Succession season 4 is officially in production – and by the sounds of things, fans don’t have too long to wait for the return of television’s most dysfunctional family.
Showrunner Jesse Armstrong’s fictionalized take on the Murdoch media empire is dark, dramatic and often hilarious – combining tension and comedy in ways rarely seen on screen – and season 3 continued to prove why it’s one of the best HBO Max shows around.
Having developed something of a cult following in recent years (1.7 million people caught its most recent season finale), it’s no wonder that Succession was swiftly green-lit by HBO for a fourth outing, and we’re excited to see how future episodes intend to tie up the loose ends left by season 3’s explosive cliffhanger.
Below, you’ll find everything we know about Succession season 4 so far – from details on the show’s returning cast members to its likely release date and confirmed plot threads.
Naturally, spoilers for Succession seasons 1-3 follow, so proceed with caution.
Release date: No official release date has been shared by HBO just yet, but we anticipate Succession season 4 to arrive in either late 2022 or early 2023. The broadcaster has, however, confirmed that the complete season will have aired in time for next year’s Emmy eligibility deadline (May 2023), and filming on new episodes began in June.
Cast: Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun and J. Smith-Cameron are all confirmed to return for season 4, while we also expect to see fringe characters like Willa, Stewy and Ewan feature again. Alexander Skarsgård is almost certain to reprise his role as Lukas Matsson, though Adrien Brody’s future as Josh Aaronson is less clear.
Story: After Logan’s shocking decision to consider Matsson’s offer of buying Waystar Royco, we expect Kendall, Shiv and Roman to band together in an effort to relieve power from their father in season 4. Shiv and Tom’s marriage is also likely to come under the microscope, following the latter’s presumed betrayal.
Succession season 4 release date
Given that Succession’s third season didn’t conclude until December 2021, we’re not anticipating season 4 to arrive any time in the next few months. We do know it’s coming, though, after HBO confirmed that filming on new episodes – 10 of them, to be exact – began in June 2022.
Judging by the time it takes to shoot each season, the earliest we expect Succession season 4 to arrive is late 2022, between October and December. The latest we expect to see the show return is April 2023, after HBO executive Casey Bloys told Deadline (opens in new tab) that the complete season will have aired in time for next year’s Emmy eligibility deadline (May 2023).
Either arrival time would mark a decidedly shorter seasonal gap than the one between seasons 3 and 4. Amid the pandemic-induced chaos of 2020, WarnerMedia shut down production on all of its series, including Succession, which pushed season 3’s expected 2020 release date back by more than a year to October 2021.
Seasons 1 and 2 landed in the summers of 2018 and 2019, respectively, but it wouldn’t be unreasonable to assume that future seasons could adopt an annual release schedule later in the year, with Covid-19 having pushed season 3’s arrival to October.
As usual, we expect Succession season 4 to arrive on HBO Max in the US and Sky Atlantic in the UK. Depending on its release date, European viewers may be able to enjoy Succession, too, thanks to the planned rollout of HBO Max across the continent later in the year.
Succession season 4 cast
As for which cast members we expect to return for Succession season 4, HBO has officially confirmed that Brian Cox, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook, Kieran Culkin, Alan Ruck, Matthew Macfadyen, Nicholas Braun and J. Smith-Cameron will all be reprising their roles.
Their involvement in new episodes was made public in June, though it didn’t come as much of a surprise. After all, Succession’s drama is wholly reliant on examining the twisted relationships between the characters in its central Roy family (the clue is in the show’s name). Future episodes would struggle to maintain the series’ compelling tensions should even one member exit the fray.
We also anticipate that fringe characters like Willa (Justine Lupe), Stewy (Arian Moayed) and Ewan (James Cromwell) will return for Succession season 4.
Although many of these characters don’t play a direct role in influencing the question at the heart of the show – who will inherit Logan Roy’s media empire? – almost all maintain very particular relationships with certain Roy family members that reveal more about the motivations of the show’s main players; they’re therefore important pieces of Succession’s puzzle.
The same goes for Alexander Skarsgård’s tech entrepreneur Lukas Matsson. At the end of season 3, Logan Roy – in a move that shocked his children – appeared to strike a deal with Matsson to relinquish power of Waystar Royco in exchange for a payout. Given that this decision is likely to form the crux of season 4’s plot, it’s safe to assume that Skarsgård will be returning to Succession for future episodes.
Less clear is whether Adrien Brody, who briefly starred in season 3 as billionaire investor Josh Aaronson, will reprise his role. Aaronson was used as a vessel through which Succession’s showrunners sought to question Logan’s competence as an elderly CEO. Having fulfilled that purpose, it’s hard to see where Brody could take the character next.
Still, even if Brody doesn’t return as Aaronson, we wouldn’t be surprised to see more A-listers step into Succession’s boardrooms as new characters in season 4. HBO has confirmed that “additional cast [members are set] to be announced” soon.
