Fans of Squid Game: The Challenge have done a double take after spotting a previous reality star in the spin-off series.
The recently launched reality series, based on the blockbuster South Korean dystopian drama, follows 456 genuine participants from around the world as they compete for a record-breaking cash reward of $4.56 million (£3.725 million).
While it won’t be as grim as the original, in which players were eliminated one by one until only one remained, contenders are willing to go to any length to win the prize money.
When spectators tuned in this week, they saw one of the candidates had a familiar face they’d seen previously.
Michael Van Wijk, who played Wolf on the sports entertainment show Gladiators for more than 20 years, has signed up to put his body on the line once more.
When the first programme aired, observant viewers shared their observations.
‘As if Wolf from Gladiators is in Squid Game,’ one person posted on X, formerly Twitter.
‘Not Wolf from Gladiators participating in the Squid Game,’ someone else shared alongside a photo of him amongst the crowd.
Even Netflix played into the game of trying to spot him, joking that they would offer: ‘4.56 million (imaginary) dollars to anyone who spotted this iconic ’90s villain in Squid Game: The Challenge.’
Wolf also uploaded a snapshot from his time on the programme the day after the episodes aired, although he appears unimpressed in the photo.
But, as he revealed, not everything was as it seemed.
‘I have not seen this [the show] yet, but I’m sure when people see it that it looks like it [one of the challenges] took a few minutes to complete, when in reality we had to stand still for a couple of hours in -3 degree temperatures,’ he captioned the Instagram post.
Many of his followers had no idea he was going to be on the show and promptly crowded the comments section to express they were going to watch.
‘I wasn’t going to watch it, but if you’re in it, now I will!’ one person wrote.
Michael appeared in all eight seasons of the original Gladiators television series, which aired from 1992 to 1999.
His Wolf identity was inspired by the film Dances with Wolves, for which he auditioned in 1989 but was turned down.
After the end of Gladiators, he relocated to New Zealand and established a gym network.
Squid Game: The Challenge is now streaming on Netflix.