Jump to content

Lee Jung-Jae 이정재


Recommended Posts

'Squid Game' actors appear on Jimmy Fallon show

By sshim@yna.co.kr | October 07, 2021

SEOUL, Oct. 7 (Yonhap) -- Four main cast members of Netflix's runaway hit "Squid Game" appeared on popular American talk show "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Wednesday (U.S. time), sharing their feelings about the show's global popularity and stories from behind the scenes.

South Korean actors Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-joon and Jung Ho-yeon, who played the four main contestants in the mysterious survival games of the Korean drama-horror series, were connected from Seoul to film the interview the previous day.

"Squid Game" is a nine-episode series that revolves around hundreds of debt-ridden people taking part in a series of deadly Korean children's playground games to win 45.6 billion won (US$38.5 million) in prize money.

After congratulating them on the drama's rise to the top of Netflix's most-viewed releases in 90 countries around the world, Jimmy Fallon asked Park when he realized the show had become so big.

"Right now," he answered without hesitation, drawing laughter from the others. "I'm so thankful because I'm realizing this through so many media outlets, but I feel it even more at this very moment. I feel it in my bones," said the actor who played Cho Sang-woo, one of the contestants. Cho is the main character Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae)'s childhood friend who is wanted for mishandling his clients' funds.





Four main actors of "Squid Game" appear on U.S. NBC's popular talk show "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon" on Oct. 6, 2021, (U.S. time), in these images captured from a YouTube video of the show. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

When asked about elements behind the drama's success, Wi singled out the Korean children's games that underpin the deadly competitions.

"I definitely think part of the appeal is the Korean children's games. That can be very original, refreshing and also shocking at the same time to the global viewers," he said. "I also feel like we did a good job expressing the human greed and the true human nature exposed through the games."

Lee said the scene in which his character Gi-hun runs into Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon) was the most memorable.

"I bump into her and actually make her drop her coffee. Typically you would just pick it up and hand it to her, but I noticed the straw on the ground. So I improvised and tried to stick the straw back into the cup. I tried to do it multiple times. That made Ho-yeon crack up so hard that she couldn't lift her head up."

Questioned about the giant robot doll that oversees a Korean version of the "red light, green light" game in the drama, Jung explained it is Young-hee, a character from Korean school textbooks.

Jimmy Fallon also congratulated Park on the recent birth of his baby boy.

"It was quite amazing because the premiere of 'Squid Game' was at 4 p.m. (Korean time), and the first time I got to meet my son was at 3:50 p.m. So he is my lucky charm and a bundle of blessing for me," Park said. "My friends and many people around me call him 'Baby Squid'." (END)


The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon






Link to comment
Share on other sites

[SBS Star] 'Squid Game' Lee Jung Jae's Phone Should Be Taken Away from Him?

Lee Narin  | 2021.10.08 11:10



Everybody is talking about actor Lee Jung Jae's selfie skills.  Recently, Lee Jung Jae created his Instagram account.  Since he made his Instagram, he has been uploading lots of photos of himself on it.  The first post that he shared was his selfie with a caption, "Is this how you use Instagram?"  Fans were happy that they could communicate with Lee Jung Jae through Instagram now, but they started questioning his ability to take selfies.  



Although he may not seem like that on Netflix's mega-hit series 'Squid Game', Lee Jung Jae is a good-looking and tall model-turned-actor who is the ultimate heartthrob to girls, especially in their 30s and 40s, in real life.  But he looked more like a regular guy next door in his selfie due to the poor angle and pose that he was making.  

Some fans left comments telling him, "Please do not use your handsome face like that!", and thought his selfies will improve after that.  However when Lee Jung Jae updated his Instagram with a new selfie a few days later, they became hopeless; it was pretty much the same as the previous one.




Then, Lee Jung Jae's stylist took to her Instagram to share her opinion on that matter.  She uploaded Lee Jung Jae's photos that she took during a photoshoot that well-highlighted his good looks, then the selfie that Lee Jung Jae took of him.  Along with these photos, the stylist wrote, "He looks like this to me, but hmm... Yeah, we probably should take his phone away from him."  

She laughingly resumed, "Well, I'll just keep taking more photos of him when working together!"  



(Credit= 'from_jjlee' Instagram, Online Community)  
(SBS Star)


Behind “Squid Game”'s global craze, Korea’s economic worries...reach to global watchers


[Newsmaker] ‘Squid Game’ sensation spreads to Korean content creators

Link to comment
Share on other sites

‘Squid Game’ Is a Global Hit, but South Korean Star Lee Jung-jae Says Hollywood Isn’t Calling Him Yet (EXCLUSIVE)

By Patrick Frater | October 11, 2021


Everett Collection

Top South Korean actor Lee Jung-jae is thoroughly enjoying the extra burnish to his already distinguished career that has come from the global success of “Squid Game,” Netflix’s hit survival game TV series. However, he says that the phone is not ringing off the hook with new offers from Hollywood.

“No proposals or requests have come my way,” he told Variety. “But, if the right one came along, I’d be happy to be in an overseas production. It could be fun.”

Lee plays Gi-hun, a penniless wastrel who gambles too much, steals from his family, gets beaten up by loan sharks and accepts a mysterious invitation to become contender #456 in the deadly competition. His affability and carefully crafted backstory make him an easy-to-like protagonist who faces an evil organization that its literally playing with people’s lives.

It was a role that Lee accepted with relish after a more than two-decade career, in which he played romantic leads early on but lately has been cast as austere princes, killers and crooks. His credits include “Il Mare,” “The Housemaid,” “New World” and 2020’s “Deliver Us From Evil.”

Lee may have been playing against type for too long. Independent producer Jonathan Kim, who has known Lee since he was 19, says “He thoroughly deserves the success he’s enjoying with ‘Squid Game.’ It couldn’t happen to a nicer person.”

“I didn’t expect this kind of success at all when I first boarded ‘Squid Game’ as a project. But when I read the script, I understood that it contained elements that could resonate with everyone and work outside of Korea,” says Lee.

Lee says he was also attracted to “Squid Game” by the stellar track record of writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk, whose feature films include historical action drama “The Fortress” and the much-remade body-swap musical comedy “Miss Granny.”

“[Hwang’s] success comes from being very detailed about explaining the characters, their roles and their feelings. Sadness wears many different faces and [in ‘Squid Game’] the characters’ different sadnesses can easily be felt by viewers,” says Lee. “[Hwang] is very capable of building characters from the ground upwards, which is why when the characters have to take big decisions, they are believable. And it is why the audience is willing to believe in the show’s climactic ending. It is actually touching.”

Industry gossip says that Lee is now the most bankable actor in Korea, but he shakes off the idea that he has been fundamentally changed by “Squid Game.”

“Nothing much has changed for me as an actor. But Gi-hun’s character changes a lot over the course of the show. It has a large spectrum, which any actor would want to try out at least once in his career. This was possibly the first time I’ve played a character with such a range,” says Lee.

Korean films have grabbed the global spotlight thanks to titles like “Old Boy,” “Snowpiercer” and Oscar winner “Parasite.” But within Asia, Korean TV drama has long been regarded as the gold standard, combining creativity, classy performances and high production standards. The global streaming giants are now engaged in a race to secure long-term supply deals with Korean producers and content suppliers. That makes it an exciting time to be in the Korean screen industry. And Lee says that “Squid Game” has opened his eyes to the options.

“There are always questions about whether something is better as a film or as a series. I’m not sure how much that matters. What is important is whether the script fits the form, whether the story is entertaining and captivating,” he says. “We are living at a time when an actor can choose freely between the two. These days in Korea, many series of ten episodes or less are being made by writers and directors from the film scene. That makes me feel very at home. But series are naturally longer, which gives you more time to develop a character. Maybe as an actor I should do more series, explore some more.”

Lee, who has used the fruits of his past success to become entrepreneurial and venture into restaurants, property and interior design, says he increasingly wants to focus on acting. He is currently producing and making his feature directing debut on “Namsun,” a Korean-language spy thriller that he got caught up in after buying the rights and rewriting the screenplay.

“Just because I’m doing the director’s job on this film doesn’t mean I’m going to be giving up acting. I still like acting the best and intend to focus on that,” he says. When I was younger, I was curious about other trades. I wanted to see other parts of the world, try things out. But it has been quite a while since I was involved in those things.”

“After I turned 40, I felt my stamina dropping, and rationalized that I should just focus on one thing, and I decided to focus on acting alone,” he says with a grin. “Now that I’m nearly 50, I feel it more. And I’ve decided that I’ll only do one job at a time. For now, I don’t have any plans to do an overseas project. But if a good opportunity presented itself, of course I’d be open to it.”




'Squid Game' art director reveals secrets behind sets, props and more

BY SHIN MIN-HEE [shin.minhee@joongang.co.kr] | October 11, 2021



Art Director Chae Kyoung-sun is the mastermind behind the sets of Netflix Korea's dystopian original hit ″Squid Game.″ [CHAE KYOUNG-SUN]

The surreal, fantasy-like world shown in Netflix’s dystopian hit “Squid Game” is not your average “Alice in Wonderland.” What seems like an amusement park is actually where players struggling with mountains of debt become objects of cruel entertainment, meticulously feeding into contradictory images that leave viewers feeling uneasy. 

In an online interview with the Korea JoongAng Daily on Oct. 1, Art Director Chae Kyoung-sun, 42, talked about how the visual aspects of “Squid Game” came to life with some jaw-dropping behind the scene stories. The following are edited excerpts but beware: Spoilers ahead.



Q. What details did you focus on to make “Squid Game” more disturbing?

A. At first, when the director [Hwang Dong-hyuk] and I talked about how we were going to set the visuals for the entire series, we wanted to go down a different path from the original mise-en-scènes in survival games, since “Squid Game” specifically revolves around Korean children's games. Our first goal was to create a childlike and fairy tale-like atmosphere, so it wasn’t a matter of intentionally inserting disturbing and creepy details, but adding movie props that viewers would not expect to see in a thriller where deadly games are being played, like bright, vivid colors or the gift-wrapped coffins.



This pink stairway maze, which players walk past to get to a new game, gives ″Alice in Wonderland″ vibes. Chae explains that it follows the general theme of confusion and chaos among the players. [NETFLIX]

How did you come to design the famous “Squid Game” costumes?

We have a person who leads the costume team. Although I do take charge of the overall production designs, we divided into teams for costumes, makeup and special props. We usually came together and discussed what would ultimately be best.

How is the director and the art director’s work divided?

Before getting into production, I received some written explanations from the director on what the plot was going to be like, and my job was to basically foreshadow how the entire series should come to life on camera. I tried to visualize the ideas that were possibly vague inside the director’s head, and constantly discussed with him if the images I drew up were what he intended. I guess you could say that the work [between us] isn’t really strictly divided, but rather we worked hand-in-hand toward the same goal [of making “Squid Game”]. Director Hwang let me stretch my imagination to its extent, and I would tell him my ideas. It was all about being honest with each other and thorough communication.



There is meaning to the main colors of the show: green and pink. Green is terrified of pink because it monitors and suppresses green. [NETFLIX]

What is the meaning behind the colors and the shapes?

We decided on a popular green color from the Saemaul Movement [a political initiative launched by President Park Chung Hee] and the tracksuits children wore on field days at school during the 1970s. This may seem retro and kitschy, but they have their own nostalgic charm. We chose pink [as one of the main colors] as well because it is a color frequently used in fairy tales. But we [the production crew] came up with our own meaning [depicted in “Squid Game”]. Green is terrified of pink because it monitors and suppresses green.

And I’ve never mentioned this before, but the hallways of the masked guards’ dorms are painted green, while most of the stairway maze, which the players walk past every time there is a new game, is pink. This symbolizes that the masked guards monitoring and killing the players is just their job. It divides their workplace [the pink maze] and their dorms [where they are not required to “work”] to show that the two spaces are opposite.

For the shapes — the circle, triangle and square — we were inspired by the squid-shaped board drawn on the ground for the actual squid game. You’ll see that there are ranks among the masked guards. The hierarchy is ranked from square, triangle to circle. Did you know that we decided this according to the number of vertexes for each shape? We also planted these shapes in many places throughout the story. I’m sure everyone has already found them in the masks. I won’t give away any details for where the others are; you’ll have to hunt for them yourself (laughs).



In the tug of war match, the game takes place on top of a disconnected road. Chae explains there was a fixed theme from the start — people who are abandoned and forced to live on the streets. [NETFLIX]

How did you come up with the set designs for each game?

The sets in general, were created to cause confusion and chaos among the players — between reality and fiction.

