Ever since Squid Game premiered on Netflix on Sept. 17, fans have been sharing their mostly positive reactions to the South Korean survival series, but now it's being accused of plagiarism.
Warning: Minor spoilers from Squid Game Season 1 ahead.
Written and directed by Hawang Dong-hyuk (Miss Granny, The Fortress), the nine-episode series follows a group trapped in a game where they risk their lives to win 45.6 billion won ($38.5 million) in a brutal survival game.
Over on social media, some viewers pointed out similarities between Squid Game and As The Gods Will, a gruesome 2014 Japanese film that also features survival death matches using childhood games. Others have also pointed out supposed similarities in filmography.
Twitter user Fra77777777 shared an image of both titles side-by-side to highlight the similarities: close-up shots of giant dolls, a scene where a character dove at the last second, and the countdown clock.
Another Twitter user pointed out that the first game in both titles had similar rules and punishments for players. Squid Game used Red Light, Green Light while As The Gods Will used the Japanese game of Daruma. In both games, one "seeker" faces the wall or a tree for a short period of time before suddenly turning around to catch any participant that moves. In As The Gods Will, those who move have their heads exploded, and in Squid Game, they were shot.
Some viewers also pointed out how another game, which involved contestants hopping on glass tiles, was said to be inspired by the manga version of As The Gods Will.
However, others have noted that Dong-hyuk had previously mentioned that the Squid Game script had been in the works since 2008, as reported by The Korea Herald.
During the press conference for Netflix's hit South Korean survival series, Hwang addressed the alleged similarities, explaining that he wrote the script a couple of years before As The Gods Will, which was released in 2014, NME reported.
"It is true that [the first game is] similar, but after that, there aren't any similarities," Dong-hyuk said. "I worked on [Squid Game in] 2008 and 2009, and at the time, the first game [had already been] fixed as RedLight Green Light."
The filmmaker said that he was forced to shelve the script due to lack of interest until it was picked up as a Netflix original series about a decade later.
Squid Game is now available to stream on Netflix. If you're wondering if there will be a second season for the South Korean series, check out more information here.