By Neha Prakash
As Logan Roy might say, it's about fucking time. Succession season 2 drew to a close (with Logan's knowing grin) in October 2019. Since then, fans have been deprived of the critically acclaimed HBO series that follows the Roy family's Machiavellian power moves and brotherly (and sisterly) backstabbing as they vie for their father's love business. But after an extended hiatus due to COVID-19, Succession has been spotted filming for the past few months all over New York City (from the Plaza Hotel to Hudson Yards) as well as East Hampton and even Virginia. And now, our favorite dysfunctional family has gone international, with crew revealing they headed to Italy for the tail-end of the season. From release date to plot, here's everything we know so far about Succession season 3.
Where did season 2 of Succession leave off?
Succession season 2 ended with Kendall Roy lobbing a bombshell on his father's dynasty, naming Logan Roy as "a malignant presence, a bully and a liar." The Number One Boy chose to betray media tycoon Logan Roy—who set up his son to take the fall for Waystar Royco's wrongdoings—throwing a major wrench into the patriarch's plans for his heirs. Roman Roy also ascended to COO of the company, while Cousin Greg, clutching those ever-incriminating emails, drew his battle lines and aligned with Kendall.
What's going to happen in season 3?
A statement from HBO teased that season three would be a guns-blazing battle between the Roys. "Ambushed by his rebellious son Kendall at the end of Season 2, Logan Roy begins Season 3 in a perilous position," the official synopsis reads. "Scrambling to secure familial, political, and financial alliances, tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to turn into a family civil war."
For more specific details, you'd have to ask Brian Cox. In an interview with The Jess Cagle Show, the actor revealed that he was the first cast member to know what the new season would hold. "I nearly fell off my chair because [show creator Jesse Armstrong] never tells you about the next series. We never knew from episode to episode what was going to happen," Cox said, per The Hollywood Reporter. "It's jolly thrilling. That's all I can say."
An in-depth profile published in August 2021 on Vulture revealed a few more vague but still intriguing details about the upcoming season, including why COVID won't play a major factor into the show's plot. Spoiler: It's because the Roys are capital-R Rich. “These are really wealthy people,” actress Sarah Snook (Shiv) said to the outlet. “And unfortunately, none of the world’s really wealthy people were going to be affected by the pandemic.”
It also explains why the Roys were able to easily pick up and decamp to Italy in the third season for, as Vulture describes it, an overly lavish trip in Tuscany complete with regal estate and tense family dinners. Despite how season 2 left off, Kendall and Greg are also in attendance at the Italian villa so we must wonder: Is all well in Roy-land? (Doubtful.) Some of the meager clues we're given about the season: Shiv gives an impromptu speech; Tom gets an interesting phone call; the Roy siblings have a group lunch (even Connor is present); Logan Roy (Brian Cox) has a tense nine-page scene; there's a party that includes a dance floor; and the third season picks up "moments" after the second ended.
"Logan is still in charge of Waystar Royco, and there’s a shareholder revolt on the horizon. The same essential drama repeats itself, with Kendall, Roman, and Shiv trying to outsmart the others at Dad’s game and take over the company," Vulture reports.
In an interview with TV Guide magazine, Armstrong also shared more about the season, specifically how Kendall's decision changes the entire family dynamic. “[Kendall's] liberated by his decision,” Armstrong told the outlet. “He’s made a decisive break [from Logan], and that brings some clarity.” For Roman, “Kendall being effectively gone means there’s a vacancy for No. 1 son,” Armstrong explains. And for Shiv and Tom, their marriage will be tested more than ever before, Armstrong teased, thanks to the Roy civil war “[pulling] them in different directions.”
When does Succession season 3 premiere?
On August 23, HBO confirmed on social media that the show would be back—not in December as expected—but in October 2021. And in mid-September, HBO announced that episode 1 of the third season would drop on October 17.
October. pic.twitter.com/1kNnfr13WaAugust 23, 2021
October will be two years to the month that the second season's finale hit the streamer. But the extended length between seasons isn't surprising considering HBO announced in March 2020 that preproduction had been delayed due to the pandemic.
