When reality catches up with fiction… a few months late.
“I originally wrote a script about Rupert Murdoch and his family…” Jesse Armstrong (via The Independent) never really hid it. The inspiration of Succession and Logan Roy came directly from the head of the Fox empire and the highly politicized Fox News channel. For years, the question of his replacement at the head of the powerful media group had caused the industry and his own family to shudder. Like Logan Roy, Rupert Murdoch will have pushed the deadline as late as possible.
Aged 92, the patriarch has just handed over. He left his position as Chairman of the Boards of Fox and News Corporation… naming Lachlan Murdoch as his successor! A bit as if Logan had ended up designating Kendall, at the end of Succession. Because Lachlan is the eldest of Rupert Murdoch’s boys, the one who already holds management positions within Fox Corporation (since 2019). The siblings are also made up of a sister, Elisabeth, very close to her father, as well as a little brother James, who managed the British side of the group before being caught up in the scandal. News of the World in 2011. All three also have an older half-sister (Prudence, from her first marriage and born 10 years before all the others).
American journalist Michael Wolff has just written “The Fall”, a new book dedicated to the Mogul and explains in Variety that Lachlan’s appointment is for the moment purely “technical”. And that’s where real life really catches up Succession :
“It was his father who entrusted him with this position. But his father does not have the power to appoint his own successor. When Rupert dies, his shares will be divided equally among his four eldest children. They will then be the decision-makers and can fire Lachlan. Lachlan is a lame duck in the family!”
Any resemblance to an HBO series may… prove unsettling. And the journalist concludes: “I think that Succession was great, especially because it followed closely on the heels of my first Murdoch book. Afterwards, the personalities of each are still quite different. Murdoch is in the collective unconscious the archetype of the ultimate tycoon. Whereas in real life, he is a deeply discreet man, incredibly shy. That doesn’t mean it can’t be brutal in substance, but in a really discreet form.”