Spoilers for Netflix's Hollywood below. Proceed with caution.
Netflix may be requesting another trip to Dreamland. Hollywood, Ryan Murphy's revisionist take on the film industry's Golden era, had its buzzy debut on May 1. Considering its drop landed right in the middle of quarantine, fans flocked to the star-studded film industry fantasy. Since then, viewers have wondered whether Murphy and co. might take another stroll down Hollywood Boulevard. Here's everything we know about the status of Hollywood season 2.
The official social media accounts for Hollywood have teased a new season.
If Netflix isn't ordering another season of Hollywood, someone may want to tell the show's social accounts. On May 19, both the show's Twitter and Instagram platforms posted the message, "What’s that? You want more, you say?" alongside a still of actors Jeremy Pope, David Corenswet, and Darren Criss.
The posts could merely be gauging interest in more Tinseltown tales. Or they could be fans' first hint that a second season is officially under way.
The show was originally imagined as a miniseries.
When Hollywood released its seven-episode season, it was branded as a miniseries. Murphy told OprahMag.com that was the key to getting the high-profile cast, which included Laura Harrier, Holland Taylor, Patti LuPone, and Dylan McDermott, to sign on. "You can get actors who are willing to do seven episodes, but it's very hard to get somebody like a Patti LuPone or a Joe Mantello or even a Darren Criss now to do seven years [of a TV show]," Murphy said.
The series creator reiterated that stance in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. "It was created to be a limited series. It was created to be one season; that’s what it was done for," he explained, later adding, "I would never follow the characters again. But, 20 years from there? I don’t know. It’s not something I’m thinking about; Netflix and I have not even discussed it and nor would we unless it had some huge success. I’ve done these anthology shows like American Horror Story and American Crime Story, and this was not designed like that."
However, Ryan Murphy and Janet Mock have suggested they're open to a new installment.
We do know this man loves an anthology (see: Feud, American Crime Story, American Horror Story, etc.). And both he and series executive producer/writer/director Janet Mock have expressed interest in following the Hollywood formula further. On May 6, a fan suggested that season 2 follows a different era of Hollywood with new characters, but the same cast members. Mock retweeted the pitch, adding, "We have a very similar vision... IF we were to tell another HOLLYWOOD story" alongside a winking emoji.
Two days later, Murphy responded to an Instagram comment asking about a second season. "Well, Hollywood was planned as a limited series, but it's become so popular that everyone is asking for another season. So who knows? I sure do love this cast though," the mogul replied.
Patti LuPone has also voiced her interest.
LuPone, who played disillusioned former-actress-turned-studio-head Avis Amberg, seemed open to returning in an interview with The Daily Beast. "You bet," she said when asked. "'Please Ryan, bring me back.' Oh yeah. I’m already imagining the go-go boots and mini-skirts." This could be a way into a second season, centering the series around a new set of performers at Ace Studios. In the finale, Avis greenlights a series of other projects, hinting at the company's entrance into a more progressive era.
The show's finale ended with an undeniably happy ending.
Another indication that the show would go the anthology route should a second season happen: that universally happy ending. In the first season finale, Ace Studios' Passion Project That Could, Meg, swept the 20th Academy Awards with Oscar wins in nearly every major category. Those walking away with golden statues included Archie, a gay black screenwriter (Pope); Camille, a black actress leading a studio film for the first time (Harrier); and Raymond, a half-Asian director with his first big break (Criss).
That inclusive spirit extended to altered endings for three real-life Hollywood performers. Anna May Wong (Michelle Krusiec), relegated to racial stereotypes for much of her acting career, instead became the first actress of Chinese descent to win an Oscar. Rock Hudson (Jake Picking), who tragically passed away in 1985 from complications of AIDS, instead embarked on both a relationship with a man and and a career outside the closet. And Hattie McDaniel (Queen Latifah), the Gone with the Wind star who was segregated from the awards ceremony where she became first black best actress winner, was invited back into the room where it happens. (Even the notoriously harsh Hollywood agent Henry Willson, played by Jim Parsons, got redemption.)
“I was interested in doing something very optimistic and very uplifting and giving these disenfranchised people happy endings,” Murphy told ELLE.com about the season finale. So a new season would either introduce a heavy dose of conflict or reintroduce a new era of the studio system.
A release date for season 2 would likely be years away.
While Murphy mulls a second season of Hollywood, he's got a lineup of other projects to keep him occupied. His 2018 production deal with Netflix is said to be the largest TV contract in history. Among his upcoming slate is season 2 of The Politician; a series following One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest’s Nurse Ratched; a film adaptation of the hit Broadway musical The Prom; and new seasons of Pose, American Crime Story (focused on Monica Lewinsky), and American Horror Story. Plus, nearly every film or TV show has halted production for the foreseeable future thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. So, a new season of Hollywood feels unlikely before 2022.
But, if Hollywood taught us anything, everything's possible in Ryan Murphy's imagination. After all, the show's final title card did read "The Beginning."
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