“Succession” Writers Kept Shocking Death From Leaking By Using the Perfect Code Word
If you’re a Succession fan, you’ve either seen this past Sunday’s shocking third episode, “Connor’s Wedding,” or you’re currently on a 30-day silent retreat or plying your trade on the International Space Station (cool, by the way). And yet, out of an abundance of caution, spoilers ahead.
Still here? Great. So obviously, in order to pull off the shocking death of patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) that rocked the Succession-watching world in the third episode, the Succession team had to make sure there were no leaks beforehand. The leak is a major threat to today’s entertainment landscape and has already necessitated major rewrites and headaches for creatives (just ask Quentin Tarantino how he feels about his Hateful Eight script leaking) and turned TV creators and filmmakers into novice spies as they try to keep their secrets from spilling. So how did Succession‘s writers try to lock down the shocker that Logan Roy was going to exit this mortal coil in the third episode (and not, as many might have expected, the 9th or 10th?) Georgia Pritchett, a producer and writer on the show, revealed on Twitter that the Succession staff relied on a code word when planning Logan’s demise to try and confuse any would-be leakers. And the code word could not have been more perfect, in our humble opinion, and nodded at another legendary, er, lion of HBO drama—Larry David.
This was a tough secret to keep! We decided it in the #Succession writers’ room in Jan 22. So nobody found out we used code on the whiteboards. Larry David meant Logan Dies. So episode 403 said Connor’s Wedding, Larry David. Mind you, that would also have been a great episode. pic.twitter.com/VH1HuHCFOC
— Georgia Pritchett (@georgiapudding) April 11, 2023
Yet Larry David wasn’t the only ruse the Succession team used to throw looky-loos off the scent of Logan’s fatal plane trip in the third episode. The episode’s director, Mark Mylod, told Variety that Brian Cox continued to film after episode three wrapped to make it seem like Logan was still going strong deeper into the season. As Mylod revealed, this meant Brian Cox was on set for his own character’s funeral.
It’s all in the name of creating great TV, of which episode three was in spades. With Logan Roy finally out of the picture and Succession barreling towards the promise in its title and the end of its run, we’re grateful they managed to keep his death a surprise. Even if they’ve been telling us it was coming since Logan’s stroke in the very first episode.
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Featured image: Fisher Stevens, Kieran Culkin, Jeremy Strong, Sarah Snook. Photograph by Macall B. Polay/HBO