It’s good to be the king. That simple pleasure of absolute power—and the appeal of that becoming an aspiration for a massive and dysfunctional family—is at the heart of the new HBO series that is, in part, from Adam McKay (The Big Short, Anchorman). For with Succession, the funnyman filmmaker is turning to the slick and slippery world of our modern media to imagine a conglomeration that more resembles feudal Europe than it does a modern corporate structure… unless that corporate structure is Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox.
Indeed, much from HBO’s Succession appears to draw from the headlines of the headline-makers (and manipulators), telling the story of a powerful family at war with itself when its patriarch decides not to step away from his throne and retire quite so soon. In the series, Brian Cox plays Logan Roy, the head of a major international conglomeration operating in New York. He was scheduled to pass the reins of the company to his eldest son by his second marriage, Kendall Roy (Jeremy Strong), but decides at the last minute to hold onto running the company a little longer, throwing Kendall’s plans into chaos as other members of his family begin vying for power, including younger brother Roman Roy (Kieeran Culkin), his sister Sibohan Roy (Sarah Snook), and Connor (Alan Ruck), the eldest son of Logan’s first marriage and a member on the board of directors. Also starring Matthew Macfayden, HIam Abbass, and Nicholas Braun, the casting talent is stacked.
However, the series also has plenty of talent behind the camera too. It was created by Jesse Armstrong, the screenwriter of In the Loop, who will be showrunner on the project, and its pilot is being directed by Adam McKay, who will stay on as executive producer alongside Armstrong, Kevin Messick, Will Ferrell, Frank Rich, Jane Tranter, and Mark Mylod.
While the series is obviously drawing some inspiration from the Murdoch family, it also is taking cues according to Armstrong from William Randolph Hearst, who built a media empire in the U.S. a century ago and was also the inspiration for Citizen Kane, as well as the current British royal family presided over by Queen Elizabeth II.
The series expected to premiere in June 2018.