How far would you go to win the largest fortune any game show has ever given away? Well, we’ll all soon find out exactly how an average contestant would fair in this life-changing situation when Squid Game: The Challenge makes its way onto Netflix later this year.
Based upon the hugely popular South Korean horror series Squid Game, in which a batch of strangers are pitted against a series of simple-yet-deadly challenges to win a huge monetary reward, this new series turns nail-biting fiction into reality show fact.
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Well, sort of. While losers in Squid Game: The Challenge won’t be killed like the unsuccessful players in the Squid Game series, they will miss out on the chance to bag a massive monetary prize.
What else does Squid Game: The Challenge have in store? Let’s take a look.
When will Squid Game: The Challenge be released?
Squid Game: The Challenge will run for 10 episodes which are due to air from Wednesday, 22 November. The show was filmed at a former RAF base near Bedford earlier this year.
According to Deadline, the show could play around with a brand-new release strategy designed to drive up anticipation for the show's climactic finale. As per the outlet, Netflix is reportedly considering staggering the show and releasing episodes in batches in order to build up additional buzz. However, as it stands, the streamer has yet to confirm whether or not this will actually happen.
Is there a trailer for Squid Game: The Challenge?
A trailer for the reality competition show was revealed during Netflix's TUDUM event in June, which showed the set being built and teased the contestants playing Red Light Green Light.
— Netflix (@netflix) June 17, 2023
A full trailer was released in September, in which a masked Squid Game operative explained that players will compete for the biggest cash prize in reality show history.
What happens in Squid Game: The Challenge?
In addition to confirming a second series of director Hwang Dong-hyuk hugely popular viral series, Netflix also revealed plans to create a reality show spin-off back in June 2022.
Taking inspiration from the show’s task-filled plot, Squid Game: The Challenge will break records by inviting the largest number of players ever to compete for the largest pot of money ever to be given away on a reality TV show.
Some 456 hopefuls will battle it out to win $4.56m (£3.65m) – but it won’t come easy.
According to Netflix’s official press release, players will be “pushed to their limits and forced to ask themselves just how far they’ll go to win, with opportunistic alliances, cutthroat strategies and timely betrayals to follow.”
The streamer has teased that contestants will face a number of challenges inspired by those featured in the series which is good news for anyone who has been honing their sugar honeycomb task skills.
However, it has also been confirmed that there will be a few new surprises thrown in throughout for good measure.
Who will be starring in Squid Game: The Challenge?
Despite boasting hundreds of players, we don’t currently have any information about who these contestants are or where they’re from. However, with the prize money dished out in dollars, it’s perhaps safe to assume the series will feature contestants from all over the world.
We don’t yet know who will be hosting the show or if it will feature an appearance from the nefarious Front Man, the Squid Game baddie who was played by Lee Byung-hun in the TV series.
What happened on the set of Squid Game: The Challenge?
Since the show wrapped its UK-based production, a handful of anonymous participants have come forward to suggest that the show’s set and shooting techniques were “inhumane”. Netflix has issued a statement denying these claims.
Whilst commenting on suggestions that there was an injury on set and that contestants were allegedly forced to compete in sub-zero temperatures, the streamer reassured fans that it cares “deeply about the health of our cast and crew".
One report, detailed in Variety, revolved around the show’s now-iconic Red Light, Green Light task in which contestants are forced to freeze their movements whenever the show’s giant and all-seeing doll stops singing and faces their direction.
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Despite originally being told that they would only have to hold their chosen poses for no longer than two minutes, these extended freeze periods steadily grew longer, with one anonymous player claiming they had to stay frozen for 26 minutes.
Meanwhile, the shoot — which took place during England’s cold snap in early 2023 — was apparently faced with difficult temperatures, with another anonymous player saying: “If they had told us it was going to be that cold, no one would have gone through with it.”
The production team behind the show, Studio Lambert, responded to these reports by saying: “We care deeply about the health of our cast and crew, and the quality of this show. Any suggestion that the competition is rigged or claims of serious harm to players are simply untrue.
"We’ve taken all the appropriate safety precautions, including after care for contestants – and an independent adjudicator is overseeing each game to ensure it’s fair to everyone.”
Squid Game: The Challenge will be released on Netflix on Wednesday, 22 November.