How can I watch Succession season 3?
It's time to renew that HBO Max subscription. Succession will be available on HBO and streaming on HBO Max beginning at 9 PM ET on Sunday, October 17. Season 3 will be a shortened nine-episode run (instead of the standard 10) with its finale slated for December 12.
Is there a trailer for Succession season 3?
First, there was an HBO Max teaser that confirmed, yes, Succession is coming before 2022.
In June, HBO further teased fans by releasing exactly three seconds of new footage hidden in an ad for HBO Max. While it's very little to go on, we do see a rarity: a smiling Kendall Roy. The clip also shows Logan Roy yelling, "It's war!"—fitting based on the descriptions of the season thus far.
New footage from #Succession season 3 pic.twitter.com/H8XtSJAUalJune 28, 2021
Then, finally, came a glorious minute-plus teaser for the season. In the new footage, we see Logan yelling (what's new?), Kendall giving zero fucks, Shiv making power moves, the FBI raiding Waystar Royco, and Cousin Greg being set up as the fall guy for Kendall's decisions in season 2. Let's not forget the best part of the trailer: Tom screaming at Greg, "Logan is going to fire a million poisonous spiders down your dicky."
Ultimately, the trailer shows us the battle lines being drawn, as each Roy family member is forced to choose sides no matter the casualties. Let the fun begin!
HBO also released a fierce season 3 poster on Instagram which took the "battle lines being drawn" concept to a very literal level. In the image—captioned with, "Make your move"—the Roys walk through an office with a stripe running down the hallway; Logan, Shiv, Tom, and Connor stand on one side with Kendall, Greg, and Roman appearing on the other. It may be the biggest hint yet about how the season will play out.
A photo posted by on
But eagle-eyed fans spotted something peculiar about the poster: In a version uploaded to Twitter, Shiv and Connor appear behind Kendall and Roman stands behind Logan. A Photoshop mistake or a major hint from HBO about the Roy siblings' general lack of loyalty? More than likely, season 3 will show Shiv and the rest flip-flopping between their brother and dad based on whomever promises the more appealing endgame.
Make Your Move. October 17. pic.twitter.com/KVIXGWSyszSeptember 13, 2021
And then, finally, the full trailer arrived. Prepare to go "full fucking beast."
The trailer picks up where season 2 ended, with Greg and Kendall leaving Kendall's explosive press conference. (Kendall's trending on Twitter!) We also see Logan reeling in the aftermath of the conference because, instead of rallying around him, the rest of his family has "disappeared." We then get glimpses of Kendall meeting with a lawyer to figure out how to "take down" his dad without implicating himself or worrying stakeholders—but Logan won't be making that easy. "There's blood in the water. Sharks are coming," Logan teases. Meanwhile, Shiv panics about losing the company, Roman ponders the eventual death of dear ol' dad, Connor makes power moves, Tom tries to reconnect with Shiv, and Greg is, well, classic Greg. Come for the drama, stay for the sweeping vistas of Italy.
If that wasn't enough excitement for you, HBO also shared more promo posters of the main cast, this time pairing our favorite duos together. Just try not to get hot under the collar looking at this shot of Gerri Kellman and Roman Roy:
Gerri Kellman. Roman Roy. #Succession pic.twitter.com/lmfKHz0zqUSeptember 27, 2021
Is this our unofficial confirmation that Gerri and Roman are together next season?!
pic.twitter.com/yFTRaCSSEXSeptember 27, 2021
Meanwhile, this poster of Tom and Greg is our official confirmation that you can't make a Tomlette without breaking some Greggs.
Tom Wambsgans. Gregory Hirsch. #Succession pic.twitter.com/fLhwA3mNF9September 27, 2021
Who will be in season 3?
All of the show's key players—Brian Cox as dastardly patriarch Logan Roy; Jeremy Strong as Kendall Roy; and Sarah Snook and Matthew Macfadyen as troubled newlyweds Shiv Roy and Tom Wambsgans—have been spotted filming, so it's safe to assume the cast will remain largely intact. Cox, in particular, teased Kieran Culkin's return as his youngest son: "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," Cox told Deadline.
