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Squid Game season 2: Release date speculation and latest news

Netflix hit Squid Game is on its way back to our screens.

Lee Jung-jae in Squid Game
Netflix
Published: Tuesday, 2nd August 2022 at 5:10 pm
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It's been almost a year since Squid Game came into our lives (and invaded our nightmares) but details of season 2 are still relatively thin on the ground.

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Thankfully we do now have confirmation that a second season is officially coming, with the renewal announced via a video and message on social media, revealing that "a whole new round is coming".

The news came after the Netflix show became the streamer’s biggest ever series launch, surpassing Bridgerton’s record, although that success doesn't mean it's rushing out this second outing.

Lee Jung-jae who played Seong Gi-hun – the lone survivor of the deadly games – told PEOPLE that "it feels like [Hwang Dong-hyuk] is really struggling to write the script. I actually wanted to ask director Hwang about it too", suggesting that we may be waiting some time.

The star did remain optimistic though, saying: "You want the whole package at once, so I’m just waiting for director Hwang to give me the whole scenario, and I’m really excited for it."

Alongside the season 2 renewal announcement back in June, fans were also given a letter from Dong-hyuk, which confirmed that games winner Seong Gi-hun will return alongside the mysterious Front Man who runs the games.

The message teased that the man in the suit with ddakji "might be back" while the series will introduce the boyfriend of Young-hee, the show's giant robotic doll, who is apparently called Cheol-su.

The letter noted that, while it took only 12 days for the series to become the most popular ever on Netflix, it took a full 12 years to get it made, further suggesting we could be in for rather a long wait.

However, as we count down the months waiting for new season there seems to still be plenty of additional Squid Game news.

For a start, Netflix announced a reality competition based on the survival drama earlier this year, to be called Squid Game: The Challenge. It will see 456 contestants compete for a whopping $4.56 million (£3.78 million) in prize money.

Meanwhile, interactive games company Immersive Gamebox and Netflix have reportedly worked together to produce an in-person, real life multiplayer game based on the series.

In the game, two to six players will compete in the show's challenges including Red Light, Green Light, Glass Bridge, and Squid Game, with the game utilising "motion-sensing technology and touchscreens lining the walls of the digital smart rooms" to determine who should lose a virtual life.

This game would appear to be just another piece in the rapidly expanding Squid Game puzzle, after the series seemingly arrived as a bolt from the blue.

When it landed on the streamer it unexpectedly racked up enormous numbers of fans and devotees, who quickly began digesting endless Squid Game theories and swiftly climbed on top of the various goodies and merchandise. It also launched the Squid Game cast, including Lee Jung-jae, to global fame.

So, RadioTimes.com has assembled everything we know so far about the next season of Squid Game, including who could return after all of those Squid Game deaths in season 1.

Meanwhile, if you are struggling with what to watch after Squid Game then check out our list.

**Spoiler warning for Squid Game season 1**

Squid Game season 2 release date speculation

Squid Game
Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun in Squid Game (Netflix)

Squid Game is officially returning for a second season, according to creator Hwang Dong-hyuk. However, it looks like we still have quite the wait on our hands.

Vanity Fair reported in May 2022 that Hwang was in the midst of final discussions with Netflix for the new season, and that he only had about three pages’ worth of ideas at that point. They said the new season could arrive in either late 2023 or in 2024.

Hwang told Associated Press back in November that Squid Game will definitely be back for season 2, saying: "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. 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."

When speaking to RadioTimes.com in October 2021, writer and director Hwang had revealed that a second season of Squid Game was not yet fully formed in his mind and presented challenges.

"There's a film I really want to make," he told The Guardian. "I'm thinking about which to do first. I'm going to talk to Netflix."

“I do realise there are huge expectations for season two,” he said. “It’s not that I haven’t thought about season two at all, and I also do have a rough framework for it. But I keep asking myself whether I can make it better than season one. I do not want people to get disappointed over the new season.”

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He went on to explain that he may even try to incorporate some of the many fan theories that are circulating online to help him create a pleasing show.

Squid Game
Netflix

“If I ever make season 2, I will try to look up those many ideas, and of course if there are any good ones, I can bring them into the story,” he said. “Since I prefer writing alone, maybe all these ideas on YouTube can function as my writer’s room."

