Shogun Season 2 and Season 3 in the Works at FX, Hulu

FX and Hulu have officially announced that their critically acclaimed series “Shogun” will return with a Season 2 and a third season. This decision does come as a bit of a surprise, considering the period drama was based on a book, and they have covered the source material. However, following the show’s first season, which has become FX’s most-watched series ever, based on global streaming hours, it seems only obvious that FX would like to bank on the series’ hot momentum.

Shogun Season 2: Hiroyuki Sanada on board with continuation.

Shogun Season 2

The network, in collaboration with the estate of James Clavell, author of the original “Shogun” novel, is set to develop these new seasons. Co-creators and executive producers Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, along with executive producer Michaela Clavell and star/producer Hiroyuki Sanada, are all also on board for the continuation, and a writers’ room will convene this summer to expand the narrative beyond Clavell’s original work.

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The news about Shogun Season 2 follows a leak earlier this month, just ahead of the Emmy submission deadline, suggesting FX’s plans to position “Shogun” in the drama series categories instead of as a limited series. FX confirmed these intentions, indicating a long-term vision for the series.

Sanada, who plays Lord Yoshii Toranaga, had already signed a conditional agreement to reprise his role should the series continue, with his return hinging on FX’s formal greenlighting of Shogun Season 2 and a third season.

Shogun Season 2: The series’ is FX’s most expensive show till date.

“Shogun” has been FX’s most expensive scripted production to date, with the first season based on Clavell’s 1975 novel of the same name. The series was a massive undertaking and was in development since 2013, with the principal photography finally starting in 2021. And while it may have felt like a gamble all that time, it’s been a gamble that has paid its dues, and everybody has now been reaping the rewards of. The series premiered to nine million global views across Hulu, Disney+, and Star+, marking the best worldwide debut for a general entertainment scripted series under Disney’s umbrella.

FX CEO John Landgraf, in a February interview, expressed openness to producing more high-budget programming if “Shogun” proved successful. He emphasized that audience reception would ultimately guide the decision to continue the series. Marks and Kondo, in a post-finale interview, discussed the challenges of finding a story that could match the depth and scope of Clavell’s original narrative. They emphasized the importance of having a clear roadmap before proceeding with new seasons, acknowledging the difficulty of equaling the novel’s intricate storytelling.

Sanada also shared his thoughts on the potential continuation of the story, noting ongoing discussions about the series’ future since the beginning of production.

With its incredibly intricate and layered storytelling and just as layered and compelling characters, alongside its stunning visuals and a multi-million dollar looking period aesthetics, “Shogun” has captivated audiences and critics alike. And if Shogun Season 2 is anywhere near as epic and complex as the first season, viewers will undoubtedly be in for yet another ride.

Shogun follows “the collision of two ambitious men from different worlds, John Blackthorne, a risk-taking English sailor who ends up shipwrecked in Japan, a land whose unfamiliar culture will ultimately redefine him; Lord Toranaga, a shrewd, powerful daimyo, at odds with his own dangerous, political rivals; and Lady Mariko, a woman with invaluable skills but dishonorable family ties, who must prove her value and allegiance.”

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The series is a historical fiction with Blackthorne’s character loosely based on the historical English navigator William Adams, who in Japan rose to become a samurai under Tokugawa Ieyasu, a powerful daimyō who later became the founder and first shōgun of the Tokugawa shogunate. Ieyasu is the basis for the character of Yoshii Toranaga. 

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