Will Shogun Season 2 Happen? Producers Address FX Series' Potential Future (Exclusive)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Shogun series on FX

The producers and cast of FX’s upcoming show, Shogun, offered their thoughts on if the show might get a Season 2.

The series follows the story of Lord Yoshio Toranaga, whose fight against the Council of Regents is thrown through a loop after the surprise arrival of English sailor John Blackthorne.

The story is based on a book by James Clavell under the same title. While the show covers it all, it is hard to imagine that fans will not want more by the time it is done.

Shogun Cast and Crew on Shogun's Possible Season 2

Hiroyuki Sanada as Lord Yoshii Toranaga in Shogun

While speaking exclusively with The Direct’s Russ Milheim, the cast and crew of FX’s upcoming Shogun series reflected on whether or not a Season 2 could be in the cards. 

Co-creator and showrunner Justin Marks quickly to how the show ends "exactly where the book ends:"

"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."

Season 2 or not, Co-creator and executive producer Rachel Kondo expressed how she hopes that Shogun will, at the very least, "be a catalyst for audiences to encounter Japanese history in a new way:"

"But I will quote one of our lead actors, Cosmo Jarvis, who said the other night that he hopes that this production will kind of be a catalyst for audiences to encounter Japanese history in a new way. Because there's a lot of it."

Marks added that he would also love for the project "to inspire a new curiosity," leading to more "movies, TV, and video games" in the same narrative space:

"And I think of the movies I grew up on, The Jidaigeki (a genre in Japanese media mainly focusing on period dramas)... I'd love for this in the United States to inspire a new curiosity... That would push more movies, TV, and video games, and that space would be great."

Anna Sawai as Toda Mariko in Shogun

Cosmo Jarvis, who stars as John Blackthorne, backed up a similar sentiment as Marks and Kondo, reiterating that "the narrative substance of the book has been used up."

When co-star Anna Sawai pointed out how James Clavell has written other books, Jarvis noted how "they’re not related" to the events of Shogun.

As for the location and era in general, both stars were confident that if FX wanted to do more storytelling in that timeframe, as Jarvis puts it, "There's a vast expanse of history, which is rife with dramatic potential."

Executive producer Michaela Clavell, the daughter of Shogun’s original author, had a more hopeful answer about the possibility of a Season 2:

"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."

As for the one season fans are getting, Clavell went on to praise the "incredible research" that went into making Shogun as breathtaking and authentic as it is:

"Well, Justin [Marks], from the very beginning, Justin and Rachel [Kondo] did incredible research, hired experts from all over the world, to give them the detail that was necessary to do justice to the history of the time. And [Hiroyuki Sanada] was a large part of that, as a producer and also an expert of that period. He brought an incredible layer of authenticity to the production, as did costume experts and etiquette experts. It was deliberate and well thought out from the very beginning that they would put tremendous effort into making this an authentic period piece of the times."

She also revealed that, strangely, COVID helped make the series into what it is today:

"And COVID, in a way, played into our ability to do that because that gave us extra time. There were delays in the shooting schedule, of course, like for everyone who was shooting at that time. And I think that time Justin and Rachel and everyone made use of, to really polish the level of detail that's shown in this production. And we were given that gift in a very strange package called COVID. But a tremendous amount of expertise went into the preliminary, the pre-production of this show, and I think it shows."

The full interview with executive producer Michaela Clavell can be found below:

Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo's conversation with The Direct can be seen here:

The full conversation with Anna Sawai and Cosmo Jarvis can also be viewed below:

Season 2 or Another James Clavell Adaptation?

While the series depicts all of the events of the original Shogun book, it would not be outside of the realm of possibility for FX to continue with these characters in an original story.

Plenty of projects have gone past their source material before, such as HBO’s The Leftovers and Game of Thrones.

At the same time, it could make more sense to simply adapt another entry in James Clavell’s Asian Saga, which includes five other novels. However, it's worth noting that Shogun is the only one taking place in the 1600s—so moving on from that would also mean leaving its captivating era behind.

For an idea of what other eras the author explored, Tai-Pan takes place in 1841 Hong Kong, King Rat is in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during WWII, and Whirlwind tells its story in 1979 Iran.

Shogun begins streaming on FX on Tuesday, February 27.

- In This Article: Shogun
Release Date
February 27, 2024
Cable TV
Anna Sawai
Cosmo Jarvis
Hiroyuki Sanada
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.