Yesterday, Netflix greenlit “Squid Game: The Challenge,” a reality competition series based on the popular South Korean drama that, luckily, doesn’t have people killing each other “Hunger Games” style and will offer a cash prize of $4.56 million. (That’s a lifetime of dalgona candies right there!) Not only will this be the largest cash prize a competition show has ever seen, it will also feature the biggest-ever reality TV cast with 456 contestants.
Recruitment is now open on SquidGameCasting.com, and Netflix is looking for 456 English-speaking players. Netflix says “Squid Game: The Challenge” will have 10 episodes, and it will be filmed in the U.K.
“'Squid Game' took the world by storm with director Hwang’s captivating story and iconic imagery. We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment,” Brandon Riegg, Netflix VP of Unscripted and Documentary Series, said in a statement. “Fans of the drama series are in for a fascinating and unpredictable journey as our 456 real-world contestants navigate the biggest competition series ever, full of tension and twists, with the biggest ever cash prize at the end.”
The news follows Netflix's confirmation that it also greenlit “Squid Game” Season 2. The first season had over 1.65 billion view hours in the first 28 days following its September 2021 premiere, the company reported.
The promo for "Squid Game: The Challenge" features the recognizable robot doll with lasers for eyes but doesn’t reveal exactly what challenges contestants will have to do. (We hope there are no glass bridges involved!) No release date for either “Squid Game” Season 2 or “Squid Game: The Challenge” have yet to be revealed.
Production will undoubtedly be difficult as you can’t exactly have cameras following every player. Likely, many will be eliminated in early rounds, as in the TV series. The streamer says “Squid Game: The Challenge” will be co-produced by Studio Lambert and The Garden. Executive producers include Stephen Lambert, Tim Harcourt, Toni Ireland, John Hay, Nicola Hill and Nicola Brown.
Studio Lambert is also producing its own competition series, “Million Dollar Island,” where 100 contestants will compete in a show much like “Survivor” with a prize of $1 million. That said, “Squid Game: The Challenge” will quadruple the number of players, so it will be interesting to see how it can be pulled off.
A big question people have is if the new "Squid Game" competition series will be livestreamed. Netflix had confirmed to TechCrunch last month that it’s in the early days of its livestreaming plans and will target unscripted content -- it seems that could include a competition show with sinister children’s games.