Political drama SUCCESSION has landed a series order from HBO. The series from executive producers Will Ferrell, Adam McKay, and writer Jesse Armstrong received a pilot order last summer, which McKay directed.
The series stars Brian Cox as Logan Roy, the tough, powerful, and aging patriarch of his family and head of the family-controlled international media conglomerate. The family is rich, powerful, and utterly dysfunctional. It will explore family loyalty and the perils of power in the 21st century. Logan’s three children includes Jeremy Strong as Kendall, the eldest son who is a division president at the family firm and the heir apparent, Kieran Culkin as Roman, the outspoken and fun-loving son, and Sarah Snook as Shiv, Logan’s only daughter who sits on the board of directors but does not work at the firm and has been pursuing a career in politics.
Other castmembers include Nicholas Braun, Matthew Macfadyen, Hiam Abbas, Alan Ruck, Rob Yang, Parker Sawvers, and Peter Friedman.
McKay began his career at Second City where his affinity for politically-charged material was on full display even then, including playing social critic and political activist Noam Chomsky as a kindergarten teacher. These themes would guide McKay’s career, from his time on SNL, to his directing the features The Other Guys, The Big Short, the upcoming Bad Blood with Jennifer Lawrence, and an untitled biopic about former VP Dick Cheney.
Last summer, when HBO ordered the pilot, they likely were not expecting the winner of the 2016 election to be Donald Trump, but now that he is the series has taken on a (seemingly) unintentional, new level of social commentary. Succession looks to be combining criticism of media moguls like Rupert Murdoch with that of our current First Family. This is particularly noticeable with the roles of the two sons, Kendall and Roman. Their descriptions appear to show an inspiration with President Trump’s sons, Donald Jr. and Eric. Even the daughter, Shiv, stands out separately from her family, similar to first daughter Ivanka, though Trump’s daughter doesn’t appear to have any political aspirations.
Armstrong will serve as showrunner on the series and executive produce alongside Ferrell, McKay, Kevin Messick, Frank Rich, and Ilene S. Landress.