Squid Game season 2: everything we know about the hit Netflix show’s return

Seong Gi-hun takes a call in Netflix's Squid Game season 2 from the show's in-universe creators
Squid Game season 2 is calling.... and Seong Gi-hun looks befittingly concerned. (Image credit: Netflix)
Squid Game season 2: key info

- Expected to release later this year
- First look footage debuted in February 2024
- Gi-hun, Front Man, and Recruiter all confirmed to return
- Brand new character, played by Park Gyu-young, confirmed to appear
- Official plot details are currently under wraps
- Season 3 not yet greenlit, but spin-offs are on the way

Buckle up, folks, because Squid Game season 2 is coming – and, oh boy, it's not far away now. 

A hugely successful dystopian survival drama, Squid Game gripped the masses when it dropped on Netflix in 2021. Three long years have passed since it became the most-streamed Netflix TV Original of all-time and, while a card from the Salesman hasn't fallen in our laps during the interim period, there's plenty more story left to tell in the Squid Game universe – starting with its highly anticipated sophomore outing.

So, where will one of the best Netflix shows take us in its next installment? Details on its release date and story are thin on the ground, but we've still got plenty to catch you up on ahead of its 2024 launch, including its confirmed cast. Below, we dive into what's next as we await Squid Game season 2 on one of the best streaming services. Full spoilers follow for Squid Game season 1.

Squid Game season 2 release date

Gi-hun stares at a Squid Game overseer in a club in Squid Game season 2

Squid Game season 2 is expected to drop sometime in 2024. (Image credit: Netflix)

Squid Game season 2 doesn't have a specific release date, but it's coming later this year. Netflix confirmed as much when it announced its 2024 release schedule for Squid Game season 2 (and other popular shows) in April.

Squid Game was officially renewed by Netflix for a second season in June 2022, around six months after Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos admitted that Squid Game season 2 was "absolutely happening". Many months later, director/showrunner/creator Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed that filming of the second season was underway (per The Korea Herald), adding: "We are burdened with the pressure to do well, but we will make sure to repay viewers with a good result."

Considering season 1 arrived in 2021, we've waited a long time for its successor, but fans should be grateful that a second season is in the works at all. Hwang was, at first, hesitant to talk about whether or not Squid Game season 2 would happen (he initially told The Sunday Times that it wouldn't), citing his desire to focus on other projects, including a new film project titled Killing Old People Club. However, with viewing figures that would blow your mind, Squid Game's unprecedented success seemed to encourage its creator to rethink his early reluctance. 

So, when will the series' next entry be with us? If we had to guess, we expect it'll be sometime in late 2024. Season 1 launched in September '21, so debuting its follow-up around its three-year anniversary would be fitting. Hopefully, we'll learn of an official release date at Netflix's Upfronts 2024 panel, which will take place on Wednesday, May 15.

Squid Game season 2 cast: confirmed and rumored

Park Gyu-young's unnamed character looks at a card invite in Squid Game season 2

Actor Park Gyu-young will be one of a few new cast members in season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Spoilers follow for Squid Game's first season.

Because most of Squid Game season 1's characters bite the dust, it was difficult to predict which actors (if any) might return. Now, though, we have a clearer picture of who'll be part of Squid Game season 2. Here's the returning cast thus far:

  • Lee Jung-jae as Seong Gi-hun
  • Lee Byung-hun as Front Man
  • Gong Yoo as The Recruiter
  • Wi Ha-joon as Hwang Jun-ho

There'll be plenty of new faces in the show's next outing, too, but their character identities are yet to be revealed. Check out the list below to see who's set to feature this time around:

  • Yim Si-wan
  • Kang Ha-neul
  • Park Gyu-young
  • Park Sung-hoon
  • Jo Yu-ri
  • Yang Dong-geun
  • Kang Ae-sim
  • Lee David
  • Lee Jin-uk
  • Choi Seung-hyun
  • Roh Jae-won
  • Won Ji-an

While we wouldn't expect to see any deceased characters come back from the dead, lead star Lee Jung-Jae has shared his own wild idea for Squid Game season 2. Speaking after winning Best Actor at the 2022 Screen Actors Guild Awards, he revealed to Entertainment Tonight that he hopes to see fan-favorite characters like Sae-byeok and Ali return in new episodes, saying: "My idea is that maybe the masked men took all of [the dead characters away] and made sure they came back to life."