For example, in “Red Light, Green Light,” I deliberately put a tree without any leaves behind the Young-hee robot to imply that this place was “lifeless.” And the set represents confusion among the players about distinguishing reality and fiction, like the film “The Truman Show” [1998]. Most players at first tend to think that this isn’t reality. Everything seems fake and artificial, so they’re denying the fact that people are actually going to die here. After the first game finishes and hundreds of people have died, the top of the set closes with birds flying out of it. This scene is supposed to make the players realize that this is a game they’re now stuck in [that is separated from the real world], but it isn’t any game, you can’t get out [unlike the birds], so you have to risk your life in order to win inside this fictional world the game operators have made.

What about the tug of war match? Why is the game played on top of a disconnected road?

For the tug of war match, we had a fixed theme from the start — people who are abandoned and forced to live on the streets. These people have mountains of debt, they have families to care for, but they have nowhere to go. So we decided to go with a disconnected blacktop roadway for the set. However, and this is something I’ve never mentioned before, there was one set design we were contemplating whether or not to use right up until production. The game almost took place on the roof of two elementary school buildings! But we were worried, “wouldn’t it be too freaky to play a life-or-death game on top of schools?” It probably would’ve been outrageous if we actually went with that (laughs).



The marbles game is played in a replica of a Korean house with alleyways from the 1970-80s. Chae says that it was her favorite set. [NETFLIX]

You revealed in a production video that the set for the marble game took the most work. What does this set mean to you, and what do you mean when you said you wanted to illustrate “the coexistence of life and death, fiction and reality?”

This set came from the director’s idea of wanting to recall the alleys from his childhood and elicit nostalgia.

In this game, the players partnered up with people they liked and empathized with, like the married couple, thinking they would be on the same side. But then each team was forced to see its losing partner die right on the spot. Survival and death were simultaneously happening in the same place.

And if you see the set from a bird’s-eye view, you’ll see that we arranged two-dimensional sets you see in theater plays and put them together to make the entire set 3-D. So when players open a door they would meet face-to-face with a wall or another door — it symbolizes how the players are placed in a repetitive situation, with nowhere to escape to.

I’m not sure if the viewers caught this, but when Ji-yeong (Player 240) and Kang Sae-byeok (Player 067) sat together and reflected on their pasts, we arranged a flower pot next to each character — one with a dead flower and the other with a live one. Watch the episode again to find out which side each pot is on (laughs). We did this for the other characters too.

We put a lot of small details into the film set to really illustrate the place as if it were really in the 1970-80s, to the point the players would be confused as to whether this was fiction or reality. The sunset [in the scene] was obviously a fake one. And we added many other details as well, like the window sills, the glass panels of the windows, the milk baskets in front of each house and the lighting on the front porches. We made the props we weren’t able to purchase, like the tiles and brick patterns. We even planted the weeds ourselves.

The gates of each house were the essence of this set. We used actual door handles from the 1970-80s and made the overall set seem like actual houses with alleyways of that time. Basically, we wanted to portray the ambivalence of the characters with this set, like how even a good-natured character like Gi-hun (Player 456) ended up showing his darker, selfish side in order to survive. The stage seems real but at the same time, if you look closely, you’ll realize that everything is fake.

I cried after reading the script for [this episode] the first time; it was so heartbreaking. It also took the longest to create this set. Personally, it’s my favorite one.



Players ″crack under pressure″ in this glass bridge set, created like a circus where players are the object of cruel entertainment. [NETFLIX]

What makes “Squid Game” different from other projects you’ve worked on in the past?

When I first read the script, I immediately thought, “this is it!” This is a piece where I can finally freely use colors I want to use! I told the director that I wanted to use bright colors you see in fairy tales, and colors from the players’ childhoods.

I’ve worked on a lot of different genres before, like historical dramas. I would say that with “Squid Game,” I was encouraged to use my imagination to its fullest. I didn’t have to worry about production expenses and it was a great opportunity for me to actively try out fresh new designs. It was really fun and an honor to work on the show. I want to thank Netflix and Director Hwang for letting this happen, and honestly I wonder if I will ever be able to work on a piece that beats “Squid Game” in the future. I feel so lucky.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Squid Game actors called 'ahjussi' or 'uncle' for their Instagram selfies

Suzanne Sng | OCT 12, 2021, 5:30 AM SGT


Actors Lee Jung-jae (left) and Park Hae-soo have been posting selfies with weird camera angles and awkward smiles.  PHOTOS: LEE JUNG-JAE/INSTAGRAM, PARK HAE-SOO/INSTAGRAM

SEOUL - Squid Game actors Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo, who joined Instagram earlier this month after the K-drama became a mega hit worldwide, have been amusing fans with their "ahjussi" selfies.

The word "ahjussi" refers to a middle-aged man or uncle in South Korea. The two social media newbies have been posting selfies with weird camera angles and awkward smiles, which makes for a refreshing change from the usual sleek boy band images.

Lee, 48, captioned his first post, a selfie in a car, on Oct 2 with: "Is this… how I do this…?"

On the same day, Park, 39, shared a similar selfie when he started his account.

Netizens have been commenting on their photos, with one saying: "I've never seen any ahjussi who doesn't take selfies like that. It's like there's a national rule."

The uncle vibes only intensified when Lee posted a series of 10 similar photos of the two of them backstage at The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last Thursday (Oct 7).


One fan commented: "This is like one picture 10 times."

Lee currently has 3.3 million followers and Park has two million after about a week on the social media platform, so they must be doing something right.

Another veteran actor, Ji Jin-hee, 50, was also dragged into the comments by one netizen, who wrote: "And also take a look at this legend here."

He added a screenshot of the Move To Heaven (2021) actor's Instagram grid, which has hundreds of selfies, all hilariously in the so-called ahjussi pose.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Exclusive: Squid Game is Netflix's 'biggest ever' series launch

By Frank Pallotta (CNN Business) | October 12, 2021

New York (CNN Business) — "Squid Game" — a fictional drama from South Korea — is Netflix's "biggest-ever series at launch," the streaming company exclusively told CNN on Tuesday.

The dystopian series, in which contestants who are deeply in need of money play deadly children's games to win cash prizes, has been viewed by 111 million accounts since debuting on Netflix September 17.

To give that number some context, Netflix announced earlier this year that 82 million households watched "Bridgerton" in the first 28 days following its Christmas debut. "Squid Game" surpassed that number in a shorter amount of time.

The series is No. 1 on Netflix's Top 10 lists in 94 countries around the world. It's the platform's first-ever Korean series to reach No. 1 in the United States.

The numbers speak to the sheer size of "Squid Games'" popularity and the speed at which it took off. But Netflix's — and all streaming services' — ratings data comes with some important caveats.

For starters, these numbers are from Netflix (NFLX) itself and have not be vetted by any outside sources. Also, that 111 million figure doesn't mean everyone watched the series from start to finish. It is based on Netflix's metric of accounts watching at least two minutes of the series.

Regardless of Netflix's often opaque accounting of its shows' popularity, the important context is that the streaming giant's competition is growing fiercer by the day, and "Squid Game" shows Netflix remains on top for a reason.

For investors, as long as Netflix keeps adding subscribers, Wall Street will likely continue to be happy. "Squid Game" has hit the zeitgeist in a significant way, and buzz is the best means to attract new subscribers and keep current ones happy. The series has also earned great reviews, garnering a 91% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Like many top streaming series, "Squid Game" has become a pop culture phenomenon. The series has generated memes and even Halloween costume ideas.

The success of "Squid Game" speaks to Netflix's ability to craft a worldwide hit. Netflix has 209 million subscribers and the company has worked to reach audiences on a global scale.

"When we first started investing in Korean series and films in 2015, we knew we wanted to make world-class stories for the core K-content fans across Asia and the world," said Minyoung Kim, Netflix's vice president of content for Asia Pacific, excluding India. "Today, Squid Game has broken through beyond our wildest dreams."

"'Squid Game' gave [Netflix] more confidence that our global strategy is going towards the right direction," Kim told CNN.

-- CNN's Liz Kang contributed to this report.



'Squid Game' becomes Netflix's biggest-ever launch hit



Participants take part in an event where they play the games of Netflix smash hit "Squid Game" at the Korean Cultural Centre in Abu Dhabi, Oct. 12. AFP-Yonhap

Dystopian South Korean drama "Squid Game" has become Netflix's most popular series launch ever, drawing 111 million fans since its debut less than four weeks ago, the streaming service said Tuesday.

The unprecedented global viral hit imagines a macabre world in which marginalized people are pitted against one another in traditional children's games.

While the victor can earn millions in cash, losing players are killed.

Spreading around the world by word of mouth, especially via social media, "Squid Game" has topped Netflix charts in more than 80 countries.

"Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans ― making it our biggest series launch ever!" tweeted Netflix.


Attendees dressed as characters from "Squid Game" pose during New York Comic Con at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, Oct. 8, in New York. AP-Yonhap

By comparison, Regency romp "Bridgerton" reached 82 million households on debut, using Netflix's internal metric which includes any account that watched an episode for at least two minutes.

The success of "Squid Game" amplifies South Korea's increasingly outsized influence on global popular culture, following the likes of K-pop band BTS and Oscar-winning movie "Parasite."

It is also the latest success for Netflix's bid to produce more international and non-English language content. The streamer's third most-watched series debut for instance is French-language "Lupin."

Netflix offers "Squid Game" in both dubbed and subtitled versions in multiple languages, expanding its potential audience.

In February, the world's most popular streaming platform announced plans to spend $500 million this year alone on series and films produced in South Korea. (AFP)


Related Reports: yonhap | hani | 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Squid Game's main actor felt fear after reading 'grotesque' scenario

By Reporter Lim Chang-won (cwlim34@ajunews.com) | October 13, 2021, 08:19


[Courtesy of Neflix]

SEOUL -- Lee Jung-jae who starred as the main lead of Squid Game, a South Korean survival drama television series streaming on Netflix, felt a sense of fear when he made his first reading of a "grotesque" scenario. He attributed the drama's explosive worldwide popularity to a great harmony of real aspects and unique settings.

"I think that's because of great harmony. Although it has a very unique setting, it also has a realistic aspect, so I think these points seem to be well harmonized in combination," said the 48-year-old who acts as Seong Gi-hun, a divorced and indebted chauffeur who lives with his mother and struggles to support his daughter financially.

The series, released on September 17, centers on a contest where 456 players, drawn from different walks of life but each deeply in debt, play a set of children's games with deadly penalties for losing for the chance to win a 45.6 billion won ($38 million) prize.

Lee said he was well aware of the series' popularity by watching photos and videos posted by many people. "I am looking at photos and videos posted by many people, or writings of fellow actors. I enjoy watching parody videos and photos of Squid Game," he told Aju Business Daily.

"I thought it was grotesque. I felt a sense of fear," the actor said of his first impression of the scenario. "It can be called 'survival game' or 'death game,' but each game contains the sorrow and hardships of characters. It was meticulously explained why they had no choice but to participate in the game."

Another factor that boosted the popularity of Squid Game is "unexaggerated" narratives accumulated by each character, Lee said. "The narratives accumulated by all characters from the first part to the third and fourth parts effectively stimulated the ending and emotions of each character. I felt that it was differentiated from other works."

Lee recalled that the unforgettable scene was when he struggled to cut out and lick Dalgona, the Korean version of a sugar toffee. "There was a scene where Gi-hun licked it and I wondered, "Should I lick it this much?" The director wanted me to do more. And I worked hard thinking that I could do so because I had to risk my life."

Squid Game was a turning point in Lee's career because he had to show a different look and different acting. "I felt that I threw off a lot of things," the actor said, adding he made facial expressions, breathing, and movements that he has rarely used.

"I was thinking about new characters and acting. As I got older, I've received only strong roles like villains. I've tried to show you a different look and different acting in it, but there's a limit. I met Gi-hun when I was thinking, "How can I show you something new? I thought it would be nice to play a character that can be seen in everyday life," Lee said.




Lawmakers claim, "Netflix, thanks to 'Squid Game' earns 1 thousand times more profit"


연합뉴스 / 2021-10-14 16:22:36


spacer.png▲ This image, provided by Netflix, shows Netflix. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


▲ These photos, provided by Netflix, shows Netflix original series "Squid Game." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
SEOUL, Oct. 14 (Yonhap) -- There has been a report that the global OTT platform Netflix has gained over 1,000 times more profit than its invest cost thanks to “Squid Game”

Netflix’s 20 billion won invested “Squid Game”’s market capitalization increased approximately 280 billion won (based on America’s Nasdaq Composite on the 6th) in about 3 weeks since release, according to inspection results of the government offices by lawmaker Kim Seung-su of People Power Party and of Cultural Sports and Tourism Committee Thursday. 

“Compared to Netflix’s net profit of 1,166 times the invested amount, the producers’ income is 22~24 billion won. As Netflix is monopolizing the copyright, there has been no direct incentive for the South Korean producers since the series’ release,” said Kim. 

