You’d have to be living under a rock in the second half of 2021 to have missed Netflix’s Korean series Squid Game.
The to-the-death battle of wits captivated the entire globe’s interest – and eventually came to some people’s attention the stream of incredible Korean entertainment available to subscribers around the world.
It’s hard to think that, given how popular the show has become, we almost missed out on Squid Game.
Hwang Dong-hyuk, the show’s creator, said in an interview with Vanity Fair that the notion was initially rejected.
The show’s creator tried to sell it as a feature film in 2009 but was turned down.
“A lot of people told me it was too unrealistic,” Hwang remarked. The project was dubbed ridiculous. During a time when the actual world was facing a worldwide financial crisis, a film about debt and poverty causing people to make drastic life-threatening decisions seems very close to home.
Hwang Dong-hyuk set the script aside and focused on other projects, including directing The Crucible, Miss Granny, and The Fortress, all of which were critically acclaimed.
He didn’t give up on Squid Game, thankfully, and revisited the script in 2018. “It was an odd experience,” he said, “since what appeared so implausible at the time no longer felt so unrealistic.”
There’s something for everyone in this ever-expanding market, from Love Alarm and Itaewon Class to Kingdom and Crash Landing On You. Netflix has already had another blockbuster hit with the K-horror series All Of Us Are Dead, which premiered earlier this year. So, if you can’t find something to watch on the service, you’re missing out on a vast amount of content.
Nothing, however, has yet to match Squid Game’s cultural influence, with scary enormous ‘Red Light, Green Light’ dolls springing up all over the world, as well as various recreations of the games being played by superfans (without the added side of death).
Around Halloween, the unique pink guard uniforms and green competitor tracksuits became so popular that New York City schools outlawed them.
Park Hae-soo (Cho Sang-woo, Player 218) is happy with his contribution to the play and its cultural influence (via EW). “The fact that we made a uniquely Korean story, with a very Korean subject matter, and with all Korean creators – the crew, the staff, and the amazing cast. I’m quite happy about the fact that something we worked on for a long time and showed to the world in Korean language and culture, was appreciated by so many people all over the world and that so many people were connected to it.”
So, after Gi-adventures hun’s in the games, will we find out what happens next to him? Everything you need to know is right here.
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Squid Game Season 2 Release Date
Squid Game 2 has yet to be given an official release date, but it is on its way.
Because Squid Game is one of Netflix’s most popular shows, it was a matter of “when” rather than “if” the show will return for further episodes.
However, we don’t recommend getting too thrilled just yet. We appear to be in for a lengthy wait. During the same interview with Vanity Fair, Hwang Dong-hyuk discussed the progress of the second season, acknowledging that he is in the last stages of talks with Netflix. The sequel to the brutal suspense thriller is expected to arrive on streaming services by the end of 2023, or more likely in 2024, according to the creator.
Hwang revealed in May 2022 that he only has roughly three pages of concepts that he would turn into a script, but that there will be additional games in the future. “Those games are going to put humanity to the test once more.”
Hwang Dong-hyuk responded when asked if the second season would have some of the same thematic concerns:
“I’d like to pose the issue, ‘Is true human solidarity possible?'”
Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed new episodes were commissioned in November 2021, with the new game fans will have to play in the waiting game. (Did you notice what we did? We came up with a game pun. I’m ecstatic.)
“There’s been so much pressure, so much demand, and so much affection for a second season,” he told the Associated Press. So it’s almost as if you don’t give us an option! However, I can confirm that there will be a second season. I’m thinking about that right now. Currently, I’m working on a plan.
“However, I believe it is too early to predict when and how that will occur.” So I’ll make a vow to you… Gi-Hun will return, and he will accomplish something good for the planet.”
Not only that, but it appears like a third season is already in the works.
“I’m in talks with Netflix about season two as well as season three,” Hwang told Korean television KBS (via Korea Times) in December 2021. We’ll get to the bottom of this as soon as possible.”
However, as the first season took two years to complete, don’t expect an official release date anytime soon.
“Writing and rewriting the first two episodes took me six months,” Hwang told Variety. “I then conferred with friends vocally, picking up hints for changes from my own pitching and their reactions.”
Hwang Dong-hyuk acknowledged to Deadline on the red carpet at the PGA Awards ceremony in 2022 that he’s still very early in the creative process for season two.
“All I can say is that there will be more fantastic games,” Hwang stated. “I’m basically brainstorming and collecting ideas for season 2 right now.” I haven’t even begun the writing process.”
Could fan favorites like Kang Sae-byeok (Hoyeon), who was killed off in season one, make a comeback? “I’ll try something to bring them back to season two,” Hwang added.
He quipped, “Let’s pretend [Kang Sae-byeok] has a twin sister, you’ll see.”
Squid Game Season 2 Cast
Because of the nature of the Squid Game, don’t expect to see too many recognizable faces in season two.
All but one of the 456 contestants in the inaugural season perished.
But one guy you can bet on is Seong Gi-hun – played by Lee Jung-Jae – who, after making it out of the game alive, was enticed back in after witnessing someone else being recruited for the mega-millions life/death game.
The rest of the cast, aside from Lee, is open for dispute, with almost everyone having met their maker.
Previous characters, such as actors Park Hae-soo, Oh Yeong-su, and Hoyeon, could make a cameo appearance, but only in flashbacks as Gi-hun returns to the games while remembering his fallen comrades.
Gong Yoo, the Korean idol best known to international audiences as the hero of Train To Busan, is another big figure that fans would like to see a return.
Gong’s high-profile cameo was not only a pleasure for fans, but it also lays the stage for a return for his character. After all, he must be recruiting fresh participants to die in the game someplace, so it wouldn’t be difficult to bring Gong’s character back in season two (hopefully with more scenes this time around).
However, let’s hope that any returning VIPs do a better job this time. Many fans panned the Western cast’s performance as the nasty, decadent guys who watch the games unfold from behind the scenes when season one premiered.
In an interview with The Guardian, John D Michaels, who plays VIP One, defended his work, explaining why English-language scenes in Korean productions may appear odd.
“I suppose the first myth to dispel is that they just pick us up off the street,” he explained. “It varies every show, but non-Korean actors frequently act with dialogue that has been translated by a non-native speaker – sometimes even by Google Translate – and thus sounds artificial.
“We also don’t always have the rest of the show’s scripts. We are only given our sequences and have no idea what the tone is going to be. I wouldn’t know whether a Russian actor speaking Russian was reciting his lines correctly or if his intonation was natural if I was editing him.
“It’s possible there will be two takes,” he adds. “One of them could be ideal, while the other is made of wood. If I were editing it, I’d go with the wooden one because it might go faster, cut more cleanly, or have greater continuity.”