If that wish comes true, perhaps we could see the likes of Heo Sung-tae, Kim Joo-ryeong, and Anupam Tripathi return in Squid Game season 2, after all. Hwang himself recently told Reuters, "I'm sorry I killed them so easily; I didn't know this was coming". In all likelihood, though, new episodes will likely only feature the aforementioned returning quartet and those recently announced newcomers.

Interestingly, Hwang has spoken of his desire to see US actors make surprise appearances in future seasons. Speaking to Variety, Hwang confirmed he wanted to see Hollywood stars (including Leonardo DiCaprio, no less) to show up, although that won't happen this season. 

"There will be no known Hollywood actor in [Squid Game] season 2," Hwang confirmed. "That’s not in the plan, and if the stage changes, maybe in season 3 – but for season 2, [the show] is still set in Korea. Leonardo DiCaprio did say he’s a big fan of Squid Game, so maybe if time or chances allow, we can ask him to join the games!"

Squid Game season 2 story speculation

The Recruiter and Gi-hun sit at a night club table in Squid Game season 2

Gi-hun is going to come face-to-face with some familiar individuals in season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

Major spoilers follow for Squid Game season 2.

There's no official plot synopsis for season 2, but we can certainly speculate on where it'll go.

If we take a look at creator Hwang’s early suggestions – coupled with our own thoughts about Squid Game’s season 1 ending – we can envision several possible narrative scenarios for Squid Game season 2. 

The most obvious plot thread to explore is Gi-hun’s quest for revenge. Evidently, given the show’s final shot, the character is enraged by the game organizers’ continued pursuit of downtrodden contestants, and the suggestion is that Gi-hun wants to expose them. That's something that's already been teased in season 2's first official footage (more on this later).

Gi-hun answers his phone in Squid Game season 1

Every phone call is a serious one in Squid Game... (Image credit: Netflix)

Hwang seems to share fans' interest in fleshing out Gi-hun’s journey. In a 2021 interview with The Associated Press, the writer said: "I will promise you this: Gi-hun will come back, he will do something for the world". Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Hwang also teased:  "[We could] explore more about how he’s going to navigate through his reckoning with the people who are designing the games."

Should the show decide to go in this direction – as seems likely to be the case – it could do so in two ways. The first might see Gi-hun attempt to convince others of the game’s existence, exposing its corruption and inhumanity from the outside – he is, after all, a much richer man now. The second could see Gi-hun return to the game itself, with greater knowledge of its inner workings and ultimate objectives. 

As unlikely as that second scenario sounds – it doesn’t really make sense for Gi-hun to return to a game which almost cost him his life – the former, more realistic scenario would likely eliminate much of what makes Squid Game so entertaining: the games themselves. 

Both Hwang and Jung-jae seem to agree on this front. Speaking to E! on the SAG awards red carpet in February 2022, the latter responded to questions about Squid Game season 2 by saying: "I hope that [Gi-hun] is definitely going to win [the games] again to do something good". That suggests Gi-hun will be returning to the mysterious island (and competing in its deadly puzzles) in new episodes of the show, presumably in an effort to uncover the truth behind their design.

A promotional image for Netflix hit show Squid Game showing contestants lining up as masked overseers with guns watch on

Squid Game bringing a whole new fear, or perhaps delight, of triangles to its viewers. (Image credit: Netflix)

Hwang himself also revealed (via Vanity Fair in June 2022), that Squid Game season 2 will definitely feature more of the show's famously perilous and gruesome puzzles, further hinting that Gi-hun will stage a dramatic return to the remote facility. He's also suggested that fans will "be introduced to Young-hee’s boyfriend, Cheol-su" – a reference to the series’ now-iconic murderous robot doll – in season 2.

