Netflix co-CEO confirms ‘Squid Game’ season 2; talks about Korean dramas, content

Published January 21, 2022, 3:15 PM

by Jonathan Hicap

Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos has officially confirmed the production of the anticipated season 2 of the global hit Korean series “Squid Game.”

During Netflix fourth quarter 2021 earnings interview on Jan. 20, Sarandos was asked by host Nidhi Gupta of Fidelity Management, “Will we get a second season of Squid Game?”

“Absolutely. The Squid Game universe has just begun,” said Sarandos.

“Squid Game” (left) and Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos (Netflix)

“Squid Game,” which was released on Netflix on Sept. 17, has become the video streaming service’s biggest show of all time. It earned 1.65 billion hours viewed in its first 28 days of release on Netflix.

In its letter to shareholders, Netflix stated, “We achieved several milestones in 2021: we had the biggest TV show of the year (Squid Game), our two biggest film releases of all time (Red Notice and Don’t Look Up) and Netflix was the most Emmy-winning and most nominated TV network and the most Oscar-winning and nominated movie studio of 2021.”

“Squid Game” tells the story of 456 cash-strapped people playing deadly games for a 45.6 billion won ($38 million) prize. It stars Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Jung Ho-yeon, Wi Ha-joon, O Yeong-su, Heo Sung-tae, Anupam Tripathi and Kim Joo-ryoung.

Last November, “Squid Game” director Hwang Dong-hyuk confirmed that there will be a season 2 of the hit show.

In a YouTube video uploaded by his agency, Artist Company, Lee Jung-hae said, “While we were filming ‘Squid Game,’ we actually asked the director whether he plans to make the second season.”

“At that time, he told us, ‘I put so much effort into making ‘Squid Game’. I pretty much put everything into it, so I don’t think it’ll be easy for me to stretch this further,'” he said, according to SBS News.

“But we’re not in the same situation as then. ‘Squid Game’ is more loved than any of us had expected that we have to repay them somehow. I think ‘Squid Game 2’ will be one way to do that. Director Hwang Dong-hyuk. I don’t think you have any choice now. You must make the second season of ‘Squid Game’!” he added with a laugh.

Netflix announced that it will release more than 25 Korean dramas and movies this year.

During the Netflix earnings interview, Sarandos also talked about Korean content including Korean dramas.

“I’d say, first and foremost, we’ve developed, over the years, an incredible team in Korea, in South Korea that has worked with the talent community that recognized the storytelling that really works in Korea, that didn’t try to make it different over travel but really try to find all the things about Korean cinema and Korean drama and build them up in a way that people could see kind of new levels of production value,” he said.

Sarandos added, “But it’s not like we had to go in and teach anyone in South Korea how to make great content. It’s an incredible market for that. And there’s always been curiosity around the world. The K-drama market has always had little pockets of success all over the place. But I think the ease of delivery that we’ve offered has kind of pushed that into the mainstream.”

“Yes, there was kind of a turning point with ‘Parasite’ and Bong Joon-ho’s Oscar last year to kind of open up people’s minds to it. But we saw that even way before that, with ‘Okja,’ working with Director Bong, that there was this incredible storytelling culture that we could tap into,” he said.

According to Sarandos, “And that people love K-dramas and watch them all over the world, it just wasn’t that easy to find them. And in Netflix, we’ve been able to kind of put together the great storytelling and great delivery and a great value proposition that has grown, the watching of Korean content in the US, the numbers I would have never believed three years ago. So 100 percent growth in 2021 over 2020.”