On September 17, 2023, it will be two full years since the Squid game phenomenon began to engulf this nation (and many others). What is the status of the highly anticipated season 2 and what do we all know about it?
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First, to recap: in nine episodes, Squid game Season 1 followed Seong Gi-hun (played by Emmy winner Lee Jung-jae), a gambling divorcee, when he and 455 other downtrodden aliens were knocked out and carted off to a secret island complex to compete in a series of children’s games are all definitely given deadly turns.
Gi-hun eventually emerged from the ordeal as the only survivor, barely hitting his 45.6 billion won payday for a year, until he was invited to a mysterious tryst with, as it turned out, Oh Il-nam, aka ‘ The Old Man’. who was believed to have been executed after round 4, but was in fact alive and running this illegal enterprise the whole time! Not long after their reunion, however, the old man succumbed to a brain tumor that had plagued him.
Squid game Season 1: 15 questions we have!
Gi-hun later made tracks to the airport to visit his daughter in Los Angeles, but on the way saw the man who was tending to her it before the game do the same with another stranger. Gi-hun took a business card from the stranger, dialed the number and announced his intention to find out who exactly the organizers of the game were and why they engage in the atrocities they commit. Though the voice on the other side advised Gi-hun to continue his travels, he decided instead not board the plane but… do it What?
Squid game was a huge (though initially unremarkable) hit for Netflix, and while there were rumors of a renewal as early as November 2021 (not two months after its debut), it wouldn’t be super duper officially extended until June 2022.
But when will season 2 arrive and what do we all know? Let’s see….
HOW POPULAR WAS SEASON 1?
The short answer? TERRIBLY.
Squid game Season 1 has been Netflix’s most popular title for a while now generalwith 265 million “views” (i.e. number of hours viewed divided by total run time).
Wednesday ranks No. 2 on the overall chart and reigns as Netflix’s most popular English TV title, with 252.1 million “views” from its 6.8-hour first season. Stranger things Season 4 (140.7 million “views”), Dahmer – Monster: The Story of Jeffrey Dahmer (115.6 million views) and Bridgerton Season 1 (113.3 million) rounds out Netflix’s overall Top 5.
Squid game Season 1 also topped the all-encompassing Nielsen US streaming rankings for several weeks, with over 3 billion minutes watched across its nine episodes at times.
OK, BUT WAS SEASON 1 INCREDIBLE?
Squid game Season 1 earned a total of 14 Emmy Award nominations. Among those kinks, it was the first foreign language series to be shortlisted for Outstanding Drama.
Lee Jung-jae eventually won for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama – the first actor in a non-English series to be crowned in that category – and series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk took gold for Best Director for a Drama. The show also scored Emmys for guest star Lee Yoo-mi (as Sae-byeok’s friend Ji-yeong), production design, stunt performance, and visual effects.
In addition, Season 1 earned three Screen Actors Guild Awards – including for Lee Jung-jae and Hoyeoin (who played Sae-byeok) – and a Golden Globe for Oh Yeong-su (as Oh Il-nam).
WHAT IS THE SEASON 2 STORYLINE?
Season 1 of Squid gamesaid series creator Hwang, was conceived as “an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts extreme competition, kind of like the extreme competition of life.”
While details on Season 2 remain scarce, Hwang has said it would follow – as the closing scene of the first finale suggested – Seong Gi-hun and his investigation into those behind the deadly, titular tournament.
I decided in those last seconds of season 1 to not reuniting with his daughter who had moved to the United States but stayed in Korea to take revenge on the organizers of the deadly games he narrowly survived, Gi-hun in season 2 will “do something for the worldHwang told the AP.
WHO IS RETURNING FOR SEASON 2?
In addition to Lee Jung-jae reprising his role as protagonist Seong Gi-hun, Season 2 brings back Lee Byung-Hun (as In-ho aka the frontman, seen above), Wi Ha-jun (as Hwang Jun-ho , the cop posing as a guard to find his brother), and Gong Yoo (as the game’s recruiter).
WHO’S NEW IN SEASON 2?
New to Squid game Season 2 are:
Yim Si Wana member of the South Korean boy band ZE:A (and its subgroup ZE:A Five) and an actor best known for the cable series Misaeng: incomplete life
Kang Ha Neulfrom South Korea ketouncol (Curtain call), Insider And When the camellia blooms
Park Sung Hoonby The glory, In the ring, justice And My only
Yang Dong Geunby The forbidden marriage And Come on
Park Gyu-youngfrom Netflix Sweet home and the streamer is coming Celebrity series
Jo Yu-ria former member of the South Korean-Japanese girl group Iz*One
Theater and musical veteran Kang Ae-sim
LeDavidwho had a supporting role in Squid game the film by maker Hwang Dong-hyuk The fortress
Lee Jin-ukby Sweet home and one of Hwang’s greatest films, miss grandma
Singer Choi Seung-hyunwhose acting credits include Tazza: the hidden map And Stake
Roh Jae-wona relative newcomer whose film credits include Missing Jon
Ji-an wonfrom season 1 of the Netflix series DP
No character details have been made available yet.
WILL THE CREEPY GIANT POP BE BACK?
There’s been no mention of the towering and terrifying Young-hee making an encore, but series creator Hwang Dong-hyuk has promised to introduce “her” boyfriend, Cheol-su, in Season 2.
HOW MANY EPISODES IS SEASON 2?
Season 1 consisted of nine episodes, all written and directed by series creator Hwang, with a running time of 32 to 63 minutes.
There’s no official word yet on the number of episodes for Season 2. But Hwang, who won an Emmy for directing the Season 1 episode “Red Light, Green Light,” will once again direct all of Season 2’s episodes.
WHEN IS THE SEASON 2 RELEASED DATE?
At the time of the cast’s first table reading at the end of June 2023, it was announced that production is going ahead Squid game Season 2 was set to start “later this year” and series lead Lee Jung-jae has ventured that filming will “probably take about 10 months” just like Season 1 did.
While that timing could point to a late 2024 release, it remains to be seen if and how significantly production of the South Korean series could be impacted by the SAG-AFTRA and WGA strikes underway here in the States are. (While filming the thriller in a foreign language might move forward, the translation of scripts and the voice performances for the English dub could potentially hit a snag.)
TOO SOON TO ASK ABOUT SEASON 3…?
Maybe it’s not…?
In December 2021, just months after Season 1 came out, Squid game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk told KBS (Korean Broadcasting System) that he was in talks with Netflix about season 2 “and season 3” — though as of June 2022, he put the odds of a third season (or more) at just “50-50. ”
So far, Netflix has only officially greenlit a second cycle.
OH, AND WHAT ABOUT THAT REALITY SHOW SPIN-OFF…?
Squid Game: The Challengea competition series based on the megahit Netflix drama, will premiere in November 2023.
In Squid Game: The Challenge456 players compete for $4.56 million by playing games inspired by the original series like some new ones, with the aim of avoiding elimination. (Luckily, the losers aren’t killed like in the original Squid game!)
Watch a teaser trailer above.
Want a scoop Squid game Season 2, or for another TV show? Email your question to InsideLine@tvline.com and it may be answered via Matt’s Inside Line!
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