Squid Game gets reality competition version, starts search for players

Rossane Ramos - The Philippine Star
Squid Game gets reality competition version, starts search for players
Netflix greenlights Squid Game Season 2 and Squid Game: The Challenge.

How far will you go?

Netflix has greenlighted the creation of the biggest reality competition series, Squid Game: The Challenge.

Just like the hit series, the competition will take in 456 real players to compete for the life-changing reward of $4.56 million, the largest lump sum cash prize in reality television history.

Players will be challenged through games inspired by the original show and new additions that will test their strategies, alliances and character.

“Squid Game took the world by storm with director Hwang’s captivating story and iconic imagery. We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment,” said Brandon Riegg, Netflix’s vice president of Unscripted and Documentary Series.

He added: “Fans of the drama series are in for a fascinating and unpredictable journey as our 456 real world contestants navigate the biggest competition series ever, full of tension and twists, with the biggest ever cash prize at the end.”

The co-producers of the show Studio Lambert and The Garden have opened recruitment for contestants via SquidGameCasing.com. Currently, they are in search of English-language speakers from any part of the world to compete in the United Kingdom.

The scripted series Squid Game is Netflix’s record holder for the most popular series of all time, with over 1.65 billion view hours in just the first 28 days of its release.

It was recently announced that the hit South Korean series was renewed for a second season. The director, writer and executive producer Hwang Dong-hyuk made the announcement with a letter for the viewers.

“It took 12 years to bring the first season of Squid Game to life last year. But it took 12 days for Squid Game to become the most popular Netflix series ever,” he wrote.

“As the writer, director and producer of Squid Game, a huge shoutout to fans around the world. Thank you for watching and loving our show.

“And now, Gi-hun returns. The Front Man returns. Season 2 is coming. The man in the suit with ddakji might be back. You’ll also be introduced to Young-hee’s boyfriend, Cheol-su. Join us once more for a whole new round,” he ended.

Squid Game stars Lee Jung-Jae (New World, Assassination) and Park Hae-Soo (Time to Hunt, Prison Playbook). The series tells the story of 456 people in dire need of money invited to participate in a series of Korean traditional games such as Red Light, Green Light but with death as the price of losing.

Besides Squid Game, other Korean dramas renewed for additional seasons are the zombie high school thriller All of Us Are Dead and monster drama Sweet Home.

All of Us Are Dead’s first season, which follows a group of students fighting off a zombie outbreak in their high school, topped Netflix charts around the world, and remains one of two Korean shows — after Squid Game — in Netflix’s Top 10 most popular non-English TV shows.

After its premiere, the 12-episode show shot straight into the Top 10 most watched non-English TV series in 91 countries, and stayed there for two consecutive weeks. It also drew 361.02 million viewing hours in its first 10 days.

Meanwhile, the streaming service confirmed a back-to-back production of Sweet Home Seasons 2 and 3, with an expanded storyline and cast.

Director Lee Eung-bok said in a statement, “Season 2 will include a new setting, and the technical details that we couldn’t refine in Season 1 will be further honed in Season 2.”

Season 1, which landed on Netflix in 2020, went on to win international awards such as the 2021 Asian Academy Creative Awards (AACA) and the 3rd Asia Contents Awards.


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