Succession season 3: release date predictions, story and what we know

If you're waiting for the Succession season 3 release date, you'll be sad to know there's no return scheduled for the engrossing HBO drama yet. Filming was set to begin in April and the episodes are being written now, but the Covid-19 virus and its associated disruption has halted its production start date and suspending pre-production. 

Succession is the best returning HBO drama around right now (you can stream it in the US here), following the clashes, twisted affection and downfalls of the wealthy Roy family. After a strong first season, 2019's second sent the show's popularity soaring, and made must-see TV out of constant backstabbing and Brian Cox's explosive swearing in swanky locations. 

Succession season 3 was officially confirmed back in 2019, but details are scarce besides that. Nevertheless – while discussing spoilers, so be warned – we'll be breaking down what you can expect from the Succession season 3 plot, when that all-important release date will arrive, and everything else you need to know.

Succession season 3 release date: summer 2020?

While we don't know the precise Succession season 3 release date yet, we have our suspicions. Both the previous seasons landed in the summers of 2018 and 2019, and considering that series 3 was commissioned by HBO only two episodes into season 2, a summer 2020 launch made sense – before the coronavirus pandemic hit. 

At Sky UK's Up Next event in February 2020, host Chris Evans mentioned that shooting would start shooting around “April-ish” as he interviewed creator Jesse Armstrong and actor Brian Cox on stage. However, with the script seemingly still in progress, WarnerMedia Entertainment shut down production on all its series, including Succession and Barry. With no end to the disruption in sight, it's likely nobody knows the Succession 3 release date right now.

In a statement HBO said: “We are looking forward to resuming preproduction when it is safe and healthy for everyone working on our shows to do so,” HBO said in a statement “Where possible, our writers are continuing to write remotely.”

Succession season 3 cast: which Roys are returning?

We don't have a full and official cast list yet from HBO, but based on the events of season 2 – more on that below – we already have a pretty good idea. However, that's made even clearer as a recent round of salary negotiations effectively confirms a fair few names.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, most of the Roy family successfully nabbed a pay bump to $300K-350K per episode, with Brian Cox securing a bigger fee than everybody else. The cast who have renegotiated their pay for season 3 are:

  • Brian Cox: Logan Roy
  • Jeremy Strong: Kendall Roy
  • Sarah Snook: Siobhan Roy
  • Kieran Culkin: Roman Roy
  • Alan Ruck: Connor Roy
  • Matthew Macfayden: Tom Wambsgans
  • Nicholas Braun: Cousin Greg

Succession season 3 story: it's likely about Logan vs Kendall (again)

We still haven't fully recovered from the twist that concluded series 2. As Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong) was due to take the fall for the sexual harassment allegations and subsequent cover up attempt plaguing Waystar Royco, he ignored his prepared press statement and blamed his father, Logan – following a Judas kiss. He refused to be the 'blood-sacrifice' for the firm and finally stood up for himself, and fans have been debating what that could mean for season 3.

Logan, of course, watched with a twisted smile on his face. 

The narrative twists and turns make Succession almost impossible to predict. How will Logan react to his son's betrayal? Will he be able to maintain his grip on the firm? His final, inscrutable smirk seemed to suggest a kind of pained pride; he seemed impressed by his son's bravery despite being humiliated on national television. 

We know, however, that Logan has proof of Kendall's involvement in the accidental death of a waiter in season 1's trip to the UK, so it's likely that dark secret will eventually see the light of day.

One of the fans teasing this prospect is Kieran Culkin's Roman Roy. A popular Succession theory maintains that each series focuses on one particular member of the Roy family: season 1 was Kendall, Shiv was season 2. Could Roman be the focal point of Succession season 3? Culkin light-heartedly claimed it as “my theory” in a chat with Entertainment Weekly.

Even the main cast can have little idea of where the plot is going. Take the unlikely 'thing' going on between Roman and Gerri (J. Smith-Cameron), for instance. “I'm not sure where the writers land on that question,” Smith-Cameron told Entertainment Weekly. “I think they were kind of floating this idea, but it’s the nature of television writing, and definitely our show, that there is a sort of fluid feeling of sticking your toe in the water of a certain storyline, and then deciding as you go along.” 

Could future series transcend American borders? While Lucy Prebble said to Deadline that Armstrong and the writing team don't “want it to be too on the nose about what is happening now in the world,” there are “talks about going more international than we’ve gone before, which is to do with the relationship between the media industry and international countries.” Perhaps the question of who truly holds power will go beyond just the Roy inner circle in Succession's future.

Can Succession capitalize on the dramatic success of season 2?

Succession's premise shouldn't be as enticing it is: who cares about the problems of rich people as they scheme to get even richer? It shouldn't work, but Jesse Armstrong's unpredictable HBO knockout got its claws in us early and left us desperate for more. After that season 2 finale there are plenty of threads to be tied up, and if the improvement between seasons is anything as noticeable as last time, we're in for a real treat.

We'll update this page when we know more about Succession season 3. 

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