We waited. We waited patiently, through a global pandemic, for any sign of life at Waystar Royco once again. And in November, we had our first positive sign that the Logan dynasty were ready to snap back into action; ready to destroy the lives of themselves, their immediate family, colleagues, friends and just about any bystander close enough to be sucked into their dark and double-dealing vortex.
The Twitter account Film Updates might have only posted a picture of the back of Jeremy Strong (Kendall Roy) with the caption: “Jeremy Strong spotted in New York where filming for the third season of Succession is currently underway” but it set the internet alight.
Kendall swapping his fusty corporate media mogul gear for a shit-coloured trackie? Wearing a face mask? Carrying a black bin bag? What does it all mean??
While there’s scant information to go on right now, at least we know the show is getting one step close to our TVs once again. While we wait for further signs of the power players of late capitalism gone wrong, here’s everything we know so far about season three of Succession:
What's the Succession season 3 release date
With Alan Ruck confirming that filming started back in November 2020, and reports that shooting is going ahead in internal locations in Manhattan, we know the ball is definitely rolling after production was initially halted due to the pandemic. In fact, things are looking good for the return of the Roys in 2021. A fact first teased by an HBO Max trailer, which includes Succession among the shows set to air before 2022. It was then confirmed by HBO's chief content officer, Casey Bloys, who told Deadline that in a "normal world" the show would land in the back part of the year.
"But that would mean we don’t get hit with any Covid delays," he said. "A lot of that will depend on how the vaccine rolls out, how much a factor Covid is. It’s still very much a real thing in production at the moment, hopefully it gets easier to deal with. It’s hard to predict right now.”
It's also worth considering how much of the show might need to be shot abroad and the restrictions that would then come into place with quarantining as vaccines are rolled out. Season two took us to Dundee, Scotland and Korčula, Croatia for dramatic backdrops to the mounting drama, but it sounds like Succession season 3 might stay closer to home. In fact, Bloys also revealed that the original plan was to shoot the show in Los Angeles.
"At one point, we thought we should shoot Succession in Los Angeles because Los Angeles looked like, at the time, a safer place to shoot than New York, then Los Angles looked really bad and New York looked better in comparison,” he said.
Social media proves that NYC will remain a co-star, though. As well as that shot of Jeremy Strong and his black binliner, Nicholas Braun – who plays cousin Greg – shared a post to his Instagram Stories from upstate New York, where he and Strong were hiking through the snow. Granted, they might have just fancied a winter break together. But we're hoping that the pair actually set out for the country so Kendall could tempt Greg into undermining Logan somehow.
What’s going to happen in the new series?
What a cliffhanger to leave us on for OVER A YEAR. To get you up to speed: Waystar Royco was very publicly going down, thanks to the dodgy dealings over at Tom’s theme park and cruise department, and Logan (Brian Cox) wanted a blood sacrifice. His choice? Meat puppet Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) - but then Shiv (Sarah Snooks) begged Logan to save her husband (and their floundering marriage). He moves on to Kendall, who owed him his literal life after daddy managed to make the whole accidentally-murdering-a-bartender thing go away.
Kendall was goaded by his dad that he had “no killer instinct”, then was pushed into a press conference. Just as we all thought he was going to roll over for Logan, he dropped the bomb. Branding his father “a malignant presence, a bully and a liar”, we then saw Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) on the sidelines, clutching those incriminating emails that he swore he’d burned with Tom (Matthew McFadyen). He’s the outside contender for the eponymous succession, in our eyes.
You might have missed a couple of beats in the season two finale: Logan smiling when Kendall did his mic-drop announcement, which seems to suggest that the patriarch finally realised Kenny was as vindictive as he needed to be as a CEO - and the rightful heir to the company? More importantly, what’s his retaliation going to be?
Secondly, still shell-shocked from being held hostage in the Middle East, Roman (Kieran Culkin) was casually announced as the COO of the company. How will this shift the family dynamics, and more importantly, will he bring on Gerri (J. Smith Cameron) as the mole woman to his rock star?
While (obviously) no plot details have been revealed just yet, Brian Cox revealed that the new scripts are literally fall-off-your-chair fantastic with more killer twists. He told The Hollywood Reporter: "I nearly fell off my chair because he [Armstrong] never tells you about the next series. We never knew from episode to episode what was going to happen. But then he told me. And it's jolly thrilling. That's all I can say."
Cox then added to Deadline that with Shiv and Kendall being the focus of series one and two, the youngest sibling could be the main feature of the next adventures: “I’m fascinated to see how young Roman comes into play. He showed his mettle at the end of season two. I think he’s the hidden gun under the table.”
Who’s starring in it?
We’ve thankfully got most of the key players returning, and three of the minor characters have just been confirmed as series regulars: Willa Ferreyra (played by Justine Lupe), shady chief financial officer Karl Muller (David Rasche) and Waystar Royco’s senior comms exec, Fisher Stevens (Hugo Baker).
There's also the news that the cast will be adding new faces in season three, with HBO announcing that Sanaa Lathan will play Lisa Arthur, a high profile New York lawyer. Meanwhile K-pop star Jihae Kim has also been added to the mix, here playing PR guru Berry Schneider, and Linda Emond will play senior White House aide Michelle-Anne Vanderhoven.
These three new figures offer some clues about the direction the next instalment could take us, as it seems possible the PR figure may be brought on by Waystar in order to deal with the fallout of Kendall's mic-drop moment moment at the end of season two. That might also explain the introduction of a lawyer with connections that can help get the family, or a newly isolated Kendall perhaps, out of a tight spot. What we're more curious about is how the White House could become embroiled in the Roy family drama. Perhaps there's some high level corruption that'll make us nostalgic for the great swindles of the Trump era coming.
In February, HBO also announced that Your Honor's Hope Davis would appear for a multi-episode arc as Sandi Furness, daughter of the Roy's media arch-rival Sandy Furness. Quite how she slots in will be interesting to discover – in Succession, everyone's an antagonist. Will she side with daddy and the hostile takeover attempt? Or will she make like Logan's kids and switch sides at will in some Oedipal attempt to undermine him? Could she even side with Kendall, now out in the cold, in some nefarious plot to unseat both patriarchs? We'll have to wait a few months to find out.
Will they reference Coronavirus in the new series?
It would be difficult not to – even though as the monied elite, the pandemic will have barely bothered the dynasty living in their bubbles in their millionaire mansions. Though we could definitely see Tom being pushed out to join the singing tone-deaf celebs on that cringeful "Imagine" video, in the name of the Roy dynasty PR.
Sarah Snook, who plays Shiv, told Variety that if Armstrong included it, “he wants to be delicate about it and classy”. She added: “I think it’s a thing that everybody’s aware of, and audiences are really intuitive these days. Even just seeing a mask in the background of something or hand sanitizer, those things that have become part of our daily lives, those things maybe, but nothing that is so overt that is going to really tackle it head on, because that’s not the show. “We want to see the Roys doing the thing that they’ve been doing that we love, not pivoting towards a pandemic story.”
Will there be a Succession series 4?
Hold up - the opening sequence of series three hasn’t even aired. But Armstrong has revealed that, like all iconic TV series, he knows when to quit and go out on a high. "I think it's not the sort of show which should go on forever, because there's a question set up in the title of the show and I think it’s a question you eventually want answered," Armstrong told Entertainment Weekly.
"So, I wouldn't say that it should go on forever, but we certainly haven't run out of ideas when we've met in the writers' room so far." As Kendall might say: Dude be the O.G.
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