Following the smash success of the South Korean drama Squid Game that took Netflix by storm in 2021, becoming the most-watched series on the platform and garnering widespread critical acclaim, Netflix has announced that a spinoff reality series called Squid Game: The Challenge will be released later this year.
The competition series will mirror the original show, featuring 456 participants competing for a cash prize of $4.56 million, the largest reward ever offered in reality television. Information about the challenges contestants will face have been kept under close wraps as Netflix sought out participants from around the world.
Casting was completed in late 2022 and filming began in early 2023. The series will be available on Netflix on November 22, 2023.
The series’ official description is: “Though the reality version of ‘Squid Game’ isn’t a matter of life or death, there’s still a lot on the line: 456 players will compete to win $4.56 million, the largest cash prize in reality television history. Through a series of games, each player will be pushed to their limits and forced to ask themselves just how far they’ll go to win, with opportunistic alliances, cutthroat strategies and timely betrayals to follow.”
Everything You Should Know Before Watching Squid Game: The Challenge
Whether you watched the original series or you’re simply a lover of reality competition shows, here’s what you’ll want to know before watching the show later this year.
The Original Squid Game TV Series
Squid Game is a South Korean television series created by writer and director Hwang Dong-hyuk. The show was produced by Siren Pictures and was released on Netflix in September 2021. The production was part of a push by Netflix to introduce more international content on its platform, and Netflix was the first to accept Hwang’s proposal after years of searching for a production company for his project.
Squid Game is a survival drama series that delves into the lives of financially struggling individuals who are invited to participate in a mysterious competition. The competition involves a series of deadly children’s games with a substantial cash prize for the victor. As the games progress, the contestants face more and more gruesome challenges, leading to moral dilemmas, betrayals, and moments of shocking violence. The name “Squid Game” itself refers to a traditional Korean children’s game.
Hwang was inspired to create the show based on his own financial struggles and his experience of the economic disparities in his home country. The series was lauded for its sharp socio-political commentary on economic inequality and the desperation it can breed. The characters are emblematic of marginalized people facing insurmountable debts and a lack of opportunities in South Korean society. The games serve as a metaphor for their struggle to survive in an unforgiving world, highlighting the lengths to which people will go when pushed to their limits. The show challenges the audience to question the morality of those in power and the systems that perpetuate this inequality.
Developing Squid Game: The Challenge
The development of Squid Game: The Challenge was announced in June 2022 with the release of an announcement video on YouTube asking for contestants to apply to participate in the show. Netflix greenlit production and sought English-speaking contestants from all over the world to participate. Like the original series, the show’s cast will include 456 participants competing for a cash prize of $4.56 million.
The 10-episode series is co-produced by two independent British television production companies, Studio Lambert and The Garden, with the former handling the physical production, which began in the fall of last year. The unscripted series was shot across two studios in the U.K. until completion early this year.
However, production kicked off during a spell of intense cold in Britain, during which time a number of the show’s unpaid contestants collapsed on set, likely due to a combination of cold and fatigue during the lengthy preparations for production. Medics were called in to treat contestants at least 11 times.
The streamer and producers responded that all precautions had been taken: “We care deeply about the health of our cast and crew, and the quality of this show. Any suggestion that the competition is rigged or claims of serious harm to players are simply untrue. We’ve taken all the appropriate safety precautions, including after care for contestants — and an independent adjudicator is overseeing each game to ensure it’s fair to everyone.”
Streaming Release Date
Squid Game: The Challenge will premiere on Netflix worldwide on November 22, 2023. The series will consist of 10 one-hour episodes.
Get a first look of the show by checking out the official teaser trailer below:
How StreamSafely Can Help You
Like the source material, Squid Game: The Challenge is sure to be a mega hit for Netflix. If you don’t want to miss out, it’s important to understand how to safely stream, what to look out for, and how to avoid illegal or dangerous streaming platforms. Viewing pirated content can expose you and your devices to malware, fraud risk, and more.
At StreamSafely, we have the information you need to ensure a safe, secure viewing experience. Educate yourself and learn more about how to stream safely.