'Succession' Season 3: Everything You Need to Know About the Long-Awaited Return

·10-min read
Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

After a long and painful time apart, our reunion with HBO's most beloved and cruel family is edging ever closer. Back in November, we had our first positive sign that the Roy dynasty were ready to destroy the lives of anyone and everyone, when a Twitter account snapped Jeremy Strong filming while wearing a tracksuit and strolling through Brooklyn. How the mighty have fallen, or another red herring?

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We finally have a teaser trailer, which gives us a glimpse at the fallout that season two's dramatic finale produced. While we wait for further signs of the power players of late capitalism gone wrong, here’s everything we know so far about season three of Succession.

Is there a Succession season 3 trailer?

Yes! You can watch it below.

“You are Kendall Roy. You are fucking Kendall Roy.”

So begins the teaser trailer for season three of Succession, with Kendall hyping himself up in front of the mirror for the backstabbing bloodbath that’s about to ensue – at least, that’s what we assume. For all we know he could be getting in the zone for another rap performance, but he probably doesn’t have time for that right now.

Whatever the case may be, he’ll need all the self-belief he can get. After publicly announcing that his father, Logan, was fully aware of historical criminal misconduct at Waystar RoyCo, it’s inevitable that the in-fighting family will embark on an epic battle for power at the company. The teaser shows the Roys gathered in their fishbowl offices in the immediate aftermath of the press conference, with Logan lunging for his deceitful son as he walks in the room. Kendall appears unbothered, announcing that “The revolution will be televised!”

Then, a brief pan of the Italian coastline (the show’s has been shooting there recently) and then Kendall’s justification. “He’s our dad,” he tells his siblings, “but he was going to send me to jail. He’d do the same to all of us.” Then, a few shots of Shiv being asked questions and looking very, very conflicted, before delivering a compromise to (we assume) Kendall: “If you want me to back you against dad, you would need to let me take over.” Tom and Cousin Greg are at war with each other, too. “Logan’s going to fire a million poisonous spiders down your dicky,” Tom fumes down the phone. “That sounds, like, kind of dramatic,” replies a ever-flustered Greg.

Then helicopters, flipped desks, protest signs, crazed chest beating and a calm pronouncement from Roy to Kendall. “You tell him,” he says to his son’s assistant, “I’m going to grind his fucking bones to make my bread.” The best Kendall can muster in response? “Tell him that’s I’m gonna run up off the fucking beanstalk.” Laughter ensues. Kendall has lost his first battle.

What's the Succession season 3 release date?

The Roys will return in Autumn 2021. The fact that the show would return this year was first teased by an HBO Max trailer. It was then confirmed by HBO's chief content officer, Casey Bloys, who told Deadline that so long as we get something like a "normal world", Succession season 3 will return in Q4 of 2021.

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

Succession season three will arrive too late to get a look in at the 2021 Emmy Awards, which is being hosted in September but is voted on through late June. The show won Outstanding Drama series at the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards in 2020, which presented the third year in a row that a HBO series scooped the prize (following two wins for Game of Thrones).

So, remind us what happened in in the last season?

To get you up to speed: Waystar Royco was very publicly going down, thanks to the dodgy dealings over at Tom’s theme park and cruise department, and Logan (Brian Cox) wanted a blood sacrifice. His choice? Meat puppet Tom (Matthew Macfadyen), or until Shiv (Sarah Snooks) begged Logan to save her husband (and their floundering marriage). He moves on to Kendall, who owed him his literal life after daddy managed to make the whole accidentally-murdering-a-bartender thing go away.

Kendall was goaded by his dad that he had “no killer instinct”, then was pushed into a press conference. Just as we all thought he was going to roll over for Logan, he dropped the bomb. Branding his father “a malignant presence, a bully and a liar”, we then saw Cousin Greg (Nicholas Braun) on the sidelines, clutching those incriminating emails that he swore he’d burned).

You might have missed a couple of beats in the season two finale: Logan smiling when Kendall did his mic-drop announcement, which seems to suggest that the patriarch finally realised Kenny was as vindictive as he needed to be as a CEO – and the rightful heir to the company? More importantly, what’s his retaliation going to be?

Secondly, still shell-shocked from being held hostage in the Middle East, Roman (Kieran Culkin) was casually announced as the COO of the company. How will this shift the family dynamics, and more importantly, will he bring on Gerri (J. Smith Cameron) as the mole woman to his rock star?

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

What’s going to happen in the new series?

While no concrete plot details have been revealed just yet, Brian Cox revealed that the new scripts are packed with more killer twists. He told The Hollywood Reporter: "I nearly fell off my chair because he [Armstrong] never tells you about the next series. We never knew from episode to episode what was going to happen. But then he told me. And it's jolly thrilling. That's all I can say."

Cox told Deadline that with Shiv and Kendall being the focus of series one and two, the youngest sibling could be the main feature of the next adventures: “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.”

