If you’ve been on the internet at all in the past month, chances are good you’ve seen at least a few images of either a bunch of randos dressed in green tracksuits, or a bunch of dudes in pink hoodies wearing masks with simple shapes on them. This is thanks to the release of South Korean thriller series Squid Game on Netflix last month, and since its release, the series has absolutely taken the world by storm.
Squid Game‘s story of severely down-on-their-luck men and women roped into a deadly series of children’s games with millions in cash on the line has proven to be another viral smash hit for Netflix. As of Tuesday, the show has broken a record for the platform for biggest show launch, bringing in over 111 million views.
“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 Jung-jae, who plays the show’s protagonist Seong Gi-hun, told Variety in an interview.
One of the main reasons Lee signed on with the project was its writer, Hwang Dong-hyuk, who originally penned the script for Squid Game back in 2008 and had been shopping for a buyer until just recently.
Squid Game has officially reached 111 million fans — making it our biggest series launch ever! pic.twitter.com/SW3FJ42Qsn
— Netflix (@netflix) October 12, 2021
“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. But I wanted it to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life,” Hwang told Variety in a separate interview. “As a survival game it is entertainment and human drama. The games portrayed are extremely simple and easy to understand. That allows viewers to focus on the characters, rather than being distracted by trying to interpret the rules.”