— 25 January 2024

Netflix Confirms ‘Squid Game’ Season 2 Will Premiere This Year

— 25 January 2024
Garry Lu
Garry Lu

Netflix captured lightning in a bottle with South Korean dystopian survival drama Squid Game — written, directed, and created by Hwang Dong-hyuk — with Squid Game season 2 now officially on the way.

In numbers alone, the flow-on effect of what was then the most popular Netflix original series of all time and global sensation boggled minds. Squid Game star and acting debutante Jung Ho-yeon had just 400,000 Instagram followers prior to the show premiering globally on September 17th 2021, accrued from her career as a top model. That figure has since escalated to an impressive 20 million.

RELATED: ‘Squid Game’ Increased Sales Of White Vans By 7,800%

South Korean internet provider SK Broadband even sued the streaming platform to cover the cost of increased network usage and maintenance work due to a monstrous 24X surge in traffic. And as some of you may recall, just about every basic and their dog has been dressing in red or green jumpsuits for Halloween (either as Squid Games guards or contestants, respectively).

But the million-dollar question remains: when can we expect Squid Game season 2 and where does the story go from here after that cliffhanger ending?

Has Squid Game season 2 been confirmed?

Initially, Netflix Global TV head Bela Bajaria issued the caveat that while interest was overwhelmingly high, nothing had been officially confirmed yet due to the existing work schedule of series creator and director Hwang Dong-hyuk.

“He has a film and other things he’s working on,” revealed Bela Bajaria, who also noted Hwang is interested in collaborating with other writers who might come on board for the next chapter.

“We’re trying to figure out the right structure for him.”

netflix squid game season 2 confirmed?

Then, without any warning, the show’s official Twitter page made the following announcement in June 2022:

“On your marks. Get set. Greenlight. Squid Game continues, only on Netflix.”

“So there’s been so much pressure, so much demand and so much love for a second season. So I almost feel like you leave us no choice! But I will say there will indeed be a second season,” Hwang Dong-hyuk previously told the Associated Press.

“It’s in my head right now. I’m in the planning process currently. But I do think it’s too early to say when and how that’s going to happen. So I will promise you this… [in English] Gi-Hun will come back and he will do something for the world.”

The tip of the iceberg?

In January 2021, Netflix CEO & Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos alluded to the platform’s plans for an entire “Squid Game Universe” beyond giving the people the almost inevitable second and third season, which he believes has the potential to involve live experiences, merchandise, as well as mobile gaming.

“The Squid Game universe has just begun,” said Sarandos (via Marca).

“We’re building those muscles steadily with our consumer products, both like the Squid Game tracksuits, and then we’re making a big push on experiences that are mobile and portable.”

So far, expansion of this so-called “universe” has only appeared in the form of a real-life gameshow equivalent with a US$4.56 million cash prize that’s been mired in a considerable amount of controversy (i.e. inhumane working conditions, constant need for paramedics, WHS violations, blatant game rigging).

Hwang Dong-Hyuk himself has also hinted at the further continuation of the main series beyond a second season while in conversation with Korean broadcaster KBS.

“I’m in talks with Netflix over season 2 as well as season 3. We will come to a conclusion any time soon.”

What might Squid Game’s second season be about?

[Major Spoilers]

The conclusion of season 1 was left rather open-ended and rich with potential for Squid Game season 2.

After the untimely demise of series favourite, Kang Sae-byeok / Player 067 (Jung Ho-yeon) — the North Korean defector fighting for her family’s welfare — followed by the suicide of disgraced head of investment at a securities firm Cho Sang-woo / Player 218 (Park Hae-Soo) during the eponymous Squid Game final event, Lee Jung-jae’s Seong Gi-hun / Player 456 prevailed as the lone survivor.

The traumatic events of the past nine episodes are enough motivation for the chauffeur driver, gambling addict, and deadbeat dad to turn over a new leaf. In a pivotal moment of selflessness, Seong Gi-hun ties up some loose ends on behalf of both Kang Sae-byeok and Cho Sang-woo; rescuing the former’s kid brother from an orphanage, and leaving him as well as the ₩45.5 billion fortune with the latter’s mother (Park Hye-jin).