In March, the exciting news arrived that Lorene Scafaria, the filmmaker behind the acclaimed crime drama Hustlers, would be in the director’s chair for the third season of Succession. The director posted a picture on her Instagram, with the caption “Family time w/ the Roys”. An Instagram story from costume designer Midge Denton revealed that Scafaria had directed episode 7 of the 8 episode season, via a board in which she thanked them for their hard work. Another image showed a board saying 'almost there my sweets', which might mean Scafaria also directs the season finale.

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Then came a photo posted on the Instagram of one Nicholas Braun, aka Cousin Greg, showing him in a tailored suit and giving the awkward man's salute of a double thumbs-up in front of an electronic sign for Waystar Royco. True, we might have gone a little mad from waiting for so long, but we're wondering whether the caption saying that he works for the company has inadvertently revealed something about the fallout of season two's explosive finale.

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Social media has been alight with sightings of the cast and crew both in the US and further afield over the past few months. In New York Jeremy Strong has been spotted in his signature baseball cap, once outside the Mandarin Oriental hotel, and again (by a French Bulldog fan account no less) walking into 28 Liberty Street, the location of the office in the show. In other iconic New York locations, Roman and Shiv were snapped shooting inside the Plaza Hotel, and several people spotted that shooting was taking place at the expensive and soulless Hudson Yards, which sounds just right for the Roys.

Outside the city, it was also discovered that the show was shooting in East Hampton after an announcement from a local paper about filming, which included scenes at Montauk’s Shadmoor State Park, as well as a mansion which is currently listed for $50 million. There's also been filming in Virginia, with crew member Casey Campbell joking 'this ain't Croatia' on an Instagram Story, which might mean they've headed to the south east state for some beach scenes.

Who’s starring in it?

We’ve thankfully got most of the key players returning, and three of the minor characters have just been confirmed as series regulars: Willa Ferreyra (played by Justine Lupe), shady chief financial officer Karl Muller (David Rasche) and Waystar Royco’s senior comms exec, Fisher Stevens (Hugo Baker).

There's also the news that the cast will be adding new faces in season three, with HBO announcing that Sanaa Lathan will play Lisa Arthur, a high profile New York lawyer. Meanwhile K-pop star Jihae Kim has also been added to the mix, here playing PR guru Berry Schneider, and Linda Emond will play senior White House aide Michelle-Anne Vanderhoven.

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These three new figures offer some clues about the direction the next instalment could take us, as it seems possible the PR figure may be brought on by Waystar in order to deal with the fallout of Kendall's mic-drop moment moment at the end of season two. That might also explain the introduction of a lawyer with connections that can help get the family, or a newly isolated Kendall perhaps, out of a tight spot. What we're more curious about is how the White House could become embroiled in the Roy family drama. Perhaps there's some high level corruption that'll make us nostalgic for the great swindles of the Trump era coming.

In February, HBO also announced that Your Honor's Hope Davis would appear for a multi-episode arc as Sandi Furness, daughter of the Roy's media arch-rival Sandy Furness. Quite how she slots in will be interesting to discover – in Succession, everyone's an antagonist. Will she side with daddy and the hostile takeover attempt?

At the beginning of May, it was reported by Variety that Alexander Skarsgård, star of The Legend of Tarzan, True Blood and Big Little Lies had been added to the cast. The Emmy award-winning Swedish actor will be playing a character called Lukas Matsson, “a successful, confrontational tech founder and CEO”. This was followed by another high profile casting in the news that Adrien Brody was also joining the show. The Peaky Blinders actor will play Josh Aaronson, a billionaire activist investor who becomes pivotal in the battle for the ownership of Waystar.

Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris
Photo credit: Dimitrios Kambouris

Will they reference Coronavirus in the new series?

It would be difficult not to – even though as the monied elite, the pandemic will have barely bothered the dynasty living in their bubbles in their millionaire mansions. Though we could definitely see Tom being pushed out to join the singing tone-deaf celebs on that cringeful "Imagine" video, in the name of the Roy dynasty PR.

Sarah Snook, who plays Shiv, told Variety that if Armstrong included it, “he wants to be delicate about it and classy." She added: “I think it’s a thing that everybody’s aware of, and audiences are really intuitive these days. Even just seeing a mask in the background of something or hand sanitiser, those things that have become part of our daily lives, those things maybe, but nothing that is so overt that is going to really tackle it head on, because that’s not the show.”

Photo credit: HBO
Photo credit: HBO

Will there be a Succession series 4?

The opening sequence of series three hasn’t even aired yet, but Armstrong has revealed that, like all iconic TV series, he knows when to quit and go out on a high. "I think it's not the sort of show which should go on forever, because there's a question set up in the title of the show and I think it’s a question you eventually want answered," Armstrong told Entertainment Weekly.

"So, I wouldn't say that it should go on forever, but we certainly haven't run out of ideas when we've met in the writers' room so far." As Kendall might say: Dude be the O.G.

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