Squid Game was an epic success on Netflix. Created by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the show struggled to be picked up for nearly a decade before Netflix acquired the rights and made insane profits due to its incredible global impact.
Starring Lee Jung-Jae, Park Hae-Soo, Jung HoYeon, Wi Ha-Joon and others, the series made history across various platforms, including the SAG Awards, the Critics Choice Awards and the Golden Globes. A searing commentary on capitalism and subsequent power structures and the degradation of humanity, it is brutal, intense and thought-provoking.
While talking about how he created the show, Hwang told Variety, “I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life. But I wanted it to use the kind of characters we’ve all met in real life.”
Given Netflix’s current financial struggles which include falling stock prices and an unprecedented subscriber exodus, shows like Squid Game and Stranger Things seem to be their saviours. Netflix has already announced the upcoming second season which has started quite the buzz.
Ahead of its release, here’s what we can expect from Netflix’s Squid Game season two:
What can we expect from Netflix’s ‘Squid Game’ season 2?
What happened in the first season of Squid Game?
Squid Game season one saw 456 participants in a dystopian modern-day Korea partake in a competition to win 45.6 billion Korean Won. Confined in tiny spaces manoeuvered by distinct shapes and kept under the constant panoptic surveillance of strange masked men, the participants take part in a series of childhood games that have a deadly and perverse twist.
With most of the players getting eliminated across the rounds, the games serve as a scathing commentary on the power play, hierarchy, capitalism, economic crises and the depravity of human minds.
Towards the end, Seong Gi-hun and Cho Sang-woo are the last men standing who tae part in the titular Squid Game to win the staggering prize money However, a repentant Sang-woo ends up killing himself, making Gi-hun win the gigantic sum, some of which he later donates to Sang-woo’s mother and Kang Sae-byeok’s orphan brother.
Towards the end of the show, a now-rich Gi-hun is seen making his way towards the airport when he comes across a familiar face who lured him into the vicious games. Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, he is seen walking back into the city, probably to infiltrate the notorious games and set the premise for season two.
Has Squid Game been renewed for season two?
Netflix has renewed Squid Game for two more seasons. Likely to be a trilogy, Squid Game season one was a massive hit on the streamer, amassing incredible viewership and subsequent revenue. It also became one of the most popular Netflix Original series, inducing the Korean Wave that piqued global interest in Korean content, namely films and series.
Given the epic success of the show, the show was renewed for two more seasons last year. Netflix has now released a teaser and Hwang Dong-hyuk’s letter, teasing an exciting return of the show.
What might happen in Squid Game season two?
Gi-hun will most likely take the centre stage yet again. The first season ends on an ambiguous note where Gi-hun, now clad in a crisp business suit, is seen taking a look at the familiar card with shapes and deciding to go back to the titular, brutal Squid Game.
While it seems most unlikely for Gi-hun to defeat the game’s creators who are filthy rich, he might sneak in like the cop from season one and wreak havoc. When asked about his freshly dyed, bright red hair, Hwang said that the change signifies that “he will never be able to go back to his old self. It is also a sign of his rage.”
Hwang was reportedly in a dilemma over how to end season two. The alternate ending would involve Gi-hun boarding the plane and leaving, thus putting the story to an effective end.
“We constantly asked ourselves, is it really right for Gi-hun to make the decision to leave and go see his family, to pursue his own happiness?” he said, “Is that the right way for us to really propose the question or the message that we wanted to convey through the series?”
Actor Lee Jung-Jae, who played Gi-hun in the first season, is reportedly clueless about his character arc in the second season. He revealed, “I have no idea what will happen or the scale of it, but the only thing [director Hwang] did tell me was that Seong Gi-hun is going to be in the show again, and he’s going to be playing in the arena again.”
However, Hwang said that “Gi-hun will come back and he will do something for the world.” Via his translator, he told EW that while the first season shows Gi-hun’s humanity in a passive manner, in the second season, he “will be able to put to use [his humanity] in a more active manner” due to his lessons and experience from the events of season one.
Who are the possible cast members in Squid Game season two?
Hwang has confirmed the return of Seong Gi-hun and the Front Man in the second season. This confirms the return of Lee Jung-Jae and Lee Byung-hun in their respective roles in the second season.
Except for Gi-hun and the Front Man, most cast members died during the first season. When asked about their possible comeback, Hwang said, “No, because most of them are dead. I’ll try something to bring them back to season two.”
While actress Jung HoYeon’s character tragically dies in the series, Hwang has teased the actress’ possible return. During an interview, the director cheekily said, “Let’s say maybe she has a twin sister, you’ll see.” Jung quipped, “I could change my hair colour. Let’s do a little like plastic surgery.”
Voiced by Reagan To, the gigantic and creepy animatronic doll called Young-hee will reportedly return for the second season, along with her presumably deadlier and more sinister boyfriend, Cheol-su.
Fans were pretty surprised by the sudden Gong Yoo cameo in the first season. While Hwang has not confirmed the actor’s return, many are excited to see if the Goblin actor comes back to the show with more screentime.
While Wi Ha-joon is reportedly shot towards the end and falls off a cliff, he might end up surviving the fall. Whether he will make a return and team up with Gi-hun to expose his brother’s (the Front Man) antics can only be confirmed by the second season.
Some have even predicted the second season to take place in a totally different setting and country given the international scope of these violent games.
What is the production status of Squid Game season two?
In March 2022, during the PGA Awards ceremony, Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed secrets about the upcoming season. He said, “There will be more great games” while talking about how he is “still brainstorming and collecting the ideas for season 2”. He also teased the return of fa-favourite characters like Kang Sae-byeok.
Currently, Netflix has released a teaser for the upcoming second season. The creator, too, has penned down a note for Squid Game fans, heightening their anticipation. It is being speculated that Hwang will commence production pretty soon.
When will Squid Game season two release on Netflix?
Squid Game does not have an official release date for the second season. While the streaming giant and the creator have already confirmed its return, in May 2022, Hwang Dong-hyuk revealed how he was still conceptualizing the season with only three pages’ worth of creative ideas.
However, he confirmed that he would put “humanity” to the test via these games and raise a pertinent question: “Is true solidarity between humans possible?”
The first season of Squid Game took nearly two years to complete production. Hwang needed “six months to write and rewrite the first two episodes”.
If Squid Game season two commences production by the end of this year, the audience members can hope for a late 2023 or an early 2024 release.