At the time of its release in September 2021, Squid Game quickly launched itself to the top of the entertainment game, with the Netflix survival drama scoring top-shelf marks with critics while simultaneously seizing the attention of audiences all over the world; it was the latest of many a happy skyrocket from a foreign-language film or series that began with Parasite‘s sweep at the 92nd Academy Awards.
Squid Game follows the plight of Seong Gi-hun, a gambler and divorcee who decides to participate in a series of sadistically-reimagined children’s games in hopes of winning the competition’s lucrative cash prize, which 455 other cash-strapped participants are also gunning for. With every dead body only adding to the cash prize, Gi-hun forms an alliance with friends old and new in hopes of not only surviving the challenges, but keeping his mental state intact as he does so.
The series features some of South Korea’s greatest acting talents, many of which got their well-earned time in the spotlight thanks to Squid Game‘s dizzying popularity, and we can only imagine the brightest of futures for them, especially with news regarding the show’s second season on the horizon.
But what is the cast of the acclaimed K-drama getting up to in the meantime, and where else can we find them? Here’s all of the projects that Squid Game‘s main cast members are working on at the moment.
Lee Jung-jae was already one of South Korea’s best in the business, but Squid Game saw the actor nab a Primetime Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of protagonist Seong Gi-hun, and appropriately enough, the actor has continued to find himself neck-deep in plenty of projects.
Lee is set to join the Star Wars universe at some point in the not-so-distant future, having been confirmed as one of the leading actors opposite Amandla Stenberg in The Acolyte, an action-thriller series set during the late High Republic era of the Star Wars timeline, taking place 100 years before the events of The Phantom Menace. The series, spearheaded by showrunner Leslye Headland — one of the co-creators of Russian Doll — is currently in pre-production.
Further, Lee will also reprise his role of Ray Sun, a vengeful killer, in the upcoming television series Ray — a spinoff of the 2020 South Korean action film Deliver Us From Evil — where the character originated.
He is also confirmed for the lead role in Wiretap, an upcoming film whose release date is currently unknown, as are the nuances surrounding Lee’s character. The film follows a police unit who wiretap a corporation who are suspected of manipulating the stock market.
Park Hae-soo, who plays Gi-hun’s childhood friend Cho Sang-woo in Squid Game, also has his hands full as we await more news on the show’s second season.
Park will appear in the upcoming film Phantom, a South Korean film centered on five prisoners who are being held by the Japanese army during the 1933 Korean colonization by Japan. Each of them are suspected as being the true identity of “Phantom, a spy for an anti-Japanese organization”, and they all soon realize that they’ll have to douse their own suspicions of each other if they want to make it out alive. Park plays Kaito, the director of the investigation to find “Phantom.”
Park will also play a role in the Korean disaster film The Great Flood, expected to head to Netflix in 2023. He will play Hee-jo, one of the protagonists opposite Kim Da-mi’s An-na – both of whom struggle to survive when an enormous flood engulfs the planet, causing their apartment building to sink into the unforgiving depths.
Wi Ha-joon — the actor behind policeman Hwang Kun-ho in Squid Game — seems to be having a quieter time away from the acclaimed Netflix series, set to appear in the second season of Korean web-series Shark: The Beginning, reprising his role of Jeong Do-hyeon, an MMA fighter who meets protagonist Cha Woo-sol in a juvenile prison and becomes hellbent on helping Cha push his limits.
Fresh off of her Squid Game role as North Korean defector Kang Sae-byeok, Jung Ho-yeon is gearing up for her first role in a feature film in The Governesses, an upcoming A24 film that will see the actress star alongside the likes of Lily-Rose Depp and Renate Reinsve.
The Joe Talbot-directed film — based on the book of the same name — follows the mischievous adventures of three governesses, each of them portrayed by one of the aforementioned actresses, who abandon their work as servants and educators to the children of a wealthy couple, instead choosing to indulge in increasingly more carefree and sensual escapades, much to the entertainment of those around them.
She will also appear in the upcoming Apple TV thriller series Disclaimer, portraying the character of Kim, an ambitious employee of protagonist Catherine Ravenscroft (Cate Blanchett).
Heo Sung-tae already has over 60 acting credits to his name, among them Squid Game‘s Jang Deok-su — a gambler who enters the tournament in hopes of paying off his gambling debts — and it doesn’t look like he’ll be slowing down any time soon.
Heo is confirmed to be playing the role of Hee Dae, a con artist, in the upcoming K-drama Chronicles of Crime. His character will serve as the antagonist to detective Cho Hee Pal, the show’s protagonist.
Lastly, Kim Joo-ryoung — who impressed with her turn as manipulative con woman Han Mi-nyeo — is keeping herself busy with a pair of upcoming film roles in the form of Rehabilitation and Neulbom Garden.
The former — a short film that serves as part of the horror anthology Taste of Horror — will star Kim in a leading role, and follows a paramedic who becomes trapped in a haunting liminal space after suffering an injury during a rescue mission. The latter, meanwhile, will see her portray So-hee, the elder sister of the film’s protagonist, a widow who begins having waking nightmares after visiting Neulbom Garden, a restaurant that she inherited from her late husband.