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‘Succession’ Season 3 Ignores Covid Because ‘Really Wealthy People’ Aren’t Too Affected by It

Two "Succession" cast members, Alan Ruck and Brian Cox, contracted Covid in 2020.

HBO Succession Jeremy Strong

Jeremy Strong in “Succession”

Graeme Hunter/HBO

HBO’s Emmy winner “Succession” is confirmed to be making its long-awaited return for Season 3 this October, but don’t expect to see the Roy family navigating the pandemic when the new season begins. While many series on television and streaming platforms have found ways to incorporate the pandemic (HBO Max’s “Gossip Girl” reboot takes place in a post-pandemic world, for instance), “Succession” Season 3 will sidestep COVID and carry on business as usual. Creator Jesse Armstrong wrote the third season before the pandemic and did not change the scripts during it.

A new report from Vulture on “Succession” Season 3 confirms: “[Creator Jesse] Armstrong decided early on that the season’s finished scripts wouldn’t be rewritten to incorporate the ongoing pandemic. ‘These are really wealthy people,’ says [Shiv Roy actress] Sarah Snook. ‘And unfortunately, none of the world’s really wealthy people were going to be affected by the pandemic.'”

“Succesion” Season 3 won’t tackle Covid, but Covid directly affected the series. As the Vulture report continues: “In March 2020, Mark Blum, who played the cruise-division executive Bill Lockhart, died of complications from COVID. Two regulars — [Alan] Ruck and [Brian] Cox — also contracted the virus. There was a lot of hurry up and wait; the goalposts for restarting production kept moving. After Zoom table reads and Zoom production meetings, shooting started in New York this past November. Italy, by summer’s end, was always the plan. There were alternatives if traveling there became unfeasible — the U.K., Massachusetts, Northern California — but by May 2021, it seemed safely doable, especially given ‘House of Gucci’s’ successfully completed European shoot.”

While plot details for “Succession” Season 3 remain under wraps, the premiere will pick up in the immediate aftermath of the Season 2 finale without a time jump. HBO’s official synopsis for the new season is brief and reads: “Ambushed by his rebellious son Kendall at the end of Season 2, Logan Roy begins Season 3 in a perilous position, scrambling to secure familial, political, and financial alliances. Tensions rise as a bitter corporate battle threatens to turn into a family civil war.”

Joining the returning cast are series newcomers Adrien Brody, Alexander Skarsgård, Sanaa Lathan, Linda Emond, and Korean music star Jihae. Lathan is playing Lisa Arthur, a high-profile and well-connected New York lawyer, while Edmond takes on the role of Michelle-Anne Vanderhoven, a senior White House aide. Jihae is starring as a leading public relations consultant. Skarsgård is set for a recurring guest role as Lukas Matsson, a confrontational CEO and tech founder. Oscar winner Brody is playing Josh Aaronson, a billionaire activist investor who becomes pivotal in the battle for the ownership of Waystar.

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