Image Credit: Netflix
Squid Game made history when it debuted on Netflix in September 2021. The South Korean survival drama television series surpassed Bridgerton to become the most-watched show ever on the streaming service, a record that the series still holds today. Squid Game features a competition involving 456 players who are struggling financially and play deadly children’s games to win the grand prize. The series was nominated for 14 Emmy Awards and won six, including Outstanding Lead Actor for Lee Jung-jae and Outstanding Director for Hwang Dong-hyuk.
After Squid Game‘s massive worldwide success, Netflix renewed the series for season two on June 12, 2022. Netflix also adapted the series into a reality show that premiered in November 2023.
Squid Game season 2 will premiere in 2024. Netflix released the first look at the upcoming season on February 1. Keep reading to get all the updates about Squid Game season 2.
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Squid Game Season 1 Recap
Season 1 of Squid Game follows Seong Gi-hun, a divorced father who is invited to play a series of children’s games for a massive cash prize. After he’s taken to an unknown location, he finds himself among 456 total players who are imprisoned by masked guards who take orders from the Front Man. They play the first game, Red Light, Green Light, and discover that the losers are killed on the spot, with each death adding money to the grand prize. Gi-hun forms alliances with some of the other players including his childhood friend Cho Sang-woo, North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok, Pakistani migrant worker Ali Abdul, and an elderly man with a brain tumor named Oh II-nam. Their enemies are gangster Jang Deok-su and con woman Han Mi-nyeo.
As the games are going on, police officer Hwang Jun-ho sneaks in to find his missing brother. Jun-ho makes it to another island and tries to call for help, before the Front Man finds him and reveals himself to be Jun-ho’s brother, In-ho. Jun-ho refuses to join the games and is shot by In-ho and falls off a cliff to his presumed death.
Lee Jung-jae in ‘Squid Game’ (Photo: Noh Juhan | Netflix)
The final game comes down to Gi-hun and Sang-woo. Gi-hun lets Sang-woo live, but Sang-woo decides to stab himself in the neck and he dies. Gi-hun comes home with a bank card to access the prize money but he learns that his mother has died. One year passes and Gi-hun still hasn’t used the prize money. He discovers that Oh II-nam is alive and is the mastermind behind the games. Oh II-nam dies and Gi-hun decides to give a share of the prize money to Sae-byeok’s brother and Sang-woo’s mother. As Gi-hun prepares to fly to LA to reconnect with his daughter, he sees the same recruiter who got him to play the games, and calls a phone number to find out who is running the game now. After the person on the phone call refers to Gi-hun as Player 456, he decides to not board the plane.
When Will Squid Game Season 2 Come Out?
At a press conference days after the 2022 Emmy Awards, writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed that Squid Game season 2 will film in 2023 and be released in 2024. “We will start shooting Season 2 next year and it’ll be released the following year,” he said, according to Variety. Netflix has yet to announce the official premiere date for the new season.
Squid Game season 2 (Photo: Netflix)
Who Is In The Cast Of Squid Game Season 2?
The Squid Game season 2 cast will be very different than season 1 since so many characters died. Cho Sang-woo (Park Hae-soo), Kang Sae-byeok (HoYeon Jung), Ali Abdul (Anupam Tripathi), Oh II-nam (O Yeong-su), Hwang Jun-ho (Wi Ha-joon), Jang Deok-su (Heo Sung-tae), and Han Mi-nyeo (Kim Joo-ryong) did not survive the first season. But writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk has said that he’d bring back some of the dead characters. “I want to revive Ji-young, but her best friend Sae-byeok also died, so I’m thinking what to do,” he said at a news conference in Sept. 2022. “So many characters died, especially beloved ones died. I’m sorry I killed them so easily; I didn’t know this was coming.”
Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) and Front Man (Lee Byung-hun) didn’t die and will be in season 2. This was confirmed by Hwang Dong-hyuk in a letter that Netflix shared when they renewed the show.
In a cast announcement teaser that was released during Netflix’s TUDUM event on June 17, the returning cast members were revealed along with new players. In addition to Lee Jung-jae and Lee Byung-hun, Wi Ha-jun will return as Hwang Jun-ho and Gong Yoo. The new players are Yim Si-wan, Kang Ha-neul, Park Sung-hoon, and Yang Dong-Geun.
Squid Game season 2 (Photo: Netflix)
“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,” Hwang said. “As the writer, director and producer of Squid Game, a huge shout out 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.”
There’s a chance that Leonardo DiCaprio appears in Squid Game one day. And no, that’s not a joke! Hwang Dong-hyuk said at the Sept. 2022 press conference, “There will be no known Hollywood actor in season 2. That’s not in the plan and if the stage changes, maybe in season 3 – but for season 2, it is still set in Korea. Leonardo DiCaprio did say he’s a big fan of Squid Game, so maybe if time or chances allow, we can ask him to join the games.”
What Will Happen In Squid Game Season 2?
The first teaser for Squid Game season 2 shows Seong Gi-hun at the airport answering a call from someone, who says, “You’ll regret your decision.” Seong Gi-hung responds, I will find you. No matter what it takes.” Netflix also shared four first-look photos of the new season.
Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed at the press conference that they’ve finalized which games will be played in the second season. He also confirmed that there will be a bigger production budget for season 2, according to Variety. On the Emmys red carpet, Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed that Gi-hun will be seeking revenge in season 2 and will come back “with a different character, more serious,” per Deadline.
Squid Game season 2 (Photo: Netflix)
Hwang Dong-hyuk teased what could be in store for season 2 before the show was even officially renewed. “There are some other stories in the series that have not been addressed. For example, the story of the police officer and the story of his brother, The Front Man,” he told The Hollywood Reporter in October 2021. “So if I end up creating season 2, I’d like to explore that storyline — what is going on between those two brothers? And then I could also go into the story of that recruiter in the suit who plays the game of ddakji with Gi-hun and gives him the card in the first episode.”
There’s also a strong chance that we get Squid Game season 3. “I’m in talks with Netflix over season two as well as season three,” Hwang told The Korea Times in December 2021. “We will come to a conclusion any time soon.”
The Squid Game Reality Show
Squid Game: The Challenge was announced in June 2022. The reality series based on the scripted show premiered in November 2023. It featured 456 players competing for $4.56 million, the largest cash prize in reality TV history, in challenges from the original show. Mai Whelan, a 55-year-old immigrant adjudicator from Virginia, won the first season. Squid Game: The Challenge was renewed for season 2 in December 2023.