“So around 2018, I read it for the first time in 10 years again, because I was thinking about doing a webtoon with it,” the Squid Game creator continued. “At the time, Netflix was just beginning its business in Korea, and it was a time when global OTT services were really becoming very popular. And I thought if we were to look at just the Korean market, there would be a lot of limitations , but maybe with the global OTT and to showcase this story to a global audience, that could be a good bet, and I thought it could also lead to greater opportunities. Squid Game.


Squid Game ultimately premiered its nine-episode first season on Sept. 17, 2021. The series quickly became a massive success, taking the title of Netflix’s most-watched original series of all time. During its first four weeks in release, Squid Game amassed over 1.65 billion viewership hours, being watched in over 142 million households the world over. A second season is currently in the works, and is expected to premiere by 2024.

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Inspired by Japanese survival manga like battle royale and Gambling Apocalypse: Kaiji, Squid Game follows the indebted contestants of a twisted competition in which players partake in various children’s games, the catch being that losing means death. The last player standing wins a cash prize of ₩45.6 billion KRW (approximately $36.5 million USD at the time of this writing).


Squid Game Season 1 is streaming on Netflix now.

Source: The Playlist


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