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SYFY WIRE Squid Game

Netflix orders reality competition series inspired by 'Squid Game' - hopefully without all the death

A global casting search is currently underway for the role of the Front Man.

By Josh Weiss
Squid Game Season 1 Episode 3

The Squid Game universe lives! Netflix has decided to go all in on creator Hwang Dong-hyuk's creative vision with Squid Game: The Challenge, a first-of-its-kind reality competition series based on the sleeper hit TV series from South Korea. Thankfully, contestants of this real-world tournament will not be executed on sight if they fail to complete certain tasks. Instead, they'll simply go home empty-handed. The winner, however, stands to win $4.56 million, the largest lump sum cash prize in the history of televised game shows.

The pool of participants is slated to be equally as ambitious with 456 players chosen from everyday life donning track suits and vying for a chance to take home the life-changing jackpot. A global casting search is currently underway for the role of the Front Man, the mysterious MC of the titular contest, which centers around a number of well-known kids' games in South Korea. Hosting hopefuls — who need only speak English to apply for the gig — can submit their names right here.

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.”

Filming on the first 10 episodes will take place in the United Kingdom, with Studio Lambert (The Circle) and The Garden (24 Hours in A&E) on board as co-producers. Stephen Lambert, Tim Harcourt, Toni Ireland, John Hay, Nicola Hill, and Nicola Brown serve as executive producers. 

News of this spinoff project comes just two days after the flagship title was officially renewed for a second season.

"It took 12 years to bring the first season of Squid Game to life last year," Dong-hyuk, who also directs and produces, wrote in a statement posted to Twitter. "But it [only] took 12 days for Squid Game to become the most popular Netflix series ever. As the writer, director, and producer of Squid Game, [I'd like to give] a huge shout out to fans around the world. Thank you for watching and loving our show. And now, Gi-hun returns. The Front Man returns. The man in the suit with ddakji might be back. You'll also be introduced to Young-hee's boyfriend, Cheol-su. Join us once more for a whole new round."

Now streaming, Season 1 of Squid Game is Netflix's most popular series of all time with almost 2 billion viewing hours in the first 28 days of its premiere last September. Worldwide popularity even eclipsed that of streaming juggernauts like Stranger Things and The Witcher. Folks were so enamored with the series, in fact, that it was parodied by Saturday Night Live and even prompted a number of New York elementary schools to ban Squid Game-inspired costumes for Halloween.

Looking for more bloody thrills? Check out Season 1 of SYFY and USA Network's Chucky on Peacock, with Season 2 set to arrive this fall.