Ji Young From “Squid Game” Was Originally Written As A Man — Here’s Why Hwang Dong Hyuk Changed It

“Ji Young” was almost “Ji Yong!”

Lee Yoo Mi‘s character Ji Young is definitely a favorite among Squid Game viewers, even if she was only in a few episodes! Her refreshing personality and relationship with Jung Ho Yeon‘s character Sae Byeok captivated hearts all around the world.

Lee Yoo Mi (left) and Jung Ho Yeon (right). | @leeyoum262/Instagram

But one big detail about her was changed in between writing the script and creating the show: “Ji Young” was originally “Ji Yong” — a man!

| @leeyoum262/Instagram

Squid Game creator Hwang Dong Hyuk revealed this information during a commentary with Lee Jung JaePark Hae Soo, and art director Chae Kyoung Sun. His intention behind creating the relationship between Ji Young and Sae Byeok was to contrast the violent, death games with a pure, strong bond between strangers.

They’re complete strangers but there’s some kind of friendship between them. A bond formed in a short period of time. Empathy and understanding of each other. I thought they would be the perfect example to portray such feelings.

— Hwang Dong Hyuk

| Netflix Korea/YouTube

Hwang Dong Hyuk first wrote Squid Game 10 years ago, and originally Ji Young was a boy named Ji Yong. But while developing the script, Hwang decided that the “bond between women” would fit in better.

When I wrote this 10 years ago, Ji Young was a boy. The name was ‘Ji Yong.’ But I thought a bond between women would make more sense. I think it’s the scene that makes you cry the most.

— Hwang Dong Hyuk

| Netflix Korea/YouTube 

Considering Ji Young is one of the most beloved characters from the show, especially among international audiences, it’s definitely interesting to think about how the story would have been different if she were “Ji Yong” instead. Read more about the actress who plays Ji Young below!

Meet Lee Yoo Mi, The Actress Who Plays Ji Young In “Squid Game”

Source: Netflix Korea and Instagram

Squid Game