In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, director Hwang revealed that the ending of the ninth episode where Seong Gi-hun (player 456) chose to stay back in the country to seek revenge on those who designed the deadly game, instead of boarding a flight to visit his daughter, could have been different.
“We actually wrestled between two different scenarios for the ending,” the director revealed. “There was one, the other alternate ending, where Gi-hun would get on the plane and leave.”
“And then there was of course the one where he would turn back and walk towards the camera,” he added.
“We constantly asked ourselves, is it really right for Gi-hun to make the decision to leave and go see his family, to pursue his own happiness? Is that the right way for us to really propose the question or the message that we wanted to convey through the series?”
“We came to the conclusion that the question that we wanted to propose cannot be done if he left on the plane,” he said.
“The question that we want to answer - why has the world come to what it is now? - can only be answered or can only be proposed if Gi-hun turned back and walked towards the camera. So that’s how we ended up with that ending in the finale.”
In the end, Hwang ended up going with the first ending.
Running for nine episodes, Squid Game’s first season follows an elaborate tournament in which desperate debtors are pitted against each other in a number of deadly children’s games, with the aim of winning a huge cash prize.
Ever since its release, the series became Netflix’s biggest ever launch, and is estimated to be worth almost $900 million (£654m) for the streaming service.
On Tuesday (9 November), it was also confirmed that Squid Game will be returning for a second season
Last month, American basketball player LeBron James tore into the show’s ending where he was caught speaking to his teammate Anthony Davis about Squid Game after a game.
“Yeah, I did finish it. You finish it? You watched it? You done?”James asked Davis in a video captured by Kyle Goon of The Orange County Register.
He continued: “Yeah, I didn’t like the ending though. I know they start it off with a season two but, like, get on the f****** flight and go see your daughter, bro. Like what are you doing?”
James’ comments made their way to Hwang, who responded: “Have you seen Space Jam 2? LeBron James is cool and can say what he wants. I respect that. I’m very thankful he watched the whole series. But I wouldn’t change my ending.”
“That’s my ending. If he has his own ending that would satisfy him, maybe he could make his own sequel. I’ll check it out and maybe send him a message saying, ‘I liked your whole show, except the ending,’” he said in an interview with The Guardian.