Netflix Working On US Version Of Squid Game


Reports indicate that Netflix is now working on a US version of Squid Game, the phenomenal survival-themed South Korean drama series. The breakthrough 2021 series took the world by storm that within only a month from its September release, Netflix already had data stating that 142m households have watched the dystopian thriller.

Suddenly, the world learned of age-old children’s games from South Korea. The various games, particularly the Red-Light-Green-Light, shocked international audiences as the series added the survival condition to win the pot money worth ₩45.6 billion (or US$35 million) for the entire series.

Four hundred fifty-six players agreed to participate in a series of children’s games, including the lead character Seong Gi-hun portrayed by Lee Jung-jae. All players belatedly learned that the games are meant to be played to death. And by the end of the series of games, only one emerges as the winner.

Adapting popular non-English features and series is not an unusual move. Netflix will not be the first to adopt a non-English original project into a US series. Sometimes, an English remake allows the story to be accessible to a broader range of viewers.

However, as the original story is adapted to another language and locality, some aspects of the story change, and people who appreciate the original point out that the changes ruin the feature in its entirety. It defeats the purpose of adapting it in the first place if changes actually hurt the original intention and impact of the story.

Netflix Rumoured To Be Adapting US Version Of Squid Game

READ MORE: Squid Game Season 2 Release Date Won’t Be Until 2024

According to The Ankler’s Jeff Sneider through the podcast The Hot Mic with Jeff Sneider and John Rocha (via FandomWire), Netflix is apparently developing a US version of Squid Game. Just how much modification to the original series will be done is not yet made public.

Many fans are taking to social media to express their concerns. Given that not a lot of US versions of popular Asian movies, series, novels, animations or graphic novels have given justice to their source. Many US versions of Japanese horror movies got the story presented in a lighter, more “happy ending” tone.

Some adaptations explain the phenomena too much that the mystery is lost, and the story loses its enigmatic identity. Comparing the critical responses of the adaptation or remakes to the original, the adaptations have almost always reflected a lesser rating than the original.

us version of squid game

Credit: Netflix

Nevertheless, a lot of people also believe that a US version of Squid Game is inevitable. However, fans hope that the US adaptation provides a different twist from the original series. Some suggest that since the original writer-director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, already expressed that he has prepared for Squid Game spin-offs, they should go down that route instead.

In a 2022 interview with Deadline, the Squid Game writer-director said:

I wrote the script in a way to hint that the Squid Game was happening in other parts of the world. As you can see from the conversations that the VIPs are having, they say the Korean game this year is spectacular, which means that there are other games as well. So this was also intended, because I thought that if the show did well, I wanted to expand the universe further, so that other countries could have their own version of the Squid Game.

Netflix Might Be Making US Version Of Squid Game


Credit: Netflix

READ MORE: Squid Game Season 2 To Feature One Huge Change

Hwang Dong-hyuk’s statement actually opens up many doors for many spin-offs, not just a US version of Squid Game as well. Every country has their own lifelong children’s games as well as their own societal challenges. These differences can still use the same conflict structure that the original initiated.

The new versions of Squid Game can feature a different set of games and perhaps a different set of personal challenges for the players in focus. Personally, I think it is still too soon for a remake and adaptation of the original to another language or country. However, a spin-off featuring different challenges and player arcs will be received more favourably.

Some fans also suggest that there could be a return of Squid Game champions from different countries. Or maybe a period piece of Squid Game since in the original series, they have implied that not only have the games been going on in other countries, but it has also been around for years.

Basically, fans welcome the notion of a US version of Squid Game so long as it isn’t just a ‘translated’ version of the story. What do you think about Netflix developing a US version of Squid Game? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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