Season 2 of Squid Game might have more than one winner
Showrunner Hwang Dong-hyuk has shared more details about the Netflix show's future that will question whether human solidarity is truly possible.
If Netflix hadn’t renewed Squid Game, canonically the streamer’s most-watched original series, well, it would’ve been a damn shame. But the corporate gods smiled upon us, and in October 2021, the South Korean survival drama was confirmed to be coming back for a second season and, potentially, an entire universe - Marvel style!
Though the show started as a standalone story, you really can’t argue with those audience metrics. After the good news came from the mouth of the series creator himself, writer and director Hwang Dong-Hyuk has now given a few more details about where future episodes of Squid Game might go. Even Netflix themselves have weighed in, giving us teasers of the show’s expansive future and commissioning over 20 South Korean TV series and movies off the back of its success. Reportedly, there’s even the potential for actors behind the many killed off characters of season one, such as Hoyeon, to return within the SQCU (Squid Game Cinematic Universe).
For those anticipating the arrival of Squid Game season two, here’s what we know about the show so far.
What’s the plot of Squid Game season two?
It’s still extremely early days for Squid Game’s second season, so while there are a few sporadic details available, we don’t have anything beyond some expected character arcs
In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Hwang said he had three pages of ideas that he will use to write the next season, implying that the script for season two is still very much a draft and subject to change. He did however explain the themes he hopes the next season will explore. “Humanity is going to be put to the test through those games once again… I want to ask the question, ‘Is true solidarity between humans possible?’”
Does this mean the contestants in the next games might work together to complete the games? Could there be more than one winner? Hwang says maybe if they change their outlook and weren’t “focused on wanting to kill each other off” but instead refused to compete against each other in the games. “If they were capable of talking with one another, of cooperating with one another, I do agree that there could have been a possibility that we could have seen more winners.”
In previous interviews, Hwang has also shared more on where he would like to go with some of the returning characters. In “the first season, we saw Gi-hun as a character whose humanity is shown through or exposed in certain situations,” Hwang told a virtual SAG panel hosted by Entertainment Weekly. “In other words, his humanity is shown through a very passive manner. But I would think that in the second season, what he has learned from the games and his experience in the first season, they will all be put to use in a more active manner.”
Hwang also hinted that the series will explore The Front Man and how he came to oversee the games in more depth. In the SAG panel discussion, he continued to imply this storyline was of interest using a Star Wars analogy. '“As for the Front Man, who was also a past winner but became a Front Man, it’s like Darth Vader,” he said. “Some end up Jedi and some become Darth Vader, right? I think that maybe Gi-hun will go through a certain critical point where he is put through a test as well.”
Will anyone in the cast of Squid Game season one be returning?
Reportedly in November 2021, Lee Jung-Jae was in talks to reprise his role as final surviving gamer Gi-hun in the show’s next season. Season one ended on a cliff hanger, with him seemingly leaving behind freedom and his family to go and stop the games for good. It seems likely he will be returning in the show’s future.
Will other cast members be returning? “No, because most of them are dead,” Hwang told Deadline at the PAG Awards. “I’ll try something to bring them back to season two.” Hwang suggested a potential return for i-D cover star Hoyeon, though, who played the late fan-favourite character Sae-byeok. “Let’s say maybe she has a twin sister, you’ll see,” he added. Hoyeon then laughed and chimed in saying: I could change my hair colour. Let’s do a little, like, plastic surgery.”
With a whole universe planned, maybe spin-offs and additional seasons may work as prequels or origin stories.
Will there be further seasons of Squid Game?
The Star Wars analogy is sort of serendipitous it seems, as now Netflix have since revealed they are planning to create a wider Squid Game franchise, rather than simply future series. In a conference tied to Netflix’s fourth quarter earnings, the company’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos said that we would “absolutely” be getting a second season of the show, adding that “the Squid Game universe has just begun”.
That alludes to the idea of Netflix treating this like Disney do Marvel. Could the eye watering success of the show have the streaming service thinking bigger than a traditional story arc? Spin-off series? Where’s the Squid Game theme park?!
All this must be quite overwhelming for Hwang, who set up the show to end ambiguously, but was satisfied with this being the show's standalone season. “It’s true that season one ended in an open-ended way, but I actually thought that this could be good closure for the whole story, too,” he told Hollywood Reporter in October.
He’s also said that there was originally an alternative ending to the first season, which, if followed through, would have completely changed the future of the show.
What’s the release date of season two of Squid Game?
Before we get too ahead of ourselves, it’s worth remembering that Hwang has barely put pen to paper yet for Squid Game season two, so a release date is pretty far off. “There will be more great games, that’s all I can say.” Hwang also said at the PAG Awards. “I’m just still brainstorming and collecting ideas for season two. I haven’t even started with the writing yet.” It’s also been reported that he wants to work on a film first, and is negotiating with Netflix to have a multi-project contract with them, Ryan Murphy and Shonda Rhimes-style, so that he’s not just known as “The Squid Game guy”. Get your coin king!
There is one thing that’s for sure, though he promised AP that: “Gi-Hun will come back, and he will do something for the world.” The possibilities! The intrigue! If it’s anything like its firecracker first season, Squid Game’s return is sure to be one hell of a ride.