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The first trailer for Netflix’s real-life Squid Game is here

'Squid Game: The Challenge' arrives on streaming service on November 22

By Daniel Kreps

Squid Games: The Challenge. Episode 101 of Squid Games: The Challenge. Cr. Courtesy of Netflix © 2023 COURTESY OF NETFLIX

Netflix has shared the first teaser for their controversial Squid Game: The Challenge, a reality competition that turns the hit South Korean television show into a last-person-standing battle for $4.56 million.

In the teaser, 456 real people attempt to “survive” the show’s now-infamous deadly children’s games, like ‘Red Light, Green Light’ and the glass bridge, all under the watchful eye of guards with shapes on their masks.

“$4.56 million dollars? People do a lot worse for a lot less,” one contestant quips in the trailer.

Squid Game: The Challenge arrives on Netflix on November 22, over two years after Squid Game became the biggest show in the streaming service’s history.

While contestants simply lose the game as opposed to their lives in this reality competition, Squid Game: The Challenge has been riddled with claims that it was “cruel,” “inhumane,” and “rigged” by former contestants in Rolling Stone report earlier this year.

“It was just the cruelest, meanest thing I’ve ever been through,” one former contestant told Rolling Stone. “We were a human horse race, and they were treating us like horses out in the cold racing and [the race] was fixed.”  

“All the torment and trauma we experienced wasn’t due to the game or the rigor of the game,” another former player said. “It was the incompetencies of scale — they bit off more than they could chew.” 

For instance, during the segment for the “Red Light, Green Light,” contestants spent up to nine hours inside a freezing airport hangar, unable to move for 30-minute stretches, with medics rushing in to tend to people who were unable to take the extreme cold.

Netflix previously said in a statement that three sought medical attention for minor conditions but defended the safety of the production, as well as accusations that the game was rigged; “Instead of Squid Game, [they] are calling it ‘Rigged Game.’ Instead of Netflix, they’re calling it ‘Net Fix,’ because it was clearly obvious,” one former player added. (All former contestants withheld their names when speaking to Rolling Stone, citing an NDA.)

“There’s $4.5 million up for grabs, and if you move, you are out,” another contestant said. “I noticed a lot of people with the idea that they are going to change their family’s lives. These people were willing to die. Somebody says, ‘I’m going home with this, I don’t care what it takes.’ I think the producers wanted that. They wanted people to not think about their health, to not care about their safety.”