‘Shōgun’ To Continue: FX & Hulu Eye Two More Seasons Of James Clavell Adaptation

‘shōgun’ to continue: fx & hulu eye two more seasons of james clavell adaptation

Hiroyuki Sanada, Abyss of Life', (Season 1, ep. 108, aired April 9, 2024). photo: FX

Shōgun is a limited series no more: FX is gearing up for more installments of the historic drama.

The renewal was expected and foreshadowed by star-producer Hiroyuki Sanada closing a deal to continue as Lord Yoshii Toranaga. Also back are co-creators, executive producers and writers Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo as well as EP Michaela Clavell.

For now, FX and streaming partner Hulu are saying that they are working with the estate of Shōgun author James Clavell to to develop two additional seasons.

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There is no mention of a green light, and a start date for production has not been set, but a writers’ room is being assembled and will begin this summer. There is also no information on source material, whether the new seasons will stay within the Shōgun universe or will also draw from the other books in Clavell’s Asian Saga.

The news of Shōgun‘s return comes on the heels of the 10-episode original installment’s outsized commercial and critical success. It also alters the way the Clavell’s adaptation will be considered by the Emmys, with Shōgun moving from limited to drama series categories.

Six years in the making across multiple continents, Shōgun is FX’s most expensive series to date. Ahead of the series premiere, FX Chairman John Landgraf said that he was hoping it would do well so he and his team could take more shots with big-scope, big-budget series.

Along with garnering strong reviews, Shōgun amassed 9M views globally across Hulu, Disney+ and Star+ in its first six days, becoming the company’s No. 1 general entertainment series internationally. Viewers’ interest remained strong, and, through its first nine weeks, Shōgun is FX’s most-watched show ever based on global hours streamed.

Shōgun‘s original installment is set in Japan in the year 1600 at the dawn of a century-defining civil war. Lord Yoshii Toranaga is fighting for his life as his enemies on the Council of Regents unite against him. When a mysterious European ship is found marooned in a nearby fishing village, its English pilot, John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis), comes bearing secrets that could help Toranaga tip the scales of power and devastate the formidable influence of Blackthorne’s own enemies — the Jesuit priests and Portuguese merchants. Toranaga’s and Blackthorne’s fates become inextricably tied to their translator, Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai), a mysterious Christian noblewoman and the last of a disgraced line. While serving her lord amidst this fraught political landscape, Mariko must reconcile her newfound companionship with Blackthorne, her commitment to the faith that saved her and her duty to her late father.

Season 1 features an Japanese cast, including Tadanobu Asano as Kashigi Yabushige, a notorious backstabber and close ally of Toranaga; Hiroto Kanai as Kashigi Omi, the young leader of the fishing village where Blackthorne’s ship was found; Takehiro Hira as Ishido Kazunari, a powerful bureaucrat who is Toranaga’s chief rival; Moeka Hoshi as Usami Fuji, a widow who must find new purpose amidst her lord’s fight; Tokuma Nishioka as Toda Hiromatsu, Toranaga’s trusted general and closest friend; Shinnosuke Abe as Toda Hirokatsu (Buntaro), Mariko’s jealous husband; Yuki Kura as Yoshii Nagakado, the brash son of Toranaga with a strong desire to prove himself; Yuka Kouri as Kiku, a courtesan renowned for her artistry throughout Japan; and Fumi Nikaido as Ochiba no Kata, the revered mother of the heir who will stop at nothing to put an end to Toranaga and his threat to her son’s power.

The series is produced by FX Productions.

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