Furthermore, Kim called for the government’s support saying that although foreign OTT platforms are helpful in expanding the domestic contents’ stage, “there are concerns of the domestic producers falling under foreign OTTs as the platforms may monopolize copyrights.” 

“When profits exceed expectation, it is advisable for a consistent growth to secure the producers’ copyright to some extent in order to guarantee reasonable distribution of the profit between the producers, the creator of the production and the platform owner,” said Korea Copyright Commission about the issue. 

“We will strive for to enable our producers to take stand on an advantageable position on securing rights such as IP by reinforcing our support project OTT contents production,” responded Korea Creative Content Agency (KOCCA). 

Similar concerns were addressed from inspect of government offices over Cultural Sports and Tourism Committee related organizations such as KOCCA. 

Park Jeung of Democratic Party of Korea emphasized the necessity of cooperation about IP rights between platforms and their contents producers for to strengthen domestic OTT competitiveness mentioning the Netflix’s contract style in which the platforms take over all the IP rights. 

Park also highlighted the immediate demand for various forms of deals as global OTT platforms are speeding up its expansion to the Korean market. 

“Above all, the contents industry retaining the IP is the most important,” said Jo Hyun-rae, the president of KOCCA. (END)

(C) Yonhap News Agency. All Rights Reserved




Gangneung hotel's plan for its very own 'Squid Game' halted



Hotel and outdoor activity vendor to offer real-life 'Squid Game' event



'Squid Game' strikes nerve in debt-ridden Korea

Link to comment
Share on other sites

[PICK] 5 Best Works of ‘Squid Game’ Star Lee Jung Jae

by EK Cho | Edited by Seo Hayne | Translated Cho EK



456 is the number we all remember in 2021. It’s the number that Sung Gi Hun wore in Netflix original series Squid Game. Gi Hun, played by Lee Jung Jae, is a talentless man, but at the same time, he is a man of integrity. He desperately licked the honeycomb (Dalgona) to survive in the deadly survival game, deceived Il Nam (No. 001) while struggling with guilt, and tried to choose Sang Woo (No. 218) over the prize money in the final game.

Lee Jung Jae made his debut in SBS’ Dinosaur Teacher in 1993 and has maintained his position as a top star ever since despite his ups and downs. In case Squid Game made you want to watch more of his works, we prepared five masterpieces in his filmography.


Sandglass (1995)





SBS’ Sandglass is a masterpiece that captures the modern and contemporary history of Korea in the 1980s. It recorded an average nationwide rating of 50.8 percent with a peak of 64.5 percent. Lee Jung Jae played Baek Jae Hee, the bodyguard who protects Yoon Hye Rin (Go Hyun Jung). Although he didn’t have many lines, he showed his strong presence with his beautiful slicked-back hairstyle and a gorgeously tailored suit. Lee showed a character who kept his heart hidden until the end while protecting his lover silently under any circumstances. He rose to prominence as a rising star by winning the Best New Actor Award at the 1995 SBS Drama Awards and at the 31st Baeksang Arts Awards.


City of the Rising Sun (1998)


Credit: Uno Film

Lee Jung Jae left a lasting impression on the public with his former mobster turned a bodyguard role in Sandglass, and he later solidified his position as a young star in the movie City of the Rising Sun as a reckless gangster. City of the Rising Sun‘s Hong Ki builds friendships with struggling boxer Do Cheol (Jung Woo Sung) as they plot scamming schemes for money and success. Lee Jung Jae was recognized for his brilliant acting at the age of 27, and he won the Best Actor Award at the Blue Dragon Film Festival for City of the Rising Sun in 1999. Meanwhile, Lee Jung Jae and Jung Woo Sung, who became best friends in the industry through this work, are about to showcase another bromance film later on. Lee Jung Jae is currently working on his directorial film debut, Hunt, with Jung Woo Sung.


The Housemaid (2010)


Credit: Sidus FNH

Lee Jung Jae made another turning point as an actor by playing Hoon, the man who lives in a luxurious mansion in the erotic and suspenseful movie, The Housemaid. Hoon is a character who seduces a maid named Eun Yi (Jeon Do Yeon), and Lee nailed playing the snobbish character with his subtle facial expression and a handful of lines. He showed the hypocritic state of mind of the rich people with several scenes in the movie, such as in the scene where he gently shakes the wine glass then savors the wine or in the scene where he plays the piano. In an interview, Lee Jung Jae shared some behind-the-scenes stories, saying, “When I first read the script, I felt uncomfortable playing Hoon. But as I kept reading it over and over again, I felt the stronger urge to do that role.” Although the work focuses on the narrative of the maid, Hoon remains an unforgettable character to many.


The Face Reader (2013)




Credit: Showbox

Lee Jung Jae was cast in The Face Reader thanks to the positive reviews on his elegant and charismatic role in The Housemaid. The Face Reader combines physiognomy with period movie and tells the story of a genius face reader who sees through a person’s fate by looking at his or her face and therefore gets caught up in a power struggle of the Joseon Dynasty, where the throne is in jeopardy. Lee took on the role of Prince Soo Yang and he appears in the movie an hour after the film begins. However, when he appears on the screen, he instantly reverses the flow of the play and creates this legendary appearance scene that will last in film history. His line, “Do I have the face of a king?” has become a buzzword. Also, his face is said to be ‘the wolf’s face’ in the play, and to play this role realistically, he said that he watched many episodes of National Geographic and Animal Kingdom.


Assassination (2015)




Assassination depicts the footsteps of independence activists in the 1930s during the Japanese colonial period. Lee takes on the role of Captain Yeom Seok Jin, who recruits three pro-Japanese assassins to carry out his mission. He played different ages in the same film, ranging from a man in his 20s to 60s. Moreover, it is said that he has dropped some weight (15 kg) to impersonate the character’s aging body. In the latter half of the film, Yeom Seok Jin, in his 60s, shows his tortured body to the audience in the court; he says, “I was shot when Governor Terauchi was assassinated in Gyeongseong in 1911. These are the two holes.” Assassination is his second work with director Choi Dong Hoon and it became his second film that attracted 10 million moviegoers after The Thieves (2012).

The films New World (2012), Along With the Gods (2017, 2018), Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019), and Deliver Us from Evil (2020) are also works that show Lee Jung Jae’s various charms.



Editor Seo Hayne: I like actors as they faithfully lead through their long running-time. I also like idols who accomplish everything on stage within 3 minutes.
Translator Cho EK: I’m a big fan of Korean dramas and movies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

‘Squid Game’: How the Show’s Larger-Than-Life Set Design Came Together

By Zoe Hewitt



Ten years in the making, Netflix’s “Squid Game” quickly became a phenomenon that even the streamer couldn’t predict. While the M.C. Escher-like staircase in the game’s deadly arena (pictured above) has been the focus of much discussion already, there was far more to the creative process. The physical sets were built on a massive scale to accommodate the story’s 456 contestants and everything else progressed from there.

Series production designer Chae Kyoung-sun shares some of the subtleties audiences may not have picked up on, including the Korean cultural references that contribute to the tension and crushing anxiety that resonate throughout the show.


Q: What set do you think contributes most successfully to the tension on screen?

All spaces in the game world are built in sets. The art teams had to think like a designer who created the games. At the initial design stage, we imagined how the world of Squid Game would unfold across this remote island and arranged the spaces accordingly.

The tug of war set was really built way more than 10 meters above the ground, so some staff members felt quite afraid of heights. As for the glass stepping stones set, director Hwang and the direction department wanted it to be bigger in size so that the actors would have to jump real hard to move forward, but the depth had to be adjusted for the actors’ safety. I think the actors actually felt scared and afraid when they played this game. Of course, their acting skills were phenomenal, too.



Q: The show has become a phenomenon and much has already been written about some of the most elaborate sets, like the Escher-inspired staircase and how much of a maze it really was for actors and crew. What set hasn’t received as much attention, but took a significant amount of work that audiences may not fully appreciate?

The large dormitory space is designed with the keywords “people who are abandoned on the road.” The raised platform in the middle is designed to look like a tunnel entrance and the walls are covered with white tiles, which are commonly used in a tunnel. The beds are stacked up against one another like goods in a warehouse, and they are taken out as the participants get eliminated. When the mayhem breaks out, these beds collapse and get destroyed to look like broken ladders or stairs, which signify the hopeless reality of not being able to move upward.

The VIP room [in the final episodes] is where I had to think through until the very end, and the design of this space was finished last. I looked through a large array of images to form a concept. There are so many amazing places around the world, and I feel thankful that I live in a time when good references can be easily found on the Internet and in books.

The images I found were all very great, so it took a long time for me to conceptualize what the VIP room should look like. In the end, I decided to create the world of animals. The VIPs are the kind of people who take other people’s lives for entertainment and treat them like game pieces on a chessboard, so I wanted to create a powerful and instinctive look for the room. Every animal mask these VIPs are wearing, and every prop in their sitting area, comes with hidden meanings.

The forest-like space was worked on by the best scenic artist, and the large forest was created with the greens team through rounds of drafting and testing. As such, quite a lot of budget went into this room. I also had multiple meetings with the body painting artist to bring the art team’s design to life.


The contestants’ dorms were designed with the theme of “people who are abandoned on the road.”

Q: A question about that staircase set, though — it almost looked like the sides of the stairs, and what would normally be just a railing, were lower than usual and hit in some places just around the actors knees. Did I imagine that or was that actually the case?

There are some pieces of art that served as major inspiration for me when I was designing the spaces in “Squid Game.” I particularly remember two illustrations among many.

One of them was an illustration of a child who is sitting next to a tall wall. Next to the child, there is a ladder leaning against the wall, and the child is making a fire with some wood taken from the ladder while looking up at the wall. During the process, I hoped that art would help the show to deliver the questions that it intends to ask and the themes it intends to highlight. Even when making a single prop or deciding a finishing material for a certain set, I almost obsessively put in intentions behind them so that they can contribute to the wider themes.

The staircase that looks like the sides of the stairs also stems from the image of a ladder. The structural composition of a ladder and stairs is used heavily in the show. The maze-like stairways are done particularly well, and I am glad that they are well received.


Q: There are elements of cultural overlap — the Red Light Green Light game, for instance, that has counterparts in multiple cultures, and the giant piggy bank where the money is collected for the contestants. What are the design elements or details — and culturally significant colors, numbers or other references — that a South Korean audience may recognize but an international audience may miss?

Some of the design elements may have felt unfamiliar to the international audience because they come from Korean textbooks from the ’70s and ’80s. The main colors of the show — mint green and pink — also come from the colors often used in children’s school supplies back then, so they were very effective in evoking the childhood nostalgia from the Korean viewers. The participants are wearing a green tracksuit, which is the most common color for a school tracksuit in Korea, while the masked staff are wearing a pink jumpsuit. This color contrast also carries a double meaning to portray the brutal world.


Q: Color plays a significant role: There are dizzying shades used throughout. How did you, the director and the costume designer work together to balance all of the hues and to set a working color palette for the show?

Director Hwang first decided on the pink color for the costume. It was an excellent decision and a perfect start of a fun journey. The color contrast between pink and green was used to represent the status of the characters and where they belonged. It extends beyond the colors of the costume to the colors of the space. The maze staircase that the participants have to walk through is predominantly pink-colored. Naturally, for the participants in green, the pink color becomes a symbol of danger, fear and terror.

The waiting area is colored white to convey the feeling of extreme fear that the participants feel when they are put in the middle of the complete unknown. The color shows that this space is where the participants are forced to wait without knowing what the next game is and what lies ahead.


The robot doll was designed after one of the duos from the ’80s textbook “Chul-soo and Young-hee.”
Courtesy of Netflix

Q: Would you walk me through some of the design inspiration between the sets for each of the games?

The first game: Red Light, Green Light

I wanted to fill the set for the first game with fantasy and fairy tale-like images. The robot doll was designed after one of the duos from the ’80s textbook “Chul-soo and Young-hee” and an ominous tree was put in as an object. This juxtaposition evokes both the memories of childhood and the sense of fear at the same time. The walls are decorated with the fields of reeds and the clear sky, the kinds of which you would see in a storybook. But the fields and the clouds are not real, and once the game is over, the ceiling closes over the confused faces of the survivors and those who are dead.


The second game: Honeycomb

The participants are asked to take on the honeycomb challenge like the children in the ’70s and ’80s who gathered in small groups in the playground to play the game. They must have played the honeycomb game as a child, so they are invited to immerse themselves in the old childhood memories. In the past, the playground was where they played with friends and had fun, but now, it has turned into a space for a deadly game. I am sure that everyone has the experience of looking at the playground as an adult and thinking that the playground equipment looks so much smaller than what it looked like as a child. That experience of changes in scale is a defining element in the set design for the second game.

