While it’s bad news for fans, and possibly for HBO, “Succession” creator Jesse Armstrong told The New Yorker magazine that the upcoming Season 4 of the hit series will be its last. The “King Lear”-esque satirical drama set in the world of the one percent has been a water-cooler juggernaut since the conclusion of “Game of Thrones,” with a combined 30 Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy nominations since its inception, and 13 wins – including ones for actors Jeremy Strong, Matthew Macfadyen, and Cherry Jones as well Best Drama Series crowns for its second and third seasons. It has also had five wins off of nine Golden Globe nominations, including ones for Strong, Brian Cox, and Sarah Snook.
Armstrong said about his decision to go out on top that “there’s a promise in the title of ‘Succession.’ I’ve never thought this could go on forever. The end has always been kind of present in my mind.”
He went on to say that the decision to cut it at four was a group one, and it was a process getting there: “I got together with a few of my fellow writers before we started the writing of season four, in about November, December 2021, and I sort of said, ‘Look, I think this maybe should be it. But what do you think?’ And we played out various scenarios: We could do a couple of short seasons or two more seasons. Or we could go on for ages and turn the show into something rather different, and be a more rangy, freewheeling kind of fun show, where there would be good weeks and bad weeks. Or we could do something a bit more muscular and complete, and go out sort of strong. And that was definitely always my preference.”
In other recent “Succession” news, Brian Cox, who plays the paterfamilias and founder of the media conglomerate Waystar RoyCo, raised eyebrows when he referred to the acting techniques used by Strong, who plays his son, as “fucking annoying.”
“He’s a very good actor,” Cox added. “And the rest of the ensemble is all okay with this. But knowing a character and what the character does is only part of the skill set.” He continued “He’s still that guy, because he feels if he went somewhere else he’d lose it. But he won’t! Strong is talented. He’s fucking gifted. When you’ve got the gift, celebrate the gift. Go back to your trailer and have a hit of marijuana, you know?”
Strong’s intensity on set has been a topic of whispers for a while, to the point that Jessica Chastain, among others, took to social media in late 2021 to stick up for him after a New Yorker profile painted him somewhat unflatteringly.
For his part, Strong recently told GQ about his performance style, “Everyone’s entitled to have their feelings.” He added, “I also think Brian Cox, for example, he’s earned the right to say whatever the fuck he wants.”
In that same interview, Strong alluded to the end of “Succession” – he was in the middle of filming the final episodes of the fourth season when the interview was conducted. Of bidding farewell to his signature role, the part of Kendall Roy, Strong said, “It will feel like a death, in a way.”
The fourth and final season of “Succession” debuts on HBO on March 26. It is heavily favored already to win multiple Emmys at the 2023 ceremony in September.
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