Welcome to the “Squid Game.”
Netflix has announced the reality competition series “Squid Game: The Challenge,” inspired by writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk’s record-breaking script drama. “The Challenge” marks the largest reality competition ever — so the streamer claims — with 456 real players and a historically high cash prize of $4.56 million.
Netflix’s Head of Global TV Bela Bajaria announced the reality series at Banff World Media Festival. With both the largest cast and lump sum cash prize in reality TV history, 456 players will enter the game in pursuit of a life-changing reward of $4.56 million as the streamer follows the model of “have a hit show, double down with a watered-down reality show spinoff of it, minus, you know, the actual killing.”
It’s also a staggering sum as Netflix right now goes up against investors, a dwindling subscriber base, and staff cuts.
The 10-episode competition series will be filmed in the U.K. Recruitment is now open at SquidGameCasting.com, with the Front Man searching for English-language speakers from around the world — curious considering the original show is in Korean.
“Squid Game: The Challenge” follows contestants as they compete through a series of games inspired by the original show, plus surprising new additions, their strategies, alliances, and character will be put to the test while competitors are eliminated around them. The stakes are high, but in this game, the worst fate is going home empty-handed.
“‘Squid Game’ took the world by storm with director Hwang’s captivating story and iconic imagery. We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment,” Brandon Riegg, Netflix VP of unscripted and documentary series, said. “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.”
“Squid Game: The Challenge” is a co-production between Studio Lambert (“The Circle”) and The Garden (“24 Hours in A&E”), part of ITV Studios. Stephen Lambert, Tim Harcourt, and Toni Ireland from Studio Lambert and John Hay, Nicola Hill, and Nicola Brown from The Garden will serve as executive producers.
South Korean drama “Squid Game” was officially renewed for Season 2 at Netflix earlier this week, with Hwang tweeting, “It took 12 years to bring the first season of ‘Squid Game’ to life last year. But it took 12 days for ‘Squid Game’ to become the most popular Netflix series ever.”
Hwang also is developing a new satire series based on his experiences making “Squid Game,” currently titled “The Best Show on the Planet.”
Netflix additionally unveiled mobile game spin-offs of the streamer’s top titles, including “The Queen’s Gambit” and “Money Heist” during Geeked Week.