One of the stars of HBO's Succession shared some surprising quotes in regard to the hit drama coming back for Season 5.
The story of the Roy family and their media mega-corporation is set to come end after four critically-acclaimed seasons, despite some fans begging for Succession Season 5.
Creator of the series Jesse Armstrong made it clear (via The New Yorker) "the end has always been kind of present in [his] mind," and instead of "go[ing] on for ages" kind of "freewheeling," he and the team decided to "go out sort of strong."
That is why it was surprising when hints of a Season 5 started making their way around.
A Succession Season 5 Tease
Despite the series ending with Season 4, new quotes from Succession star Kieran Culkin suggested a Season 5 could potentially happen.
Speaking with Variety, Culkin hinted at a fifth season, remarking that when they were going through Season 4 and he read the ending with showrunner Jesse Armstrong, Armstrong "just spat out three ideas" that could be "brilliant ideas for a fifth season:"
"It’s all sorts of feelings, but I haven’t processed it yet. We just finished shooting six weeks ago, and there’s been a lot of press since then, and Jesse Armstrong is still editing. It still feels like we’re making it. Jesse told us at the season’s start that he thought this was the last one. And then he explained the entire season to me. When he finished, I said, 'Well, that kind of sounds like the end,' and he goes, 'Well, it could be, but…' and then he just spat out three ideas that he said were just off the top of his head, and that were all brilliant ideas for a fifth season."
The Roman Roy actor remarked that during the table read for the series finale, Armstrong got up and told the cast "I think that this is how it has to end" before teasing "unless maybe there is a way forward:"
"He had said something to the effect that 'Succession' has a question that begs an answer. And by the end of the season, he gave them the answer. It wasn’t until we did the table read for the last episode that he told us it was ending. While Jesse was telling us, and some people were crying in the room, he goes, 'But it’s been a wonderful experience. And, you know, and I think that this is how it has to end — unless maybe there is a way forward.' He did it after we were finally absorbing the information."
He added that, from there, Armstong doubled down on Succession Season 5 not happening before yet again refusing to close the door on it:
"Then he pulls it back and says, 'Maybe there is a reality where it could be — oh, maybe never mind. I don’t want to take your goodbyes away from you.'”
Thinking aloud, Culkin noted that, "it probably would have been great if we did another," but it also may have not been:
“It probably would have been great if we did another, but maybe not. I don’t know. All I knew was I could trust Jesse Armstrong to make that call."
About the potential for another go-round for Succession, Sarah Snook (who plays Siobhan Roy in the show) told The Sydney Morning Herald the series kind of "inspire[s] questions and considerations beyond the episodes." So no matter where they ended, fans were going to be left wondering, "where do these characters go:"
“In a way this show does inspire questions and considerations beyond the episodes, so it is like, f---, where do these characters go? What are they going to do? How do they deal with each other in the future from here? Which has also been the central question to the show across the four seasons.”
She added that when the cast first saw the scripts for Season 4, there were people who thought, "Oh well, we’re getting a fifth season:"
"Does [the final season] answer the central question? Both yes and no. When the [script for the] last episode came out, and we all read it, there were members of the cast who read it and went, oh well, we’re getting a fifth season. And others who read it and went, oh, well, this is obviously the end. You can’t go beyond this. Which is perfect.”
Even showrunner Jesse Armstrong wished he would get "argued out of" ending the series and not doing a Season 5, according to a conversation he had with Variety before Season 4 premiered:
“The word that comes to mind for me is ‘natural.’ I hope people, when they see this season, will feel that it has a natural shape to it. That’s how I pitched it to my writers’ room, kind of hoping I’d get argued out of it so we’d see a way to do more seasons, because I love working with these people. I think there’s a feeling of completeness and rightness to the shape of the show.”
Will Succession Season 5 Happen?
Given how beloved Succession has become since it premiered on HBO back in 2018, many will be wondering if a potential Season 5 could be on the cards for this cast and crew. Well, the likely answer is no.
It is not often that a showrunner gets to end something on their own accord. Usually, series are either stretched out because the network wants as much of a successful thing as it can get, or they are canceled by the corporate powers that be.
The fact that Jesse Armstrong and co. get to go out on top and end one of the most critically-acclaimed TV dramas of all time is something when they want to should be celebrated.
And who knows? As Kieran Culkin said, Armstong seems to have ideas rattling around in his head should he ever want to return to the world of the Roy family.
Perhaps some time down the road, after a handful of years and maybe a couple of different projects, the Succession team could get back together for Season 5. But that should only be done if the cast and crew are interested in exploring that.
For now, the Succession arc having been set up since minute one of Episode 1 will seemingly come to a resolution with the ending of Season 4.
Succession continues every Sunday on HBO at 9 p.m. ET, closing out its four-season run with a record-breaking finale on Sunday, May 28.