Keep in mind, both parties are blissfully unaware their dearest blood relatives are deceased, poetically united in tragedy to “complete” one another.

netflix squid game season 2

As Gi-hun prepares to board a plane and join his daughter Seong Ga-yeong (Cho Ah-in) in the United States, the revelation that mysterious elderly contestant Oh Il-nam / Player 001 (O Yeong-su) was actually the wealthy ringmaster or Host behind this Olympics of cruelty haunts him, along with a comparison of the players to racehorses right before he succumbs to his brain tumour, leaving our protagonist without substantial answers.

He dials the number provided on the Squid Game invitation card intercepted moments before arriving at the airport, and vows to a voice on the receiving end he’ll expose the sinister organisation behind it all — turning away from both the plane and a life of wilful ignorance.

The most linear route would be to follow Gi-hun as he attempts to bring it all down from within. But during an interview with The Times, creator Hwang Dong-hyuk teased Squid Game season 2 could focus heavily on the masked Front Man (Lee Byung-hun) — ostensibly the organisation in question’s top-ranking lieutenant, VIP concierge, and in a shock reveal, Hwang Ino-ho — the missing brother of Detective Hwang Jun-ho / Detective Hwang Joon-ho (by Wi Ha-joon).

Hwang Ino-ho’s transition from police officer to criminal enforcer for the bloodthirsty elite would certainly make for compelling viewing.

“If I do get to do Squid Game season 2, one [idea] would be the story of the Front Man.”

“I think the issue with police officers is not just an issue in Korea. I see it on the global news. This was an issue that I wanted to raise. Maybe in season 2, I can talk about this more.”

The prospect becomes even more (figuratively) mouth-watering when you consider the fact Detective Hwang Jun-ho isn’t even dead despite being shot and tumbling off a cliff into the sea, as confirmed by a casting announcement video unveiled at Netflix’s most recent Tudum event.

Because as we’ve learned, no one really dies unless you see it occur onscreen; demonstrated twice by Oh Il-nam and manipulation queen Han Mi-nyeo / Player 212 (by Kim Joo-ryoung).

RELATED: How ‘Squid Game’s Major Deaths Were Foreshadowed From The Beginning

The most compelling Squid game fan theories: questions to answer in the second season

netflix squid game season 2 fan theories

Red Card / Green Card = Guard / Contestant

There’s an increasingly popular theory circulating the internet that the game of ddakji depicted as a key tool for contestant recruitment is also how personnel — i.e. the guards or soldiers — are sourced. Seong Gi-hun picked a green pack, leading him to become a contestant.

But what of the red? It’s still conjecture at this point, with fuel added to the speculative fire when you remember Gi-hun chose to dye his hair red for no apparent reason in the season finale, perhaps foreshadowing the next theory listed.

It would, however, add another layer to the metaphor. That metaphor, of course, being how the mechanisms of capitalism pit the working class against one another with arbitrary distinctions like guards vs contestants while someone dangles money above; similar to the Academy Award-winning South Korean black comedy Parasite directed by Bong Joon-ho. Who knows?

Seong Gi-hun will become the new Front Man

This might be the most tenuous of the bunch although the pieces of the puzzle are there. Current Front Man Hwang Ino-ho was revealed to have also won the Squid Game back in 2015.

Then we have the matter of Gi-hun dying his hair red in relation to the red card / green card theory. Like I said, tenuous. But if anything we’ve explored so far even has an ounce of credence, entirely possible. Although it does conflict with Hwang Dong-hyuk’s claims he’d “change the world.”

Seong Gi-hun is Oh Il-nam’s son

Den of Geeks broke down the logic behind the Seong Gi-hun is Oh Il-nam’s son theory, beyond the fact they shared a bond pre-revelation:

“Gi-hun’s father is never shown and the thread of Il-nam’s family is never resolved. Gi-hun reminds Il-nam of his son when he asks for chocolate milk, and the neighbourhood from the game of marbles was based on Il-nam’s home, and also reminds Gi-hun of his childhood.”

