'Squid Game' Season 2: Trailer, Release Date, Cast and What to Know About the Netflix Series

Here's everything you need to know ahead of the anticipated second season.

Red light, green light... Squid Game is opening its doors for season 2!

Following the groundbreaking debut of the riveting Korean drama Netflix is gearing up for the anticipated nine-episode follow-up to the breakout 2021 season.

After being crowned its most-watched series ever with 1.6 billion total hours watched during its opening month, Netflix co-CEO and chief content officer Ted Sarandos revealed in January 2022 that "the Squid Game universe has begun." A season 2 greenlight was made official by Netflix in June 2022, nine months after the series premiered, with creator/writer/director Hwang Dong-hyuk back to oversee the entire thing.

Squid Game follows ordinary people forced to enter a secret competition, where they could either win a massive cash prize or lose their life. Season 1 centered on divorced father and gambler, Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae), who unexpectedly outwits and outlasts his fellow competitors until he makes it to the end and discovers there is far more to the games than he originally thought. 

The popularity of Squid Game skyrocketed soon after its September 2021 debut, catapulting actress Jung Ho-yeon, who played Kane Sae-byeok, into the show's breakout star and dominating the pop culture conversation around the world.

With cast and producers, including Hwang, gathering together in June 2023 for the first official table read to kickstart season 2, here's what we know so far about the anticipated new season of the Korean thriller.

When Will Season 2 Premiere?

Netflix released official photos from the first cast table read for season 2 on June 28, 2023, which took place earlier in the week, according to the streaming service. Production began in late 2023, and the episodes are expected to debut in sometime in 2024.

Who's in the Cast

Returning for season 2 is Emmy winner Lee Jung-jae as lone game survivor Seong Gi-hun, Wi Ha-joon as Hwang Jun-ho, Lee Byung-hun as the Front Man and Gong Yoo as the Salesman.

They will be joined by new cast additions Yim Si-wan, Kang Ha-neul, Park Sung-hoon and Yang Dong-geun, who Netflix confirmed will be new players in the game.

The ensemble will be rounded out by Park Gyu-young, singer and former Iz*One member Jo Yuri, Kane Ae-sim, Lee David, Lee Jin-uk, rapper-actor Choi Seung-hyun (whose stage name is T.O.P.), Roh Jae-won and Won Ji-an.

Where You've Seen the New Faces

Jo Yuri and Choi Seung-hyun, also known as T.O.P., may be familiar to K-pop fans.

The former is an ex-member of the girl group, Iz*One, which disbanded in 2021. The 21-year-old singer debuted as a solo artist later that year with the release of Glassy. She followed that up in 2022 with the five-track album, Op.22 Y-Waltz: In Minor with the summer title song, "Love Shhh!"

T.O.P. made his debut in 2006 as lead rapper for the K-pop group, BigBang, which included members G-Dragon, Taeyang, Daesung and Seungri. The 35-year-old is no stranger to the screen, making his acting debut in the Korean TV rom-com series, I Am Sam, in 2007 and later his film debut in 2010 with the Korean war drama, 71: Into the Fire.

Other new cast additions have previously worked together, with Park Gyu-young and Lee Jin-uk co-starring in the 2020 horror series Sweet Home. Lee David also has ties to Hwang, playing a supporting role in the Squid Game creator's past film, The Fortress, and starring opposite Lee Jung-jae in Svaha: The Sixth Finger.

Who Isn't Returning 

Unfortunately, many fan favorites won't be returning -- in part because the majority of the characters are dead.

One of those original cast members is breakout star Jung Ho-yeon, who played North Korea defector Kang Sae-byeok in season 1. The Emmy-nominated actress all but confirmed that she won't be appearing in Squid Game season 2, saying in an interview with The Korea Herald in 2021, "To be honest, I have never thought about [participating in] the next season, because I am dead. We should all wait for brilliant imagination and ideas from the director and Netflix."