The objects in the playground such as the slide, swing, and merry-go-rounds are magnified threefold in size. And the walls are decorated with the crayon cloud drawings to add childlike and fairytale-like touches.


The third game: Tug of War

The main concept of this design is “people who are abandoned on the road.” The same design concept goes into the large dormitory in the form of an arch-shaped tunnel entrance. As for the set of this game, the concept is realized in the form of a road. The road-shaped game ring is set up on top of the 30-meter steel structure to imply the hopelessness the participants feel as they lost their ways and were thrown onto the road, and to maximize the dramatic impact of their being thrown down to the asphalt floor. The physical set was made to the maximum height necessary for filming, and the scenes were completed with the work of the computer graphics team.


The fourth game: Marbles

This game is built on the theme of “Gganbu.” Gganbu means close and trusted friends, and you can make Gganbu friends with each other by making a finger promise. The set for the fourth game is designed to tell the story of the memories of one of the participants. The small pieces of memories are brought in as different sides of the alleys, each of which are like the stage for a play. The key to this design is to create the feel of depth by layering flat surfaces. The objects such as the common roof design or the gate design of the old multi-family houses were used as the flat surface elements.


The fifth game: Glass Stepping Stones

Unlike the other games, the glass stepping stones game is watched by the audience. The participants have to cross the dangerous glass bridge as if they were walking along a rope. It’s as if they were in a circus to perform a glamorous aerial show in front of the spectators. That is why this set is designed with a circus stage in mind. The bridge is located in the middle of a huge tent surrounded with layers of curtains. The color palette includes vivid green and purple from the 70s and 80s, and the bright-colored lighting that is commonly used in the amusement park adds to the splendor.

(Details of game 6 have been withheld due to spoilers.)



The Glassing Stepping Stones challenge is a major set piece in the show.



Schools around the world voice concern over students mimicking violent acts from 'Squid Game'


British police says highway road sign is not an invitation to 'Squid Game'

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Unraveling the global phenomenon of “Squid Game”

By Hong Seock-jae, staff reporter | Oct. 17, 2021 09:58 KST

The show’s creator says he wanted to discuss how the success of winners is built on the backs — and, in fact, bodies — of society’s losers

A still from the Netflix series “Squid Game” showing three of the main characters

Giving his opinion on the box office outlook for “Squid Game” 10 days after it was released, Ted Sarandos, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer, said, “’Squid Game’ will definitely be our biggest non-English language show in the world,” adding that there’s “a good chance it’s going to be our biggest show ever.”

His predictions proved to be true, as the Korean-style life-or-death game series, which debuted Sept. 17, has become a global sensation in the course of just 20 days. A look at the figures for the show reveals that calling it a “global sensation” is hardly a nationalistic overstatement.

According to FlixPatrol, an international online streaming ranking site, “Squid Game” ranked No. 1 at least once in all 83 countries Netflix officially services. Since the inception of Netflix, this is the first time any film or TV series has captured the No. 1 spot in all its countries. Fortune magazine has written that the show will exceed 80 million viewers.

After the release of “Squid Game,” which cost 20 billion won (US$16.7 million) to produce, Netflix’s stock rose by 12 trillion won (US$10 billion). Media reports noted a sudden spike in traffic on Google for people searching for the value of 45.6 million won and 45.6 billion — figures repeated throughout the TV series — in terms of their own country’s currency. On Oct. 7, four of the show’s principal actors, including Lee Jung-jae who played the protagonist Seong Gi-hun, appeared virtually on the popular US talk show The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

Rotten Tomatoes, the world’s largest film review site, posted a “Tomatometer” ranking of 94% for the show on Oct. 7, setting a record for having scored over 90% for three consecutive weeks. The site’s “critics consensus” comprising the views of 33 reviewers states: “Squid Game’s unflinching brutality is not for the faint of heart, but sharp social commentary and a surprisingly tender core will keep viewers glued to the screen – even if it’s while watching between their fingers.”


A line of people stand waiting for a “Squid Game” pop-up store in Paris, France on Oct. 3. (Yonhap News)

“Brutal, the kind of show you watch through your fingers”

Koreans who were children in the 1970s and 1980s are likely to have played the titular “squid game” at some point. The names and rules differ slightly depending on where you call home, but they all share the same squid-like shape of the playing field.

A circle measuring about a meter across is drawn on the ground next to a triangle and rectangle that are about three to four times bigger. The players fight both within and outside of those shapes.

Those on offense begin at the part known as the “swimtong” — the circular space that connects with the tip of the squid’s head. They grapple with the opposing team, passing through the squid’s “body”; whichever side can make it to the “manse tong” section and shout, “Manse!” — or as Netflix translates it, “Victory!” — is the winner.

It’s a rough-and-tumble battle, wherein survival hinges on physical condition and athletic ability. It’s also much like the harsh world of adults, where only the fittest survive.

Director and scriptwriter Hwang Dong-hyuk explained, “I picked ‘squid game’ for the title because it was the game that best symbolized the competitiveness of modern society.”

The storyline of the “Squid Game” series is relatively simple. Seong Gi-hun (played by Lee Jung-jae) is a former employee of the fictional automaker Dragon Motors who was laid off after taking part in a strike against corporate restructuring. Hwang said he “borrowed the motif of workers at the time of the Ssangyong Motor labor dispute, where state authorities brutally suppressed the workers.”

Gi-hun opened a fried chicken restaurant and worked as a chauffeur, but met with little success. Sixteen years after he was laid off from his job at the auto manufacturer, he still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder from the shock he suffered during the strike.


A still from the Netflix series “Squid Game” (provided by Netflix)

Now a divorced gambler who bets at racetracks and is hounded by collectors, he becomes involved in a bizarre game that promises the opportunity to win a fortune. There are 456 participants, and whoever manages to stay alive through six different survival games walks away with a prize of 45.6 billion won (US$38 million).

The first five death games are “red light, green light,” operating on sugar honeycomb (dalgona) cookies with needles, tug-of-war, marbles, and steppingstones. They’re followed by the eponymous squid game to decide the winner.

They’re all adapted from children’s games, but the losers aren’t sent home — they face a brutal death. The childhood metaphor of “You died” for “You’re out of the game” becomes a savage reality.

Netflix describes the plot as “The story of people taking part in a mysterious game with 45.6 billion won in prize money on the line, risking their lives at extreme challenges to become the final champion.”

CNN put it somewhat more concisely as a “fictional drama in which contestants who are deeply in debt play children's games in order to win a ton of cash.”


A still from the Netflix series “Squid Game” (provided by Netflix)

Wealth divide and inequality offer mirrors for real world

The series has all the elements ripe for popular appeal: the savagery of the deadly games, the tension of a race for survival, and relentless pacing. It boasts a well-balanced mix of disparate elements, with terrifying props placed against fairytale backdrops.

On top of that, the games themselves are simple enough for children to enjoy. This allows viewers from different countries and cultural backgrounds to understand the story with ease.

The series has drawn high praise from critics as a piece of popular entertainment that is also rich with symbols that remark on social and economic inequalities.

An example of this can be seen with the circles, triangles and squares on the visages of the masked men who monitor and oversee the game participants. They have the power to ruthlessly slay the losers in the games — yet they too live in a caste society strictly separated into workers (circles), soldiers (triangles), and managers (squares).

They wear their class identity on their very face, living as mechanistic beings who fully acknowledge a hierarchical society that cannot be defied. Above them in the pecking order are the “VIPs,” who wear golden and ornamented masks that look like lions, bears and leopards.

As the 456 participants risk their lives in the games, the masked men lord over them, while the VIPs enjoy the game from even higher up the ladder — a vertically structured world that is reminiscent of reality.

“Everyone is equal while they play this game. Here, every player gets to play a fair game under the same conditions. These people suffered from inequality and discrimination out in the world, and we’re giving them one last chance to fight fair and win.”

These lines of dialogue are spoken by the Front Man — a kind of commander of the masked men — to a contestant who has broken the rules. They also seem to represent a consistent theme within the series. Indeed, the participants do compete according to specific rules, and they are ostensibly equal, in the sense that winning the huge pot comes down entirely to ability and luck.

But the rules of the game don’t apply to the Front Man or the golden-masked VIPs. It’s an unequal society where different rules apply from the start to the vulnerable participants risking their lives to compete in the games and the powerful audience observing them.

The number “456,” which comes up repeatedly in the series, also holds significance. The total starting number of game participants is 456. Protagonist Seong Gi-hun’s number — printed on his green tracksuit — is 456, and the choice of 45.6 billion won as the prize is based on a calculation where 100 million won is allotted for each participant. In his horse track betting before the survival games begin, a lucky win gives Seong 4.56 million won (US$3,800).

“When I first wrote the script in 2008, there were 1,000 participants with 10 million won for each of them, so the prize was 10 billion won,” Hwang explained. (10 billion won is roughly US$8.4 million.)

“But ten years later [once the preparations were finished], 10 billion won seemed like too little. Somebody won 40 billion won in the biggest-ever lotto win, and I put ‘56’ after that to make it 456, which would be an easy number to remember,” he added.

Viewers of the show have assigned their own significance to the number, suggesting that it may represent the “losers” who fail to reach first to third place, or a reflection of a reality where the ordinary people in between the “1, 2, 3” people and “7, 8, 9” people are forced into a life-or-death competition.

Also capturing the eye are the objects around the set that allude to a competitive society. The participants’ dormitory is structured in a way where they use ladders and staircases to climb slowly upward. The maze-like corridors that lead to the games also reflect a competitive society where those who don’t rise to the top end up getting trampled.

The dormitory itself, with its hollow center surrounded by 456 beds, evokes the Colosseum of ancient Rome — another space associated with kill-or-be-killed survival games.

The weaker participants are dressed in green tracksuits, while the masked men overseeing them are dressed in pink. It’s an uncanny juxtaposition of the brutal and childlike that only heightens the sense of terror.

“We thought it would double the sense of fear to have pink as the color of the monitors’ outfits, with its associations with childishness, weakness, and cuteness,” explained “Squid Game” art director Chae Kyung-sun in one interview.

The series has also been compared to globally acclaimed director Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” (2019) as a Korean work dealing with issues of the wealth divide, contemporary class differences, and social and economic inequality.


A still from the Netflix series “Squid Game” (provided by Netflix)

Remembering the losers

The theme of unfairness in “Squid Game” has resonated strongly in other countries amid global trends of escalating social and economic inequality during the COVID-19 era. The Washington Post noted on Oct. 5 that its worldwide success was ironically “the ultimate tribute to the power of capitalism.”

Commenting on the reasons for the global attention “Squid Game” has received, The Guardian observed that it was set against the backdrop of a contemporary South Korean society marked by severe economic inequality.

Other news outlets have praised it as a “dystopian hit” (the Wall Street Journal), a “hit that really kills” (CNN), and a drama that has “struck a pop-culture nerve with its dark twist on cheery childhood games” (the New York Times).

The explosive response has led to imitations in meme form. Videos on overseas YouTube channels and social media show scenes where employees play “red light, green light” as they try to sneak out of their workplace, or internet users trying their hand at making honeycomb sugar wafers, only to end up burning their pan.

Meanwhile, dupes of Seong Gi-hun’s “No. 456” tracksuit and honeycomb game kits have been selling on Amazon and other global online shopping outlets.

Is “Squid Game” a death game where all but one of the players end up killed, or is it a survival game where the aim is to survive in reality?

One offbeat take offered by some observers is the idea that it represents a “fantasy” that does not exist in reality — in the sense that scenes show the characters refusing to abandon their solidarity with fellow players, even when their lives are on the line.

There’s no right answer to the question, but Hwang himself said, “The game I’m most fond of [out of the six] is the glass steppingstones.”

“The person behind is able to move forward because the person in front of them died crossing the bridge [thus checking its safety]. What I wanted to express there was the idea that we should remember the losers, and the fact that the winners in our society are symbolically standing on the bodies of the defeated,” he added.

The series was first conceived in 2008. What accounts for its huge success now that it has been produced 13 years later? There are two main factors: the rise of Netflix and the emergence of a different world.

Hwang explained, “I wanted to do it as a movie, but at the time they said it couldn’t be made because it was too bizarre and difficult to understand. We couldn’t get investors. It’s sad, but 10 years later we now live in a world where this kind of absurd survival story really fits.”

The director also said, “I see things like cryptocurrency, real estate, and stock market investments as [real-world] ‘games’ where people are attempting to ‘win the jackpot.’”

“That may be one of the reasons people around the world have taken an interest,” he suggested.

Despite its brutal children’s story qualities, the series has a warmth to it. Even in the extreme situations they face, the players seek out their “gganbu” — a Korean term used in marbles and other games to refer to someone who plays on one’s same side.

Lee Chang-geun — a laid-off Ssangyong Motors worker who served as one of the real-life models for Seong Gi-hun — recently shared a Facebook post.

