Sarah Snook, Brian Cox react to 'Succession' plot twist

Sarah Snook, Brian Cox react to 'Succession' plot twist - 10th April 2023




Succession | Inside the Episode: Season 4, Episode 3 | HBO Max





The Succession universe has been upended in the third episode of the critically acclaimed HBO series' fourth and final season.

The patriarch of the dysfunctional Roy family is dead. Logan Roy, played by Brian Cox, has finally initiated the very succession of the show's title by dying. Now the scheming siblings will have to accelerate their battle to the top, while awaiting the results of whatever is in Roy's will.

Even though the cast was prepared in advance via a Zoom call that informed them of Logan's demise, they say they were still unprepared for the final scene with the polarizing head of the family.

"When Jesse [showrunner Jesse Armstrong] told me that was going to happen, I wasn't totally surprised. It made sense, dramaturgically," says Jeremy Strong, who plays Kendall Roy. "And then when I read the script, I found it shocking and emotionally devastating."

The siblings are gathered for Connor Roy's wedding on a yacht when the news comes in. Strong says that as he has been tasked to do many times before as a part of the Succession cast, he had to stretch to reach the demands of the role.

"Time and time again I'll be given something that is the limit of what I thought I was capable of as an actor," he says. "Here's my wall -- and you have no choice but to go through that. And this episode was one of those."

Cox, the accomplished Scottish actor who earned two Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award for his work as Logan Roy, knew that his character's arc would come to an end at some point.

He told the New York Times that while he didn't anticipate it being so soon in the final season, and that it's always a challenging moment for an actor, he understands why it had to happen.

"You feel, hang on, this is one of the greatest pieces of work I've ever been involved in and suddenly it's no more," Cox said in the HBO featurette released after the episode aired. "But it also it reflects what our existence is about because we're here for a time and then we're gone."

He added, "When you work with somebody who's a genius like Jesse it's always sad when it comes to an end, there's no question about it because you've had great respect. It's going to be hard when the public sees in episode 3 that Logan is gone because they've lived with Logan for so long. So, they're going to miss him."

The episode, titled "Connor's Wedding," was shot in an unusual 30-minute take to give it a more visceral feel. That involved stowing cameras around the yacht where much of the episode takes place. As film has to be reloaded every ten minutes, per director Mark Mylod, who also appears in the featurette, the actors were tasked with staying in the scene for what is an unusually long time for a TV series. They viewed it as akin to performing a one-act play.

"It felt like the most exciting episode we'd shot because it moves in real-time," said Kieran Culkin, who plays Roman Roy.

Australian actress Sarah Snook, who plays Siobhan "Shiv" Roy, says like the rest of the cast, she was surprised by her TV father's end, but told Rolling Stone her initial response was the same as anyone who watched the show.

"Like, Whoa! That's a huge swing. That's amazing from Jesse. In some ways, it was a long time coming," she said. "The premise of the first episode was, he was about to keel over. And there have been times in the third season as well, in the episode with Adrien Brody and Jeremy out at the island. There's always been an ailing quality to [Logan] despite his robust vigor. So the first question I had was, "So who takes over?"

And that should be the focus of Succession's final seven episodes to see where the manipulating, posturing, jockeying for position, and betrayals large and small have gotten everyone. Although the Roys are rich, the lure of the series has always been that dysfunctional families, rich and poor, operate very similarly under stress.

"There's a couple of factors in where Logan's death falls in our narrative trajectory," Armstrong says. "One is a sort of base one, that maybe it will surprise people. I am not immune from such thoughts as wanting to keep the show exciting and fresh. I think much more prominent was the feeling that if we do this, we don't want to see people crying, have a funeral, and be done with the show. We want to see how a death of someone significant rebounds around a family."



Media Man

Movie Gaming

Can movie theatres and online streaming live side by side?

It’s been a tough time for movie theatres around the world with a number of factors contributing to the decline in the number of people heading to the cinema to watch movies. In a world that is embracing digital technologies, the movie industry is in danger of getting left behind unless they quickly embrace the technologies available that will get people excited to return to movie theatres and get the enjoyment of the cinema experience once again.

