Steven Spielberg has heaped praise on Netflix’s Squid Game at the Producers Guild Awards, believing it has changed the game for Hollywood, and America’s view on foreign productions.
In a speech at the PGA Awards held in Los Angeles, Spielberg spoke with great respect for the series that came out of nowhere to dominate the internet during the second half of 2021. The famed director praised it for “changing the math entirely” for studios, while also thanking Netflix CEO Ted Sarandos for giving the series a platform.
“Squid Game comes along and changes the math entirely for all of us. Thank you, Ted. A long time ago it was domestic stars that brought the audience into movies. Today, it’s interesting, unknown people can star entire miniseries, can be in movies.”
Spielberg and producer of Being the Ricardos Todd Black cited the show’s success as proof that productions no longer need mega-stars attached to them to be profitable. Black said that the days of needing multiple A-list celebrities to greenlight a series or movie to studios was over and that, nowadays, only an “anchor” casting was needed – and not necessarily as the lead.
“Okay, I’m going to have a star in a smaller role. I’m going to have an unknown in the lead role.”
“Now, you can go to the streaming service or the studio and say, ‘Okay, well, I’ll get name the name to play for three days in this role but I’m going to go with a total unknown, […] Nine times out of 10 if the script is good enough and the budget is small enough, you can pull that off.”
Squid Game‘s profound impact is still being felt, with a long-term future planned by Netflix for the Korean drama. The second season is currently in the works by Netflix, after confirmation in January.