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Hiroyuki Sanada Shares Updates on ‘Shōgun’ Season 2 and ‘Mortal Kombat 2’ (Exclusive)

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For Hiroyuki Sanada, getting to work on Shōgunboth as a star and a producer, made the project even more personal — and gave him a chance to help guide the show as it moves into uncharted territory.

Sanada walked the carpet at a special Shōgun FYC Event at the DGA Theater in Los Angeles on Tuesday, where he spoke with ET’s Ash Crossan about the acclaimed series, and the monumentally supportive feedback from fans and critics.

“We got a great experience from the world and [the response] was more than expected,” said Sanada. “So yeah, we’re just happy, and I want to say thank you to all the viewers in the world.”

In Shōgun, Sanada stars as the powerful Lord Toranaga (Hiroyuki Sanada) in 1600 Japan, who is contending with a slew of political rivals and warlords before he crosses paths with English maritime pilot and soldier John Blackthorne (Cosmo Jarvis), and Toda Mariko (Anna Sawai), a loyal subject to Toranaga who serves as a translator between him and Blackthorne.

Shōgun, created by Rachel Kondo and Justin Marks, is based on the 1975 novel of the same name by James Clavell. The first season told nearly the entire story of the book — meaning the show’s renewal for a second season will see it expanding beyond the confines of its source material.

Hiroyuki Sanada attends FX’s ‘Shogun’ FYC event during Disney FYC Fest at the DGA Theater on June 11, 2024 in Los Angeles, California.Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“It’s a big challenge, but we have the real history and models,” Sanada shared. “We also learned the James Clavell spirit, and how to tell it in the show and story.”

Sanada admits it may end up being “much harder than the first [season],” but that the historic tales of the time are “so meaningful.”

“I’d like to think about the possibility of how to create better seasons based on the experiences of Season 1, and then go to the next step. That’s what I’m hoping,” he shared. “Then, as a producer, [I’m looking at] keeping this platform where Japanese stories and talents can be introduced to the world. That’s kind of my mission.”

So when can fans expect a second season of Shōgun? According to Sanada, “It all depends on the script, and when we can create a good one.”

“But I’d love to, you know, jump in as soon as possible,” he added. “I want to show it to the world.”

As Season 2 is being developed, Sanada also shared an update about the long-awaited sequel to Mortal Kombat. In the 2021 take on the iconic and famously violent video game, Sanada starred as Scorpion — and he’s back this time for more of the titular deadly battles.

Sanada teased that fans can expect to see “most of the characters from [the first] movie,” who didn’t get killed, as well as “a few great new characters. Like four to five great new characters in it. So yeah! I’m so excited.”

“They’re working so hard for the VFX now,” said Sanada regarding the production team on Mortal Kombat 2, which is slated to hit theaters in October.

Meanwhile, all 10 episodes of FX’s Shōgun are available to stream now on Hulu.

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