Netflix’s Squid Game is the wildly successful Netflix show set in South Korea in which people who are in a desperate situation financially are recruited by a shadowy organization to participate in a macabre contest with life-or-death stakes.
If that premise sounds familiar, it should, as it is part of a subgenre of storytelling known as survival drama and has certain similarities with films like Battle Royale, The Hunger Games, and The Running Man.
However, Squid Game is pointed to some as bearing a little too much of a resemblance to one film in particular — Takashi Mike’s 2014 movie As the Gods Will.
This plagiarism controversy is retained in certain similarities that Squid Game has to the Japanese film. For instance, it follows characters that are forced to play various games that will kill them if they lose. The high-school characters even play a variation on Red Light, Green Light as the first game. In addition, some very familiar with both properties claim there are some eerily similar shots as well.
Despite some similarities, the claim that Squid Game is a ripoff doesn’t hold much water upon close scrutiny, however. For one thing, the contestants in Squid Game are participating voluntarily. Secondly, although both movies center around deadly childhood games, the forces behind them are different; As the Gods Will has deities orchestrating the proceedings, rather than reclusive and malevolent billionaires as part of a secret organization. And finally, Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk, who denies the plagiarism allegations, began working on the show all the way back in 2009.
Do you think Squid Game was similar to other movies you’ve seen?