Squid Game is the massive Netflix TV success from South Korea, doing for Korean TV what Lupin did for French TV, and another demonstration of the globalisation of popular culture that streaming services are making possible that would have been inconceivable a few years ago. And of course, when such shows become overnight successes, eyes look to what else Squid Game is similar to. From The Running Man to Battle Royale, there is one property at DC Comics that might be worth another look.
Unfollow is a comic book created by Rob Williams and Michael Dowling for DC Vertigo in 2015 tells the story of a secretive billionaire announcing that he is terminally ill and has decided to bestow his entire fortune to be shared by a seemingly random sample of 140 people from around the world, or rather whoever is still alive when he dies. When one of them turns up dead, the others realize that they are all suspects and the next potential victim.
Unfollow was announced as being picked up as a TV show by ABC, to be written and executive produced by The Originals and Superman And Lois showrunner Michael Narducci, made by Warner Bros and with a script commitment from ABC, but there has been no mention since 2015. Might Warners/ABC have missed a trick here? Could they have had their own Squid Game five years ago?
Squid Game was written and directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk, starring Lee Jung-jae, and released worldwide on Netflix last month, with very positive reviews and became one of Netflix's most-watched programs across the world.
Unfollow was cancelled after a year-and-a-half as a comic book, but is available in three trade paperbacks and digitally. Might this be a case for a new Complete Unfollow? Or going back to ABC? I asked Rob Williams on Twitter "so have you seen Squid Game? Please don't unfollow me…" He replied "Not yet but you're not the first person to say that."