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Monday, April 15, 2024

Netflix CEO says ‘Squid Game’ season two will ‘blow your mind’

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Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, left, at the filming site for the second season of ″Squid Game″ [NETFLIX]
Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos, left, at the filming site for the second season of ″Squid Game″ [NETFLIX]
The upcoming season of 2021 hit “Squid Game” will “blow your mind,” Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said after visiting the new installment’s set during his two-day visit to Korea last week.
Sarandos praised Korean media content and the storytellers and the developers behind it, in a column uploaded on Netflix’s official website on Monday.
“I was thrilled by the scale of the sets,” he said. “Director Hwang’s vision is such a powerful example of how Korean — and non-English titles — can be locally authentic while finding new international audiences on Netflix.”

During his trip, Sarandos visited the Seoul offices of Eyeline Studios and Scanline VFX and met with director Hwang Dong-hyuk and lead actor Lee Jung-jae, along with President Yoon Suk Yeol.

He also mentioned his lunch meeting with President Yoon along with “Squid Game” actor Lee in the column. During the meeting, Sarandos and President Yoon reportedly talked about Netflix’s $2.5 billion investment into Korean content, which was announced last year.

“It was also my honor to meet President Yoon, together with Squid Game star Lee Jung-jae, to reaffirm our commitment to the industry and to the next generation of Korean creatives,” he said. “We are investing significantly in Korea, and believe that working with best-in-class local industry partners is only the beginning.”

The co-CEO and CCO then emphasized the importance of investing in “the next generation of storytellers in Korea,” saying Netflix “will continue to ensure to spotlight new voices in front and behind the camera.”

He also highlighted Netflix’s endeavors to do so, such as the company’s Netflix VFX Academy internship program in Korea.

The program, which first launched in December 2022, funds VFX artists and is linked to employment opportunities at Netflix’s partner companies. Seventy percent of the graduates from the program’s first session have since been hired by Netflix Partners, according to Sandaros.

“Between 2022 and 2025, one in five Netflix titles in Korea will come from a first-time writer or director,” he said.

“Last year, that included the creators behind ‘Unlocked,’ ‘Doona!,’ ‘Siren: Survive the Island’ and ‘Black Knight.’ This year, we’re providing a global stage for the first-time filmmakers behind ‘The Bequeathed,’ ‘Bandland Hunters,’ ‘My Name is Loh Kiwan’ and ‘The Frog.'”

Sandaros made his second official visit to Korea on Friday, eight months since his first visit in June last year. He also dispelled rumors about “Squid Game” getting a U.S. remake in a press gathering.

BY KIM JU-YEON [kim.juyeon2@joongang.co.kr]