Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-Hyuk has had his profile raised to an almost unimaginable degree over the last month or so. A 50-year-old writer and director who spent years trying to get his hyper-violent satire of capitalism off the ground, Hwang is now the creator of one of the biggest shows on the planet. That’s a step up in fame that comes with some major perks, presumably—including getting to hear the thoughts and opinions of a far more famous class of critics.
Like, say, LeBron James, who concluded a recent press conference with a candid conversation about the show’s ending. (Technically, he was just chatting between interviews with Anthony Davis, but their quick TV chat was not only picked up on mic by the attending journalists, but enthusiastically agreed with.) James expressed his unhappiness with the show’s ending, although not, amazingly, about the choice that a particular character makes about their hair. (Baffling. It remains completely baffling to us.)
As it happens, these critiques made it back to Hwang, who, in a recent interview with The Guardian, gave a frankly hilarious answer, i.e., that the star of Space Jam 2 doesn’t get to offer narrative notes to anybody, really.
“Have you seen Space Jam 2?” Hwang responded, laughing, after being informed of James’ critique. “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.’”
Speaking of sequels, Hwang—who is clearly very amused at the sudden interest in his choices and career, cracking jokes throughout the interview—hasn’t signed on for one yet. “Of course there is talk. That’s inevitable because it’s been such a success. I am considering it. I have a very high-level picture in my mind, but I’m not going to work on it straight away.”
He also calls back to an earlier part of the conversation, in which he makes it clear that having one of the most successful TV shows on the planet doesn’t automatically translate to a Squid Game-esque financial windfall. (The Netflix-produced show, which the streamer has reported as an unprecedented hit, apparently didn’t have any performance bonuses built into it its contracts.) “It’s possible,” he says, laughing, “that I have to do season two to become as rich as Squid Game’s winner.”