Following the success of Squid Game in 2021, Netflix scored another hit in the K-drama space with the dark fantasy drama series Hellbound. The show became as the streaming service’s most-watched show the week it debuted, besting other popular releases such as League Of Legends animated series Arcane and the second season of Tiger King.
- READ MORE: Hellbound review: demons rise as religious hysteria descends in this chilling South Korean series
Based on show director Yeon Sang-ho’s own webtoon series of the same name, Hellbound is set in a world where apparitions appear before those supposedly guilty of wrongdoing, announcing ‘decrees’ of when they’d be condemned to hell.
In the face of this revelation, two organisations – the cult-like New Truth Society fronted by Jung Jinsu (played in season 1 by Yoo Ah-in) and the militia-esque Arrowhead group – work together to gain power by leveraging on the fear of the populace and public demonstrations of sinners being sent to hell.
Season one of Hellbound left viewers wanting answers about apparitions and decrees, with an unexpected cliffhanger that challenged the notion of what it means, within the show, to be sent to hell. Here is everything we know about Hellbound season 2 so far.
Expect spoilers for Hellbound season 1 ahead.
- Yoo Ah-in dropped from Netflix’s Hellbound as actor is reportedly investigated by police for illegal drug use
- Hellbound confirmed to return to Netflix for season 2
Has Hellbound season 2 been confirmed?
In 2021, soon after the release of Hellbound season 1, creator Yeon Sang-ho stated that whether the show would receive a second season depended on the status of the webtoon it was based on. “My partner Choi Kyu-Seok and I have decided that the story afterwards will be told first through the webtoon,” he told Variety at the time.
However, in September 2022, Netflix officially confirmed that Hellbound would be returning for season 2, despite the fact that a sequel to the original webtoon version of the series has not been released.
During Netflix’s TUDUM event in September 2022, it previewed Hellbound season 2 with an eerie teaser clip. In it, a skeleton in a glass box was seen writhing and pulsating before the glass smashed and the bones transformed back into the body of a living person. Watch the teaser below.
What could the plot of Hellbound season 2 be?
Season 2 of Hellbound will need to answer questions left by the climactic scene of the season 1 finale, and the consequences of that event. Notably, the ending of Hellbound season 1 differs greatly from that of the original webtoon.
Spoilers for Hellbound season 1 ahead.
In the final episode from season 1 of Hellbound, So-hyun and Young-jae try to fight off a trio of Hell Beasts in order to protect their newborn baby Toughie – but they’re no match for the monsters. In a last-ditch effort to save their baby, the pair form a human shield around Toughie as residents of the compound watch on.
It seems as if all three are turned to ash as the Hell Beasts disappear into the night. But then, a faint cry can be heard – Toughie has survived, to the surprise of self-proclaimed messiah, Dong-wook, who jumps into action to complete the decree. Right before he takes the plunge, the Hell Beasts appear once again and kill Dong-wook.
Residents of the compound block the arriving members of New Truth from catching attorney Hye-jin, who’s escaping with Toughie in hand. Deacon Yoo-Ji loses his temper after an elderly man calls the cult out on their questionable beliefs, and beats him to an inch of his life.
But the entire scene is recorded for all to see, and both the police and members of New Truth seemingly start to doubt the cult’s principles and motive. Yoo-Ji is then arrested and taken away, while the New Truth members halt their pursuit of Hye-jin.
Over at the scene of the first public demonstration nearly four years ago, Jeong-ja’s remains are kept sealed in a glass box as a museum exhibition of sorts. But then, her charred body starts to glow and she returns from the dead.
Season 2 may focus on the sudden return of those who had been condemned to hell, starting with Jeong-ja. It’s likely that main character Jinsu will also return from the dead, given that Kim Sung-cheol (Arthdal Chronicles, Hospital Playlist and Vincenzo) has been cast in the role, replacing original actor Yoo Ah-in.
There’s also Toughie, who survived a decree and whose parents Young-jae and So-hyun sacrificed themselves in his place. This development opens up questions about what the decrees actually mean and the fallout of New Truth having their ideology apparently torn apart.
Who is in the Hellbound season 2 cast?
In March 2023, it was reported that lead actor Yoo Ah-in, who is reportedly undergoing a police investigation in South Korea for illegal drug use, would be dropped from Hellbound season 2. A Netflix spokesperson later confirmed to NME that the creators of Hellbound had decided to replace Yoo with Kim Sung-cheol (Arthdal Chronicles, Hospital Playlist and Vincenzo) in the role of Jung Jinsu.
In the same month, Netflix also confirmed that Kim Hyun-joo, Kim Shin-rok, Lee Dong-hee, Yang Ik-joon and Lee Re will be reprising their respective roles in Hellbound season 2. In addition, Yang Dong-geun (Cheer Up), Im Sung-jae (Extraordinary Attorney Woo), Jo Dong-in (Bad and Crazy) and Moon Geun-young (Catch the Ghost) have been cast in recurring or guest roles.
How will I be able to watch Hellbound season 2?
Season 2 of Hellbound, like the first season, will be a Netflix original and thus exclusive to the streaming platform around the world when released.
Is there a release date for Hellbound season 2?
Netflix has not announced an exact release date for Hellbound season 2. According to a report by South Korean news outlet Edaily, the show’s season second is expected to begin production this summer, but this has not been confirmed by Netflix.
At the same time, series director and creator Yeon Sang-oh has a full slate set for 2023 with multiple projects in the pipeline for Netflix. These include Parasyte: The Grey, a Korean an adaptation of the Japanese manga series Parasyte, and a zombie thriller series called The Bequeathed.