Lee Jung-jae isn’t bothered by fan recreations of Squid Game’s deadly contests. Squid Game debuted on Netflix in 2021 amid the coronavirus pandemic and has come to be viewed as one of the quintessential cultural touchstones to emerge from the era of global uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Following a crew of South Koreans desperate to earn a little money in the midst of a financial crisis, Squid Game controversially depicted its characters fighting for survival as a mysterious corporation ran them through a series of sudden death contests loosely based on the street games played by Korean children.
In the wake of the show’s success, fans began recreating these deadly games. Some viewed the recreations as being in bad taste, as the show was about economic oppression and the failures of capitalism that force citizens to turn against one another for survival. However, Lee, who played the lead character Seong Gi-hun on Squid Game, sees things differently. In an interview with GQ, the breakout actor reflects on the nature of the show’s fandom, and whether celebration of the show is an endorsement of its content. His full quote can be read below:
“I feel like Squid Game isn’t solely meant to provide a social message to society. Ultimately, it’s meant to deliver dreams and hopes to the audience. Of course, it was a fun television show that helped us ask deep questions, but at the end of the day, it’s also entertainment.”
Everything We Know About Squid Game Season 2
Squid Game season 1 saw Lee’s Seong Gi-hun survive the games and escape back into the real world, where it was implied that he will now seek revenge. However, despite Gi-hun’s relatively unresolved arc, the show took pains to tie up most of its loose ends in season 1. The director, writer, and producer of the show, Hwang Dong-hyuk, has stated that he never knew a season 2 was possible, and that because of this he was unscrupulous in his decisions about who would survive Squid Game season 1. Still, there are a few mainstays from the first season left to continue their roles, with the Front Man (played by Lee Byung-hun) and the Man in the Suit (played by Gong Yoo) being two of the more notable examples.
Squid Game season 1 was a bloodbath. Because of this, season 2 will likely include the introduction of a host of new faces. With Gi-hun’s implied quest for revenge and discovery as a backdrop, Squid Game season 2 could easily see him entering the games once again, this time with a mind for sabotage. It could also see him working behind the scenes to discover the truth of the games while a group of new contestants vie for survival. Another possibility for Squid Game season 2 would be depictions of different versions of the dangerous challenges around the world, as it was implied in season 1 that Korea’s version was just one of many simultaneously occurring around the globe.
One Squid Game character unlikely to return is « the Old Man », or Oh Il-nam, who was played by O Yeong-su. Yeong-su’s character died in season 1, and while this hasn’t stopped shows from bringing characters back in subsequent seasons in the past, a recent indictment on charges of sexual misconduct make Yeong-su’s return even more unlikely. Squid Game season 2 will begin filming in 2023, and is set to debut on Netflix in 2024.