SEOUL – Viewers of the Netflix series Squid Game noticed that the K-drama contains scenes and storylines similar to a 2014 Japanese film, As The Gods Will.
The plots of both shows involve death-survival matches using childhood games and there are similarities in the filmography as well, like a close-up of a giant doll’s head and a countdown clock scene.
Squid Game, which premiered on the streaming service last Friday (September 17), has garnered rave reviews and is trending online. It stars Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Jung Ho-yeon.
The nine-episode series follows a group of desperados who must play twisted versions of their childhood games to stand a chance of winning 45.6 billion won (S $ 52.3 million).
Its director Hwang Dong-hyuk is best known for the 2011 film Silenced, which is based on a true story about the abuse of deaf students in South Korea.
He previously mentioned that the Squid Game script had been in the works since 2008-2009, but was put aside because there was a lack of interest until Netflix hit a decade later.
At a press conference, he said: “It’s true that (the first game is) similar, but after that there are no more similarities.”
He pointed out that As The Gods Will was created in the 2010s, after his initial idea for Squid Game, which came to him after reading a lot of manga on the survival genre.
While hesitating to claim ownership of the story, he added, “But if I had to say it, I would say I did it first.”