WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Squid Game, now on Netflix.
Squid Game has become a global phenomenon, so much so, Ted Sarandos, c0-CEO of the world’s number one streamer, said within nine days of its release that it could be “our biggest show ever.” Given its success, discussions about a second season are already happening among fans. More importantly, dialogue about the characters and direction of a sequel to the first season have begun within the creative team who launched the series.
Creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, said he had no intention of continuing the story and would need some assistance in determining what a future for this world might look like. Given how the season finale resolves the various character arcs and what little information has been disclosed at this point, there are a few areas that allow some reasonable speculation about how and if a second season may come together.
Squid Game Season 2 Theories
Seong Gi-Hun is an unemployed gambler who is invited to compete in a series of playground games for millions of dollars. Unbeknownst to him at the time, he will be playing against 455 contestants and the penalty for elimination is death. Meanwhile, Hwang Jun-ho, a detective in search of his missing brother, infiltrates the secretive island where the games are held and uncovers an organ smuggling side hustle established by a small faction of the guards, as well as a cabal of rich clientele that fund the games.
The Front Man, a uniquely masked man who runs the games, is Jun-ho’s missing brother, Hwang In-ho, a former Squid Game champion who is now the overseer of the competition and liaison to the shadowy figures who finance and view the games. The bloodshed concludes with Gi-Hun victorious, wealthy beyond his wildest dreams and guilt ridden by what happened. With the fulfillment of his hopes just a few steps away, he turns from the future he imagined and pivots toward a path of retribution, determined to bring the games to an end.
A set of future chapters that feature Gi-Hun, now armed with resources, experience and resiliency would be immensely satisfying. Hunting the Front Man, discouraging new players and destroying the games infrastructure would be compelling to watch and could present a whole new set of dynamic qualities in Gi-Hun. He could ultimately bring it all down only to discover that the games in South Korea are only the tip of the iceberg, creating fertile soil for future seasons. Alternatively, after having become disillusioned with the fight against the exploiters, he may become one himself, similar to Beth’s character in Hostel: Part II.
Though nothing has been committed to stone, the show’s creator is considering a completely different focal point for a potential sequel season. The director has revealed that the Front Man is a former cop and that just as the first season deals principally with the economic castes derived from wealth disparities across the world, policing is also a global issue that he would like to see the second season confront.
Hwang Jun-ho is ostensibly killed by the Front Man just moments after he discovers his identity. His death though is somewhat uncertain in the parlance of movies and television. He was shot, then tumbled off a cliff into open water, but his body was never shown so there lies the possibility that he may have survived and could play a significant role in a subsequent narrative in direct opposition to his brother.
What Are the Chances for Squid Game Season 2?
Netflix has made no announcement at this point, but a second season is almost acertainty. The company did not market the series outside of Korea to any significant degree until much later, and Bela Bajaria, the head of Netflix Global TV operations even acknowledged to Vulture how they didn’t anticipate it to be this big outside Korea, but that didn’t stop viewership. For context, according to Reuters, a South Korean ISP known as SK Broadband filed a suit against Netflix due in part to the streaming demand for the show. The suit seeks to leverage network usage fees from Netflix for traffic and maintenance, which presumably slowed down service for its customers.
One can also see the demand for Squid Game on social media, as users try to recreate a challenge from the show featuring Dalgona, a treat nostalgic to South Korean elementary schools. There has been a boom in demand since the show’s premiere, with the shop that supplied them for the series seeing a 250 percent increase in their sales.
Despite the popularity of the show, there are concerns about Hwang Dong-hyuk’s availability. He is working on several projects, and his ability to devote himself to another season may create scheduling conflicts, but Bajaria is optimistic. As mentioned in the Vulture article, the creator likes to collaborate with other writers, and they’re trying to find the best structure to work with him. While a small obstacle, things look hopeful for another season.
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