“I guess I got a great sense of comfort [from watching the show],” he wrote.

“Even in these extreme situations, these life-or-death moments, [the characters] don’t lose sight of compassion and solidarity, help and encouragement. In the final moments, Seong Gi-hun chooses people instead of money. He says that we should live. I saw what the director had in mind there, and it brought tears to my eyes.”




Stephen King’s favorite line of ‘Squid Game’…”Shut your mouth and grab an egg”

Oct 16th, 2021 GMT



King of Horror Stephen King also fell in love with ‘Squid Game’.  

He wrote on Twitter on the 15th, “Words of wisdom from ‘Squid Game’: ‘Shut your mouth and grab an egg’”.

Originally, Jang Deok-soo's Korean line was "Let's eat and live together", but the English subtitle was translated as "Shut your mouth and grab an egg."



When asked if he got a 'Running Man' vibe while watching 'Squid Game', Stephen King replied, "Yes, 'Running Man' and 'Long Walk'."

Stephen King's first full-length novel, 'Long Walk', written and completed in 1966, is set in a fictional America that has become a totalitarian state, and is based on the national sport 'Long Walk', a national sport where 100 teenage boys walk until only one remains. It is a work about the boys who participated.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae reflects on the Korean drama's massive success

The actor behind Player 456 thinks the world is ready for "more great Korean content."

By Sydney Bucksbaum | October 15, 2021 at 08:30 AM EDT

Don't be surprised if you see tons of people wearing green tracksuits and white sneakers this Halloween, because Squid Game is taking over.

In less than a month since its Sept. 27 release, the Korean survival drama went from completely unknown to must-see TV. And despite getting practically no promotion from Netflix, it's now the streaming service's biggest series launch ever and the first Korean series to hit No. 1 in the U.S. It's an international phenomenon, and Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae is shocked but "grateful" to see the series finding worldwide success similar to the Oscar-winning Korean film Parasite or K-pop music.

"I think there are many factors that played into this," Lee tells EW, speaking through a translator. "There were some films or TV series themed with the survival games before, but I think what sets Squid Game apart were the nostalgic childhood games that are very popular in Korea; they're very easy and straightforward for all the global audience to [understand]."



'Squid Game' | CREDIT: NETFLIX

Squid Game stars Lee as down-on-his-luck gambling addict Seong Gi-hun, a.k.a. Player 456, who joins a competition with 455 other players for a chance at a cash prize big enough to not only settle all his debts, but also change his life in ways he could never have imagined. But the players soon learn that these seemingly innocent games are actually life-or-death, and only one person can walk away from the violent competition as the winner.

"There are many characters in the show who each have their own dilemmas and who also each have a reason why they so desperately have to win the game, and I think this desperateness was very vividly depicted in the show," Lee says. "This is probably an emotion that Koreans can best express compared with other people around the world, and I think the global audience really resonated with that aspect. So I think multiple factors really came together [to earn this success]."



Lee Jung-Jae on 'Squid Game' | CREDIT: NETFLIX

Lee hopes that Squid Game's global success will help pave the way for more Korean projects to reach wider audiences. "There are many films and dramas that are being made in Korea that have very intriguing story lines, and some content are very beautiful aesthetically, visual-wise," he says. "And we also hear that there are many good actors in Korea — many viewers, the audiences in the Asian region, particularly say that there are a lot of great actors in Korea that put on performances that are worth watching. So I do think that we are really going through a phase in the history of Korean content where it's very fun and intriguing to watch what good content is emerging."

Watching the meteoric rise of Squid Game all across the world has been "encouraging," he adds. "I'm very happy about this, so I think this is a really good point in time. I do hope that more great Korean content gets to meet the global audience."




Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae unpacks the finale and addresses a potential season 2

The actor behind Player 456 tells EW what the ending means for the future of his character.

By Sydney Bucksbaum | October 14, 2021 at 04:24 PM EDT

Warning: This article contains spoilers for Squid Game.

In less than a month, Squid Game has taken over the world. Since its Sept. 27 release, the Korean survival drama has emerged as Netflix's biggest series launch ever, become the first Korean series to hit No. 1 in the U.S., and topped the charts in all 94 countries where the streamer has a top 10 list. Those are impressive numbers, but more importantly the show is breaking barriers for international entertainment and helping bring Korean representation to the mainstream.

For Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae, who plays the down-on-his-luck gambling addict Seong Gi-hun, a.k.a. Player 456, he never anticipated the series would reach this kind of global audience. "Never. Never in my dreams," the South Korean actor tells EW, speaking through a translator. "I never expected this to become this popular also in the Western world, such as the European region and the United States. I'm very grateful for the response. I would love to actually get a chance to talk with more people and have interviews with a lot of people all over the world, but I'm currently filming my next project, so sadly I don't really have the time to meet with a lot of outlets. But thankfully today I got to see you like this, so I'm very happy."

Below, in one of his first interviews with an American outlet, Lee breaks down what the Squid Game finale ending means for Gi-hun, whether there are plans for a season 2, why Gi-hun is the most challenging role the seasoned actor has ever played, and more.



Lee Jung-Jae on 'Squid Game' | CREDIT: NETFLIX

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What first attracted you to playing Gi-hun and being part of this series?

LEE JUNG-JAE: First of all, I really wanted to work with director Hwang [Dong-hyuk], so I was very happy when I first received the offer. And secondly, when I read the script, it was very fun. I noticed that in the script each and every character were very well crafted and depicted, not only my role, Seong Gi-hun, but also other characters were very well described in the script. Of course the games are fun and very intriguing, but I noticed myself having questions about what would happen to these characters towards the end of the narrative. Will they survive? Or will this person remain as a good guy until the end, or will he turn bad in the middle? These are questions that you naturally come to pose.

So of course the games are great, but that's related to a lot of visual effects, so in the script phase it was rather difficult to visualize how the games would look like in my mind. So I really focused on the story itself. When I looked at the scripts alone, I felt that the characters were very vivid and that there was a lot of room for the audience to resonate with them.


What was it like getting into the mind of Gi-hun?

Gi-hun, the role that I played, is a very nice guy. He's a kind guy with a very good heart, so he's a good person, and perhaps because he's so good, that's the main reason why he he wasn't able to earn a lot of money. It was very challenging for me to take on this role. It was a very hard character to play. You would know since you've watched the show, but in a game where you have to put your life on the line and you have to win at any cost in order to survive over others, this situation is very draining, but Gi-hun still remains very optimistic and he's willing to offer helping hands to people who need his help. The fact that he has to play this life-threatening game and has to deceive and hurt and betray others and corner them to death, all these things that he had never done before, would have been very emotionally challenging for Gi-hun — at least that's how I expected this to be for him. That's probably the reason why he doesn't do so well in some games, because he's so good.

But his character also changes towards the end of the show and in the final episode. I think the fact that he decides not to board the plane and go see his daughter shows that he has changed, but at the same time he still has that good heart inside him and that he feels that this brutal game has to stop once and for all to prevent any additional contestants from being sacrificed. So this character's psychology is very complex, and it also goes through multiple changes, frequent changes, so that's why I think this made Gi-hun's character maybe the most difficult one that I have played so far.

Lee Jung-Jae on 'Squid Game' | CREDIT: NETFLIX


Did you know from the beginning that your character would be the one to win the game and make it out alive?

The full script was out so I read it until the end. I knew that he was going to be the final survivor. But although he gets his life back after winning the game, his life is never the same. So when I read the script, I thought that it would be great if I could really express his subtle feelings well on the screen.

Since Gi-hun survives, would you want to be a part of the second season if Squid Game is renewed?

Of course. Because I've received so much love and support from [viewers], of course I have to play him again if there is a season 2. But at this point I don't know anything about how the story is going to turn out, or how the characters are going to change, or if there is going to be any new characters adding to the series. I don't know anything right now. And I also don't know whether if Gi-hun's role was still be the main role or like a minor role on the side. But whatever it's going to be, of course I would have to say yes.

'Squid Game' | CREDIT: NETFLIX



What was the most challenging scene for you to film?

That would have to be the final scene [of the games], because of many reasons. But out of the games, I would have to pick Dalgona or Honeycomb because I had to express with very minimal movement. I couldn't exaggerate my movement while I had to express the escalation of the tension with the passing of time. That was really tricky.

Also in the earlier part of the show, up to the point where he goes into the arena, there are scenes that indirectly show what kind of a person Gi-hun is and why he's so desperate to attempt to join the games, and those scenes have to be very realistic and convincing and also very interesting, because we all know that once the games begin, it's super-fun and immersive, but up until that point the scenes are mostly an introduction of Gi-hun's character, so I have to make sure that the viewers are not bored until the games begin. Trying to act with these thoughts in mind, that was kind of tricky as well.



What made that final scene difficult for you?

That would be because Gi-hun is very hurt because of all these games. And he knows he has to admit the fact that he deceived others in order to survive himself, so he's very disappointed in himself and in Sang-woo [Park Hae-soo], his close friend, because he betrayed him. These two characters are fighting against each other with their life on the line when they're childhood friends, so the scene itself is very heartbreaking. It was very emotionally tough. Secondly, I remember that when we were filming that scene when the two were fighting, it was in winter, so the weather was very cold. In Korea the winter is very freezing cold. I remember filming that scene for about four days in the rain with the sprinkler, so it was very emotionally and physically tough.




Netflix Projects ‘Squid Game’ Will Generate $891 Million in Value, According to Leaked Data


By Todd Spangler | October 16, 2021


Noh Juhan/Netflix

“Squid Game,” the hyper-buzzy Korean drama that has become Netflix’s biggest-ever TV show, is on track to deliver an astounding payback for the streaming service, according to the company’s internal estimates.

Netflix paid $21.4 million for the nine-episode series, which premiered four weeks ago, and the company estimates “Squid Game” will deliver more than 40 times that — an estimated $891 million — in what it calls “impact value,” Bloomberg reported Saturday evening, citing confidential internal data that someone provided to the outlet. The proprietary metric is a measure of a title’s economic contribution to Netflix based on subscriber viewing.

Netflix did not immediately respond to a request for comment. According to Bloomberg’s report, a lawyer for Netflix told the news outlet that it would be “inappropriate” for Bloomberg to publish the confidential data contained in the documents.

On Friday, Netflix fired an employee who admitted they downloaded internal data and shared it outside the company, which is a violation of the streaming giant’s policies. The info included financial data for “Squid Game” and Dave Chappelle’s stand-up special “The Closer,” for which Netflix allegedly paid $24.1 million. The Chappelle special has become a lightning rod for critics upset about his homophobic and transphobic comments in “The Closer” and has led to a planned employee walkout on Oct. 20. The Netflix employee who leaked the data may have been motivated by a desire to tarnish the company’s image, by revealing that it paid more for “The Closer” than “Squid Game,” its new top-performing worldwide hit. The pink-slipped staffer was the only employee who had accessed data for the programming that was later cited by Bloomberg.

In the 23 days since the Sept. 17 debut of “Squid Game,” 132 million Netflix households streamed at least two minutes of the show, according to Bloomberg’s report. About 89% of those viewers watched at least 75 minutes (i.e., more than one episode) and 66% of them — or 87 million — finished the entire series within the first 23 days of its release. Overall, Netflix users streamed more than 1.4 billion hours of “Squid Game” over that 23-day period. (Note that Netflix’s measurements aren’t verified by a third party.)

In “Squid Game,” set in modern-day South Korea, 456 desperately debt-stricken contestants compete in a deadly competition of mysterious origin, pitting them against each other in a series of children’s games for the chance to win 45.6 billion won (about $38.5 million) in prize money.

“Squid Game” creator and director Hwang Dong-hyuk said he intended the series to highlight the growing wealth gap in the modern world. “I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life,” he told Variety in an interview last month.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lee Jung-jae Thinks ‘Squid Game’ Critics Should Watch It Again

In an interview, the star of the Netflix phenomenon discusses the message of the series and possibilities for a Season 2.

By Jennifer Vineyard | Oct. 18, 2021


Lee Jung-jae, center, with Oh Yeong-su, left, and Park Hae-soo, has become known internationally as the star of “Squid Game.”  [Credit: Noh Juhan/Netflix]

This interview contains spoilers.

“Squid Game,” Netflix’s candy-colored Korean series about a tournament of childhood games played to the death, elicits strong reactions: People are fascinated or repelled. The most intense fans may want to wear “Squid Game”-style tracksuits, make Dalgona candy, or even learn Korean. Detractors complain of egregious violence and gaping plot holes.

In the month since its debut, the show has become a global phenomenon and was Netflix’s most watched new series ever, according to the streamer. It remains one of the service’s most popular titles. (In another measure of its cultural penetration, it inspired a bizarre “Saturday Night Live” parody over the weekend.) But the worldwide “Squid Game” mania has had little effect on the show’s star, Lee Jung-jae, who says he has been enjoying it all, but that “nothing much” is really different in his life. And doing the series hasn’t made him a better game player, either.

