Succession creator Jesse Armstrong rules out show spin-offs


Jesse Armstrong
Image caption,Jesse Armstrong: A spin-off “doesn’t feel like the most interesting thing to do to me”

By Helen Bushby

Culture reporter

Succession creator Jesse Armstrong has ruled out spin-off shows for his award-winning drama TV series, which recently won six Emmys and four Golden Globes.

Spin-offs had previously been hinted at, but Armstrong told BBC Radio 4’s Today it “doesn’t feel like the most interesting thing to do to me”.

Armstrong said he and his writing room team had “written them [the characters] enough now”.

Matthew Macfadyen, one of the show’s stars, has also been hesitant.

The British actor, who played Tom Wambsgans, was asked about a possible spin-off for his character backstage at the Emmy Awards last week.

He replied: “I would never say never, but highly unlikely… it would all depend on what Jesse Armstrong wanted to do.

“But Jesse’s instinct, and all our instinct is that it ended in the right place. We didn’t tie it up, we left them to just carry on in their strange and frightening world.

“As nice as it would be to work with everybody again, I think it would be strange to do a spin-off. But who knows?”

Matthew Macfadyen
Image caption,British actor Matthew Macfadyen won a supporting actor Emmy last week for his role in Succession

The show followed the twists and turns in the lives of media mogul Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox, and his four children.

Three of them, played by Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook and Kieran Culkin, were constantly competing to take over from him as the CEO of his hugely successful company. Tom Wambsgans was married to Snook’s character Shiv Roy.

Armstrong told Today presenter Nick Robinson it was tough to leave the show after four seasons, which were all critically acclaimed.

But he admitted there was a sense of relief that he could move on from it.

He said the show had a mix of US and UK writers, but that now he is back home in London, he still saw the show’s British writers frequently.

“Quite a lot of that has been my methadone”, he said, meaning it was a way of allowing him to slowly separate from the show.

“One of the really nice things about this awards season was to see that the cast again, who I don’t see so much. They’re mostly based in the US,” he added.

Sarah Snook accepts the award for Best Performance by a Female Actress in a Television Series Drama for "Succession" at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California
Image caption,Sarah Snook, who played Shiv Roy in Succession, was named best leading actress in a TV drama at the Golden Globes

Armstrong was also asked about his inspiration for the show and said as well as taking inspiration from high-profile figures, such as Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, he also drew from history, including ancient Rome.

“We’ll steal from anywhere,” he joked.

Armstrong, who also co-wrote Channel 4 comedy Peep Show with Sam Bain, previously worked on BBC satirical comedy TV series The Thick of It, which starred Peter Capaldi.

The actor recently suggested that you could not make the show now because politics is now “beyond a joke”.

However, Armstrong responded by saying that although “we couldn’t do the same show again”, it would be lacking “ambition if you feel in that world of critiquing or satirising, there isn’t a way to do it.

“But the way to do it changes,” he added.

‘I’ve got a few ideas’

In terms of what he plans to do next, he said: “I have no clue. And I’m really quite comfortable with that.

“I’ve got a few ideas, but they’re in that delicious stage where I haven’t done any proper work on them and they all seem like they’ll be absolutely perfect.

“So I’m enjoying a sort of long tail of not doing the show but being happy to have done it.”

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