Big things also seem to be coming for Braun as fan-favorite Cousin Greg. The actor posted a photo of himself, clad in a Kendall Roy-esque suit posing in front of a Waystar Royco logo, to Instagram. He captioned it seemingly with a major spoiler, writing, "I am an employee of this company, and that’s about all I can say about that!" How very Greg of him.
Season 3 is also adding some bold-faced names to its roster. Oscar winner Adrien Brody has been tapped to play Josh Aaronson "a billionaire activist investor who becomes pivotal in the battle for the ownership of Waystar," per Variety. The outlet also reports that Big Little Lies star Alexander Skarsgård is joining the cast as Lukas Matsson, "a successful, confrontational tech founder and CEO."
Sanaa Lathan, best known for her role in Love & Basketball, revealed on Instagram that she is also filming for the show. Deadline confirmed the news, explaining Lathan will have a recurring role in Succession's third season as "Lisa Arthur, a high profile well-connected New York lawyer." Speaking to Entertainment Tonight, Lathan said: "It was definitely challenging with all of the PPE...In between takes, you have on several layers of PPE. At first, I felt like I was swimming with weights on. But I think, you know, it still worked out."
Deadline added that Korean pop star Jihae Kim will be featured as Berry Schneider, "a leading Public Relations consultant" while Linda Emond is joining the cast as senior White House aide Michelle-Anne Vanderhoven. Hope Davis has also been cast as Sandi Furness, the daughter of Sandy Furness—Logan Roy's longtime rival, played by Larry Pine—for a multi-episode arc. And Vulture revealed that Dasha Nekrasova will be joining the cast as "Comfry."
Ella Rumpf, known for her role in the 2016 horror Raw, will also be joining the cast in a guest spot, Variety announced in August. We don't know much about what her role will entail, but we do know that her part of the season was filmed in Italy, and that Rumpf filmed there over the summer of 2021.
Cathy Yan is slated to direct at least one episode of the season. Yan announced the news on Twitter writing, "V happy to be working on my favorite show." And Hustlers director Lorene Scafaria seems to be involved as well, posting a photo from set to Instagram, captioned "family time w/ the Roys."
What do the reviews say about season 3?
The reviews are in, and it's official: the third season of Succession is everything you dreamed and more. Writes Lucy Mangan in The Guardian: "That’s the full Baskin Robbins 31 flavors of fuck right there." And Rolling Stone's Alan Sepinwall wrote of the show, "[It] remains a key fictional text explaining how we got into these various messes, but also a marvelous occasional reward for all of us stuck living through them." Vulture calls the season "gloriously nasty" adding that "the writing drips with more poison, and the cast seems to relish more than ever the opportunity to disseminate its toxins." Reviewer Jen Chaney also notes that while the season doesn't truly its stride until episode 3, it definitely makes a case as one of the funniest shows on television. Fuck yes.
Will there be a season 4 of Succession?
On October 26, HBO officially greenlit a fourth season of the family drama (what was long suspected and teased already).
Renewed for Season 4. pic.twitter.com/iDrJMzEvqdOctober 26, 2021
Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming, said in a statement obtained by Variety, “With each season of Succession, Jesse Armstrong has continued to surpass our wildest expectations, pulling us deeper into the Roy family’s inner sanctum with indelible wit, humanity, and precision. This season is undoubtedly no exception, and we couldn’t be more excited for all that’s in store in this next season ahead.”
But rumors are swirling that the fourth season could be the series' last. Speaking with U.K. newspaper The Times, Succession writer and executive producer Georgia Pritchett revealed, "I think the maximum would be five seasons, but possibly more like four." She continued, teasing that showrunner Jesse Armstrong and the creative team has "a good end in sight."
And in a recent interview with Variety, Armstrong himself said he already has "a pitch" for how he envisions the series finale to unfold, though he played more coy about when exactly that may be. “All I know is there’s a promise in the ‘Succession’ title, and it can’t go on forever,” he added.
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