Over the years, even in the streaming era, most TV shows have followed a format of a yearly season, released with some regularity. The gap between seasons is generally a year, unless there are complicating factors that can range from anything from waiting for a procrastinating author to maybe finish a source material book, to a global pandemic. Now that Squid Game has a season 2 coming, it seems like it’s going to be in the “exception” category.
Director Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed yesterday that yes, Squid Game season 2 was coming, but absolutely no one should expect it to be released a year after season 1.
Squid Game season 1 was released on September 17, 2021, so in a perfect world, we could maybe be just 10 months away from season 2 in September 2022.
But there are a bunch of reasons why that’s not going to happen.
First, Squid Game season 2 was not planned. I’ve seen some people speculate that the cliffhanger ending was formulated specifically with season 2 in mind, but Hwang Dong-hyuk has been very clear that he did not have season 2 ideas in mind when he finished season 1, and has only recently begun to form them. He also says he’s going to need a full writing and directing team to help him out this time, rather than doing everything himself.
It’s also important to note that Squid Game has been a massive, long-term project for Hwang Dong-hyuk. He has been working on getting Squid Game made as a TV show or movie for a decade, and the writing process for the series was not easy. Here’s an interview with Variety where he describes what that was like:
“In my earlier days, I’d drink half a bottle of soju (Korean liquor) to get the creative juices flowing. I can’t do that any more,” Hwang said. “Writing (‘Squid Game’) was harder than normal for me as it was a series, not a film. It took me six months to write and rewrite the first two episodes. Then I consulted verbally with friends, and picked up clues for improvements through my own pitching and from their responses.”
So, it took him six months to even do just the first two episodes, out of nine total. In the same interview (which was conducted before season 2 was official), he speculates he could even return to doing movies before a second season of the show, though that no longer seems to be the case.
The point is, Hwang Dong-hyuk took a full decade to get Squid Game to where it was, and even when he knew it was going to be a TV show, it took half a year to even get through writing two episodes. Granted now, there’s some level of urgency, given what a megahit season 1 was, and Netflix is not going to want to wait 3-10 years for season 2. But no, do not expect Squid Game season 2 next fall.
My best guess as to when we might actually see it would be closer to 18 months, if Hwang Dong-hyuk can get a writing team together to help him. That would put it in spring/summer 2022, though I’d probably venture a guess that a full two years in between seasons is even more likely, given everything we’ve discussed. And it’s not just the second season of a random show, it’s the most popular, most viral TV show in Netflix history. So that’s a lot of pressure to ensure it wasn’t a one-time fluke, probably too much pressure, if I’m being honest, especially given that he didn’t plan to do a season 2 in the first place. But the show got so big it had to be done, and here we are. I hope it goes okay, and Hwang Dong-hyuk doesn’t take on too much to deliver it.
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