Netflix series Squid Game accused of plagiarising Japanese movie As The Gods Will

Squid Game has garnered rave reviews and is trending online.
Squid Game has garnered rave reviews and is trending online.PHOTO: NETFLIX

SEOUL - Viewers of Netflix series Squid Game have noticed that the K-drama has some scenes and plotlines which are similar to a 2014 Japanese movie, As The Gods Will.

The plots of both shows involve survival death matches using childhood games and there are also similarities in filmography, such as a close-up shot of a giant doll head and a countdown clock scene.

Squid Game, which premiered on the streaming service last Friday (Sept 17), has garnered rave reviews and is trending online. It stars Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo and Jung Ho-yeon.

The nine-episode series follows a group of desperados who have to play twisted versions of their childhood games for a chance to win 45.6 billion won (S$52.3 million).

Its director Hwang Dong-hyuk is best known for the 2011 movie Silenced, based on a true story about the abuse of deaf students in South Korea.

He had previously mentioned that the script for Squid Game had been in the works since 2008 to 2009, but was shelved as there was a lack of interest until Netflix came knocking a decade later.

In a press conference, he said: "It is true that (the first game is) similar, but after that, there aren't any similarities."

He pointed out that As The Gods Will was created in the 2010s, after his initial idea for Squid Game, which came to him after reading a lot of manga on the survival genre.

While he was hesitant to claim ownership of the story, he added: "But if I had to say it, I would say I did it first."