Shōgun’s coming back for season 2, but no one’s quite sure how just yet

Shōgun is an early contender for 2024’s finest TV present. The collection, which debuted in February, is sensible, difficult, tremendously nicely made, fantastically acted, and probably the most watched FX collection ever, in accordance with a press launch from the community. All of which makes Thursday’s announcement that the present is coming back for extra season fairly unsurprising. The one query that is still is what precisely these seasons are going to be about.

In accordance with FX’s announcement, the collection is coming back for two extra seasons. Growth on the brand new seasons will start quickly, with work happening between FX and the property of unique Shōgun creator, James Clavell. The upcoming seasons can even deliver back lots of the key abilities behind season 1, together with co-creators, showrunners, government producers, and writers, Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, in addition to government producer Michaela Clavell, and producer and collection star Hiroyuki Sanada, who performed Lord Yoshii Toranaga in season 1.

Shōgun’s first season is an adaptation of James Clavell’s novel of the identical identify, which was initially launched in 1975. The present’s first season adapts Clavell’s whole (very lengthy) novel, which leaves the query of what precisely it’s going to cowl in its subsequent two seasons up for debate.

Picture: Colin Bentley/FX

One doable choice for the present might be seeking to Clavell’s different work for inspiration. Whereas Shōgun is certainly the most well-liked of the books, Clavell really wrote three extra novels in his Asian Saga, with Shōgun being the primary chronologically. He additionally wrote Tai-Pan, a ebook about two merchants venturing into Hong Kong within the 1840s after the First Opium Warfare, Gai-Jin, a sequel to Tai-Pan set 20 years later and principally in Japan, and Noble Home, which is about back in Hong Kong in 1963.

This number of novels might present a stable foundation for a number of seasons, every happening in a definite time and place. Nonetheless, this might deliver with it loads of different issues together with problems with cultural accuracy. Each Marks and Kondo have been very vocal in regards to the accuracy of Shōgun being extraordinarily necessary to them, regularly rewriting scenes to higher mirror cultural Japanese attitudes of the time. To out of the blue transplant the collection to a wholly new nation, with a wholly new tradition and totally different customs could be a large enterprise, and absolutely change the present considerably. Though that’s to not say it couldn’t be achieved.

Maybe much more compelling although is the presence of Sanada. With the legendary Japanese actor returning to the present, and his towering efficiency as Toranaga being a standout facet of the collection’ first season, it appears extra seemingly that Marks, Kondo, and the remainder of the manufacturing would decide to maintain the story in Japan and create a collection that’s a extra direct comply with as much as Shōgun’s story. Fortunately, this era of Japanese historical past has no scarcity of fascinating and sophisticated matters for the present to cowl.

Hiroyuki Sanada stands proudly in front of a crowd in Shogun

Picture: Katie Yu/FX

Whereas Clavell’s unique novel adjustments the names of well-known Japanese historic figures, it’s carefully primarily based on the nation’s actual historical past, which implies we can also look to historical past to see what might be subsequent for the present. Toranaga is predicated on Tokugawa Ieyasu, an actual Japanese daimyo and the primary shōgun of the mighty Tokugawa shogunate which dominated the nation from 1603 till 1868.

The primary season ends with Toranaga on the verge of capturing Osaka Fort, an actual factor Ieyasu did (though barely sooner than 1600). So, if the timeline of Japanese historical past is what the present plans to comply with, then the following season would seemingly be in regards to the fallout of Toranaga’s resolution to overtly seize energy. In actual life, Ieyasu met with quite a little bit of resistance within the type of a rival daimyo named Ishida Mitsunari who would go on to guide a military in opposition to Ieyasu, throwing Japan right into a civil warfare.

We’ll cease the story there on the threat of showing a number of doubtlessly important plot factors, but evidently a civil warfare would give future seasons of Shōgun loads of floor for nice tv.

In fact, we gained’t know for sure what precisely these upcoming seasons of Shōgun will likely be primarily based on till FX makes an official announcement, but we all know we’ll be watching no matter what.

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