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‘Squid Game’ Director Hwang Dong-hyuk Sets ‘Killing Old People’ as Next Film, Will Be ‘More Violent’

Hwang's sure-to-be-controversial follow-up will draw from the work of the mind-bending Italian novelist Umberto Eco.

HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 08: Hwang Dong-hyuk speaks onstage at the "Squid Game" Guild Screening at NeueHouse Los Angeles on November 08, 2021 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for Netflix)

Hwang Dong-hyuk

Getty Images for Netflix

Squid Game” director Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed during a session at MipTV, as reported by Variety, that his next film will be titled “Killing Old People Club” and will be adapted from the work of mind-bending Italian novelist Umberto Eco. Hwang said he has already written a 25-page treatment, and the feature will be “another controversial film” and “more violent than ‘Squid Game.'”

The director joked that he may have to hide from the elderly after the film is released. In the meantime, Hwang is returning to South Korea to pen “Squid Game” Season 2 for Netflix, with an estimated release date at the end of 2024.

And Hwang counts his favorite compliment as something Steven Spielberg told him at the AFI Awards luncheon. “Steven Spielberg told me, ‘I watched your whole show in three days and now I want to steal your brain!'” the Netflix showrunner said. “It was like the biggest compliment I ever got in my life because he’s my film hero. I grew up watching his movies.”

“Squid Game” originally was slated to be a feature film and was over 10 years in the making after Hwang wrote the script in 2009. “I knew that maybe in the near future the right time for this time for the material,” he added. “I waited and waited, and I made like three features [in the meantime].”

Hwang continued, “When I showed it to my producer, she said, ‘Yeah, you have to make it in the States, like, in a foreign country, not in Korea, because it’s more like a global show.”

Hwang pitched “Squid Game” as a film to Netflix after the streamer launched in South Korea in 2016. The creator previously told IndieWire that the concept was “not realistic at the time” since it was “too bizarre” and wouldn’t be a financial success as a film.

“It was violent and there would be some issue with ratings and the target audience would shrink,” Hwang said. “But 10 years had passed and for Netflix, their distribution system is different from films; they have less restrictions, so I could go about my own way of making this film and I felt less pressure about these issues.”

The nine-episode series premiered on Netflix in September 2021, with “Squid Game” taking on new meaning following Donald Trump’s tenure as the President of the United States. “I think he kind of resembles one of the VIPs in the Squid Game,” Hwang told IndieWire. “It’s almost like he’s running a game show, not a country, like giving people horror. After all these issues happened, I thought it was about time that this show goes out into the world.”

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