Noh Juhan/Netflix

However, in 2022, Hwang seemed to leave the door slightly ajar when asked about the possibility of seeing Jung again. "Let's say maybe she has a twin sister, you'll see," the director joked.

And while working on season 2, Hwang expressed regrets over killing off memorable characters, notably Ji-yeong, played by actress Lee Yoo-mi. "I want to revive Ji-yeong, but her best friend Sae-byeok also died, so I'm thinking what to do," he acknowledged in September 2022. "So many characters died, especially beloved ones. I'm sorry I killed them so easily; I didn't know [season 2] was coming."

What Happened at the End of Season 1?

Season 1 ends with Gi-hun winning the final Squid game, beating Cho Sang-woo and refusing to kill him. Instead, he begs Sang-woo to stop the game through a loophole in the rules, but Sang-woo ends up fatally stabbing himself in the neck.

The finale episode flashes forward one year later and Gi-hun, who is given the hefty prize money via a bank card, is still struck by the trauma he experienced during the games and the death of his mother. It's revealed he hasn't spent his prize money. He later gives a portion of it to Sang-woo's mother and Sae-byeok's brother.

After visiting fellow player and friend Oh Il-nam, who is dying, Gi-hun learns the truth about the existence of the games -- that it was created by him solely to entertain the rich. After Il-nam dies, Gi-hun discovers that the game is still continuing after spotting the Salesman trying to recruit another player at the airport. 

Noh Juhan/Netflix

Though he initially has plans to board the plane to visit his daughter in Los Angeles in an attempt to reconnect, Gi-hun -- after getting the player's invitation card -- dials the number before his flight and demands to know who is overseeing the games.

The person who answers the phone tells Gi-hun to board his flight, but he has other plans as his anger intensifies. Gi-hun turns around and instead of getting on the plane, walks back to the terminal. Is he about to take revenge and stop the game once and for all?

"The scene where Seong Gi-hun turns around and decides to not get on the plane, that's not a decision that he just makes for the happiness of himself and for himself only," Hwang told ET in November 2021. "It is to present this very question that we wanted to convey through the series, which is, 'Is the world that we're living in worthy of living?'"

"So the way that he looks straight into the camera is really in a way asking the audience that very question," he noted.

What Is Season 2 About?

The first footage from season 2 was released in February 2024, showing a clip that pics up right where season 1 ended.

We see Gi-hun walking out of the airport terminal when his phone buzzes.

"You are going to regret the choice you made," the voice warns.

"I will find you," Gi-hun threatens in return. "No matter what it takes."

Months after season 1 dropped, Hwang revealed in June 2022 that audiences will also "be introduced to Young-hee's boyfriend, Cheol-su" in season 2.

He also shared in October 2021 that the new season may delve deeper into the backstories of Squid Game's supporting characters, such as the Front Man and the Salesman.

"There are some loose ends I’d like to explore if I were to make a second season. The Front Man’s unexplained past, detective Jun-ho’s story. Those are things I didn’t explain in season 1. If I were to do season 2, I’d like to explain those elements," Hwang told CNN. "And the man with the ddakji [a Korean game] in his bags… the man who was played by Gong Yoo."

Noh Juhan/Netflix

Hwang disclosed that the enigmatic game master is a former cop, in addition to being Jun-ho's older brother, the latter of which could be touched on in the upcoming episodes. He hinted that season 2 could also explore policing.

"I see it on the global news that the police force can be very late on acting on things -- there are more victims or a situation gets worse because of them not acting fast enough," he said in October 2021. "Maybe in season 2, I can talk about this more."

Will There Be a Season 3?

A third season hasn't officially been announced.

Hwang shared in a December 2021 interview with KBS, a Korean broadcasting station, that he was in conversations with Netflix about continuing Squid Game through season 3. 

Netflix responded to a report in May 2023 that it was moving forward with a third season, not confirming nor denying the development in its statement: "Because we are still in the early stages, the concrete details have not yet been decided."

Season 1 of Squid Game is streaming now on Netflix.


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