If you've been online in the past few weeks, odds are you've seen a TV fan mention Netflix's Squid Game. The hit k-drama has swept the globe since its premiere September 17, reaching no. 1 on 90 countries in 10 days and becoming the streamer's biggest ever non-English show. Netflix even announced on Twitter yesterday that the series has become the streamer's biggest-ever show, period, surpassing the current record holder Bridgerton less than a month after its release.
The engrossing series depicts a deadly, Battle Royale-style Game, where 456 people, all facing massive debts, gamble their lives on a $38 million dollar payout. While the wild premise has drawn millions of viewers in, the expertly written characters and what-would-you-do dilemmas have fans trading theories and checking out similar shows. The show's open ending also has the Internet buzzing about a possible renewal for the series. Here's everything we know about a possible Squid Game season 2.
Has Squid Game been renewed for a second season?
Netflix hasn't dropped any hints on whether or not it will renew its most popular K-drama ever, but it has only been 10 days since the premiere. The streamer usually waits a few months to renew its U.S. shows, and there's less info on their international renewals to see a pattern.
That said, Squid Game wouldn't be the first Korean show to get a renewal from the streaming giant. Both historical zombie drama Kingdom and high school romance Love Alarm got second seasons, and Kingdom even got a spinoff film this year.
If the show does get renewed, there would be quite a wait for the Season 2 premiere. Squid Game was first announced in 2019, with production taking two years to complete. So even with the most optimistic timeline, Season 2 probably wouldn't arrive until early 2023.
What would Squid Game season two be about?
Squid Game season 1 spanned a full Game, with Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) emerging with the 456 billion won prize. One year later, Gi-hun discovers that the Game is about to begin again when he runs into the Salesman (Gong Yoo) recruiting another player. Right before he's set to head off to America, Gi-hun decides to stay in Korea, with hopes of shutting down the Game once and for all.
The end scene has fans hoping that Gi-hun's story will continue, with the victor teaming up with others to shut down the secret, multinational death Game. Everything besides Gi-hun's very likely return is up in the air. He could try to get the police on his side, after they turned him away in Episode 2, or he could find more past players, who may or may not have worked through their trauma enough to take on the wealthy VIPs and game masters.
There's also no guarantee that a continuation would follow the next Game in Korea. Season 1 revealed that there are deadly Games happening all over the globe, with rich men from multiple countries gambling on the outcomes. While the first Game was presumably founded in Korea, since Oh Il-nam (Oh Young-soo) was involved, another country's Game may become the subject of a future season.
What have the cast and crew said about Squid Game season two?
Writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk opened up about in a Variety interview, where he revealed that writing the first season all by himself took a lot out of him. Hwang has mostly made films in his decades-long career, with Squid Game being his first drama.
"In my earlier days, I’d drink half a bottle of soju (Korean liquor) to get the creative juices flowing. I can’t do that any more," he said. "Writing (‘Squid Game’) was harder than normal for me as it was a series, not a film. It took me six months to write and rewrite the first two episodes. Then I consulted verbally with friends, and picked up clues for improvements through my own pitching and from their responses."
Hwang continued that he isn't planning to jump straight in to a second season. Instead, he told the outlet that he may return to movies before working on Season 2. Variety reports that he's currently writing a film called "KO Club," which has an inter-generational war premise.
"I don’t have well developed plans for 'Squid Game 2.' It is quite tiring just thinking about it. But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I’d consider using a writers’ room and would want multiple experienced directors," he said.
Luckily, with the show's history-making popularity, Hwang has dropped a new hint for where the show's story could go. In an interview with The Times, he suggested that a new season could follow one of the only other characters to make it out of the Game alive, the Front Man (Lee Byung-hyn).
"While I was writing season one, I thought about the stories that could be in season two if I get to do one—one would be the story of the Frontman," he said, name-dropping the former cop and head of the Game.
He added, "I think the issue with police officers is not just an issue in Korea. I see it on the global news that the police force can be very late on acting on things—there are more victims or a situation gets worse because of them not acting fast enough. This was an issue that I wanted to raise. Maybe in season two I can talk about this more."
Hwang also told The Hollywood Reporter that, though there's a lot of fan demand for Season 2, that also means he has a lot of inspiration to draw on.
"The pressure on me is huge now, with such a big audience waiting for a season two. Because of all that pressure, I haven’t decided yet whether or not I should do another season, he said. "But if you look at it in a positive way, because so many people loved season one and are expecting good things for season two, there are people everywhere in the world offering their opinions about where the show should go. I could actually pull ideas from fans all around the world to create the next season."
"I think that’s what I’m wrestling with right now — that I shouldn’t just view it as a huge amount of pressure, but think of all of this love and support I’m receiving as a big box of inspiration that I can leverage for season two," he continued.
Lee Jung-jae, who plays Seong Gi-hun, seems to be up for a second season. He told the New York Times that there are many possibilities for where his character could do next.
That’s a very difficult question because the story could go in any direction, and some of Gi-hun’s emotions are very complicated. He’s a very intriguing character. I guess he could go and try and punish the creators of the game. Or he could try to stop new contestants from playing it. Or he could try to join the game again. I have no idea at this point.
When asked about a popular fan theory, that Gi-hun could be offered the chance to replace the Front Man and run the game, Lee said, "Well, for one, I’m never going to let anyone die! If the story does go in that direction, Gi-hun would end up in a position like Oh Il-nam, the old guy [played by Oh Yeong-su]. But you know, in “The Deer Hunter,” the character that Christopher Walken plays never makes it out of the game, right? That could be what happens."