The first season of Squid Game was something that we’ve been told would never happen: a surprise. No one expected a South Korean series, presented only with subtitles, to become a worldwide phenomenon and one of Netflix’s biggest series of all time. Yet that’s what happened, and the tale of Seong Gi-hun competing in deadly children’s games managed the impossible.
After the conclusion of Season 1, fans were already pleading with Netflix for Squid Game Season 2. After one year of waiting, finally, the announcement was made, that there would be a Season 2. Now, fans were left wondering who would be coming back and what would be the new season’s focus?
Well, we have the answers!
Squid Game Made History
Squid Game Season 1 almost immediately became the most-watched series in Netflix history. The South Korean series still stands as the most successful non-English show of all time and the only one to win an Emmy for Best Actor in a Drama Series (going to Lee Jung-Jae), Best Director (Hwang Dong-hyuk).
Within its first month of release, the series had been watched in over 144 million homes, with 1.65 billion watched hours.
Critics and fans loved Squid Game, with the series remaining 95 percent fresh on Rotten Tomatoes and a viewer score of 84 percent. Social media has remained filled with creators running their own versions of the challenges from the show. Most notable is MrBeast, the most popular YouTuber on the planet and with all of the success, a second season seemed inevitable.
There Were Originally No Plans For A Season 2
While everyone was hoping Squid Game Season 2 would become a reality, there was a concern that the sudden success of the first season would be too much. The stress Hwang put himself under for Season 1 was so much that he had no plans for a second season. Once the series became a worldwide hit, he started thinking about what to do to keep it going.
In November 2021, Hwang publicly stated that he was in talks with Netflix for Squid Game Season 2. By January 2022, Netflix announced during an earnings call that the Squid Game universe was only beginning, followed six months later by the official announcement.
While it’s great news for fans of the first season, there’s rumbling that it’s going to pull the focus away from the contestants and in a brand new direction.
Possible Plot For Season 2
There’s more to the world of Squid Game than the demented game itself. In an interview with The Times, Hwang explained Squid Game Season 2 would focus on The Front Man and the police.
The dual focus, separate from the contestants of Season 1, would dive into the backstory of the bizarre contest itself and the failures of the South Korean police.
“I think the issue with police officers is not just an issue in Korea. I see it on the global news that the police force can be very late in acting on things—there are more victims or a situation gets worse because of them not acting fast enough. This was an issue that I wanted to raise.”Hwang Dong-hyuk on the focus of Squid Game Season 2
After the bombshell reveal at the end of Season 1 regarding the identity of The Front Man as Hwang In-ho, the “missing” brother of policeman Hwang Jun-ho, it seems clear that Squid Game Season 2 will explain the backstory of the bonkers revelation. In addition, the salesman who recruits participants, played by Gong Yoo, will get more screen time, and his backstory will be explained.
The Returning Cast
Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-Jae) is back for Squid Game Season 2, and this time, instead of trying to pay off debts, he’s out for revenge. As fans predicted, Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-jun) comes back after being shot and falling off a cliff. A total of twelve new players have been announced, and while there’s likely to be more, it’s almost a complete refresh following the bloodshed of Season 1.
Netflix recently released a video about the cast for Season 2:
Yet, with all the news about the surviving characters from Season 1 coming back and the new blood for Squid Game Season 2, there are even more characters that might be returning.
Some of the dead contestants may reappear, presumably through flashbacks, as Hwang has admitted he feels bad over killing off some of his favorites, but back then, he thought it would be only a one-season show.
When Will Season 2 Be Released?
Despite all the good news about the cast and the plot hints for Squid Game Season 2, there’s some bad news for fans. That’s the release date, which is still unknown as of this point.
Thankfully for Netflix, the show is a South Korean production, which means the dual WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes that have paralyzed Hollywood for months aren’t slowing down production on Season 2.
The cast has already done a table read for Squid Game Season 2, with filming expected to start later in 2023. A late 2024 or early 2025 release date is not out of the question, depending on how much work has to be done in post-production.
Squid Game Spin-Offs
Before Squid Game Season 2 is released, Netflix is making the show a reality with Squid Game: The Challenge, a competition featuring 456 players, and of course, there’s $4.56 million on the line. A release date for November 2023 was announced via Tudum, which also revealed the first season will consist of 10 episodes.
In an expose from Variety earlier this year, contestants alleged that Netflix was abusing them, keeping them in a large hangar in the U.K. amid freezing temperatures. The streamer responded, insisting that no one suffered serious harm, a claim backed up by the local emergency services, which denied reports they had been called out to the production site.
Despite the controversy, expect Squid Game: The Challenge to be a smash hit when it hits the streaming service later this year.