Amazon is time-traveling back to the beginning of Hollywood with its original period drama, The Last Tycoon, premiering July 28. This serial adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel of the same name, is one of Amazon's most ambitious shows yet, but it's not for sure yet that The Last Tycoon will return for Season 2. The series, starring Matt Bomer, Kelsey Grammer, and Lily Collins, has yet to be cancelled or renewed.
But if you fall in love with the '30s-set drama, you can at least be confident that there's more story planned beyond where the novel concludes. A New York Times review of The Last Tycoon estimates that Fitzgerald wrote about 128 pages of the book, and by comparing the completed pages to his outline determines that the writer was about halfway to his conclusion when he died. But co-showrunners Billy Ray and Christopher Keyser have a plan for the series' future that goes far beyond the author's manuscript. In fact, the first season already deviates from and adds to Fitzgerald's unfinished work, incorporating modern perspective on era-appropriate elements, like unionization, women's rights, and the rise of Nazi Germany.
"As soon as Amazon says that we get a second season, we will start to break that season down," Ray tells a group of journalists, including Bustle, at a press event. "We have a good idea of where that season’s gonna go, just as we have a good idea of where Season 5 is gonna go, all the way to the last scene of the last episode." Collins plays Celia, a young college graduate and wannabe producer who Bomer's character, Monroe Stahr, takes under his wing. The actor says that the first time she met with Ray to discuss her character, he'd already "mapped out exactly where he wants [her] to go."
"We know where our North Star is," Ray says, though he also leaves a buffer for re-routing if the writers are so inclined. But keeping an endgame in the distance may be useful, because The Last Tycoon has quite a few elements to juggle. Besides the political concepts already mentioned, there's also Monroe's passionate struggle to make his passion project movie, American Dream, and quite a bit of relationship drama amongst the entire cast.
For now, the showrunners have determined that The Last Tycoon will need many five seasons in order to tackle this quintessentially American story. If Amazon decides to pick up this series for another season, there's plenty of intriguing material left on the table.
Additional reporting by Sage Young.