“Or maybe I can even ask the fans on social media to give ideas. In the meantime, I will try and think more while I work on films.”

So there you go, if you want to help speed up the process of the next season, maybe you need to develop some really great theories and post them on social media. You never know, you might end up in the virtual writers' room!

Was Squid Game planned as a limited series?

While Squid Game has never been advertised as a limited series, the show's creator Hwang Dong-hyuk told Variety at the end of September that he had no immediate plan to write a second season and didn't have any "well developed" ideas for a follow-up season. "It is quite tiring just thinking about it," he added.

Hwang had told RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview that he's asked himself whether he can make a second season that is "better than season 1", adding: "I do not want people to get disappointed over the new season.”

It also took Hwang over 10 years to get Squid Game to our screens after a number of studios rejected the project for its "bizarre" concept so it would be understandable if the Korean director had only envisaged the hit Netflix series to run for one season.

In 2009, Hwang attempted to pitch it as a feature film but was pushed back.

"People were telling me that it's too unrealistic," Hwang said in an interview with Vanity Fair.

Hwang re-visited the game in 2018. "It was a very strange experience," he explained, "because what seemed so unrealistic at the time didn't feel as unrealistic any more."

That being said, Hwang has since said that the show will definitely be returning for a second season – so we guess that answers that question!

Who could appear in the Squid Game season 2 cast?

Squid Game
Netflix

It's probably no spoiler to reveal the majority of the Squid Game cast who played 456 in season one won't be returning for season 2. The nature of the series means that contestants are killed when they are eliminated from the game, so unless the new season took the form of a prequel or had flashback sequences, we won't be seeing many returning cast members or characters.

It is no surprise, however, to note Lee Jung-jae will return as the winner of the first games, Seung Gi-hun, with creator Hwang Dong-hyuk recently confirming the news.

Lee recently previously told Entertainment Weekly that he would "of course" want to return for season 2 but didn't know how the story will turn out.

"I've received so much love and support from [viewers], of course I have to play him again if there is a season 2. But at this point I don't know anything about how the story is going to turn out, or how the characters are going to change, or if there is going to be any new characters adding to the series. I don't know anything right now.

"And I also don't know whether if Gi-hun's role was still be the main role or like a minor role on the side. But whatever it's going to be, of course I would have to say yes."

As mentioned above, a letter released by Netflix in June 2022 confirmed the return of Lee Jung-jae and Lee Byung-hun as games winner Seung Gi-hun and the mysterious Front Man, respectively.

The letter also teased the possible return of a fan-favourite cameo: beloved Korean leading man Gong Yoo, the anonymous recruiter who lures people into the game.

As for Hwang Jun-ho, the police officer who snuck into the games, he was shot in season 1 by the Front Man (who turned out to be his missing brother and will be returning for season 2, according to Hwang) and fell into the ocean – but is he really dead? Wi Ha-joon who plays Jun-ho recently told Deadline that he'd like him to survive the fall and quiz his brother on why exactly he became the ring-leader of the games.

"I'm dying to know what happened to him. I want him to return alive, find his brother and ask him tons of questions. As a brother, I would ask him sincerely," he said. "As a detective, I want to explore the overall secrets behind the game as well. I really hope to see Jun-ho come back alive and explore all these questions. I hope to see a more brother-love side of their relationship as well."

Meanwhile in March 2022, Hwang teased that he could be tempted to bring back some stars from the first run, even if their characters had been killed off.

"I’ll try something to bring them back to season 2," he told Deadline, before joking of star HoYeon Jung, "Let’s say maybe she has a twin sister, you’ll see."

Squid Game season 2 plot theories

Squid Game Lee Jung-Jae
Squid Game Lee Jung-Jae Netflix

While Seung Gi-hun triumphed during the first games, it seems the horror isn't over yet.

He discovers the challenges are still continuing with a different team, so there's plenty of scope for Gi-hun to become the ultimate hero and stop them all.

One thing's for certain: this edition of the game wasn't the first and doesn't seem to be the last, so the series could really go in any direction, in a similar vein to the Saw franchise.

