Squid Game becomes Takeshi's Castle as Netflix gears up for its reality show spin-off

Shaurya Thapa
Shaurya ThapaMay 23, 2023 | 13:40

Squid Game becomes Takeshi's Castle as Netflix gears up for its reality show spin-off

The controversial Squid Game reality series premieres on Netflix this November (photo-Netflix)

Netflix just loves expanding upon its non-English properties. Be it the critically-panned 365 Days trilogy of erotic movies, or a Korean spin-off of Money Heist. Now, its breakout South Korean original Squid Game is getting its own spin-off with a reality series titled Squid Game: The Challenge

One can hope that the contestants don’t actually get shot to death while playing “Red Light Green Light”!


What’s in it for the winner?

Squid Game: The Challenge entails the participation of 456 contestants and it is highly likely that they are made to role-play as oppressed inmates dressed in green, being subjected to dystopian games under the masked guards in red. 

Just like its source material, there’s obviously a good deal of money at the end of it all. After winning these “non-lethal” games (as Netflix would insist), they would bag a cash price of $4.56 million. 

Courting controversy even before production

The reality series was already garnering controversy earlier this February when Rolling Stone reported on the questionable conditions of the show. Some of the contests were complaining about “inhumane” conditions; the irony is obviously not lost on anyone. Netflix hopefully doesn’t blur the lines between its fictional Korean property and its global reality series.

The Rolling Stone report also quoted four players as they talked about their experience of a two-hour game lasting over nine hours. The conditions were challenging with freezing temperatures and one of the contestants suffering a herniated disc and a torn knee tendon while filming. 

When is Squid Game: The Challenge releasing?

Netflix hasn’t released an official release date and offered more of a release window, suggesting that the reality series will premiere this November.


Potential for even more Squid Game spin-offs

Squid Game first premiered in 2021 and its nine-episode debut season ended on a cliffhanger, naturally opening the possibility of many more seasons. But if you remember Squid Game’s Korean ensemble was also supported by a minority of white people who show up in kinky animal masks as the uber-rich clientele of the so-called Squid Game. 


In one of the latter episodes, one such First World guest even remarks that the “Korean games” are his most favourite. This might just imply that there are many other variations of the Squid Game in other countries. While the titular tournament includes many actual Korean children’s games, Netflix might not want to lose out on an opportunity to capitalise on Squid Game’s global fanbase.

Imagine an Indian Squid Game with deadly versions of gilli-danda or a jalikattu round or whatnot!

Last updated: May 23, 2023 | 13:40
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