As Squid Game season 2 sets its new cast on Netflix, it turns out the creator didn't share in season 1's success

An official screenshot from Netflix's Squid Game TV show of people in pink jumpsuits while wearing black masks
Squid Game season 2's cast has been confirmed by Netflix. (Image credit: Noh Juhan)

Netflix has revealed the final additions to Squid Game season 2's cast – but the announcement has been marred by a bigger story concerning the show's creator.

In a press release, Netflix confirmed that seven new actors had joined the next installment of its TV show phenomenon. The new cast members includes Park Gyu-young and Lee Jin-uk, alumni from South Korean apocalyptic horror series Sweet Home, which is also available on Netflix. Jo Yu-Ri, a former member of South Korean-Japanese girl group Iz*One, has signed on to appear in Squid Game's next season, too.

Check out the tweet from Netflix Geeked about the news below to see who else has joined season two's roster:

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Squid Game 2's new cast members join Lee Jung-Jae and Gong Yoo, who return from the survival drama series' first season, and fellow newcomers, such as Park Sung-hoon and Im Si-wan, who were announced as part of the season two cast in November 2021.

While Netflix might want fans to focus on (and perhaps even celebrate) the rounding out of season two's cast, however, a new report concerning the show's creator – Hwang Dong-hyuk – is more likely to dominate the news cycle. At least, in the immediate term, anyway.

You see, according to a story published in the Los Angeles Times, Dong-hyuk didn't become a billionaire after Squid Game exploded onto the scene in September 2021. The incredibly popular Netflix series reportedly increased the value of the streaming giant by an eye-watering $900 million. However, while Squid Game put Dong-hyuk in the spotlight, he hasn't fully shared in the TV show's financial success.

Per the LA Times' report, Dong-hyuk forfeited the intellectual property (IP) rights, plus any monetary residuals, to Squid Game when he signed his initial contract with Netflix. In effect, that means Netflix outright owns Squid Game, enabling the company to make millions on the burgeoning franchise while its creator earns virtually nothing in comparison. Dong-hyuk might make some money from Squid Game season two and Netflix's Squid Game: The Challenge series, which brings the fictional world to life in a reality TV-based format, but they won't be sizeable sums.

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Previously, Dong-hyuk told The Guardian that he earned enough money to "put food on the table". Even so, it's far from the millions of dollars that many fans might have expected him to have cashed in on when Squid Game became a global hit. Given Don-hyuk spent the best part of a decade trying to sell his creation to a studio, it's unsurprising that he waived the rights to the IP, especially as he was desperate to get it made. 

Still, the fact remains that Dong-hyuk and many of his Korean counterparts, according to the LA Times' article, make very little money from their Netflix shows. 

Given the entertainment industry's – and, in particular, streaming companies' – apparent disregard for those who craft their films and TV series, it's clear why members of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) have been striking over working conditions and pay rates. The industrial action, which began on May 2 and is ongoing, has disrupted some of Hollywood's biggest projects, including Squid Game's fellow Netflix hit Stranger Things, as well as multiple Marvel productions.

Squid Game may be one of the best Netflix shows of all-time. But, like the shadowy organization behind the series' deadly money-spinning contest, Netflix continues to hide dark secrets of its own over how much it pays those who make its movies and TV shows. Unless the streaming giant becomes more transparent over how much they pay those they employ, especially their writers, it'll continue to have a permanent black mark next to its name.

For more Netflix coverage, find out how to cancel your Netflix subscription if you've had enough of the streaming giant. Alternatively, read up on the best Netflix movies and best Netflix documentaries.

Senior Entertainment Reporter

As TechRadar's senior entertainment reporter, Tom covers all of the latest movies, TV shows, and streaming service news that you need to know about. You'll regularly find him writing about the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Star Wars, Netflix, Prime Video, Disney Plus, and many other topics of interest.

An NCTJ-accredited journalist, Tom also writes reviews, analytical articles, opinion pieces, and interview-led features on the biggest franchises, actors, directors and other industry leaders. You may see his quotes pop up in the odd official Marvel Studios video, too, such as this Moon Knight TV spot.

Away from work, Tom can be found checking out the latest video games, immersing himself in his favorite sporting pastime of football, reading the many unread books on his shelf, staying fit at the gym, and petting every dog he comes across.

Got a scoop, interesting story, or an intriguing angle on the latest news in entertainment? Feel free to drop him a line.