Squid Game fans are eagerly awaiting a new season, but unfortunately, they’ll have to wait quite a bit longer. The show’s director Hwang Dong-hyuk recently said that he expects it won’t be finished for at least another two years or so.
When Netflix’s Squid Game was released on September 17 of 2021, it became an instant hit. The South Korean show amassed an unprecedented global fanbase and recently has been raking in the rewards, including several Emmy wins. Unsurprisingly, Netflix was eager to expand the Squid Game universe and entered into negotiations with director Hwang Dong-hyuk. In June 2022, the show was officially renewed for a second season and a Squid Game reality competition series spin-off was announced at the same time.
A couple of months after the official renewal, there’s an update on season 2’s possible release. On September 16, Hwang attended an event in Seoul, South Korea to celebrate Lee Jung-jae winning the Emmy for Best Actor for his performance as central protagonist Gi-hun in Squid Game. While at the event, he revealed some new information about the show’s second season. According to Hwang, production will begin next year, as reported by the South Korean movie database and news site HanCinema. Hwang hopes that production will be concluded by the end of next year, and that, after several more months required for post-production, the new season will be completed in 2024. In addition, the new season will have a larger budget than the first.
Hwang also revealed that he’s still writing the second season. He has designed the new Squid Game season 2 games that the characters will play but is still working them into the overall story. At the event, he said very little about the plot of the upcoming season in order to avoid spoilers, but one comment he made did turn heads. According to HanCinema, Hwang said that he is disappointed with the deaths of Lee Yoo-mi and Jung Ho-yeon’s characters, and wishes he could work with them further.
For many fans, this timeline is likely to be a disappointment. If the show comes out as Hwang described, that would be three years after the release of the first season, an unusually long time for content-hungry Netflix. There are a few reasons the show is taking so long, however. First is that director Hwang never really had any solid ideas of doing a second season and was quite surprised by the show’s massive success. Second is that Hwang wrote and produced the first season all on his own, without the large writing teams that most shows have. The combination of these two factors makes it unsurprising that it is taking him quite a while to complete a script for the Squid Game season 2. The script for the first season, in fact, took more than ten years for him to complete, so he likely wants to spend time reflecting on the story before making any commitments.
Hwang’s comments at the event have also given rise to much speculation about whether or not he will somehow resurrect two dead characters. The ones in question are the North Korean defector Sae-byeok, played by Jung Ho-yeon, and a young woman imprisoned for murdering her abusive step-father named Ji-yeong, played by Lee Yoo-mi. Both characters were fan favourites but died decisively in Squid Game season 1. It’s unclear how Hwang could bring them back if he wanted to, but doing so would likely reduce the stakes of the show greatly. After all, if people don’t actually die when they lose the games, what is there to stress about? At this point, however, it’s all only speculation, and Hwang did not definitively state that he would bring these characters back.