‘Squid Game’ is predictably about to become a reality competition series with a ‘life-changing’ cash prize


To the shock of absolutely no one, Netflix is adapting its hugely popular South Korean survival drama Squid Game into a reality competition series called Squid Game: The Challenge. The streamer announced the news on Tuesday with a casting call on YouTube, promising to make “the biggest Netflix show ever” into the “biggest reality series ever.”

Similar to the source material, the reality series will feature 456 players competing for a jackpot of a “life changing” $4.65 million in cash. Although, as the short clip warns, “the biggest risk is not playing,” one would have to imagine that contestants will not be risking life and limb for a shot at the money.

The YouTube video directs fans to a casting website that promises “the largest cast in reality TV history,” asking the question: “Do you have what it takes to win Squid Game?”

“For this round, the Front Man is in search of English-language speakers from any part of the world,” the website explains. “The stakes are high, but in this game the worst fate is going home empty-handed.”

Squid Game took the world by storm with [series creator and director Hwang Dong-hyuk’s] captivating story and iconic imagery,” said Brandon Riegg, Netflix vp of unscripted and documentary series in a statement via The Hollywood Reporter. “We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment. 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 reality series will ostensibly satiate fans clamoring for season 2 of the 2021 pop culture phenomenon, which was also officially announced this week but likely won’t hit the streamer until 2023 or 2024 — as Dong-hyuk recently confessed that so far he only has “three pages worth of ideas that he plans to turn into a script.”

“Humanity is going to be put to a test through those games once again,” Hwang said in an interview last month. He added that Gi-hun is “definitely coming back,” which was likewise confirmed by the season 2 pickup news, and that the mysterious Front Man from the first season might play a bigger role next season.

Between season 2 of Squid Games and Squid Game: The Challenge, it seems like the Front Man is going to have his work really cut out for him in the next year or so!

About the author

Stacey Ritzen

Stacey Ritzen

Stacey Ritzen is a Philadelphia-based reporter with 15 years of experience covering pop culture, entertainment, web culture, and news. She has previously worked for outlets including Uproxx, Pajiba, Daily Dot, and more.