Creator of the Netflix hit show ‘Squid Game’ had to stop writing the script because he had to sell his laptop for $675 cash

“Squid Game.”

  • The “Squid Game” creator once had to stop writing the show’s script after being forced to sell his laptop.
  • Hwang Dong-hyuk was also dismissed by several studios for 10 years for being too grotesque and unrealistic.
  • “Squid Game” made history becoming Korea’s first show to hit Netflix’s top trending spot in the US.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The creator of the Netflix hit “Squid Game” had to halt writing the script for the popular show after he was forced to sell his laptop for cash, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Korean survival drama series, which debuted on the streaming platform on September 17, centers around a group of adults struggling to pay off their debts playing Korean children’s games to win a cash prize of $45 billion won – about $40 million USD – but losing the seemingly trivial playground games has deadly consequences.

Hwang Dong-hyuk, the show’s creator and director, first came up with the idea while living with his mother and grandmother, but he had to stop writing the script at one point to sell his laptop for $675 in cash.

Netflix picked up the show two years ago, and since then, it has been subtitled in more than 30 languages and dubbed in 13 and is now trending number one in more than 90 countries, with about 95% of viewers being outside South Korea.

“Squid Game” also made history becoming Korea’s first show to hit Netflix’s top trending spot in the US.

But the show hasn’t always seen such roaring success since it was created. The concept was initially rejected for 10 years by several studios, which deemed the gory plotline as too grotesque and unrealistic, according to the Journal report.

Hwang said he believes that the COVID-19 pandemic made his show’s concept more appealing to studios, namely Netflix, as it exacerbated on socioeconomic disparities between the rich and poor, playing into the show’s central plotline.

“The world has changed,” Hwang said, citing the Journal report. “All of these points made the story very realistic for people compared to a decade ago.”

Minyoung Kim, who serves as Netflix’s vice president of content in the Asia-Pacific region, echoed the sentiment, saying that the show also poses moral questions of a person’s worth, the Journal reported.

“We are not horses, we’re all humans,” she said. “That is the question the show really wants to throw at you.”

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