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Just days after Squid Game has been greenlit for another season, the show's creator has revealed how the series could have ended and how he hopes to "go beyond" expectations in the follow-up.
The K-drama is the brainchild of Korean writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk and has been in the making for almost a decade. Squid Game tells the story of a group of desperate individuals from South Korea on the brink of financial ruin who agree to take part in a tournament to win a life-changing amount of money.
After being taken in the middle of the night to an off-grid warehouse by an organisation of people donning red tracksuits and masks, the characters learn they are to compete in games they would have played as children at school. However, this time there's a deadly catch; when players lose they are not only 'eliminated' from the game, but from life.
The series stars Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun, the main protagonist, Park Hae-soo as Sang-woo, and Wi Ha-jun as Joon-ho.
Warning: Season one spoilers alert. If you haven't watched all of season one yet, you might want to skip the next couple of paragraphs.
Season one draws to a close with Gi-hun wins the games and finds out who's really behind them. He dyes his hair bright red, like the colour of the guards' outfits, and gets on a plane to LA to be reunited with his daughter. Before he leaves, he sees the same man in a suit who got him involved in the games trying to recruit another financially desperate individual. He walks up, takes the card and just before boarding the flight to LA, phones the number on it. He tells the person who answers that he's going to track them down, leaving the series on a massive cliffhanger.
Fans have already come up with some theories about the dead characters actually being alive ahead of the second season. Although we learn who the Frontman is, there's more to the police officer and his brother's story.
Dong-hyuk told The Hollywood Reporter that he didn't necessarily leave the series open-ended with a second season in the back of his mind, but because he thought it was good closure on the story which carries a deeper moral teaching.
"We actually wrestled between two different scenarios for the ending," Dong-hyuk told Entertainment Weekly.
"There was one, the other alternate ending, where Gi-hun would get on the plane and leave.
"And then there was of course the one where he would turn back and walk towards the camera.
"We constantly asked ourselves, is it really right for Gi-hun to make the decision to leave and go see his family, to pursue his own happiness? Is that the right way for us to really propose the question or the message that we wanted to convey through the series?"
By message, Dong-hyuk is referring to the series being an allegory to modern capitalist society and the way the series wrapped up was crucial to preserving the deeper meaning behind the wacky games.
"The question that we want to answer - why has the world come to what it is now? - can only be answered or can only be proposed if Gi-hun turned back and walked towards the camera," he added. "So that's how we ended up with that ending in the finale."
"I do have the basic story line in my head," Dong-hyuk told Entertainment Weekly of season two."I can only hope that it will not only meet the fans' expectations, but go beyond that."
Dong-hyuk said he'd been on YouTube and seen the "immense and very diverse" theories and expectations fans of the show had dreamed up for season two." I think it's going to be very difficult to pinpoint exactly what the fans want," he feared.
Squid Game season one is available to stream on Netflix now.
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