Just when you thought Hollywood’s recent habit of remakes couldn’t get any worse – word is that Netflix is apparently producing an American reboot of the hit Korean show Squid Game.
As Forbes reported, insider Jeff Sneider, referencing two of his sources stated in a Youtube video that Netflix not only may be working on an American version of Squid Game but is also hoping to get mindhunters’ David Fincher on board to direct.
Back in 2020, at the height of COVID, Korean dramas and K-pop started gaining global recognition, becoming more popular than ever before. Netflix’s survival drama Squid Game took the world by storm around that time, becoming the most-watched show in the streaming service’s history and also making Emmy history.
The show revolves around a deadly contest where 456 debt-ridden individuals from different socio-economic backgrounds engage in a series of deadly childhood games to snag the ultimate cash prize of 35 million dollars. The show highlighted Korea’s growing economic crisis, income inequality, class disparity and complex human emotions of love, greed and survival, becoming an instant hit at the time of its release. In October 2021, the South Korean survival drama was confirmed to be coming back for a second season, with plans to turn the hit series into an entire Star Wars-esque universe.
The show also indirectly sparked more serious conversations, as its international popularity also drew racist backlash initially, mostly from Americans. Now, with the new version allegedly in progress, fans of the original show are not happy.
Finally, now racist people can watch Squid Game. How inclusive! https://t.co/C14Ycya5Tq
— Artistic Anarchy 🔆 (@MannyandBo) April 14, 2023
There are quite a few reasons the new remake doesn’t make much sense. For starters, people who aren’t comfortable with subtitles have access to the dubs. Secondly, the show works so well because of the context behind it. Korean audiences resonated with the show in a sense, which portrays the darker aspects of their reality as compared to the romanticised version we see in K-dramas often. For others, it’s a peek into Korea’s extreme wealth disparity. One of the characters portrayed in the show is a North Korean defector, showing the complexities that people like her face even after having crossed the border to a “better world”.
With the change in location, fans aren’t too sure what the creators might change for the potential new version and how relevant it will be to the show’s original message.
Much of the distrust also stems from Netfix’s plans to remake another popular K-drama. Back in 2021, Netflix announced a remake of Crash Landing On You (CLOY) with a possible sci-fi twist to the plot.
CLOY revolves around Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin), a wealthy South Korean heiress who accidentally ends up in the North Korean territory of the Korean Demilitarized Zone. While trying to find her way back home, she falls in love with D.P.R.K. Army captain Ri Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin), who helps her return to South Korea. The show became extremely popular and audiences especially praised the show for its accurate portrayal of North Korean reality. There are no sci-fi elements in the original story anywhere, and fans were confused as to how the show will translate into the American context.
Even though Netflix has not yet confirmed the Squid Game news, I wouldn’t put it past them to monetize on their most-watched show to date. Regardless, the majority are of the opinion that they should leave the remakes aside and focus on expanding the original universe itself. It’s one thing to consider is Squid Game was an obscure show that hadn’t found an international audience. But a show that has graced 142 million households across the world already – an American remake of it seems pointless.