“Squid Game: The Challenge” is ready for the green light.
The Netflix reality series, which pits 456 real players in competition over a $4.56 million reward, is based on the harrowing Emmy-winning fictional show created by Hwang Dong-hyuk. The series makes history as the largest cash prize for a reality competition.
Per the official “The Challenge” synopsis, as players compete through a series of games inspired by the original show — plus surprising new additions — their strategies, alliances, and character will be put to the test while competitors are eliminated around them.
Medics were called to the reality competition series set in January 2023 as contestants were filming in freezing weather conditions, playing a game of “Red Light, Green Light,” also known as “Statues,” in minus 3 degrees Celsius weather, roughly 26 degrees Fahrenheit. Only 288 contestants moved forward after the competition.
In February 2023, former contestants told Rolling Stone that they believed the series had unsafe working conditions and a rigged reward. A group of former “The Challenge” players said they were looking into filing a lawsuit against the co-production studios, Studio Lambert and The Garden, for workplace safety violations, negligence, and false pretenses.
A spokesperson for Netflix told IndieWire at the time, “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.”
“Squid Game: The Challenge” is executive produced by Nicola Brown (The Garden), Tim Harcourt (Studio Lambert), John Hay (The Garden), Toni Ireland (Studio Lambert), Anna Kidd, Stephen Lambert (Studio Lambert), Louise Peet, Nia Yemoh (Studio Lambert), and Stephen Yemoh (Studio Lambert).
Production companies Studio Lambert and The Garden are behind the series, which began production in January.
“Squid Game” creator Hwang said of the reality show twist on his fictional series, “I think that even though our show does carry quite a heavy message — and I know that there are some concerns of taking that message and creating it into a reality show with a cash prize. However, I feel like when you take things too seriously, that’s really not the best way to go for the entertainment industry. It doesn’t really set a great precedent.”
“Squid Game: The Challenge” premieres November 22 on Netflix. Check out the teaser below.