“I’m very bad at games — I never would have made it to the end of ‘Squid Game’ myself,” Lee said last week. “Well, maybe I would have done a relatively good job at marbles, but I don’t think I would have lasted that long. I would have dropped out earlier on in the game.”

“Dropping out” isn’t really an option in the cutthroat games (unless the majority of the contestants vote to stop). The beleaguered competitors persist in the hope that winning the cash prize will redeem their lives, and most are willing to abandon their morals in the pursuit of victory. Even though Gi-hun ultimately does win, the game robs him of his childhood best friend, Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), his opponent in the final battle.

“Even in Episode 1, when he tries to introduce Sang-woo to other people,” Lee said, “Gi-hun says over and over again that Sang-woo was the smartest kid in his neighborhood. But his friend made so many bad choices in his life, and now in the game, deceiving other people, killing other people. It came as a big shock to Gi-hun when somebody who made him so proud did such brutal things.”

By the end, Gi-hun is so demoralized that he leaves his prize untouched. In the show’s final moments, he realizes he wants to do something to stop this terrible game, funded by wealthy people who bet on the outcomes. Is this a comment on economic disparity and moral bankruptcy? Perhaps. (Our critic is skeptical about its effectiveness.) Lee, however, thinks the real message is about altruism.

Before he was player No. 456, Lee was a model-turned-actor who had starred in a number of hit Korean films, including the erotic thriller “The Housemaid” and the award-winning gangster drama “Deliver Us From Evil.” He’s about to make his directorial debut with the espionage thriller “Namsun,” which he is also producing.


Before “Squid Game,” Lee acted primarily in Korean films, including the thriller “The Housemaid.” [Credit: IFC Films]

Lee talked about “Squid Game” in a phone conversation from South Korea, aided by a translator. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.



What’s it been like seeing the world’s reaction to your show’s success, with all the different memes, parodies and challenges out there? Has any of it made you look at the show in a new light?

I have seen some reactions on social media and on YouTube, and I have been trying to wrap my mind around them. I watched a lot of YouTube reaction videos, videos of the viewers themselves watching “Squid Game” in real time. I had never seen these so-called reaction videos before in my life. I find that very interesting and funny. So yes, I have kept an eye on how the global audience is reacting.

I also have hopes for other Korean content to come, because “Squid Game” has done such a good job in raising awareness of Korean TV series and films, which I hope will now find a wider audience.


“Squid Game” is rather polarizing, as you may know. Some critics have slammed it for being pointlessly violent, or having only a vague message, if any at all. How would you respond to those criticisms?

Well, everyone has their own taste, and I completely respect whatever response each viewer has. I understand that there are mixed responses.

In Korea, people have an altruistic mind-set — you would have no friends if you weren’t kind and considerate. That’s because Korean people believe that their friends are very valuable and important. I really love my friends. I care for them. I would like to maintain a good relationship with them. And I think what “Squid Game” has done is to tie in this theme of altruism to the story line of the survival game. On top of that, it added very impressive visuals.

For those viewers who found the series a little less interesting, I would like to recommend that they watch it again, because “Squid Game” is not really a show about survival games. It’s about people. I think we pose questions to ourselves as we watch the show: Have I been forgetting anything that I should never lose sight of, as a human being? Was there anybody who needed my help, but I was unaware of them? Should I have helped them? I think if they rewatch the series, the audience will be able to notice more of these subtle elements.



Are you aware of the debate among some viewers about whether it’s better to watch the series with subtitles or in the clunkier dubbed version, which offers less nuance?

I’m sure that Netflix has done a great job in making the subtitles in a way that helps the global audience more easily understand the series. I don’t think the small details really matter that much, and I don’t think it would really change the main theme or the story line. But of course, each region has a different culture. There could be a specific word in Korean that accurately encapsulates a concept that might not exist in other regions. I think in that case, changing the words in the subtitles to help an audience understand the story better is fine. I don’t think subtle nuances really change the fundamental way that the series is communicated, so I’m not really concerned about those slight differences.


On set with Park and the “Squid Game” creator Hwang Dong-hyuk. The series “is not really a show about survival games,” Lee said. “It’s about people.”  [Credit:  Noh Juhan/Netflix]


In the finale, Gi-hun stays in South Korea, rather than getting on the plane to Los Angeles. Netflix hasn’t said whether there will be a Season 2, but if there is, what do you want to see happen to your character?

That’s a very difficult question because the story could go in any direction, and some of Gi-hun’s emotions are very complicated. He’s a very intriguing character. I guess he could go and try and punish the creators of the game. Or he could try to stop new contestants from playing it. Or he could try to join the game again. I have no idea at this point.



We saw this season that the Front Man (Lee Byung-hun) had been a previous winner. So if Gi-hun were offered the opportunity to replace him and run the game, do you think he would take it? It could mean the power to change the rules.

Well, for one, I’m never going to let anyone die! If the story does go in that direction, Gi-hun would end up in a position like Oh Il-nam, the old guy [played by Oh Yeong-su]. But you know, in “The Deer Hunter,” the character that Christopher Walken plays never makes it out of the game, right? That could be what happens.





Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lee Jung-jae interviews with NYT..."'Squid Game,' a story of altruism"

연합뉴스 / 2021-10-19 17:51:00


▲ This photo, provided by Netflix, shows actor Lee Jung-jae from "Squid Game." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


▲ This photo, provided by Netflix, show actor Lee Jung-jae who took the main role for Netflix original series, "Squid Game." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
LOS ANGELES, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- Korea’s top tier actor Lee Jung-jae who rose to global stardom after playing the main role for Netflix Korean original series “Squid Game” has had interviewed with America’s influential daily news, the New York Times (NYT) through a phone call and with the aid of a translator. 

The NYT posted their interview with the actor on their website saying, “In the month since its debut, the show (‘Squid Game’) has become a global phenomenon,” on the 18th (local time)

Responses to the series can be divided into two extremely opposite directions. “The most intense fans may want to wear ‘Squid Game’-style tracksuits, make Dalgona candy, or even learn Korea. Detractors complain of egregious violence and gaping plot holes,” said the daily news. 

When NYT asked about Lee’s response to “some critics’ slamming it for being pointlessly violent, or having only a vague message,” the actor answered, “I think if they rewatch the series, the audience will be able to notice more of these subtle elements.” 

In “Squid Game,” participants go through bloody survival games to be the final winner of 45.6 billion won prize money. 

Lee said that he understands the polarized responses to the series and suggested, “For those viewers who found the series a little less interesting, I would like to recommend that they watch it again.” 

He also explained to NYT, “Korean people believe that their friends are very valuable and important. And I think what ‘Squid Game’ has done is to tie in this theme of altruism to the story line of the survival game.” 

“’Squid Game’ is not really a show about survival games. It’s about people,” emphasized the actor. 

“I think we pose questions to ourselves as we watch the show: Have I forgetting anything that I should never lose sight of, as a human being? Was there anybody who needed my help, but I was unaware of them?” said Lee, according to NYT’s article. 

Regarding the debate over the English-translated subtitles, Lee said, “There could be a specific word in Korean that accurately encapsulates a concept that might not exist in other regions.” 

“I don’t think the subtle nuances really change the fundamental way that the series is communicated, so I’m not really concerned about those slight differences,” added Lee. 

Lee also showed his hopes for other K-contents to be able to gather a wider range of watchers “because, ’Squid Game’ has done such a good job in raising awareness of Korean TV series and films.” (END)

(C) Yonhap News Agency. All Rights Reserved




SEOUL, Oct. 19 (Yonhap) -- “Squid Game” ranking in world TOP 10 Netflix TV programs


“Squid Game” has been securing its world top place for 27 days, according to global online contents service ranking site “Flix Petrol” Tuesday.


▲ This photo, a captured image from "Flix Patrol" website, shows global online contents service ranking site "Flix Patrol." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)



Link to comment
Share on other sites

[SBS Star] Lee Jung Jae Gets a Special Selfie Lesson from a Photographer

By Lee Narin  | 2021.10.20 18:23



Actor Lee Jung Jae received a special selfie lesson from a photographer.


On October 19, Lee Jung Jae shared photos of himself on Instagram.  The first photo was of Lee Jung Jae getting a photography lesson from photographer Oh Joong-seok. The next photo was a close shot of Lee Jung Jae that the photographer took of him.  In the last photo, Lee Jung Jae took a selfie with the photographer.







Along with these photos, Lee Jung Jae said, "I'm learning how to take good selfies from photographer Oh Joong-seok."  He continued, "I fully understand why fans told me not to take a selfie horizontally now."

Recently, after Lee Jung Jae made his Instagram account and uploaded his selfies, everyone has been talking about them.  It was because his selfies were such 'dad' selfies.  He made himself look like a regular guy next door in his selfies due to the poor angle and pose that he was making.  Following that, fans left comments telling him things like, "Please do not use your handsome face like that!", "You need to learn how to take selfies!" and so on.




(Credit= 'from_jjlee' Instagram)  
(SBS Star)




[SBS Star] Park Hae Soo Shares Why He Was So Glad to Work with Lee Jung Jae in 'Squid Game'

By Lee Narin  | 2021.10.21 16:18



Actor Park Hae Soo shared reasons why he was so happy to work with actor Lee Jung Jae in 'Squid Game'.  

Recently, Park Hae Soo sat down for an interview with the press to speak about his ongoing popular Netflix's series 'Squid Game'.  During this interview, Park Hae Soo mentioned what it was like working with Lee Jung Jae.  Park Hae Soo said, "Lee Jung Jae was the mood maker. He was good at making everyone feel comfortable and have a good time together."   He continued, "Everybody was mentally struggling in some ways because we all had to live the lives of our characters while we were filming the series. So, we relied on each other a lot."  

"Out of all, Lee Jung Jae was the first one who approached to everyone. I would like to give him the thumbs up for that. Thanks to him, everyone felt ease quickly.", he commented.  

Then, Park Hae Soo went on to say how he felt honored to have worked with Lee Jung Jae.   Park Hae Soo said, "As Lee Jung Jae was featured in so many movies and dramas in the past where his roles are all actors have at least once dreamed about, I felt very honored to work together with him."   He added, "Lee Jung Jae also told us lots of great work-related stories and advice that would help us. I was really happy to hear them from him."  

In 'Squid Game', Park Hae Soo and Lee Jung Jae play characters who grew up in a small town together.  They unexpectedly meet each other as the contestants of the 'game', and cooperate but also fight against one another during the 'game'.  




(Credit= 'from_jjlee' 'netflixkr' Instagram)  
(SBS Star) 




Netflix Reveals a Total of 142M Households Have Watched ‘Squid Game’

by Munjeong Jung


Credit: Netflix

Squid Game has been watched by 142 million households around the globe.

On October 19th (local time), Deadline reported, “Squid Game has been watched by a “mind-boggling” 142 million Netflix households.” The streaming service revealed the most recent viewership data on Tuesday when they released their third-quarter earnings report.

Netflix said in a letter to investors, “A mind-boggling 142m member households globally have chosen to watch the title in its first four weeks. The breadth of Squid Game’s popularity is truly amazing.”

Given that multiple people can share the account, the actual figures would be higher.

Netflix explained that Squid Game has ranked as its No. 1 show in 94 countries including the U.S., and remarked that it had “pierced the cultural zeitgeist” with skits on Saturday Night Live and memes on TikTok gathering more than 42 billion views. 

They also stated that demand for consumer products, likely including Halloween costumes, is high and that the costumes are on their way to stores now.

In addition, about 117 million people watched Squid Game for at least 75 minutes, and 66% reportedly watched the drama to the end.

Source (1, 2)
Translator Jung Munjeong: I’ll provide you with the latest articles on K-Drama, K-Pop and K-Movie as quickly as I can.



Netflix "Squid Game" has 4.38 million new subscribers in the 3rd quarter


By Reporter MoMo | 2021.10.20 19:31

[BBANGYA NEWS | Reporter Mo Mo] Netflix, the world's largest online video service (OTT), has significantly increased the number of paid subscribers thanks to the global success of the drama "Squid Game" produced in Korea.






Reuters reported on the 19th (local time) that the number of paid subscribers increased by 4.38 million through a third-quarter earnings announcement.


The number of new subscribers in the third quarter exceeded the Wall Street estimate of 3.86 million compiled by Refinitiv.


The cumulative number of Netflix subscribers increased to 213.6 million.


Reuters analyzed, "The global interest in Netflix's original Korean drama 'Squid Game' has attracted more new customers than expected."


Bloomberg also said, "Netflix recorded the strongest subscriber growth rate this year, surpassing Wall Street expectations, thanks to the popularity of 'squid games'."


