If there’s one thing absolutely nobody can deny, it’s that Netflix’s ‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ transforms the nearly eponymous South Korean series into the biggest reality competition show ever. After all, it revolves around 456 strangers from across the globe as they come together to face one another in a myriad of fun contests for a chance to walk away with a grand prize of $4.56 million.
Though if we’re being honest, the most intriguing aspect of this production is the almost identical series of games these players navigate, with the only difference being the stakes aren’t life or death. So, of course, it has naturally made us wonder precisely how accurate all the sets as well as uniforms utilized here are when compared to the Hwang Dong-Hyuk-created, record-breaking 2021 original.
Are the Sets and Uniforms the Same?
First things first, while the principal photography of ‘Squid Game’ spanned Daejeon and Ongjin in South Korea, ‘Squid Game: The Challenge‘ was filmed across two studios in Bedford plus London, England. They’re thus not technically the same, yet it has since been revealed producers of the latter contacted those on the original to ensure their backdrops were identical in every way — whether wall designs, room sizes, dorm settings, or colors, they were all carefully followed.
In fact, it appears as if designers also kept these aspects in mind while planning how to set up the new games to feature in this show, especially since there’s a color and style pattern to it all. It’s hence no surprise that when Hwang Dong-Hyuk visited this independent spin-off’s sets, alongside surprise guest Anupam Tripathi (aka Ali Abdul, player 199), he was utterly blown away.
“They actually wanted to build the set exactly like the original set from the original show,” Hwang told Anupam during their tour. “They asked us a lot of questions about how we built and also blueprints. Every detail about the set. Look at those beds; exactly the same as in our set… This set kind of makes me [feel] like I have to do a better job… in season two. I have to top this set.”
Hwang then went on to compliment the Dalgina game room too, noting that its size plus cloud paintings were identical to his decor — the swing alone was different: ‘The Challenge’ had a bigger one. He even appreciated the complex Marbles game stage by stating, “We are on the set. Back in the ‘Squid Game.’ … Wow, look at the details. Even they match the color and the shape of the gate.”
Coming to the uniforms, considering the fact UK-based Rikki Finlay has been credited as the official costume designer in ‘Squid Game: The Challenge,’ we assume they are a different source altogether. However, the clothes are eerily alike for both contestants and guards — from color tones to silhouette cuts to socks as well as shoes, it all appears to be an exact duplicate of the original. The sole difference is that the guards do not carry weapons. We actually say “sole” because even the players’ steel water battles with their numbers on them plus dormitory beddings match the ones we see in ‘Squid Game’ (2021).