Succession was the sleeper hit of summer 2018, surprising audiences with its wry depiction of a media family comprised of ambitious, terrible people. The Season 1 finale saw heir apparent Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) orchestrating a hostile takeover to unseat his father, Logan (Brian Cox), as head of the company—until he accidentally kills a waiter at his sister Shiv's (Sarah Snook) wedding and must turn to Logan for protection. Season 2 sets up the Roys to deal with the explosive consequences of Kendall's actions. Here's what we know.
1) It premieres Sunday, August 11 on HBO.
HBO describes the new season thusly:
"Season 2 follows the Roy family as they struggle to retain control of their empire, and while the future looks increasingly uncertain, it is the past that threatens to ultimately destroy them."
2) Logan is on the acquisition warpath.
The latest trailer for Season 2 sees Logan announce, "We’re gonna be the number one media conglomerate in the world." Later, Shiv asks dubiously, "Us? Trying to buy the most respected name in news?" A valid question.
3) There will be at least one Tom-Cousin Greg meltdown.
The new trailer depicts a prime fight between Tom (Matthew Macfadyen) and Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun), with Greg calling for security while Tom screams, "Back off! This is executive-level business!"
The tagline for the new season is, "Every family has its traditions." It's nice to know some things won't change.
4) Logan’s health problems haven’t gone away.
Logan is clearly deteriorating in the new season, with several people asking about his health in the new trailer. At one point, Marcia (Hiam Abbass) suggests he sit down. "You’re old," she tells him bluntly.
5) Cherry Jones plays the head of another media family. Holly Hunter is CEO.
Legendary actress Cherry Jones is seen welcoming the Roys to her home in a scene from the trailer, telling them, "You have an interesting family," as she's seated alongside Holly Hunter's new character, CEO Rhea Jarrell. A Hollywood Reporter feature on Succession Season 2 compares the family to The New York Times-owning Sulzbergers.
6) Shiv will have a larger role in Season 2.
Showrunner Jesse Armstrong told New York Magazine that Shiv's "more central" placement in the series will be apparent from the Season 2 premiere.
She also might get in touch with her emotional side. Snook told E! News Australia in January that she doesn't quite know what's going on with Shiv this season in terms of plot, but we'll definitely see a different side of her. "I think the thing that interested me about the character is that she seems so strong and put together but that oftentimes belies a really vulnerable person on the other side of that," Snook said. "I'm interested to see what happens."
7) Season 2 will explore the aftermath of Kendall's attempted coup.
Apparently Kendall's plotting is still in motion—just without Kendall, who's now firmly sided with his father. According to Succession showrunner Jesse Armstrong, the family will come together to halt the takeover. He tells Entertainment Weekly, "There’s a frantic desire on behalf of Logan and the company to fend that off," adding, “In the first episode, we get to see the Hamptons spread of Logan where they kind of hunker down to think about what to do in the face of this [corporate] attack." You can spy some of that dynamic in the first full trailer for the new season.
8) Season 2 shot in Iceland and Croatia.
The cast and crew shared enviable Instagrams from set.
9) Kendall will face the fallout of the waiter's death.
Per Roman (Keiran Culkin) and Shiv in the teaser trailer for Season 2, Kendall's both "a dead man walking" and "an old beaten dog" who "look[s] like shit." And that's just his physical appearance.
The trailer teases Logan interrogating Kendall about the plot to take over Waystar, Roman reminding Kendall he's "fucked" when Logan's done with him, and co-conspirator Stewy demanding to know exactly how Logan turned Kendall.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Matthew Macfadyen, who plays Tom, revealed that Season 2 picks up right where Season 1 left off with Kendall.
10) James Cromwell and Harriet Walter will return as guest stars.
Cromwell plays Greg's cantankerous grandfather Ewan, the estranged brother of Logan and a Waystar Royco board member. Walter stole every scene in the final two episodes of Season 1 as Caroline Collingwood, second wife of Logan, coiner of "Greg the Egg," and mother of Kendall, Roman, and Shiv.
11) Jeannie Berlin, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Danny Huston, and Fisher Stevens will all appear in Season 2.
Berlin, Huston, and Stevens' roles are currently unknown. Dexter-Jones appears briefly in the second trailer. She tells Kendall, "Watching you people melt down is the most deeply satisfying activity on planet Earth."
12) Armstrong says the way businesses interact with Twitter inspired the plot of Season 2.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Armstrong pointed to "the direct interface that some businesspeople have with Twitter and making claims about going private and affecting their share price and that rebounding around" influenced the writers for Season 2. Armstrong specifically pointed to Tesla as an example, and added that technology's domination of other industries—particularly media—is a major theme of the new season. "'We are these massive cultural edifices, but there's something bigger in the culture that could swallow us all,' is a framing you might find in the show in the second season," he said.
Bring on the Roy social media meltdown please. My money's on Tom.
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