'Shōgun' Got Renewed for Not One, But Two More Seasons

shogun episode 2 airs february 27 pictured hiroyuki sanada as yoshii toranaga, anna sawai as toda mariko cr katie yufx
Shōgun Renewed for Two More SeasonsCourtesy of FX

Shōgun traces the power struggle between warring regents in 1600 feudal Japan, bringing James Clavell’s bestselling novel to life with a distinctly Japanese lens. Created by Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, and produced by lead actor and all-around legend Hiroyuki Sanada, the series is steeped in history, tradition, and loads of extensive research. After airing its tenth episode on April 23, 2024, the historical drama has come to a close—or has it?

The FX show has been touted as a limited series long before its premiere in February, but we’ve previously seen such titles get expanded and continue for more seasons after debuting to immense success (which Shōgun has certainly achieved). More on that below.

Has Shōgun been renewed for season 2?

Yes. In fact, the show is renewed for two additional seasons. FX, Hulu, and the Estate of James Clavell are working together the extend the series, they announced on May 16. Co-creators and EPs Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, EP Michaela Clavell (James’ daughter), and star and producer Hiroyuki Sanada will all return. “Production timing has not been locked in, but a writers’ room is being assembled and will begin this summer,” according to a press release.

About a week prior to the renewal, Sanada signed a deal to reprise his role as Lord Yoshii Toranaga, Deadline reported on May 10. The series likely couldn’t have moved forward without him.

“Other elements are still being worked out and deals are being finalized as part of an effort by FX to take Shogun to a second season in light of the big commercial and critical success of the limited series,” Deadline reported. The decision would also affect whether Shōgun is categorized as a limited series or drama in the 2024 Emmys race.

Before that, though, the crew had already addressed whether the series could (or should) continue.

Sanada told The Hollywood Reporter in a finale interview, “We’ve been talking about how the story can continue since we started shooting, but who knows.” Marks said in a separate conversation, “I think if we had a story, if we could find a story, we would be open to it. But I don’t think that anyone ever wants to be out over their skis without a roadmap and everything.”

Earlier, Marks had told THR that episode 10 marks a definitive ending for the show, mirroring Clavell’s novel. “We took the story to the end of the book and put a period at the end of that sentence. We love how the book ends; it was one of the reasons why we both knew we wanted to do it—and we ended in exactly that place,” he said.

He also told Town & Country, “We’re very proud of that because the book ends so beautifully and boldly in this very unexpected and meditative kind of way. So, the story is complete.”

There’s also the amount of time and effort that went into creating this single season to consider. Marks explained that they “spent five years on this and it [felt] like 30 in terms of just that level of detail that you have to put in every single day.” He even told THR that one of their producers created a “nearly 900-page instruction manual for how we do this show.”

Shōgun editor Maria Gonzales also said a second season would be unlikely. “At the time of completing, when we were done cutting, there wasn’t really any mention of, or any serious plans about a season 2. And I think that’s kind of where we’re at still. I’m not sure if it will happen. Obviously, it’s out of our hands [laughs]; we’re the last people [to know],” she told ComicBook.com.

However, when asked whether season 2 was completely out of the cards, Marks told T&C, “It’s gonna take some some recovery to think about what will be next. But honestly, it’s hard because you don’t have a master storyteller to set the map for you. So that would be a tough one.”

Executive producer Michaela Clavell, daughter of author James Clavell, seemed to give a more hopeful answer. “You know, the audience will let us know whether...there is their appetite for that,” she told The Direct. “We shall see. It’s a great question. I wish I knew the complete answer, but I don’t.”

What would season 2 be about?

The season 1 finale clears the path for Lord Toranaga to claim the title of shogun thanks to Mariko’s sacrifice, the real “crimson sky.” A flash-forward scene one month into the future shows Toranaga facing Ishido and the other regents on the battle field at Sekigahara. However, Lady Ochiba has secretly pledged to keep the heir’s army from battle, meaning Ishido would have no banner to fight with and the regents would turn against him, solidifying Toranaga’s victory. Could the next season dive into this conflict? Or maybe even go further into the future, once Toranaga is shogun?

Forbes notes that Clavell wrote six books in his “Asian Saga;” aside from Shōgun, the five other books are set in different eras in Japan, Hong Kong, and Iran. Perhaps these could serve as source material for spinoffs, if the team decides to choose that route.

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