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Netflix Announces Squid Game Reality Series That Misses the Point of Squid Game

Netflix Announces Squid Game Reality Series That Misses the Point of Squid Game

Days after Netflix greenlighted Squid Game for a second season, the streamer has announced a reality-competition spin-off that forces one to ask: Have the execs actually seen Squid Game? Netflix has ordered Squid Game: The Challenge, a series that claims to boast the largest cast and lump sum cash prize in reality TV history.

Following the fictional show’s lead, The Challenge invites 456 players to participate in Squid Game–inspired events—plus new contests—chasing down a historic $4.56 million cash prize. The contestants’ “strategies, alliances, and character will be put to the test while competitors are eliminated around them,” according to a Netflix press release, which assures that participants won’t be brutally murdered like their fictional counterparts. “The stakes are high, but in this game the worst fate is going home empty-handed.” Phew.

Squid Game took the world by storm with Director Hwang [Dong-hyuk’s] captivating story and iconic imagery,” Brandon Riegg, Netflix V.P. of unscripted and documentary series, said in a statement. “We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment. 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.”

Reality series have flirted with themes of dystopian survival before, in shows like Survivor, Naked and Afraid, and the claustrophobic apartments of The Ultimatum. But none have been directly adapted from an allegory about societal greed, which sees indebted characters forced to fight to death for money. And yet, a 10-episode series emulating that very concept is on the way.

For those morbidly curious souls who’d like to lean into capitalism by children’s game, applications are now open at squidgamecasting.com. Production is seeking English-speaking contestants from around the globe—previous knowledge of the original Squid Game not required.

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