Creator Hwang Dong-hyuk recently told The Times that he would like a second season to look at the Korean police after focusing mainly on the contestants in the first season.

"While I was writing season 1, I thought about the stories that could be in season 2 if I get to do one — one would be the story of the Frontman. 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 2 I can talk about this more."

While we did get a glimpse into what life for the Game employees was like when police officer Hwang Jun-ho snuck into the facility, we don't know a lot about how the workers were recruited and why they chose to work there. We find out that Jun-ho's brother is the Front Man, having taken on a senior role at the Game after winning as a contestant in 2015, but we don't know why he decided to join forces with the competition that made him kill several people.

A second season could explore the employees' stories more, with Hwang telling RadioTimes.com in an exclusive interview that he may look into the theory around the colour of the Ddakji cards a contestant chooses, with some thinking that choosing the blue card makes you a contestant while choosing the red card makes you an employee.

"What an intriguing theory!" he said. "I might use it if we'll ever have a season 2!"

Hwang also said that he would be open to exploring the back story of Old Man Oh Il-nam, a contestant who is revealed to be a wealthy investor behind the games.

"It seems, however, the way how he yearns for the happy moments of his past shows that he has lost many things including his family and his humanity at the cost of success. If there will be a season two, we might reveal a little more about his past story," he said.

While we find out that Il-nam was one of the wealthy VIPs who helped set up the Game for rich people who became disillusioned with the thrills of normal life, we don't know a huge amount the life he had with his wife and son, who he mentions during the marbles game. There's one particular Squid Game fan theory which thinks Il-nam could turn out to be Gi-hun's father as the two seemed to develop a familial relationship throughout the games while Il-name told Gi-hun on his death bed that it had been "fun to play with him". Perhaps diving into Il-nam's backstory could confirm this potential plot thread?

Hwang added that he may turn to the fans for ideas for a second season, saying: "Since I prefer writing alone, maybe all these ideas on YouTube can function as my writer's room. Or maybe I can even ask the fans on social media to give ideas. In the meantime, I will try and think more while I work on films."

Squid Game
Netflix

Hwang seems to have changed his mind on writing by himself since then, recently telling Variety that if he does make a second season, he "would certainly not to it alone".

"I’d consider using a writers’ room and would want multiple experienced directors," he added.

While the season 1 finale seemed to set up season 2, with Gi-hun decided not to board the plane to America and appearing to set out on a mission to seek revenge on the game organisers, Hwang has said that the last episode could work as a complete ending to the series and Gi-hun's story.

"It’s true that season 1 ended in an open-ended way, but I actually thought that this could be good closure for the whole story, too," he told The Hollywood Reporter.

"Season 1 ends with Gi-hun turning back and not getting on the plane to the States. And that was, in fact, my way of communicating the message that you should not be dragged along by the competitive flow of society, but that you should start thinking about who has created the whole system — and whether there is some potential for you to turn back and face it.

"So it’s not necessarily Gi-hun turning back to get revenge. It could actually be interpreted as him making a very on-the-spot eye contact with what is truly going on in the bigger picture. So I thought that might be a good, simple-but-ambiguous way to end the story for Gi-hun."

However, he added that if he did write a second season, he would want to explore the storyline between the Front Man and his police officer brother, as well as the recruiter for the games.

"I could also go into the story of that recruiter in the suit who plays the game of ddakji with Gi-hun and gives him the card in the first episode. And, of course, we could go with Gi-hun’s story as he turns back, and explore more about how he’s going to navigate through his reckoning with the people who are designing the games. So, I don’t know yet, but I’ll just say there are a lot of possibilities out there for season two storylines."

Is there a trailer for Squid Game season 2?

Unfortunately, there isn't a trailer for Squid Game season 2 yet as it has only just been confirmed, let alone produced. We'll update this page as soon as there is one.

Until then, here's the trailer for season 1 again, simply because it's a visual treat.

Still as pretty as ever!

Read more about Squid Game:

Squid Game is now available to watch on Netflix. Check out our lists of the best TV shows on Netflix and the best movies on Netflix or alternatively head to our TV Guide for something to watch tonight.

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