What happens when a hit TV series becomes a global phenomenon? You make an entire cinematic universe around it, and according to a Netflix executive, that's what may happen to the South Korean survival drama, Squid Game, which premiered in September 2021. In just a few weeks, Squid Game became the most popular Netflix original series in the world, breaking all of the streaming giant's records, including those set by Bridgerton, Money Heist, and Stranger Things.
Creator by Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game is about a large group of cash-strapped participants who agree to compete in a series of deadly games based on familiar children's games. The last one standing at the end takes home 45.6 billion won ($38M), and the losers die. The show reached more than 42 million Netflix households and it was streamed for more than 1.6 billion hours.
“The Squid Game universe has just begun,” Netflix chief content officer and co-CEO Ted Sarandos told Deadline.
Dong-hyuk already talked about developing Season 2 of the dystopian series, and has even teased for a third season. However, the comments from Sarandos on Jan. 20 marks the first time any of Netflix's senior execs have confirmed the show's renewal.
Sarandos praised the streamer's local team for the success of Squid Game:“They didn’t try to make the show different so that it would travel, but tried to find all the things about Korean cinema and Korean drama and build them up in a way and new levels of production values,” he said. “It’s not like we had to go in and teach anyone in Korea how to make great content. It’s an incredible market for that. There’s always been curiosity around the world, [the] K Drama market has always had pockets of success all over the place, but the ease of delivery that we’ve offered has pushed that into the mainstream.”
At this point, it's still too early to tell how exactly Netflix will develop a cinematic universe around Squid Game. It would be interesting to see other countries like the U.S. get their own series as part of the Squid Game cinematic universe.
Netflix hasn't given the Squid Game sequel a release date yet, but don't expect Season 2 to arrive anytime soon. For more details about Squid Game Season 2, check out everything we know so far here.