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In the new reality competition series based on the hit Korean drama, 456 players will take part in children's games for a chance to win big bucks, starting Nov. 22 on Netflix
“Attention, all players.” Squid Game is here in real life … whether you’re ready or not.
On Monday, Netflix shared the first trailer for Squid Game: The Challenge, showing 456 players leaning into chaos and deceit in hopes of winning the whopping $4.56 million prize fund. In it, contestants step into the world of Squid Game — from towering bunks and familiar competitions to the same, green jumpsuits seen on the drama series. There’s even a clan of pink-suited employees ready and willing to keep the group in check.
“This is a savage game,” one contestant says as the competitions fly by. There’s a game of "Red Light, Green Light," with everyone’s favorite (or least favorite) larger-than-life doll, vending machines full of blue teddy bears and rainbow stairs that lead to … well, no one knows just yet.
And of course, there will be “blood.” Though, to keep things PG, the blood is black ink. Movement during the "Red Light, Green Light" challenge even sees one woman shot in the heart with the fluid. Her response? “Oh s---.”
It’s a game of “strategy” one player says, while another promises to make best friends though they “will absolutely double cross you,” they add. As the friendships form, so do rivalries. Some lean into alliances as a way to make it through. Sometimes, though, strategy isn’t enough. The trailer ends with one player falling dozens of feet off a bridge after the floor beneath them crumbled.
The streamer first announced the reality show in June 2022, based on the viral hit of one of Netflix’s biggest series, Squid Game. The concept of the fictional show was much more violent — where death was the common way of elimination from the high-stakes game. Each challenge centered on a nostalgic children’s game, laced with a fatal twist.
For the reality show version, there has been some controversy. In June — a year after the show was announced — some contestants said treatment on the series was “inhumane,” per Variety.
An article by The Sun captured one contestant saying, “It was like a warzone. People left in tears,” while another recounted filming in extremely cold conditions." Even if hypothermia kicked in then people were willing to stay for as long as possible because a lot of money was on the line.”
Netflix and the show’s production companies responded with a statement. “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," the statement read.
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Squid Game: The Challenge will premiere 10 episodes total, with new episodes airing through Dec. 6. The first set of episodes can be streamed on Nov. 22 on Netflix.
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