Hollywood Stars Could Be Next for Netflix K-Dramas

The phenomenal success of Squid Game—which premiered in September 2021 and is still the streamer’s most popular television series of all time based on hours viewed in the first 28 days on Netflix—has drawn global attention, including from Hollywood stars.

Asked whether the streaming service would consider pitching scripts to Hollywood stars, like Brad Pitt and others, for casting in Netflix K-dramas, Don Kang, the VP of Korean content at Netflix, told Newsweek: “That would be exciting. If there’s the right role, why not?,” during a Q&A panel on Saturday at Netflix Korea’s headquarters in Seoul, the South Korean capital.

If the streamer thinks it’s the “right approach” for a given script and if Hollywood stars want to be featured in Korean content, “and I know some of them do,” Kang said, without revealing exactly who, “it would be a great collaboration and the start of something new.”

Leonardo DiCaprio and "Squid Game" characters.
This combination photo shows Leonardo DiCaprio at the Oscars in February 2020, left, and game staffers in a scene from the Netflix K-drama “Squid Game,” right. Netflix’s VP of Korean content, Don Kang, said some Hollywood actors want to be featured in Korean titles.
Amy Sussman/Getty Images/Netflix

He said: “But only if it makes sense for the local audiences first,” before laughing and pausing to add: “Well, depending on who it is,” implying perhaps that some exceptions could be made to the aforementioned requirement for certain major Hollywood talent.

Perhaps an exception could be made for a name like Leonardo DiCaprio, who Squid Game director Hwang Dong-hyuk said is a “big fan” of the show.

Speaking at a press conference in Seoul back in September 2022, Hwang teased the possibility of DiCaprio appearing in the show at some point in the future.

Asked whether any famed Hollywood stars could be in the second season, Hwang said at the time: “There will be no known Hollywood actor in Season 2. That’s not in the plan and if the stage changes, maybe in Season 3—but for Season 2, it is still set in Korea. Leonardo DiCaprio did say he’s a big fan of Squid Game, so maybe if time or chances allow, we can ask him to join the games.”

The Squid Game cast shot to international fame after appearing in the captivating Netflix K-drama, gaining fans from around the world, including Hollywood.

Back in December 2021, Lee Jung-jae, the Screen Actors Guild and Emmy award-winning Squid Game star, who is one of South Korea’s biggest movie stars, spoke about the moment DiCaprio wanted to take a selfie with him.

Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Lee said he couldn’t believe that DiCaprio had asked for a selfie with him, which was taken on DiCaprio’s phone.

Lee said DiCaprio told him that he watched Squid Game and that he “enjoyed it very much.”

Lee recalled that the Titanic star said: “I was really lucky to be in it [Squid Game] and I did an amazing job. It was unbelievable.”

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