Posts tagged with "Squid Game"

BTS is coming to Disney in a major streaming deal

July 12, 2022

Disney is bringing the wildly popular South Korean boy band BTS to its streaming services, adding the world’s biggest band to its roster of digital stars, CNN Business announced first on July 12.

 The entertainment and theme park giant said on Monday, July 11, that it would add new original shows featuring members of the pop group to Disney+.

That will result in five new titles with HYBE, BTS’ management company. The firm was previously known as Big Hit Entertainment.

 At least two of the new titles will be shot with the entire band, including a taped concert special in Los Angeles and a behind-the-scenes documentary series. Disney expects the latter to debut next year.

 In a recorded video message shared with CNN Business, the band said they were looking forward to showing fans “a more up-close and personal side of us.”

 BTS has enjoyed meteoric success in recent years, attracting legions of fans around the world known as the “Army.”

 Recently, however, the seven-person group announced that they would be taking a break to explore various projects—including some on a solo basis.

The new tie-up with Disney reflects that. One forthcoming title is a reality show that will see V, a BTS star, head on vacation with other Korean celebrities, the company said.

 The band’s documentary also will take a peek into their daily lives “as they prepare for their second chapter,” Disney and HYBE said in a joint statement.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The move shows how Disney is focusing on top-tier talent as it continues to go after Netflix  and cash in on the recent wave of popularity surrounding Korean content and culture.

 Last year, for example, fans worldwide buzzed over “Squid Game,” the South Korean hit from Netflix that became the company’s top show globally. Disney said it also has found success with titles like “Snowdrop,” a Korean series that has become one of its most-watched titles throughout Asia recently.

 “This collaboration represents our creative ambition—to work with iconic content creators and top stars in Asia-Pacific so their talent can be enjoyed by mainstream audiences in multiple ways,” Jessica Kam-Engle, Disney’s head of content for Asia Pacific, said in a statement. “We believe these new titles will captivate consumers worldwide and look forward to introducing more music content on our service.”

 The move is part of a major expansion into Asian content announced by the company last October. It plans to greenlight more than 50 original titles from the region by 2023.

 The Hollywood giant said at the time that it was commissioning new shows from South Korea, Japan, Australia, Taiwan and Indonesia. Many of the programs will be presented in local languages, from Bahasa Indonesia to Mandarin.

 Netflix has also been pouring money into original Asian language content, and touting the global success of its Korean and Japanese programs in particular.

 Research contact: @CNNBusiness

Netflix plans real-life Squid Game reality TV show with $4.56 million prize, no deaths

June 16, 2022

Netflix is recruiting participants for a reality TV show inspired by its most popular series of all time, Squid Game—which was streamed by 111 million users during the first 28 days of its launch—reports the BBC.

However, it will not be life or death that is at stake, as depicted in the South Korean dystopian drama. Instead, 456 recruits from around the world will play games for which “the worst fate is going home empty-handed”— missing out on a $4.56 million (£3.8m) prize.

Netflix also confirmed that the popular series would be renewed for a second season earlier this week.

On Wednesday, June 15, the platform announced that its new ten-episode series—Squid Game: The Challenge—would offer the “largest cast and lump cash prize in reality TV history”.

“As [players] compete through a series of games inspired by the original show—plus surprising new additions—their strategies, alliances, and character will be put to the test while competitors are eliminated around them,” the release added.

Participants must be at least 21 years old. They must speak English  and be available for up to four weeks in early 2023 for filming.

The 456 participants are a nod to the fictional series, which features the same number of players, with its main protagonist Seong Gi-hun also referred to as Player 456.

Director, writer, and executive producer of Squid Game Hwang Dong-hyuk said in a statement on Monday, June 13: “It took 12 years to bring the first season of Squid Game to life last year. But it took 12 days for Squid Game to become the most popular Netflix series ever.”

Research contact: @BBC

YouTuber MrBeast recreates ‘Squid Game’ with $456,000 top prize

November 30, 2021

Hundreds of cash-strapped “Squid Game” fans recently competed in a real-life recreation of the dystopian smash-hit Netflix series for a $456,000 cash prize, reports the New York Post.

Popular YouTuber MrBeast, who boasts 81.5 million subscribers, said he spent US$3.5 million on the elaborate reenactment, in which 456 contestants battled for the jackpot.

The social media star, whose real name is Jimmy Donaldson, said on Twitter that it cost him around $2 million to build and produce, while he spent around $1.5 million on prizes.

In addition to the six-figure first prize, Donaldson doled out $2,000 to every competitor and $10,000 to the runner-up.

The recreation included the same Korean children’s games played in “Squid Game,” such as Red Light, Green Light; marbles and tug-of-war —played within huge sets that took weeks to construct.

However, there was one major difference from the real-life show: No contestants were harmed.

Instead, players were rigged with “wireless explosives” packed with fake blood that burst open when a player was eliminated. In the tug-of-war and glass bridge challenges, losing contestants fell into a foam pit rather than plummeting to their deaths.

