Director talks about Squid Game inspirations, including Donald Trump
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Several Easter eggs and behind-the-scenes stories have come to light with Squid Game’s meteoric rise to success. One of them involves an unlikely character: the former president of the United States, Donald Trump.
From Netflix Squid It was originally written by screenwriter and director Hwang Dong-hyuk more than a decade ago in 2008. However, the brutal survival show was rejected by several production companies, with most calling the story “too bizarre and unrealistic.” It was only when Netflix entered the scene that Hwang Dong-hyuk was given the green light to go ahead with the project.
In a recent interview, the director, whose other projects include the acclaimed Silenced, revealed the surprising inspiration behind one of the most prominent figures used on the show: Donald Trump.
Hwang Dong-hyuk talks about Donald Trump and other inspirations behind the show
While the producers had rejected Squid, citing its strangeness and detachment from reality, the show’s plot is deeply rooted in reality. The existence of usurers and crippling debts in South Korea and most of the world is a reality that Hwang Dong-hyuk only highlights in his work. While the game itself may not be accurate, the circumstances that led to its creation are.
In a recent interview with IndieWire, the director elaborated on some of the many real-life incidents that led him to write Squid Game, from financial crises to Donald Trump.
Hwang Dong-huk’s financial theme was the Lehman Brothers crisis. The global finance company was the fourth largest investment bank in the United States of America during its heyday. However, in 2008, the company officially declared bankruptcy, sparking a global recession with ripples that were felt from India to Japan. The economic crises seriously affected the South Korean economy, and the director himself was concerned. Hwang Dong-hyuk stated:
“The Korean economy was badly hit and I was in financial trouble too.”
Hwang Song-hyuk has also credited breakthrough technologies such as Squid inspirations, from cryptocurrency and blockchains, that young Koreans have “invested all their money in” social media and IT powerhouses like Facebook, Google [and] Naver. While these apps have changed the way we lead our lives, the corporations behind them have grown very wealthy in the process, sometimes at the expense of those who use them.
However, the most surprising of all inspirations was the figure of Donald Trump. He claimed that the characters of Squid They were directly inspired by the eccentric and much hated former president of the United States, Donald Trump.
Hwang pointed to the United States under the presidency of Donald Trump and said it was
“As if he (Donald Trump) was running a game show, not a country, as if he was giving people horror.”
It was this apparent tyranny of Donald Trump that made him look like the VIPs in Squid the writer continued.
The VIPs at the show were the bloodthirsty masked guests, dressed in elaborate masks and opulent robes, who enjoyed watching the bloody games. Incredibly wealthy VIPs even bet on their favorite players, as one would bet on horses while drinking champagne and using other humans as footstool. For Hwang Dong-hyuk, the indifference of these VIPs resembled the way Donald Trump ran the US, viewing the atrocities with little care.
The director concluded by saying:
“After all these problems happened, I thought it was about time this show went out into the world.”
Worrying parallels have been firmly established Squid as a show to be reckoned with. Several found on the show a scathing critique of capitalism and capitalist nations like South Korea. The director’s ideas have only given these theories more credence.
With the world watching Squid one can expect that aside from the incredible script and acting, people will also pay attention to the glaring commentary on the disparity of wealth and capitalism that the show offers.
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