‘Squid Game: The Challenge’: Controversial Netflix Competition Series Gets Release Date and First Look

Netflix’s controversial reality competition show based on its smash South Korean drama “Squid Game” will finally debut in November, and the streamer offered up a very brief glimpse of reality show “Squid Game: The Challenge” on Saturday during its global, virtual Tudum fan event from Brazil.

“The world’s most notorious game becomes reality,” the teaser clip says, before showing contestants exiting their rooms and heading to the game of “Red Light Green Light” — featuring the giant, killer doll that in the scripted “Squid Game” swivels its head around and fires gunshots to eliminate players who were moving.

The unscripted game show, which was first announced in June 2022, was shot across two studios in the U.K. and produced by Studio Lambert and The Garden. Like the series, 456 contestants were cast (in this case, from around the world) to compete in various challenges based on the Korean children’s games featured on the show, as well as new games. The winner receives a $4.56 million cash prize.

But as Variety reported earlier this year, production kicked off during a cold snap in Britain that required medics to treat a handful of contestants, at least 11 times. Variety spoke to several contestants, who weren’t paid to participate in the series, and reported that a number of contestants collapsed on set — likely due to a combination of cold and fatigue from the eight hours of prep time before the game even started.

The streamer and producers responded that all precautions had been taken: “We care deeply about the health of our cast and crew, and the quality of this show. Any suggestion that the competition is rigged or claims of serious harm to players are simply untrue. We’ve taken all the appropriate safety precautions, including after care for contestants – and an independent adjudicator is overseeing each game to ensure it’s fair to everyone.”

Here’s the logline to the series: “Though the reality version of ‘Squid Game‘ isn’t a matter of life or death, there’s still a lot on the line: 456 players will compete to win $4.56 million, the largest cash prize in reality television history. Through a series of games, each player will be pushed to their limits and forced to ask themselves just how far they’ll go to win, with opportunistic alliances, cutthroat strategies and timely betrayals to follow.”

Here’s the first look at “Squid Game: The Challenge.”


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