‘Shogun’ Nears Season 2 as Star Hiroyuki Sanada Signs Deal to Return

We told people who asked us whether there’d be a continuation of Shogun and we said no every time. What with the book being 50 years old and not having a sequel. That said, Hiroyuki Sanada, the star and producer of FX’s ‘Shōgun,’ has sealed a deal to reprise his role as Lord Yoshii Toranaga for a potential second season. According to Deadline, securing Sanada, whose character’s journey to become shōgun and lead Japan into an era of peace was central to the first season, is seen as crucial to any plans for extending ‘Shōgun’ beyond its original 10-episode adaptation of James Clavell’s novel.

The return of Sanada is a significant step in FX’s efforts to take ‘Shōgun’ into a second season following the commercial and critical success of the limited series. If the plans materialize, ‘Shōgun’ could shift from a limited to a drama series, impacting its Emmy category for 2024. This decision hinges on the timing of Emmy submissions, and the final determination is still in the works.

The Emmy implications are significant, particularly because strikes have delayed the release of new seasons for many ongoing series. Networks and platforms have leaned heavily on limited series, leading to an unusually competitive field in the limited/anthology race, where ‘Shōgun’ is a strong contender. Conversely, the drama series field is less crowded this year.

While most limited series that receive additional seasons switch to the drama series category starting from the second season (like ‘Downton Abbey,’ ‘Big Little Lies,’ and ‘The White Lotus’), ‘Shōgun’ is aiming to submit directly into the drama series category if a decision about a second installment is made in time.

The first season of ‘Shōgun’ chronicled Lord Yoshii Toranaga’s journey to become the shōgun. Sanada’s character, a brilliant strategist, plotted to overthrow oppressive Regents in feudal Japan and unite the country. With Sanada at the heart of the story, his presence is vital for any continuation of the series.

FX Chairman John Landgraf expressed his hopes for ‘Shōgun’ to do well and encourage more big-budget, high-scope series. After six years in the making across multiple continents, ‘Shōgun,’ written by Justin Marks and Rachel Kondo, became FX’s most expensive series to date. Following positive reviews and 9 million views globally across Hulu, Disney+, and Star+ within the first six days of its premiere, the series became the network’s most-watched general entertainment series internationally and the number one FX premiere on Disney streaming platforms.

With its 17th-century Japan setting recreated in Canada, ‘Shōgun’ aims to continue its success by securing Sanada and a potential second season. Veteran actor-producer Sanada, known for his roles in ‘John Wick: Chapter 4,’ ‘Bullet Train,’ and ‘Army of the Dead,’ will reprise his role as Scorpion in the upcoming ‘Mortal Kombat’ sequel. He is represented by Gersh, Axon Entertainment, Lighthouse Entertainment, MPR, and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.

Wrapping Up
As buzz around a second season intensifies, ‘Shōgun’ may find itself vying for a place in the drama series Emmy race, potentially redefining its legacy. The decision, however, hinges on whether all elements align in time for submissions. Sanada’s return provides a strong foundation for FX’s ambitious goals.

Explore more exclusive updates and film reviews at Hitplay.app.

This article may contain affiliate links, which means we may earn a commission if you purchase through these links.