Yet, true to form, the real-life “Squid Game” contestants were seen in footage of the game trembling as they tried to carve shapes out of honeycomb in the “dalgona challenge.”

According to the Post, the “Squid Game” reenactment isn’t the first time Donaldson has pulled off an extravagant stunt like this for his YouTube channel. Donaldson is famed for offering outlandish prizes to his online followers willing to compete in absurd challenges, such as when contestants stood in a circle for 12 days for $500,000 cash.

The social media sensation was the second-highest paid YouTube star in 2020—earning about $24 million and garnering some 3 billion views, according to Forbes.

But his latest video has attracted harsh criticism from viewers who slammed Donaldson for reenacting a game about rich people exploiting the poor for their macabre viewing pleasure.

Finally, in the latest, stunning development kickstarted by the original Netflix series, the stunt video was released just a day after a smuggler who sold copies of “Squid Game” in North Korea was sentenced to death by firing squad.

Research contact: @nypost

‘Squid Game’ season 2 is ‘in discussions, but not confirmed yet,’ Netflix says

November 11, 2021

Netflix is eyeing a season two for its series “Squid Game”—which premiered in September and almost immediately enthralled the American audience, as well as viewers worldwide—but has yet to confirm production, reports CNBC.

The Associated Press reported on Tuesday, November 9, that creator Hwang Dong-hyuk said the series would continue on the streaming platform during a screening of the show in Los Angeles on Monday.

I almost feel like you leave us no choice,” he told the news service. “There’s been so much pressure, so much demand and so much love for a second season.”

A Netflix spokesperson told CNBC that a second season of the show is “in discussions, but not confirmed yet.”

Hwang did temper expectations while speaking with reporters. He said that while he plans for lead actor Lee Jung-jae to return as the main character Seong Gi-hun, he did not know when production would begin for the project.

“It’s in my head right now,” Hwang said. “I’m in the planning process currently. But I do think it’s too early to say when and how that’s going to happen.”

The basis of “Squid Game” came from Hwang’s own family’s struggles in 2009, after the global financial crisis. The series follows 456 players, all of whom are in deep financial debt, as they risk their lives to play a series of deadly children’s games for a large cash prize.

In its first 28 days on Netflix, “Squid Game” was viewed by 111 million users for at least two minutes, the most of any other series during that time frame. The previous record-holder was “Bridgerton,” which was viewed by 82 million subscribers for at least 2 minutes during its first 28 days on the service.

Research contact: @CNBC

What is ‘Squid Game’ and why is everyone watching it?

October 13, 2021

Released on September 17, a nine-episode Korean thriller named “Squid Game” has become more than just a runaway hit for Netflix. It’s also social media’s favorite show,: The hashtag #SquidGame on TikTok has been viewed more than 22.8 billion times, NBC News reports.

Released Sept. 17, the nine-episode Korean thriller is poised to become Netflix’s biggest “non-English-language show in the world,” said Sarandos.

“It’s only been out for nine days, and it’s a very good chance it’s going to be our biggest show ever,” Netflix’s co-CEO Ted Sarandos told NBC last month.

And it’s not just popular in the USA: Flix Patrol, a website that tracks streaming statistics for the top platforms in the world, reports that “Squid Game” is the No. 1 show in dozens of countries, among them, the USA, the UK,  and South Korea.

Streaming numbers for Netflix aren’t independently verified, making a show’s popularity difficult to quantify. Netflix executives didn’t respond to requests for comment from NBC.

Julia Alexander, a senior strategy analyst at Parrot Analytics in Brooklyn, New York, said it’s clear that “Squid Game” has been a massive success, adding that she would use one word to describe how big a win it has been for Netflix.

“‘Unprecedented,'” Alexander said. “I’m assuming that the executives knew because of the talent they used, because of the region they released it in, that this was going to be a hit in South Korea. I would put good money that the executives had no idea this was going to be a global hit.”

The show follows Seong Gi-Hun, played by Lee Jung-jae, as he and hundreds of other desperate and deeply indebted contestants compete in a violent and often grotesque competition for about $38 million. Only one person can win the prize, and those who lose the series of children’s games pay with their lives.

On social media, users can’t stop talking about “Squid Game. “People hear about it, people talk about it, people love it, and there’s a very social aspect to that, which does help grow the show outside of what we do,” Netflix’s global TV head, Bela Bajaria, told Vulture.

Another reason “Squid Game” has become such a worldwide phenomenon is its accessibility. The show is filmed in Korean, but Netflix offers subtitles in 37 languages and dubs in 34 languages, allowing those who would rather not read subtitles to enjoy it, too.

Even the way the show is subtitled and dubbed has opened conversations online, where some say the translations miss crucial context.

“Not to sound snobby but i’m fluent in korean and i watched squid game with english subtitles and if you don’t understand korean you didn’t really watch the same show. translation was so bad. the dialogue was written so well and zero of it was preserved,” Twitter user Youngmi Mayer tweeted in a thread that has gone viral.

Research contact: @NBCNews