Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk had jokes for LeBron James, who critiqued the hit Netflix show’s surprise ending: “Have you seen Space Jam 2?”
LeBron James is many things — an NBA legend, an entrepreneur, an actor — but one thing he is not qualified to be is a television critic.
At least, that’s what Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk joked when James critiqued Hwang’s ending of the acclaimed Netflix phenomenon.
In an in-depth interview with The Guardian’s Stuart Jeffries, Hwang described how closely the show mirrored his own life. After the global financial crisis in 2008, Hwang and his family found themselves in dire economic straits. During those difficult times, Hwang found solace in comic book stories of survival. Hwang wondered, “If there was a survival game like these in reality, would I join it to make money for my family?” Even the “squid game” for which the show is named is based on a childhood game that Hwang played during his youth.
The director answers a flurry of questions, including one on what LeBron James offered in way of storytelling critique. While James enjoyed the show, which is now the most-watched show in Netflix history, he admittedly did not like the way it ended.
“I didn’t like the ending though,” James said earlier this month. “What are you doing?”
Hwang held his own in his response, hitting James with a biting question of his own.
“Have you seen Space Jam 2?” Hwang laughed as he asked Jeffries.
Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk invites LeBron James to create a sequel for the Netflix phenomenon
Jokes aside, Hwang welcomed James’ plot critiques with a friendly invitation: James is more than welcome to create his own sequel for the show.
Of course, Hwang may not like James’ ending, either.
“LeBron James is cool and can say what he wants,” Hwang continued in his Guardian interview. “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.’”
In James’ defense, Squid Game ends on a cliffhanger that sets up for a thrilling second season, but the protagonist’s last decision is understandably frustrating given the show’s unrelenting struggle.
It’s not like James doesn’t know entertainment — his SpringHill Company produced Space Jam 2 — but the basketball star is no stranger to critiques for his own take on the beloved Space Jam story.