Squid Game: What Would An English Remake Look Like?

What would the games in Squid Game look like in the UK remake?

Squid game tug of war v human pyramid
Netflix / Tough Mudder

As is often the case with successful international cinema and television, it's more than likely that at some point the Americans or us Brits will come along and make a remake. It's not necessary or needed, it won't be anywhere near as good as the original, but for some reason (money) sure enough there's always call for a Western re-write of any well-received foreign offering.

Squid Game lends itself to this kind of borrowing because of its clear-cut nature. The crux of the show hinges on people playing beloved childhood games with deadly consequences for losing, and across the globe we have a surprising amount of childhood experiences in common.

To adapt this Korean horror-drama for a Western audience, it is likely that the games would need to be slightly changed to reflect English or American tastes. Not many UK kids have ever played a game using a honeycomb brittle circle before, just as I don't imagine many young Korean kids have as much of a love for a game of Rounders as the average British teen.

With some slight adjustments and clever reimagining, Squid Game could be brought back to audiences in a completely overhauled way in the coming years, so let's have a look at what it might consist of.

6. Red Light, Green Light - Musical Statues

Squid game tug of war v human pyramid

The very first game that kicks it all off is 'Red Light, Greenlight', an anglicised translation/version of 무궁화꽃이 피었습니다 - meaning The Rose of Sharon Has Bloomed. A popular Korean playground game, it sees one person nominated as 'it' who stands ahead of the players at the finish line. To win the game, players have to cross the finish line where It stands.

The Korean game gets its name from Korea's national flower, the Rose of Sharon. To denote when players are allowed to run toward the finish line, It sings the line 'the rose of Sharon has bloomed' to a tune. Once the song has finished, you must be still. They can sing it at any tempo to catch players out, but in Squid Game we see it sang increasingly fast.

Those who watched Squid Game dubbed in English will be completely unfamiliar with this style of playing, as they only heard the audio for 'red light' and 'green light' denoting when players should stop and go. If that had been the case, the game would have been a whole lot harder!

Having the song allows players to estimate when they are going to need to be still, allowing Player 001 to always finish exactly on time as he knows it so well. In UK versions we would likely play it with only the words 'red' and 'green', in a style similar to another popular party game called Musical Statues.

Sharing its musical element with the Korean game, players would be allowed to move forward as music played (perhaps to the tune of the The Blue Danube we hear so often in the show), but as soon as the music stops they would have to be still. Whilst this isn't usually played with a finish line, instead just running around until everyone is eliminated, this would be the best UK alternative to Squid Game's first challenge.


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