Inside gory new Netflix thriller Bargain dubbed 'next Squid Game' with sick organ harvesting scenes | The Sun
A GORY Korean drama with sick organ harvesting scenes has been dubbed the next Squid Game by fans.
The dark Korean drama Bargain premiered on Paramount+ yesterday and has already been compared to the hit Netflix series.
Gritty thriller series Bargain is a new take on a 2015 short film which won several awards at the Mise-en-scène Short Film Festival in South Korea.
It follows three individuals who are forced together to escape a ruined hotel after an earthquake. But of course, that’s not all that’s going on as the dark show features sex scams, violent crime, organ harvesting and organised gangs.
Series director Jeon Woo-sung, who produced the short film, never expected to have the opportunity to make Bargain into a TV show. “We thought it was complete as it was,” he told NME.
It wasn’t until a production company offered him the chance to expand it into a series that he began rewriting the script, which won Best Screenplay at the Canneseries Festival this year.
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Jeon was surprised by the critical success of the series, expecting it to be quite decisive.
However, he did make big changes to make it appeal to a TV audience.
His new vision saw him change the fate and appearance of the main character Noh Hyung-soo (played by Jin Seon-kyu). “In this longer version, I actually wanted to make him look cute so that the audience would love him and bear with him until the end,” he said.
Additionally, he filled in some details of Park Joo-young’s background “to help the audience understand her better.”
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He continued: “I wanted to make these villains more interesting and for the audience to feel a little bit compassionate towards them as well.”
That said, the characters are still villains.
“I wanted to make [the characters] resonate with the audience more while still being villains,” Jeon explained, saying this led him to the decision of adding a third main character to the plot, Keuk-ryul – a man desperately trying to buy a kidney to save his sick father.
“Some people might think that he’s not as bad as the others because he actually had to get an organ for his father but, still, he is a villain as well.”
The collapse of the earthquake in the motel where Joo-young is trying to sell Hyung-soo’s organs to the highest bidder is an important part of the series.
“The building is a metaphor for capitalism,” Jeon explains. “To be more specific, I actually wanted to use it as a metaphor of the so-called ‘evil’ capitalism in Korean society. There’s the patriarchy and other factors [affecting] Korea.”
He added that the building collapse is meant to reflect that “capitalism is on the verge.”
The dark, violent nature of the thriller series and the common theme of capitalism has drawn a comparison between Bargain and Netflix’s hit series, something Jeon didn’t initially pick up on.
“It’s really interesting for me to see people talking about Squid Game and comparing it to Bargain,” he said. “I actually didn’t think of it while we were developing this series.”
Squid Game premiered on Netflix in 2021 and is set to return for a second season, having raked in over $900 million (£730 million) in profits for the streamer.
According to the director, the similarities come because both series are products of their environment in Korea.
“I think all Korean filmmakers are thinking about capitalism and how, in Korean society, no one actually backs you up and you have to survive by yourself,” he explained.
However, the director did take inspiration for other films, saying 1917 and Birdman really influenced where the film was set and how it was shot.
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But this made the series pretty dark. To counterbalance that, he said: “I decided to put some black humour in and I was confident that it wouldn’t disturb the whole storyline, but make our audience feel refreshed.”
Bargain is available to stream on Paramount+.
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