‘The 8 Show’ started development before ‘Squid Game’, says series director

The 8 Show director Han Jae-rim has revealed that the new K-drama series had started development before Squid Game, which it has been often compared to.

In in a new interview with The Korea Times, The 8 Show director Han Jae-rim told that publication that he “understands” that the new Netflix K-drama had “started getting developed before [Squid Game]”. He added that he thought twice about working on the series following the “explosive success” of Squid Game.

Han later outlined what he believes are the differences between the two K-dramas, saying that they diverge “in terms of rules and conflicts”. He added: “In Squid Game, someone else has to die, so I can live and the protagonist feels satisfaction as others get eliminated. But in our work, no one should die, and everyone must survive together, which is the complete opposite.”

In The 8 Show, eight participants are trapped in a strange eight-story building, where they’ll slowly earn money as time passes. It also features a power structure that’s based on the floor a contestant is staying on, with those on the bottom floors at their mercy those above them.

“I wanted to create a hierarchy by naming the characters by their floor. And I tried to make it easier for [viewers] to empathize with any of the characters by not providing them with detailed backstories,” Han said of the series. “These eight people are meant there to entertain.”

The director also spoke about how he had “had many ethical concerns” during his time working on The 8 Show, saying he had wondered “how far I should go to provide that entertainment”. He added: “I wanted to create a work that not only entertains but also raises questions and discussions about such issue.”

Meanwhile, Netflix has released the first teaser for its upcoming Korean variety show, Agents of Mystery, starring aespa‘s Karina. The series will premiere internationally June 18 exclusively on the streaming service.


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