Netflix’s real-life ‘Squid Game’ Competition Will Feature The Biggest Cash Prize Of $4.56 M

Netflix’Squid Game, a series about people risking their lives and sometimes killing one another on television in order to pay off their crippling debts, is becoming an actual game show.

Yesterday, Netflix greenlit “Squid Game: The Challenge,” a reality competition series based on the popular South Korean drama that, luckily, doesn’t have people killing each other “Hunger Games” style and will offer a cash prize of $4.56 million. (That’s a lifetime of dalgona candies right there!) Not only will this be the largest cash prize a competition show has ever seen, it will also feature the biggest-ever reality TV cast with 456 contestants.

Recruitment is now open on SquidGameCasting.com, and Netflix is looking for 456 English-speaking players. Netflix says “Squid Game: The Challenge” will have 10 episodes, and it will be filmed in the U.K.

Though Netflix has released a promotional video featuring scenes from the fictional Squid Game, it has not yet specified what sorts of obstacles Squid Game: The Challenge will throw at contestants. In a public statement about the new game show, Netflix vice president of unscripted and documentary series Brandon Riegg sang Squid Game creator Hwang Dong-hyuk’s praises and cited the series’ worldwide success as some of the reasoning behind Netflix’s decision to turn it into a show the public can participate in.

 Squid Game
Squid Game © Netflix

“As [players] 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,” it added.

Participants need to be at least 21 years old. They must speak English, and be available for up to 4 weeks in early 2023 for filming.

The 456 participants are a nod to the fictional series, which features the same number of players, with its main protagonist Seong Gi-hun also referred to as Player 456.

The South Korean thriller series tells the story of debt-ridden people competing for a huge cash prize in a deadly series of children’s games.

It holds the record as Netflix’s most-popular series of all time, and it was streamed by 111 million users in its first 28 days of its launch.

Director, writer and executive producer of Squid Game Hwang Dong-hyuk said in a statement on Monday: “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.”

“’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 in a statement. “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.”

The news follows Netflix’s confirmation that it also greenlit “Squid Game” Season 2. The first season had over 1.65 billion view hours in the first 28 days following its September 2021 premiere, the company reported.

The promo for “Squid Game: The Challenge” features the recognizable robot doll with lasers for eyes but doesn’t reveal exactly what challenges contestants will have to do. (We hope there are no glass bridges involved!) No release date for either “Squid Game” Season 2 or “Squid Game: The Challenge” have yet to be revealed.

Production will undoubtedly be difficult as you can’t exactly have cameras following every player. Likely, many will be eliminated in early rounds, as in the TV series. The streamer says “Squid Game: The Challenge” will be co-produced by Studio Lambert and The Garden. Executive producers include Stephen Lambert, Tim Harcourt, Toni Ireland, John Hay, Nicola Hill and Nicola Brown.

Studio Lambert is also producing its own competition series, “Million Dollar Island,” where 100 contestants will compete in a show much like “Survivor” with a prize of $1 million. That said, “Squid Game: The Challenge” will quadruple the number of players, so it will be interesting to see how it can be pulled off.

A big question people have is if the new “Squid Game” competition series will be livestreamed.

Applications to be on Squid Game: The Challenge are now open, and may the odds be ever in your favor — or however the saying goes.