Netflix series ‘Squid Game’ accused of plagiarizing parts of Japanese film ‘As the Gods Will’

South Korean survival drama show “Squid Game”, which premiered on Netflix on September 17, is being accused of plagiarism by some online.

Warning: minor spoilers ahead.

About the series: Written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk (“The Fortress”, “Miss Granny”), the nine-episode series tells the story of a group of characters risking their lives to win 45.6 billion won ($38.5 million) in a mysterious survival game.

  • “Squid Game” stars actors Lee Jung-jae (“Il Mare,” “The Thieves”), Park Hae-soo (“Prison Playbook,” “Time to Hunt”), and model Jung Ho-yeon.

  • The plot of the show follows the “deadly gametheme, a common trope used in popular media involving characters being forced into a dangerous contest, often resulting in death.

  • “Squid Game” received positive reviews on rotten tomatoesearning a 100% critic score and an 89% audience score, at the time of writing.

Alleged “scene stealer”: Some social media users have pointed out similarities between “Squid Game” and “As The Gods Will”, a popular 2014 Japanese film that also features deadly physical games.

  • A Twitter user pointed out that the first game of both titles had the same rules and penalties for players. “As The Gods Will” used the Japanese game of “daruma” while “Squid Game” used “Red Light, Green Light”, which is also a children’s game played in Korea called “Hibiscus flowers bloomed.”

  • In both games, a “seeker” faces the wall or a tree for a short period of time before suddenly turning around to catch any player who moves. In “Squid Game”, those caught moving were shot, while in “As The Gods Will”, their heads were blown off.

  • The user posted images of similar scenes from both films, including close-ups of the giant dolls, the countdown, and the scene where a character dived at the last second.

  • Another game, which involved competitors jump on glass tilesreportedly inspired by the manga version of “As The Gods Will”.

Response to criticism: During the “Squid Game” press conference, Hwang addressed the alleged similarities, saying he wrote the script a few years before “As The Gods Will,” which premiered in the early 2010s, reported. NME.

  • “It is true that [the first game is] similar, but after that there are no more similarities,” he said. ” I worked on [Squid Game in] 2008 and 2009, and at the time, the first game [had already been] fixed as ‘Red Light Green Light’.

  • The filmmaker added that while he was hesitant to claim ownership of the story, “If I had to say it, I’d say I did it first.”

  • In an interview with Herald of Korea, he shared that he became fascinated with the survival genre after reading a lot of comics. “With an attempt to create a Korean version, I started planning the work in 2008 and finished the script in 2009.”

  • He revealed he was forced to shelve the script due to lack of interest until it was picked up as a Netflix series about a decade later.

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Marie A. Evans