Squid Game trailer for real-life reality contest prompts confusion from Netflix users

First trailer shows 456 contestants emulating ‘deadly’ scene from hit drama

Jacob Stolworthy
Sunday 18 June 2023 09:31 BST
Trailer for Netflix thriller Squid Game

TV viewers are accusing Netflix of “missing the point” after teasing the real-life Squid Game series.

In 2022, Netflix announced plans to capitalise on the success of the Korean series, which follows desperate members of the public taking part in a deadly competition for a huge cash prize.

This year, 456 contestants who applied for the thankfully non-fatal version of the show’s contest, titled Squid Game: The Challenge, filmed scenes for the forthcoming reality series, which has a prize of £3.7m. This is the largest lumpsum jackpot in the history of reality TV.

A new trailer for the series shows green tracksuited participants emulating an early scene in Squid Game that sees characters play Red Light, Green Light in front of a giant machine that guns them down should it catch them moving.

Squid Game was a hit with viewers and critics, who deemed it a biting satire damning capitalism in all its forms. With this in mind, many are expressing the belief that Netflix has overlooked the message that creator Hwang Dong-hyuk was trying to get across.

“It’s actually impressive how Netlfix completely missed the f***Ing point of Squid Game,” one person wrote, adding: “It’s not like the show was subtle about it.”

Another added: “Do you know how haunting it is to see Netflix see a show that was a critique on capitalism do well and then creat a reality show mirroring the game about people killing each other to get out of debt.”

“Making a real Squid Game series is the equivalent of inventing Skynet from the Terminator films,” one tweeter wrote, addressing the Terminator franchise’s villainous artificial general superintelligence system.

An additional TV viewer stated: “Great job for ignoring the entire message of Squid Game.”

The game show was thrown into controversy earlier this year when contestants criticised their experience.

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‘Squid Game: The Challenge’ recreates scenes from the series (Netflix)

According to some people who took part, entrants spent several hours in freezing temperatures of -3C while having to stand still for the Red Light, Green Light game.

One player told The Sun: “Even if hypothermia kicked in, then people were willing to stay for as long as possible because a lot of money was on the line. Too many were determined not to move so they stood there for far too long.

There were people arriving thinking they were going to be millionaires but they left in tears.”

They added: “It was like a warzone. People were getting carried out by medics but we couldn’t say anything. If you talk then you’re out.”

The Independent contacted Netflix for comment.

Netflix event Tudum, which revealed fresh details about forthcoming projects, also revealed the cast for season two of Squid Game, which will be released in 2024.

Lee Jung-jae, Lee Byung-hun, Wi Ha-jun and Gong Yoo will all return in new episodes. New cast members include Im Siwan, Kang Ha-neul, Park Sung-hoon, and Yang Dong-geun

Squid Game: The Challenge will be released in November.

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