Young-hee featured in Squid Game’s first episode – Red Light, Green Light – as a motion-sensing animatron that ordered the deaths of any contestants caught moving while under its watchful gaze. Young-hee was responsible for 255 fatalities in the show, making Red Light, Green Light the deadliest game of any featured across Squid Game’s nine episodes. Cheol-su, it seems, is a male companion of Young-hee – and one we expect to be equally terrifying. Perhaps he’ll even sing his own version of the latter’s eerie "Red Light, Green Light, 1-2-3" jingle… 

The robot doll faces away from contestants in Squid Game's Red Light, Green Light game

Just when you thought killer androids wouldn't be making a comeback in season 2... (Image credit: Netflix)

Other possible Squid Game season 2 storylines include examining the fate of Hwang Jun-ho, the undercover cop who discovers Front Man to be In-ho, aka his brother. Although he was shot and subsequently fell off the edge of a cliff, there’s a good chance Jun-ho survived the encounter and, given that we still don’t know In-ho’s motivation for becoming the game’s Front Man, this seems a likely narrative thread for the show to explore. Hwang has shown an interest in developing this thread, too, telling he THR: "I’d like to explore that storyline – what is going on between those two brothers?"

Hwang also hinted at the possibility of following the mysterious Recruiter in more detail. "I could also go into the story of that Recruiter in the suit who plays the game of ddakji with Gi-hun and gives him the card in the first episode," Hwang told THR shortly after the series' 2021 debut. Given that The Recruiter is confirmed to return, it seems season 2 will include this particular subplot.

Front Man stares directly into the camera in Netflix's Squid Game season 2

Front Man's big reveal in Squid Game leaves fans with questions that'll surely be answered in season 2. (Image credit: Netflix)

As for what else we could see: the rest is a mystery. There are numerous directions – ones we've mentioned above or otherwise – that Squid Game season 2 could go in, and we suspect whatever unfolds as part of its narrative will be as gripping as its forebear. Here's hoping that's the case, anyway, and the series' second installment doesn't disappointingly go through the motions.

Squid Game season 2 trailer: is there one?

There isn't an official Squid Game season 2 trailer yet, but Netflix released a 15-second teaser in February to whet our appetite for its return. Indeed, in the immediate aftermath of its predecessor's finale, Squid Game season 2's first clip shows Gi-hun on a John Wick-style quest for revenge, which is something we discussed at length in our plot section. We'll update this section once an official trailer is revealed.

Squid Game's future on Netflix

Shocked contestants hold their hands up to their mouths in Netflix's Squid Game: The Challenge

Squid Game: The Challenge is a reality TV recreation of the incredibly popular survival drama. (Image credit: Netflix)

Netflix hasn't announced whether a third season is on the way, but there's certainly been some hints of more to come, especially concerning Squid Game as a franchise. 

Take Netflix's popular reality TV show spin-off based on the fictional series, Squid Game: The Challenge, which is available to stream now, for instance. The reality show, which follows the same rules minus the actual death, proved to be pretty popular following its November 2023 release. That's in spite of the negativity surrounding its actual development, too – perhaps unsurprisingly, a second season is already in development as well.

The Challenge isn't the only show in development from Squid Game, though. A satire-based series – based on Squid Game's success – titled 'The Best Show on the Planet' is also thought to be getting made (per Deadline). Fans will be pleased to hear that Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk is crafting this show, too.

What’s more, given that Netflix boss Ted Sarandos has spoken of a "Squid Game universe" during his announcement about the show’s renewal, we think it’s unlikely that Hwang’s world-beating series will stop at just two seasons. Could Squid Game season 3 be on the way? We'd be amazed if it isn't greenlit soon after season 2 debuts – let's just hope it isn't delivered in the form of one of those chill-inducing cards...

For Netflix TV show-based coverage, read our guides on Stranger Things season 5, Arcane season 2, The Lincoln Lawyer season 3, and Wednesday season 2.

Axel Metz
Phones Editor

Axel is TechRadar's UK-based Phones Editor, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest AI breakthroughs as part of the site's Mobile Computing vertical. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.  Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.

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