“Is it possible that Il-nam gave Gi-hun something of an in-game shield, like an extra life or a golden ticket? After Gi-hun gives his jacket to the older man to hide his incontinence and preserve his dignity, Il-nam offers his jacket, with 001 on it.”

“He says it’s for protection so that others in the arena won’t think less of him; perhaps he means it at face value, the way Sang-woo told Ali to hide the fact that he has missing fingers. But throughout the game of marbles, there were a couple of times when Il-nam could have been shot for losing. Other players were shot more quickly by the soldiers nearby.”

“Instead, that soldier waited for Gi-hun to be out of sight and presumably shot wide. It would make sense for all of the staff in red jumpsuits to know not to kill Player 001 so that they wouldn’t accidentally act rashly when breaking up a fight.”

“If that’s the case, then perhaps in handing over his jacket, Il-nam was hoping he could give Gi-hun a small amount of extra insurance, even if it only helped him outside of the officially announced games.” 

Which cast members are returning for Squid Game season 2?

While there’s no way of knowing exactly who we can expect — even the actors and actresses behind the dead characters depending on whether Hwang Dong-hyuk decides to take the prequel route — there are a few safe bets for Squid Game season 2.

Lee Byung-hun will return as Front Man / Hwang Ino-ho in season 2; the build-up surrounding Seong Gi-hun and his path for vengeance also makes lead actor Lee Jung-jae a lock.

As confirmed at Netflix’s most recent Tudum event, Wi Ha-joon will magically wash up on the shores of the mysterious Squid Game island as Detective Hwang Jun-ho, brother to Lee Byung-hun’s Front Man / Hwang Ino-ho. Probably with nothing more than a flesh wound on his shoulder during the opening episode.

Gong Yoo is also set to return as the Squid Game recruiter.

In all honesty, the only characters we really care about are Abdul Ali (Anupam Tripathi) and Kang Sae-byeok (Jung Ho-yeon). Although the latter certainly doesn’t believe there’s a strong chance of her return unless her character has a secret twin sister we haven’t been informed about.

“I have never thought about [participating in] the next season, because I am dead,” Jung Ho-yeon joked to The Korea Herald.

“We should all wait for brilliant imagination and ideas from the director and Netflix. Let’s wait together.”

“I am honoured and feel thankful [to the viewers] for loving my performance in the series. But I am well aware of how much work I have to do and learn to become a better actor.”

Newcomers that have been announced since this article’s initial publishing include the following:

  • Yim Si-wan
  • Kang Ha-neul
  • Park Sung-hoon
  • Yang Done-geun

When is the Squid Game season 2 release date?

Last year, Lee Jung-jae told allkpop.com: “Squid Game season 2 will begin filming in the summer and the filming will likely last for about 10 months.”

“We were working on season 1 for about 10 months as well, but that was with delays caused by COVID-19. But seeing as season 2 will be bigger in scale, it will probably take longer to complete.”

This week, Netflix announced the sequel would arrive alongside The Diplomat season 2, Bridgerton season 3, and plenty more in a letter to the shareholder.

The extended gestation period certainly isn’t anything new. For reference, the first season required a decade-long process before it was finally approved for shooting, due to what was originally pitched as a feature film’s “grotesque” and “unrealistic” concept.

The very idea of adults drowning in debt and playing children’s games for ₩45.5 billion (AU$52.77 million) at the risk of death is now, of course, soon became a very relevant critique of capitalism.

RELATED: Why Aren’t More People Talking About Netflix’s CIA Drama ‘The Recruit’?

Do we have a Squid Game season 2 trailer?

At this stage, similar to a specific release date, we don’t have an official trailer for Squid Game season 2. But after Netflix’s most recent Tudum event, we do have the aforementioned casting announcement video — check it out above.

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Garry Lu
After stretching his legs with companies such as The Motley Fool and the odd marketing agency, Garry joined Boss Hunting in 2019 as a fully-fledged Content Specialist. In 2021, he was promoted to News Editor. Garry proudly retains a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, black bruises from Muay Thai, as well as a black belt in all things pop culture. Drop him a line at [email protected]


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