Was The Glass Bridge Scene In Squid Game: The Challenge Real?

5 December 2023, 14:18 | Updated: 5 December 2023, 15:02

You won't believe how they filmed the glass bridge scene in Squid Game: The Challenge
You won't believe how they filmed the glass bridge scene in Squid Game: The Challenge. Picture: Netflix

By Abbie Reynolds

It was one of the most anxiety-inducing scenes of Squid Game: The Challenge, but was it real or was the whole thing an act? Here's the truth about how they filmed the glass bridge scene.

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Squid Game: The Challenge is the competition show that has taken over our screens this winter. With 456 contestants playing to win a huge multi-million pound prize it was bound to be a tense watch but it was made much more nerve-wracking with the high pressure games.

Despite the games promising to not actually result in death - unlike in the TV show it's based off of Squid Game - the show was set up to be as realistic as possible, and the fifth challenge was no exception.

The fifth game saw players attempt to walk along a bridge of glass stepping stones without breaking the panels and falling to their, quote on quote, 'death'.

While we know that the show was set up to keep players safe, what most viewers don’t know is just how much of the glass bridge scene had to be faked.

Unlike 'Red Light, Green Light' where the the players' took part in filming until they were eliminated, the glass bridge challenge used stunt doubles when the players 'fell' through the 'glass'. Here's how it worked...

Here's how they filmed the glass bridge scene
Here's how they filmed the glass bridge scene. Picture: Netflix
Players played games like 'Battleships' and 'Red light, Green light'
Players played games like 'Battleships' and 'Red light, Green light'. Picture: Netflix

How was the glass bridge scene filmed in Squid Game: The Challenge?

The intense glass bridge scene was filmed in such a way to keep the players safe that none of the falls were real. They were all acted out by stunt doubles.

In the OG Squid Game series the bridge is described as being made of two types of identical-looking glass panels. Some of the panels were made of thin, normal glass, and the others were made of sturdy tempered glass. Those who happened to land on the regular glass broke through and fell to their deaths.

For the reality show version of the game the panels were all actually made of clear acrylic, rather than glass. Although some of the panels featured a trap door underneath it wasn't triggered by the players standing on it. Instead, as they travelled the bridge, a message over the loudspeaker would alert them as to whether they’d passed or failed.

Then a stunt person would act out the fall in the trapdoors - when it was safe.

One of the show's executive producers John Hay said, via Netflix's pop culture website Tudum: " “The ‘fall’ through the trapdoor was done by a stunt person. That fall takes specialist skills.

Players have described the games as feeling real
Players have described the games as feeling real. Picture: Netflix

Squid Game: The Challenge contestants spill on "gritty" conditions 😳

"We took the care and safety of our players incredibly seriously, so we shot as much as we possibly could with them, then, at the very last minute, we swapped them out for the stunt performers. The stunt person shot and VFX is used for just that fall moment.”

Despite the falls being manufactured, creator Hwang Dong-hyuk has said that “the fear portrayed on-screen wasn’t fake”.

Players of the show have since taken to social media to reveal behind the scenes insight into filming the games.

"As dramatic as the scene seemed, it was edited really well because on the actual bridge there were stunt doubles," player 215, Eric Roberts, has since said in a video on TikTok.

He explained that the players would film the game and then the stunt actors came in to film the falls. Fans reacted to the revelation, saying: "That explains why no one screamed while falling" and "lol idk why I was picturing a foam pit underneath like in a gymnastics class"

On Eric's page he also said that the 'Red light, Green light' game, which he came second in, took between six and eight hours to film.

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