The rise of the video game industry

Whilst there are plenty of factors that are influencing people’s decision to visit the cinema, there is no doubt that the rapid rise of the online video game industry is a large contributing factor. People are starting to look elsewhere for their entertainment and online video gaming provides a lower-cost alternative to a trip to the cinema.

A report by MarketWatch in 2020 found that the video game industry is now bigger than the sports and movie industry combined. Just take a minute to digest that. Bigger than movies and sports - that’s big.

The news outlet reported that global video game revenue is expected to increase 20% in 2020, making $179.7 billion, according to data from IDC.

The biggest gain is expected to come from mobile gaming, according to the news outlet, which is expected to surge 24% to $87.7 billion. Part of this is due to China recently lifting a ban on gaming consoles.

Game console revenue is expected to soar to $52.5 billion this year, while PC and Mac games are expected to make $39.5 billion.

In their most recent report, MarketWatch reported that whilst overall revenue was expected to grow by 11% in 2021 to $251.39 billion, the forecast for 2022 is just a 2% growth and a flattening out of that rapid growth over the past two years.

Is this a potential opportunity for cinemas to reclaim some of that lost audience share?

Early signs look good for cinemas in 2022

If the latest movie releases in 2022 are anything to go by, it looks as though the movie theatre industry is not ready to give up just yet. Spider-Man: No Way Home became the biggest grossing movie of the past two years, grossing over $US1 billion ($1.38b) in the first two weekends. It is the second-fastest film ever to reach the $1 billion mark and suggests that this could be a big year for cinema-goers.

Following in its footsteps is another 2022 release, The Matrix Resurrections, a movie that grossed $US12 million in its opening weekend.

Whilst this is a great start to the New Year for movie theatres around the world, it remains to be seen whether this is a trend that continues throughout the year. With a number of high profile movies due for release in 2022, this could be a time for cinemas to really cash in.

The impact of streaming and long-form content

It is unlikely that cinemas will have it all their own way in 2022. Whilst it is great to see people returning to movie theatres to watch the latest releases on the big screen, there is no question that home viewing is here to stay.

As more studios and media distributors are developing their own direct-to-consumer streaming services, this starts to eat into the revenue of major studios.

Studios derive almost half of their revenues from theatrical releases. Although the average number of movie tickets purchased by Americans each year has declined from 4.2 in 2009 to 3.4 in 2019 (Source: Deloitte), studio revenues are driven more by box office tickets now than they were 20 years ago.

Streaming is having the biggest impact on people going to the movies. As televisions have improved, where you can now watch movies at home in 4K high-definition on screens with sizes up to 100”, with surround sound, people have become more willing to wait for the latest release movies to become available on streaming services including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, and Stan.

Another major impact on the cinema industry is the consumer switch to long-form content in the form of series. Many people feel there is more depth to a series that contains anywhere from six episodes upwards. Game of Thrones was one of the groundbreaking series to really capture the audience’s attention, however, there are so many amazing series now that it is becoming more difficult for movies to compete with the depth and the character development that a series can bring.

Huge series like Breaking Bad, The Sopranos and more recently, Succession, have really captured the attention of audiences around the world and this is something movie producers need to consider.

The entertainment factor

It’s not just video games and streaming that are competing for people’s attention. Another industry embracing technology is the online casino and betting sector. Here, we have seen huge advancements in the way people are able to game online. One company leading the way in the sector is Betway, “Developed by our exceptionally talented people, Betway creates market-leading, cutting-edge interactive gaming experiences. We bring people closer to the action – putting them at the centre, making them feel a part of it.”

From the introduction of in-game betting to the development of new and exciting interactive games, these online gaming sites are leading the way when it comes to embracing new technologies that can lead to better experiences for customers.

The movie industry is at a real crossroads. With competition coming from every direction within the entertainment industry, studios and distributors need to find a way to either a) get more people back into movie theatres or b) look at alternative ways to ensure that movies can compete with online gaming, live sports streaming and online casinos for a share of customer eyeballs.