"We need to talk to the Korean team about what they're planning to do for their second scripted season," executive producer Stephen Lambert tells EW.
Warning: This article contains spoilers for the season finale of Squid Game: The Challenge.
Hours before Squid Game: The Challenge ended with an intense Rock, Paper, Scissors showdown — where Player 287/Mai Whelan beat Player 451/Phill Cain to take home the massive $4.56 million prize — Netflix already cashed in on another season of its Squid Game reality spinoff. But will season 2 rehash the same challenges with an all-new cast, or will it be completely different?
Squid Game: The Challenge executive producers John Hay and Stephen Lambert tell EW that they're still working out the details, but there could be new games ... as well as potential returning season 1 cast members willing to give it a second try. "It's very early days," Lambert says. "Also, we need to talk to the Korean team about what they're planning to do for their second scripted season."
With scripted drama Squid Game also set to return for a second season, producers know there could be an entirely new selection of games they could once again replicate on the reality spinoff, and Lambert says they're "possibly" considering that idea in addition to the alternatives they brainstormed for season 1 that were left on the cutting room floor.
"We're saving [those ideas] for other shows, and now we've got a season 2, we should definitely not disclose them," Hay says with a laugh. "It's one of those things that, as a producer, once you start thinking about it, it's quite difficult to stop thinking about it. It's a constant process of mulling over what's worked well and what we might be able to do to extend and amplify it."
When it comes to the arduous task of once again casting 456 people, they're also not ruling out the idea of bringing back familiar faces from season 1 — like beloved mother-son duo LeAnn and Trey Plutnicki. "That's a good question — we haven't got a line on that," Lambert says. "And they'll probably all have different points of view, but there's obviously nothing stopping that since they're not dead [like in the scripted show]. There's no reason why they can't do it again. If we just stick to this cast and play it 456 times, they'll probably all end up winning."
Looking back on the experience of casting, filming, editing, and releasing the first season, the producers are still wary of making a judgement call at this point on what worked and what didn't as they start looking ahead to season 2.
"We're in discussions with Netflix about it and I'm not sure there are things that we are ready to talk about," Lambert says. "But obviously, it's always wonderful to make a second season of the show because you can learn from having done it once."
"There's a whole set of things you learn by making it, and then there's a whole second set of things you learn by talking to and listening to the people who've watched it, and we're at very early stage of that," Hay adds. "Obviously there's some extremely keen people who watched it straight away, but there'll be people who watch it over the weeks and months to come. One of the things that will make it better is just allowing ourselves a deliberate pause and the chance to take in some of that viewer response before we go again. I think that's really important — it doesn't do brilliantly to rush back into it. I think it would benefit from a period of mulling and considering that before we move ahead."
Lambert, Hay, and the rest of the production team are just taking this moment in the wake of the finale's debut to enjoy the payoff of their year of hard work making the first season. "We are very grateful we even had the chance to do this," Lambert says. "It's a huge act of trust on the part of the creators of the original drama to let us play with their creation in the way that they did. And I'm very glad that people have enjoyed it and seem more excited to have another go at it."
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