Godless is being pegged as a “feminist Western,” and now that the show has premiered, some fans already have itchy trigger fingers, asking: will there will be a season 2 of Godless? While there’s been no official confirmation of the series continuing as of yet, there’s been no denial either. Moreover, signs certainly look promising that there will be at least another season of the show.
The premise of this new Western series is relatively straightforward and familiar, yet with a bit of a unique twist. Godless focuses on Roy Goode (Jack O’Connell), a former criminal who turned his back on his former gang led by the notorious Frank Griffin (Jeff Daniels). On the run, Roy relies on a lone widower, Alice Fletcher (Michelle Dockery) and an abandoned mining town inhabited almost exclusively by women. Executive producers on the show include Steven Soderbergh, and Casey Silver. Scott Frank acts as executive producer, writer, and director.
To know Godless’ future, you have to pay attention to the words used to describe it. Being called a “limited series” when the show was announced, it’s important to note that phrase has a different meaning than let’s say, a “miniseries,” “event series,” or a “complete series.” According to Screener TV, limited series (like Under the Dome or Big Little Lies, for instance) means that the door is open for future seasons, but it is not a given that there will be future seasons. It may be that the show doesn’t need 22 episodes a season. “Limited series indicates that a network sees potential in a show... It can also refer to a show the network wants to try out in smaller doses with the possibility of renewal based on how well it does in the ratings.”
It would seem that’s the route Netflix is headed for with Godless. With no confirmation of a second season as of yet, it will likely depend on how the show is received, critically, and with audiences. However, it does seem to be getting early favorable reviews, receiving a 89 percent fresh from Rotten Tomatoes as of press time. That’s a good early sign before its release that it could receive at least a second season.
Multiple seasons never initially crossed Scott Frank's mind, however. That’s because originally, his take on a Western was meant for the big screen, not the small one. It was Soderbergh who convinced him to rework the would-be film into a television series, according to Collider.
Although Frank spent two years working on a film script for the new series, he’s happy he waited and ultimately shifted directions. In an interview with Variety, Frank says he was so thankful to work with Netflix because it ultimately helped make his idea into something better than he imagined in the first place. “I’m really glad it didn’t get made as a feature because I got to tell so much more story this way,” Frank says. “We compromised nothing visually. I was able to go deeper with all of the characters. It was almost a reverse adaptation.”
While the last few years have seen superheroes take over pop culture, the Western has stuck around in the cultural zeitgeist. Meta-critiques of the genre like Django Unchained or new sci-fi spins like Westworld and Cowboys & Aliens have helped the genre stay modern. In fact, The Hollywood Reporter interestingly noted that four out of five of the top-grossing Western films of all time have debuted in the last six years. So, while we may not be sure whether or not Godless will be getting that second season, it could continue the recent success the genre has had. It also shouldn’t be long before Netflix releases some kind of update on the new limited series. For a show titled Godless though, if you’re a fan, and at all religious, perhaps some praying is in order?