Netflix Just Revealed Who'll Be Playing 'Squid Game' Season Two — and Dropped a Peek at the IRL Version

Green light: more of this South Korean hit is on its way, and so is an IRL game-show version.
Sarah Ward
Published on June 18, 2023

There you were thinking that marbles, hopscotch and tug of war were just ordinary, innocent activities that everyone enjoyed when they were kids. Then Squid Game came along, instantly became one of the best new TV programs of 2021, and made everyone look at those childhood pasttimes in a whole new green and red light. The South Korean Netflix series also became a huge hit, so much so that Netflix confirmed at the beginning of 2022 that a second season was on the way, and also dropped a teaser trailer for it the same year — and announced that an IRL version, but without the murder, was in the works as well.

The latest news worth breaking out the sugar honeycombs for? Finding out exactly who'll be playing Squid Game season two, and also getting a sneak peek at the reality competition show. Announced at 2023's Tudum: A Global Fan Event — aka Netflix's fan convention — the first spans familiar and new names, while the latter does indeed involve the notorious Red Light, Green Light doll.

Squid Game S1

First, the dramatised series. The second season of Squid Game doesn't yet boast a release date, but it does have a heap of cast members locked in. Lee Jung-jae (Deliver Us From Evil) returns as the show's protagonist Seong Gi-hun, while Lee Byung-hun (The Magnificent Seven) will be back as the masked Front Man as well. They'll be joined by Wi Ha-joon (Little Women) as detective Hwang Jun-ho, plus Gong Yoo (Train to Busan) as the man in the suit who got Gi-hun into the game in the first place.

A show about a deadly competition that has folks competing for ridiculous riches comes with a hefty bodycount, which means that new faces were always going to be essential in Squid Game season two. Yim Si-wan (Emergency Declaration), Kang Ha-neul (Insider), Park Sung-hoon (The Glory) and Yang Dong-geun (Yaksha: Ruthless Operations) will all join the series, but Netflix is keeping quiet about their characters at the moment.

As for the IRL take on Squid Game, called Squid Game: The Challenge, the streaming service revealed that it'll arrive sometime in November. Again, there's no death in the ten-episode show, but there's still 456 competitors playing games to win big, with $4.56 million on offer — the largest cash prize in reality television history.

Yes, those challenges will be inspired by the South Korean thriller, plus a few new additions. There'll be no actors, just ordinary people. Also, competitors will be eliminated as the games go on, forming strategies and alliances will play a huge part, the sets offer spot-on recreations of the fictional version, the guards are all decked out in red and players in green, and it's all overseen by a Front Man.

If you somehow missed all things Squid Game two years back, even after it became bigger than everything from Stranger Things to Bridgerton, the Golden Globe- and Emmy-winning series serves up a puzzle-like storyline and unflinching savagery, which unsurprisingly makes quite the combination. It also steps into societal divides within South Korea, a topic that wasn't invented by Parasite, Bong Joon-ho's excellent Oscar-winning 2019 thriller, but has been given a boost after that stellar flick's success.

Accordingly, it's easy to see thematic and narrative parallels between Parasite and Squid Game, although Netflix's highly addictive series goes with a Battle Royale and Hunger Games-style setup. Here, 456 competitors are selected to work their way through six seemingly easy children's games. They're all given numbers and green tracksuits, they're competing for 45.6 billion won, and it turns out that they've also all made their way to the contest after being singled out for having enormous debts.

Check out Netflix's Squid Game season two cast announcement video below, plus a teaser trailer for Squid Game: The Challenge:

Squid Game's first season is available to stream via Netflix — we'll update you with a release date for season two when one is announced.

Squid Game: The Challenge will hit Netflix in November 2023 — we'll update you with an exact release date when one is announced.

Images: Netflix.

Published on June 18, 2023 by Sarah Ward
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