According to Netflix, 142 million people around the world watched the drama in the first four weeks since the airing of "Squid Game" in the middle of last month.


Netflix evaluated that "Squid Game" has recorded more than 42 billion views and penetrated the spirit of the cultural era by creating various memes and videos on TikTok."


Netflix enjoyed a special "home-stay consumption" following the COVID-19 incident last year, but subscriber growth slowed from the first half of this year when vaccinations began in earnest.


In addition, competition in the market intensified as existing content powerhouses such as Disney Plus and HBO Max jumped into OTT services, respectively, which also contributed to subscriber congestion.


However, it is analyzed that the "squid game" has created a worldwide sensation, paving the way for Netflix to grow again.
The Squid Game was introduced on September 17 in Korean time. The fact that it was released at the end of the third quarter alone exceeded market expectations.


For this reason, the results of the "squid game" are expected to be reflected in earnest in the fourth quarter.


Netflix predicted 8.5 million new subscribers in the fourth quarter. This is more than the Wall Street estimate of 8.33 million.


Netflix's third-quarter sales rose 16% from the same period last year to $7.48 billion (8.8151 trillion won), while its net profit per share (EPS, net profit earned by companies divided by the total number of shares) was $3.19.


Sales were the same as Wall Street expectations compiled by Refinitiv, and net profit per share exceeded market expectations (2.56).


Netflix closed at $639, up 0.16% from the previous day on the New York Stock Exchange.


It then rose 3.8% in overtime trading after the announcement of its third-quarter earnings but returned the gains again as profit-taking came out.

'Squid Game' sensation helps Netflix attract new customers globally




The Netflix series "Squid Game" is played on a mobile phone in this picture illustration taken Sept. 30. Reuters-Yonhap

Netflix's global sensation "Squid Game" helped lure more new customers than expected, the world's largest streaming service said on Tuesday as it predicted a packed lineup would further boost signups through the end of the year.

After a sharp slowdown in the first half of 2021, Netflix added 4.38 million subscribers from July through September to reach 213.6 million worldwide. Wall Street analysts had projected 3.86 million additions, according to Refinitiv data.

Netflix enjoyed a subscriber boom last year as COVID-19 kept audiences at home, but growth stalled early this year. At the same time, Walt Disney's Disney+, ATT's HBO Max and other competitors bolstered their offerings. Netflix blamed the earlier weakness in part on a thin slate of new programming caused by production shutdowns from the pandemic.

Then, South Korean drama "Squid Game" debuted on Sept. 17 and surprised executives by becoming the streaming service's most-watched original series in its first month. On Tuesday, Netflix said a "mind-boggling" 142 million households had watched the dark drama about people who compete in a deadly competition to erase financial debt.

The series, made with a relatively small budget, shot to the top of Netflix viewing charts in 94 countries, kick-started sales of track suits and Vans sneakers, and kindled interest in learning Korean. "Squid Game" merchandise is now on its way to retailers, Netflix said.

The fervor around "Squid Game" also is expected to lift the current quarter. Netflix projected it will pick up 8.5 million new customers by year's end, ahead of industry forecasts of 8.33 million, as it releases a heavy lineup of new programming. Upcoming debuts include big-budget action flick "Red Notice" and a second season of fantasy drama "The Witcher."

It also expects a "more normalized" programming slate in 2022 spread throughout the year, "assuming no new COVID waves or unforeseen events," the company said in a quarterly letter to shareholders.

Shares of Netflix were close to even in after-hours trading at $641 following the earnings report.

Most new customer pickups in the quarter came from the Asia Pacific market, where Netflix now has 30 million subscribers. Industry experts believe the region may rival the United States and Canada ― Netflix's largest market ― in three to five years, said Third Bridge senior analyst Joe McCormack.

Netflix is trying new ways to attract customers overseas, including offering a free plan in Kenya. It will take one to two years to tell if that tactic leads to more paying subscribers, the company said.

For the quarter that ended in September, diluted earnings-per-share came in at $3.19, beating analyst expectations of $2.57. Revenue rose 16 percent to $7.5 billion.

Before the earnings report, Netflix shares had risen roughly 22 percent this year and were trading near record highs, but their gains lag behind the 54 percent increase in the Nasdaq.

Netflix, which keeps much of its viewership data secret, also said it will release information more frequently and shift its main publicly reported metric to hours viewed, rather than the number of accounts that watched a title for at least 2 minutes.

The company noted that it competes with a large set of activities beyond TV including TikTok and Fortnite. When Facebook suffered a global outage in early October, "our engagement saw a 14 percent increase during this time period," Netflix said.

Executives did not address worker complaints about a Dave Chappelle comedy special, which the company has previously defended. Some employees say Chappelle made comments that harmful to transgender people, and they plan a walkout on Wednesday. (Reuters)


Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Squid Game' gets two nominations at Gotham Awards

By brk@yna.co.kr  | October 22, 2021


SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's sensational survival drama "Squid Game" has been nominated in two categories at an annual U.S. awards ceremony for lower-budget indie movies and TV series.

According to the nominations of the 2021 Gotham Awards released Thursday (U.S. time), "Squid Game," a Netflix original, was listed in the section of Breakthrough Series – Long Format (over 40 minutes), along with five other TV series, including Amazon Studios' "Small Axe" and HBO Max's "It's A Sin."

Its lead actor Lee Jung-jae was also one of 10 candidates for Outstanding Performance in a New Series, including Ethan Hawke in "The Good Lord Bird" and Anya Taylor-Joy in "The Queen's Gambit."


This image provided by Netflix shows a scene from "Squid Game." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

"Squid Game" is the only foreign-language show in the breakthrough TV series category, while Lee is one of two non-English performers to make the cut, alongside French actor Omar Sy from "Lupin."

The nine-part series about contestants competing in deadly Korean children's playground games to win 45.6 billion won (US$38.5 million) in prize money became the most successful TV show in Netflix history with more than 142 million viewers in the first four weeks after its release on Sept. 17.

Organized by the Independent Filmmaker Project (IFP), the Gotham Awards is one of the major film awards ceremonies in the United States in the runup to the Oscars slated for March next year. Films budgeted under $35 million are eligible to be nominated at the Gothams.

Last year, South Korean actress Youn Yuh-jung was nominated for best actress for her performance in the immigration film "Minari."

At this year's event, two Netflix films, "Passing" and "The Lost Daughter," led the pack with five nominations apiece.

The 31st annual Gotham Awards ceremony will take place Nov. 29. (END)



Lee Jung Jae, US Gotham Awards nominee…”Aiming for an award”

Oct 22nd, 2021 GMT



Actor Lee Jung Jae was nominated for an acting award at the Gotham Awards in the United States for his Netflix series 'Squid Game'.

US 'Deadline' and 'Variety' announced on the 22nd, "Lee Jung Jae was selected as a nominee for 'Outstanding Performance in a New Series' at the Gotham Awards."

Lee Jung Jae competes with Ethan Hawke (The Good Lord Bird), Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit), Jennifer Coolidge (The White Lotus), Michael Greyeyes (Rutherford Falls), and Devery Jacobs (Reservation Dogs).

Hwang Dong-hyuk, who directed 'Squid Game', was nominated for the Gotham Awards. He was nominated for 'Breakthrough Series-over 40 minutes'.




The Gotham Awards is a prestigious awards ceremony supported by IFP, an American independent film support organization. It is held every year in New York. This year, it will be held on the 29th of next month.

Lee Jung Jae gained a lot of popularity as the main character of the Netflix series 'Squid Game'. He took on the role of Ki-hoon, who was divorced due to gambling debt and was in a situation where he had to write a memorandum of renunciation.

He showed great acting skills by digesting the character Ki-hoon. 200% of emotions such as sadness, fear, anger, and fatherly love were revived, leading to the success of the 'Squid Game'.




'Squid Game''s bloodcurdling glass panels·smooth dalgonas...all CG tricks

연합뉴스 / 2021-10-22 14:02:46


▲ This photo, provided by Gulliver Studio, shows CEO Jung Jae-hoon of Gulliver Studio. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

▲ This photo, provided by Netflix, shows Netflix original series "Squid Game." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)
▲ This photo, provided by Netflix, shows Netflix original series "Squid Game." (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap) 
SEOUL, Oct. 22 (Yonhap) -- Although the survival game scenes in Netflix original series “Squid Game” were created in large artificial sets, they looked so real as if they were actually happening, thanks to the delicate and detailed touches of those workers behind the scenes. 

CG and VFX were applied to from the world-hit dalogona’s sleek and shiny surface to the transparent glass steps installed high in midair. 

Yonhap News has recently interviewed Jung Jae-hoon CEO of Gulliver Studio who took over the CG and VFX works for “Squid Game.” 


“We made a fine trick,” chuckled Jung when Yonhap News told him that we can’t tell which scenes were made of CG and VFX. 

He said that most films and dramas these days use CG and VFX, but the finest scenes are the ones in which those technologies are unnoticeable. So, the watchers being unaware of Gulliver Studio’s hard work hidden in “Squid Game”’s scenes is a pleasant compliment, according to the CEO. 

The vast yard where the first game “Green Light Red Light” took place is an actual set but the high walls surrounding the set are made of CG. The gigantic doll girl is a real-size prop but its eyes rolling around to catch the players is a CG. 

“As it was the series’ first game, the director had a lot to think of and decided the walls’ colors late. So they couldn’t paint them when producing the set. Also as making the walls high as the skies was almost impossible, we used CG for them,” said CEO Jung. 

The colorful maze-like staircases through which the players moved around was actually a 3-story set virtually extended. 

Not only complementing for the sets, they also created whole new spaces with such technologies for games such as tug of war and of crossing glass panels. During the two games, the camera shows the players in a dark space which makes it unable to guess the height of where they are standing. 

“For tug of war and glass bridge game, the sides of where the actors were standing were important as well of course, but if the distance of the height collapses, the fearful atmosphere goes away too. We focused on well-depicting the distances in the space and at the same time not to make the set look fake,” explained Jung. 

“For marble game, there were almost no scene without CG or VFX from a marble rolling over and hitting another to a marble’s trail left on the soil. There was a large actual piggy bank but when it was under the light we could too many scratches on its surface so we had to use computers for that. Also, it is embarrassing to say that the smooth surfaces of the dalgonas were CG but we did retouched the surfaces with computer works,” said the director. 

He added that the biggest focus in “Squid Game” was “getting rid of awkwardness.” 

“I put in a lot of effort in making the watchers feel confused about what’s real and fake like the film ‘The Truman Show’ but unable to feel awkwardness. The series’ spaces had to be fairy tale-like but grotesque at the same time which made working on “Squid Game” harder than creating places like the space that are familiar with CG or VFX,” said Jung. 

“CG·VFX workers join in productions as an artist not a technician. Korea’s CGV·FX are quite upward leveled so rather than judging over how good the techniques are, it is important to think of how to make the contents more stand out using that technique,” said Jung.  (END)

(C) Yonhap News Agency. All Rights Reserved


Businesses expose children to 'Squid Game' for commerce


Global success of 'Squid Game' sparks controversy over IP rights

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actors Lee Jung-jae and Lee Byung-hun to participate in 2021 Art+Film Gala

BY LEE JAE-LIM [lee.jaelim@joongang.co.kr] | October 26, 2021



Actors Lee Byung-hun, left, and Lee Jung-jae [ILGAN SPORTS, NETFLIX]

Actors Lee Jung-jae and Lee Byung-hun, who recently featured in the globally popular Netflix series “Squid Game,” have been invited to participate in the 2021 Art+Film Gala at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Lacma) on Nov. 6, according to their respective agencies Artist Company and BH Entertainment Tuesday.   

The Art+Film Gala annually invites notable people from the fields of art, film, fashion and entertainment to strengthen dialogue between art and film in Los Angeles.   

This year, the event will honor American artists Amy Sherald and Kehinde Wiley along with renowned filmmaker Steven Spielberg. Lacma trustee Eva Chow and actor Leonardo DiCaprio will co-chair the event for the 10th consecutive year.   

Lee Byung-hun has participated in the event multiple times while Lee Jung-jae participated in 2019. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

'Squid Game' gets nomination at upcoming People's Choice Awards

연합뉴스 / 2021-10-29 10:35:48


▲ This photo, captured from the People's Choice Awards' official website, shows this year's nominees for the Bingeworthy Show of 2021 category. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)

SEOUL, Oct. 29 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's sensational survival drama "Squid Game" has been nominated for the annual U.S. awards ceremony for pop culture.

"Squid Game" was selected as a nominee in the Bingeworthy Show of 2021 category for the upcoming 2021 People's Choice Awards.

The Korean Netflix series will vie with martial arts comedy series "Cobra Kai," Disney Plus's Marvel series "Loki," Netflix series "Sex Life," and HBO's crime drama "Mare of Easttown."


