Shogun Season 2: Will More Episodes Ever Release?

By Klein Felt Posted:
Shogun series, Mariko

As FX's Shogun series ends, the creators addressed whether fans can expect Season 2 ever to be released. 

The hit historical drama (streaming now on Hulu) follows the rise of the Tokugawa shogunate of Japan as the historically isolated nation starts to branch out and make contact with the Western world. 

Based on the book of the same name by James Clavell, the show was pitched as a mini-series, covering the entire story of Clavell's 1975 novel, but that was before it became a massive hit. 

Shogun Season 2 Release Addressed

Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Yoshii Toranaga in Shogun Episode 8

Fans want to know if Shogun Season 2 will ever be released following the gripping first season. 

As it stands, it seems unlikely a Season 2 of the show will ever see the light of day as it was originally imagined as a one-season mini-series. 

The original Shogun story (as told in James Clavell's 1975 novel) was conceived as one book, so if the FX series were to move ahead, it would have to do so with an original story not adapted from any source material. 

In a conversation with The Direct, Showrunner Justin Marks confirmed that Season 1 does, in fact, "tell the complete story of the book," indicating there are no plans for a potential Season 2:

"I think we tell the complete story of the book. And we get to the end. I hope those who have read the book will see it's exactly where the book ends. And we're really excited about that because it's a very surprising ending that [James] Clavell does for the book. And it's kind of beautifully ambiguous in certain senses. But you know, that's the stories we tell it. I will also say it took us five years. This show is older than both of our children. You know, it's a lot."

This is in line with Marks's comments elsewhere, where he said "We took the story to the end of the book and put a period at the end of that sentence" (via The Hollywood Reporter):

"We took the story to the end of the book and put a period at the end of that sentence. We love how the book ends; it was one of the reasons why we both knew we wanted to do it — and we ended in exactly that place. And I’ve been party to this in the past with shows like this, where you build a whole factory, and it only pumps out 10 cars and closes up shop. It’s a bummer. You know, one of our producers wrote a nearly 900-page instruction manual for how we do this show — almost as long as the book Shogun itself. All of this infrastructural knowledge went into it. I just hope someone else — maybe a friend — needs a production primer on feudal Japan at some point, so I can be like, 'Here you go, use this book. That will save you 11 months.'"

When asked if he was confirming a Season 2 would not happen, the Shogun creative posited, "That’s just our bodies talking:"

"Oh, that’s just our bodies talking. Like, do you want to have another kid right now? (Laughs) You know, we also made this show so long ago, because of the long tail of postproduction on it. It’s not like a normal TV series, where if we were in a situation like this promoting it, we wouldn’t just be in the writers room already, we’d be on set shooting season two by now."

That is not to say it 100% will not happen. Michaela Clavell, an executive producer on the series, had a more hopeful answer when asked by The Direct about a second season, telling fans they will tell them whether there is "appetite for that [or not]:"

"You know, the audience will let us know whether there's, there is their appetite for that. We shall see. It's a great question. I wish I knew the complete answer, but I don't."

What Could Happen in Shogun Season 2?

Given there has been no confirmation of Shogun Season 2, it is hard to speculate what that second season could be about. 

However, there are a few directions the hit FX drama could go should a second batch of episodes get the green light. 

Of course, the most obvious line of thinking for Season 2 would be continuing the story of the characters seen in Season 1. 

This would see the likes of Lord Yoshii Toranaga head further down the path of becoming a Shogun and the Englishman John Blackthorne forced to stay in Japan, becoming the country's first proper White samurai. 

That is the most logical place to take this story, but it would have to be done in an original fashion with no Shogun sequel novel to draw from. 

If the Shogun creative team wants to continue adapting, there are some options.

Author James Clavell released five other novels in his so-called Asian Saga. Only one of these books takes place in Japan, but it could be a logical place to take a potential second season of this FX series. 

1993's Gai-Jin is a bit more contemporary than Shogun, taking place in 1862, but it could work as some sort of follow-up. It follows the son of two European immigrants exploring the political landscape of 19th-century Japan.

If Season 2 were to follow the events of this book, it would be different from the feudal Japanese backdrop of Shogun. But perhaps more of an anthology approach could benefit future stories from this series. 

Shogun is now streaming on Hulu. 

Read more about FX's Shogun series on The Direct:

Full Cast of Shogun 2024 Series - Every Main Character & Actor In FX Show (Photos)

Shogun: What Are Goshawks? Meaning In the Show, Explained

Shogun: What Is a Fief? Meaning In the Show, Explained

Shogun 2024 FX TV Series Vs. Book Differences Explained by Producer (Exclusive)

- In This Article: Shogun
Release Date
February 27, 2024
Cable TV
Anna Sawai
Cosmo Jarvis
Hiroyuki Sanada
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.