Squid Game creator says Netflix 'never gave him bonus' despite show making £650m 8 months ago

Squid Game creator says Netflix 'never gave him bonus' despite show making £650m

The creator of the hit show also revealed he is 'considering' a second series

Hwang Dong-hyuk has said he did not receive a bonus from Netflix despite the remarkable success of his show, Squid Game.


The dystopian South Korean show overtook Bridgerton as Netflix's most successful ever show earlier this month. The show has helped boost the platform's subscriber figures by 4.4 million and is thought to be worth £650 million to the streaming service.

But Hwang has told the Guardian that despite the show's astonishing success for Netflix, he has received no bonus.

He told the paper: "I’m not that rich. But I do have enough. I have enough to put food on the table.


"And it’s not like Netflix is paying me a bonus. Netflix paid me according to the original contract."

One of the central themes of Squid Game is members of South Korean society being in extraordinary levels of debt and Hwang described how this was something he and his family had gone through in 2009 during the financial crisis.

It was at this time that he first came up with the idea for Squid Game.

He said: "I was very financially straitened because my mother retired from the company she was working for. There was a film I was working on but we failed to get finance. So I couldn’t work for about a year. We had to take out loans – my mother, myself and my grandmother.


"I read Battle Royal and Liar Game and other survival game comics. I related to the people in them, who were desperate for money and success. That was a low point in my life. If there was a survival game like these in reality, I wondered, would I join it to make money for my family?

"I realised that, since I was a film-maker, I could put my own touch to these kinds of stories so I started on the script.”

In a wide-ranging interview - which includes Hwang discussing capitalism and calling out LeBron James for his criticism of the way the series finished - the 50-year-old director also revealed that there are only two series he has watched in full: Breaking Bad and Mindhunter. He also said that he tried watching Bridgerton "but gave up in the middle."

And Hwang confirmed that he was considering making a second series but that there were other projects he wanted to work on first, saying: "of course there is talk [of a second series].


"That’s inevitable because it’s been such a success. I am considering it. I have a very high-level picture in my mind, but I’m not going to work on it straight away.

"There’s a film I really want to make. I’m thinking about which to do first. I’m going to talk to Netflix."

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