Succession season 4 story
Following the fallout of Kendall’s betrayal and Logan’s gung-ho quest for revenge in Succession season 2, last year’s episodes placed the spotlight on each Roy sibling equally, giving actors Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin room to flex their (at times cringe-inducing) muscles.
Season 4 seems primed to continue in that vein, after Logan’s dramatic decision to consider Matsson’s offer left the trio of siblings more united (against their father) than ever.
Naturally, Kendall, Shiv and Roman deem their father’s desire to relinquish family control of Waystar Royco an act of betrayal. For three seasons, viewers have watched the siblings trade insults over which of them is best placed to inherit their father’s company – it follows, then, that none of them want to see it fall into outsider hands.
This conflict is likely to drive the plot of Succession season 4. Other narrative threads are harder to pin down, though we expect Shiv’s unconventional marriage to Tom to come under the spotlight once again, after the latter betrayed his wife in exchange for Logan’s favor.
At least, that’s what season 3’s cliffhanger finale wants us to believe – we don’t yet know the full extent of Tom’s role in the betrayal, nor how much Greg played a part in alerting Logan to his children’s plans of sabotaging the deal with Matsson.
Sarah Snook, for one, is excited to learn more. She told SiriusXM (opens in new tab): “I’ve got no idea [where the show is going with that incident]. I can’t wait for us to start shooting again, because I want to know what happens.”
In reference to season 3’s final shot – which suggests Shiv knows what Tom has done – Snook added: “I feel like it’s a really powerful position for Shiv to be in, because she knows information, and then can choose whether to reveal that information. She could choose not to tell her siblings, and she could also choose not to tell Tom that she knows […] But it’s got to light a fire [within her].”
Right now, though – and for the first time in the show’s history – it looks like season 4 will begin with Kendall, Shiv and Roman versus everyone else.
As for Connor’s role in Succession’s upcoming episodes, it looks like a wedding to Justine Lupe’s Willa is on the cards. In the below set image, a large “Willa Ferreyra & Connor Roy” banner can be seen strewn across a harbor building, which logic suggests will play host to either an establishing shot, the pair’s rehearsal dinner or their wedding proper.
Connor’s pursuit of the presidency is also likely to form its own narrative offshoot, which may pave the way for the return of Justin Kirk’s far-right congressman Jeryd Mencken, among other politically-inclined characters.
But the crux of Succession season 4 will, of course, revolve around Matsson’s proposed acquisition of the Roy family business. Indeed, HBO’s official synopsis for the season reads as follows: “In the ten-episode season 4, the sale of media conglomerate Waystar Royco to tech visionary Lukas Matsson moves ever closer. The prospect of this seismic sale provokes existential angst and familial division among the Roys as they anticipate what their lives will look like once the deal is completed. A power struggle ensues as the family weighs up a future where their cultural and political weight is severely curtailed.”
In any case, given that HBO executive Francesca Orsi declared, in her official renewal announcement, that “Jesse Armstrong [continues] to surpass our wildest expectations” with each new season of Succession, we’re expecting to be surprised by the inevitable twists and turns season 4 has in store.
The future of the show
As for whether Succession season 4 will be the show’s last, we’re confident that it won’t be. Although HBO didn’t allude to further seasons in its press release announcing the series’ renewal, interviews with cast and crew members have put our minds at (relative) ease.
Series mainstay Brian Cox, for instance – who plays family boss Logan Roy – told GQ (opens in new tab) that he expects “possibly two more series, and then I think we’re done.”
The show’s executive producer, Georgia Pritchett, echoed that sentiment, revealing to The Times (opens in new tab) last year that she believes Succession is unlikely to go beyond five seasons. “I think the maximum would be five seasons, but possibly more like four,” she said, “at this point [Jesse Armstrong] is saying only one more.”
Indeed, series creator Armstrong has admitted that he wants the show to come to a definitive end. “There’s going to be a very definite moment when that story is over, and it can’t go on too long,“ he told The New Statesman (opens in new tab).
Armstrong repeated the line at the 2022 BAFTA TV awards. When asked how long he intends to keep the show running, he told reporters: “I won’t answer that one precisely. I don’t think it should go on forever. But we’re still having fun at the moment.”
Even HBO executive Casey Bloys remains in the dark on Succession’s future. “For those conversations, we really tend to leave it with the showrunners,” he told Deadline (opens in new tab) in July. “Jesse is obviously figuring out what he wants the fourth season to be and he will decide whether he sees it going beyond that or not. We’ll really leave it to him and let him have his process and figure out what he wants to do.”
There’s definitely a chance, then, that we’ll be treated to a fifth season of Succession after season 4 – which gives plenty of time for Logan to finally appoint a successor to his vast media empire.
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