The awards ceremony will be held on Dec. 7 in Santa Monica, California. (END)


▲ This promotional image of Squid Game is provided by Netflix. (PHOTO NOT FOR SALE) (Yonhap)


(C) Yonhap News Agency. All Rights Reserved




[SBS Star] Lee Jung Jae Treats the Production Team of His Movie to Puffer Jackets

Lee Narin  | 2021.10.29 18:03



Actor Lee Jung Jae treated the production team of his upcoming movie 'HUNT' to puffer jackets.  

On October 29, Lee Jung Jae updated his Instagram with new photos.  In the first photo, Lee Jung Jae held a box of puffer jackets with some members of staff.  In the next photo, Lee Jung Jae was seen wearing a puffer jacket that said, 'HUNT' and 'FROM_JJ LEE'.  The other two photos were of the production team of 'HUNT' posing with the surprise gift from Lee Jung Jae.   Under these photos, Lee Jung Jae wrote, "I've prepared these as a gift for my hard-working co-workers."  






Currently, Lee Jung Jae is busy filming an upcoming movie 'HUNT'.  As winter is approaching in Korea, it is getting colder each day.  The lowest temperature in a day is about 5 to 10 degrees Celsius nowadays.   It seemed like Lee Jung Jae wanted to make sure they were always warm when the production team was shooting outside in the cold, and his sweet move is making many fans feel soft.  

(Credit= 'from_jjlee' Instagram)  
(SBS Star) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lee Jung-jae, "Walking down the street like a movie” airport runway

Nov 3, 2021 GMT



Actor Lee Jung-jae departed for Los Angeles, USA via Incheon International Airport on the afternoon of the 3rd for overseas promotion schedule.

On this day, Lee Jung-jae created a dandy fashion with a rider jacket and navy pants. Although he was covered with a mask, his appearance stood out.



Lee Jung-jae entered the departure hall with a warm smile. He also showed unusual poses, such as taking photos with reporters gathered at the scene.









'Squid Game' spreads over the world [PHOTOS]


By Choi Won-suk | 2021-11-03


Woman dress in costumes inspired by the Netflix original Korean series "Squid Game" pose for a photo, on the eve of Halloween in Hong Kong, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


This photo taken on October 12, 2021 shows customers taking photos of a dalgona, a crisp sugar candy featured in the Netflix series Squid Game, in Shanghai. AFP


Staff members wearing "Squid Game" costumes stand guard at Strawberry Cafe in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 15, 2021. REUTERS


Customers play Squid Game's honeycomb toffee game at Strawberry Cafe in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 15, 2021. REUTERS


A customer uses a tool to cut a biscuit into a shape during a session of a South Korean Netflix show Squid Game-themed confection-making event, at a bakery in Beijing, China in this screengrab from a video taken on October 16, 2021. REUTERS


Omar Raddaoui, left, and Wissal Baaza work to break indented shapes out of their dalgona cookies during a Halloween party inspired by the Netflix series "Squid Game" at Seoul Dog, a Korean-style2 corndog restaurant in Ottawa, Ontario on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


Camila Vasquez uses a toothpick to cut a shape out of her dalgona cookie during a Halloween party inspired by the Netflix series "Squid Game" at Seoul Dog, a Korean-style2 corndog restaurant in Ottawa, Ontario, on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


A sign referring to the "honeycomb challenge" featured in Netflix's new hit series "Squid Game" is seen at Brown Butter Cafe in Singapore October 1, 2021. REUTERS


This photo taken on October 12, 2021 shows customers waiting at a small shop for dalgonas, a crisp sugar candy featured in the Netflix series Squid Game, in Shanghai. AFP


Mall security guards and employees dressed in the Netflix series Squid Game costumes, pose for photographs at Lotte Shopping Avenue in Jakarta, Indonesia, 20 October 2021. EPA


Performers wear costumes inspired by the Netflix show "Squid Game" during a Halloween event at an amusement park in Beijing, China, October 30, 2021. REUTERS


Children dress in costumes inspired by the Netflix original Korean series "Squid Game" on the eve of Halloween in Hong Kong, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


A woman dresses in costume inspired by the Netflix original Korean series "Squid Game" on a subway train, on the eve of Halloween in Hong Kong, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


People dressed in costumes inspired by the Netflix original Korean series "Squid Game", walk, on the eve of Halloween in Hong Kong, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


Revelers dressed up for the Halloween creepy party at the Kulturbrauerei like from the Netflix series "Squid Game" in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. The clubs in the capital are once again celebrating in scary costumes. In the Kulturbrauerei, the 2G rules apply. AP


Julie Nguyen prepares dalgona cookies that customers can purchase to play a game during a Halloween party inspired by the Netflix series "Squid Game" at Seoul Dog, a Korean-style2 corndog restaurant in Ottawa, Ontario, on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


Julie Nguyen wears the jumpsuit of Player 456 as she prepares drinks during a Halloween party inspired by the Netflix series "Squid Game" at Seoul Dog, a Korean-style2 corndog restaurant in Ottawa, Ontario on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


People play ddakji, a Korean game played with folded paper tiles, during a Halloween party inspired by the Netflix series "Squid Game" at Seoul Dog, a Korean-style2 corndog restaurant in Ottawa, Ontario on Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. AP


People wear Netflix series 'Squid Game' costumes celebrating Halloween, in Hong Kong, China, October 30, 2021. REUTERS


A couple in costume inspired by the Netflix original Korean series "Squid Game" wait to board the subway in Santiago, Chile, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. AP


A woman looks at costumes inspired by the Netflix original Korean series "Squid Game", at a shop selling Halloween costumes and decorations along a street in Hong Kong, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. AP


People dress in costumes inspired by the Netflix original Korean series "Squid Game" walk along a street to celebrate Halloween in Hong Kong, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021. AP



A courier delivers an order from the Japanese restaurant Tanuki in a red guard uniform inspired by the 2021 South Korean TV series Squid Game. TASS


Climate change activists wearing masks depicting images of World leaders, including US President Joe Biden, take part in a 'Squid Game' themed demonstration near the Scottish Event Campus (SEC), the venue of the COP26 UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, Scotland on November 2, 2021. - World leaders meeting at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow will issue a multibillion-dollar pledge to end deforestation by 2030 but that date is too distant for campaigners who want action sooner to save the planet's lungs. AFP



Squid Game characters drawn from director's life



Writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk (left) and Lee Jung-jae on the set of Squid Game. PHOTO: NETFLIX


SEOUL (AFP) - Many characters in Netflix sensation Squid Game are loosely based on its South Korean director's own life and he believes its theme of economic inequality has resonated with viewers around the world.

Hwang Dong-hyuk's television debut last month became the streaming giant's most popular series at launch, drawing at least 111 million watchers.

Its dystopian vision sees hundreds of marginalised individuals pitted against each other in traditional children's games - all of which Hwang played growing up in Seoul.

The victor can earn millions, but losing players are killed.

Hwang's works have consistently and critically responded to social ills, power and human suffering, and he based several of its highly flawed yet relatable characters on himself.

Like Sang-woo, a troubled investment banker in Squid Game, Hwang is a graduate of South Korea's elite Seoul National University (SNU) but struggled financially despite his degree.

Like Gi-hun, a laid-off worker and an obsessive gambler, Hwang was raised by a widowed mother and the poor family lived in the kind of subterranean semi-basement housing portrayed in Bong Joon-ho's Oscar-winning satire Parasite.

And it was one of his first experiences abroad that inspired him to create Ali, a migrant worker from Pakistan abused and exploited by his Korean employer, he told AFP.

"Korea is a very competitive society. I was lucky enough to survive the competition and entered a good university," he said.

"But when I visited the UK at age 24, a white staff member at airport immigration gave me a dismissive look and made discriminatory comments. I find it truly shocking to this day.

"I think I was someone like Ali back then."

Hwang studied journalism at SNU, where he became a pro-democracy activist - and he named the main character in Squid Game, Gi-hun, after a friend and fellow campaigner.

But democracy had been achieved by the time he graduated and he "couldn't find an answer to what I should do in the real world".

At first, "watching films was something I did to kill time", he said, but after he borrowed his mother's video camera, "I discovered the joy of filming something and screening it for other people, and it changed my life".


(From left) Actor Park Hae Soo, director Hwang Dong-hyuk and directing actor Lee Jung-jae during a scene of Squid Game. PHOTO: AFP

His first feature-length film, My Father (2007) was based on the true story of Aaron Bates, a South Korean adoptee whose search for his biological father finally led him to a death row inmate.

In 2011, his crime drama Silenced - inspired by a real-life sex abuse case involving children with disabilities - was a commercial hit, as was his 2014 comedy Miss Granny, partly inspired by his single mother.

Three years later, critically acclaimed 2017 period drama The Fortress dealt with a 17th-century king of Korea's Joseon dynasty besieged during a brutal Chinese invasion.

Squid Game references several traumatising collective experiences that have shaped the psyche of modern South Koreans, including the 1997 Asian financial crisis and the 2009 layoffs at SsangYong Motor, both of which saw people take their own lives.

Through the reference to the SsangYong Motor layoffs, I wanted to show that any ordinary middle-class person in the world we live in today can fall to the bottom of the economic ladder overnight," Hwang told AFP.

Hwang wrote Squid Game about a decade ago, but said investors were reluctant and those who read the script told him it was "too absurd, weird, and unrealistic".

But the rise of streaming services has made age-restricted materials more commercially viable than with cinema audiences, and he returned to the project at the prospect of working with Netflix.

Nonetheless, he never imagined it "would become the global sensation that it is now".

"I think viewers around the world deeply relate to the theme of economic inequality portrayed in Squid Game," he said, "especially in times of a global pandemic".



Actress Dakota Johnson and singer Chris Martin binge-watched Squid Game

Link to comment
Share on other sites


November 7, 2021


Lee Jung Jae at the LACMA Art + Film Gala 2021






On November 6, the  'Squid Game' team attended the LACMA Art & Film Gala.  Attendees included:  Dir. Hwang Dong Hyuk, Lee Byung Hun, Lee Jung Jae and Park Hae Soo.  




With Eva Chow, Co Chair of the Lacma Gala, Marco Bizzarri, CEO of Gucci and Lim Se Ryung


Source: gettyimages

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

LACMA Art + Film Gala: Red Carpet Arrivals With Lil Nas X, Billie Eilish and the ‘Squid Game’ Cast

By Marc Malkin | November 7, 2021

The LACMA Art + Film Gala’s 10th annual edition honored Steven Spielberg as well as Kehinde Wiley and Amy Sherald, portrait artists for President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama.

Presented by Gucci, the star-studded affair at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art was hosted by Leonardo DiCaprio and LACMA trustee Eva Chow. Guests included Miley Cyrus, Lil Nas X, Jared Leto, Dakota Johnson, Ridley Scott, Salma Hayek, Eva Longoria, Phoebe Bridges, the cast of “Squid Game,” Paris Hilton, Addison Rae, Ava DuVernay, Tracee Ellis Ross, Guillermo del Toro, Jeff Bezos, Bob Iger, Billie Eilish, James Corden, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Jodie Turner-Smith, Serena Williams and Olivia Wilde.

The gala coincides with the opening of two exhibits: “The Obama Portraits Tour” and “Black American Portraits.”  The “Obama Portraits” feature the official portraits of President Obama by Wiley and Michelle Obama by Sherald that are permanently housed at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Portrait Gallery.

Check out photos from the Art + Film Gala red carpet below.


Photo : Michael Buckner for Variety
Lee Jung-jae
Lee Jung-jae attends the LACMA Art + Film Gala.


Photo : Michael Buckner for Variety
Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Hwang Dong-hyuk
Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Hwang Dong-hyuk attend LACMA Art + Film.




'Squid Game' star Lee Jung-jae attends LACMA Art + Film Gala

BY LEE SUN-MIN [summerlee@joongang.co.kr] | November 8, 2021



Lim Se-ryung, far left, and Lee Jung-jae, second from left, at LACMA Art + Film Gala at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on Nov. 6. [GETTY IMAGES/YONHAP]

"Squid Game" star Lee Jung-jae attended the LACMA Art + Film Gala held at The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) on Saturday.

The director of the hit Netflix original series Hwang Dong-hyuk, as well as actors Lee Byung-hun and Park Hae-soo also attended the event, which annually invites artists who contributedto developing the culture sector.  

Lee was accompanied by his girlfriend Lim Se-ryung, who is the vice chairwoman of and heiress to Daesang Group. The couple previously attended the event together in both 2018 and 2019. 

Lee and Lim went public with their relationship in 2015. Lim was previously married to Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong. The couple, who share two children, divorced in 2009. 

Some other Korean talents, like actors Lee Min-ho and Gang Dong-won, were also in attendance. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue..