The Undoing is an HBO miniseries starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Grant, and directed by Susanne Bier.
The twisty show was inspired by the book You Should Have Known by Jean Hanff Korelitz.
Will there be a second season of The Undoing? Speaking to OprahMag.com, Bier says she "won't rule it out."
With any luck, the finale of the new HBO miniseries The Undoing will reveal who, among the show's Upper East Side upper crust set, killed Elena Alves (Matilda de Angelis). While Jonathan (Hugh Grant), the pediatric oncologist with a treasure chest of secrets, seems like the most obvious suspect, anything could happen.
The Undoing has not been renewed for a second season—but is enough of a ratings hit for HBO that it might be. Technically, The Undoing is a miniseries with an end date. However, the murder mystery could follow in the footsteps of Big Little Lies, another glossy book adaptation starring Nicole Kidman, which was unexpectedly renewed for a second season after what multiple publications called a "perfect" finale.
Speaking to OprahMag.com, Bier says she often thinks about what will come next for The Undoing's characters, after the dust of the drama settles. "Of course you wonder what comes after this is over. We did joke about it on set," Bier says. When asked whether those futures would be explored in a second season, Bier says, "I won't rule it out. But it's not in the concrete works."
Here's what we know about The Undoing's future.
The Undoing was pitched as a miniseries, but it could still be renewed.
The Undoing was written to be a miniseries with a concrete end. However, given past precedent at HBO, The Undoing could very well continue, if the demand is great enough. According to Variety, the show's viewership has risen since the premiere.
Big Little Lies, which shares producer, writer, and creator David E. Kelley with The Undoing, is the prime example of an HBO miniseries being renewed after becoming popular. The seven-episode first season was based on a novel by Liane Moriarty; the second followed the characters past the source material, and introduced new ones—hello, Meryl Streep. In 2019, Kidman told The L.A. Times a third season seems "likely" in 2019.
Other platforms have followed HBO's lead. Ryan Murphy's alternate history Hollywood was originally a miniseries, and was later renewed by Netflix. Essentially, if The Undoing is enough of a hit and the creators are on board, there could be a follow up to Grace and Jonathan Fraser's story.
Naturally, a premiere date is uncertain.
It's impossible to know when more episodes of The Undoing will premiere. First of all, the show hasn't been renewed. Then, there are the widespread filming delays brought on by the coronavirus pandemic to contend with. For now, if you want more of The Undoing, read the engrossing novel that inspired the series.
The second season might be about the "aftermath" of the undoing.
If the first season of The Undoing is all about the repercussions of lies and secrets, then the second season could be about the characters dealing with what comes next. Big Little Lies, for example, followed the toll that a murder cover-up takes on its main characters.
However, Bier cautions against using Big Little Lies as a template for The Undoing's future, though they share a star, creator, and focus on the 1%. "I feel that The Undoing is very different. It has a different temperature. It has a different engine. I think David always intended for it to be very different, as did Nicole," Bier says.
The cast of the The Undoing's second season is similarly up in the air.
The cast is an integral part of what makes The Undoing so alluring. Hugh Grant and Nicole Kidman playing a married couple caught up in lies? Sign us up. The cast is rounded out by Noah Jupe as the Frasers' son, Henry; Donald Sutherland as Grace's stern father, Franklin; Noma Dumezweni as the Frasers's powerful defense attorney, Haley; Matilda de Angelis as Elena; Ismael Cruz Cordova as Elena's grieving husband, Fernando; and Lily Rabe as Grace's friend, Sylvia.
The question is: Would Grant and Kidman return as leads (and theme song singers), or would The Undoing focus on new characters entirely? Bier always had Grant in mind for the untrustworthy Jonathan Fraser. The role plays with prior associations that audiences may have of Grant, residue from his string of lovable, floppy-haired rom-com leads in Notting Hill and Four Weddings and a Funeral.
"The first thing I said to David Kelley is that I felt Hugh Grant should play Jonathan. When I looked at Hugh Grant I always felt there was a darkness to him. Not an evil darkness but maybe a sadness. And I felt that that would be great to have the mix of the two—the charm and the sadness—to a greater extent than his previous work has had," Bier says.
Similarly, Bier says Kidman brings something that is uniquely her own to the part of Grace, who tries to maintain dignity as her world collapses, and her husband is possibly involved in a murder.
"As an actress, Nicole Kidman is always enigmatic. She always has this layer of secrets. You look into her eyes and you know what she's thinking—but you're acutely aware of not knowing a lot other things she's thinking. I think Grace is slightly similar. She's mysterious. We kind of understand her, but we're aware there are things she's not going to tell us about," Bier says.
Hopefully, Grace's coats will make an appearance in season 2.
A significant portion of The Undoing consists of Grace wandering around New York looking vexed, with gorgeous coats trailing behind her. Emerald green and maroon, Grace's coats threaten to upstage the cast—and that's really saying something.
According to Bier, they're a reflection of Grace's character. "That's part of who she is. Yes, she's wealthy and part of the upper echelons of the Upper East side. There's a special dress code that belongs to that world. But she doesn't conform to that. She dresses expensively but she's not going to look like everybody else," Bier says.
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