Can a “Squid Game” reality series turn around Netflix’s fading fortunes?
The embattled streamer has announced they’re creating a real-life version of the gory South Korean survival show — with production slated to take place in the UK early next year.
“Squid Game: The Challenge” is being billed as “the biggest reality competition series ever created” and will feature 456 contestants battling it out for a whopping $4.56 million in prize money.
According to a press release put out by Netflix on Tuesday, the staggering sum will be the largest cash prize ever offered on reality television.
“‘Squid Game’ took the world by storm with [director] Hwang Dong-hyuk’s captivating story and iconic imagery,” Netflix VP Brandon Rieg said in the release. “We’re grateful for his support as we turn the fictional world into reality in this massive competition and social experiment.”
Casting is currently open to English-language speakers over the age of 21 at SquidGameCasting.com. The reality show will feature 10 episodes and production is expected to take place over four weeks.
The original “Squid Game” — which was released on Netflix last September — revolved around a contest whereby 456 cash-strapped contestants risked their lives to play a series of deadly children’s games for a $36 million prize.
The games in the forthcoming reality series are set to be inspired by the games in the show, however they won’t be quite as gruesome.
“The stakes are high, but in this game the worst fate is going home empty-handed,” Tuesday’s press release read.
“Squid Game” is the most successful Netflix series in history, watched by more than 142 million households during the first four weeks of its launch.
The hit series has been renewed for a second season, although it is not yet in production.
Netflix is hoping the forthcoming reality show spin-off will keep fans forking out for their monthly subscription as the streamer falls on hard times.
Back in April, Netflix confirmed they had lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter of 2022, falling well short of its forecast of adding 2.5 million subscribers.
The company offered a gloomy prediction for the spring quarter, forecasting it could lose an additional 2 million subscribers.
In May, Netflix announced it was cutting about 150 jobs — close to 2% of their total workforce.