Squid Game: The Challenge will see 456 contestants compete for a $4.5 million prize, but recent reports suggested that the set had become a “war zone”
According to Netflix, reports of contestants in the streamer’s “real-life” Squid Game reality TV show have been “stretchered off” the set with severe injuries have been wildly exaggerated. Stories of medics being urgently called to the U.K. based Cardington TV Studios in Bedford began to surface in the media on Wednesday morning, with reports suggesting that the set had become a “warzone” of injured players as they attempted to win themselves the biggest prize in TV history of £3.7 million (just over $4.5 million).
According to reports in The Sun, players were said to have been “screaming for medics” as the temperatures dropped to -3C while filming took place on the show, which was has been filmed in relative secrecy by Netflix this week. A total of 456 players from around the world travelled to the set on an airbase in the UK to take part in the recreation of the brutal show’s games, including Red Light, Green Light. According to the report, one person who took part in the show said:
“It was like a warzone. People were getting carried out by medics but we couldn’t say anything. If you talk then you’re out. Some people couldn’t move their feet because it was so cold.”
Another reportedly added:
“You could hear someone yell "medic" and the crew would rush on. We ended up standing there for 30 minutes between takes. Some were crawling by the end. At least one was carried out on a stretcher.”
Despite reports sensationalizing the number of people being “injured” on the set of the new reality show, a Netflix spokesman set the record straight soon after the stories emerged. In a statement shared by Variety, they said:
"We care deeply about the health and safety of our cast and crew, and invested in the appropriate safety procedures. While it was very cold on set- and participants were prepared for that – any claims of serious injury are untrue.”
The large number of “contestants” involved in Netflix’s Squid Game: The Challenge would make it difficult to have rescheduled filming around the unexpected cold-snap that hit the U.K. recently. According to further reports, those taking part were given thermals and gloves to wear between takes, and a total of less than 5 people were eventually said to have left the show due to “minor ailments.”
Squid Game is still Netflix’s biggest hit ever, and the reality show based on the concept was originally announced back in June 2022. With a second season of the Korean series in the works, it is not surprising that Netflix really want to cash in on the phenomenal success of the franchise, and offering a multi-million dollar prize was always going to help entice people into the game from far and wide. Although the reality show is not obviously going to be as brutal as the TV series itself, and all 456 players are expected to leave alive at the end of filming, it seems that there have been some trials to overcome in order to remain in the game.
Anthony Lund is an author, songwriter and puppeteer from a small village in the U.K. with an avid love of all genres of TV and film. As well as keeping up with the lastest entertainment news and writing about it for MovieWeb, he works as a video editor, voice over artist and production designer. A child of the 80s, he is the owner of almost 2000 books, more toys than his children, three Warner Bros. Store Gremlins and a production used Howard The Duck movie script.