Hwang Donk-hyuk, the creator of Netflix’s global sensation “Squid Game,” responded to LeBron James‘ criticism of the show’s ending by referencing his latest movie project. It didn’t take long for the Lakers superstar to shoot back.
The back and forth
Following James’ post-game conference after a preseason loss to the Warriors, the four-time NBA champion was caught expressing his distaste for the show’s finale. “Yeah, I did finish it,” LeBron said to Anthony Davis. “You finish it? You watched it? You done? Yeah, I didn’t like the ending, though. I know they start it off with a Season 2, but, like, get on the f—— flight and go see your daughter, bro. Like, what are you doing?”
A small part of Squid Game’s record-breaking viewership — the show became Netflix’s biggest series launch with 111 million viewers worldwide — felt the same way about the series denouement. But none of it resounded to the extent of James’ critique — so much that the series director caught it as well.
Donk-hyuk was asked about LeBron’s comments during an interview with The Guardian. He came up with the idea of Squid Game in 2008 and had to wait until 2019 before someone invested in it. The wait alone, plus the global success of his project, made James’ criticism all the more personal. So he made sure his response was also personal.
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.'
Hwang Donk-hyuk, The Guardian
Artists will always be sensitive about their art — hence Donk-hyuk’s response. But it seems he’s gotten way too huffy way too soon. Based on LeBron’s reaction, the Lakers superstar feels the same way.
Squid Game vs. Space Jam 2
While ‘Space Jam 2‘ didn’t get good reviews, it grossed $162 million at the box office. On the other hand, ‘Squid Game,’ which cost seven times less to produce –$21.4 million compared to $150 million — generated nearly $900 million, according to Bloomberg.
Global success-wise, it’s clear that the Korean drama achieved greater success than the sequel to the legendary basketball movie from the 90s. In terms of the back and forth between two guys heavily involved with the production of both projects, I’ll let you decide who’s the winner of that battle.