Hwang Dong-hyuk, creator of Netflix’s breakout original series, Squid Game, revealed which game was the most difficult to film. Unlike other films and shows in the death games genre, Squid Game sets itself apart by taking inspiration from popular childhood games in South Korea (most of which have international analogues for non-Korean viewers) for its own games. The formula has proven to be a success with audiences worldwide, with the show shattering Bridgerton’s previous viewership record to become Netflix’s most popular show of all-time.

In Squid Game, the tournament seemingly hosted by the mysterious Front Man comprises six games in total: mugunghwa kkochi pieotseumnida (A.K.A. red light, green light), seoltang bbopki (A.K.A. honeycomb picking), tug-o-war, marbles, bridge-hopping, and finally, the titular Squid Game. Given the premise of the show, the scale of each game gradually shrinks as contestants are eliminated with the sole survivor winning the grand prize total of ₩45.6 billion KRW (approximately $38.7 million USD). The diverse variety of games were entertaining for audiences as they kept viewers on their toes from challenge to challenge; from a production point of view, however, organizing each Squid Game set-piece was evidently difficult.

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In a recent interview with THR, Hwang revealed that the show’s first game, red light, green light, was the most difficult to film. Hwang explained the pressure of nailing down the first game of the series, saying that “it had to go well because it was what’s going to be a first impression for the audience.” Logistically speaking, the scene featured more than 300 performers who all needed to be picture-perfect for the extended sequence. Check out what the writer-director had to say down below:

It was the first game, and also one of the first days on set, and it had to go well because it was what’s going to be a first impression for the audience. It was really challenging both physically and psychologically. It had to have the impact big enough for people to want to watch the rest of the series. I had only imagined it for over 10 years, and to bring that to life […] It was just the most challenging scene on so many levels.

In many ways, the scene was a manifestation of a vision Hwang had nearly a decade in the making. His and the crew’s efforts clearly paid off, with the first game becoming one of the most iconic sequences in the entire series. The animatronic doll that sings the haunting melody with each round has itself become an instantly recognizable fixture of pop culture, inspiring countless parodies and cosplays on social media.

With Squid Game season 2 confirmed to be in development, the pressure is on for Hwang and co. to recapture season 1’s success in their follow-up. The show’s first season was a passion project for the writer-director, but it seems that the upcoming season 2 exists more as the result of the overwhelming popular reception from season 1. Hopefully, Hwang will be able to imbue season 2 with the same level of energy and passion that made Squid Game such a breakout hit in the first place.

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Source: THR

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