If you’ve watched the creepy, dystopian masterpiece Severance on Apple TV+, then you know that the employees of the fictional Lumon corporation spend their time in what’s very much the definition of a toxic work environment. Ironically, it sounded at first like the same could be said about the people making the show itself, based on a new report from a former editor of The Hollywood Reporter — though Severance director Ben Stiller tweeted on Friday that the rumor mill is off base with this one.
The gist of the report from Matt Belloni, who’s now with Puck News, was that Severance Season 2 has been beset by delays amid offscreen chaos (not true, according to Stiller, who said in a tweet late Friday that the show is still shooting for the same “target air date” that it’s always had).
Belloni’s report, meanwhile, went on to suggest even more drama behind the scenes, including showrunners who despise each other and scripts that have needed to be reworked among other problems. Stiller addressed that, too. Here’s his comment, in full (with his reference to “the break room” referring to the place where characters are sent on Severance when they need discipline or correction):
“No one’s going to the break room. We’re on the same really slow schedule we’ve always been on. Same target air date we’ve always had. Love our fans and each other and we all are just working to make the show as good as possible.”
The 9-episode first season of Severance was certainly a breakout success for Apple’s streamer, garnering tons of Emmy nominations, five wins, and significant critical buzz (a personal note: I absolutely loved it). The show is inventive, memorable, and kept me glued to my screen from start to finish. And, more importantly, it got me eager for a new season to a degree that I think has only been matched by one other Apple TV+ release — the fantastic spy series, Tehran.
Belloni, meanwhile, also reported that Stiller brought in House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, most recently a writer for Disney+’s near-perfect Andor, who for a few months now has been not only crafting a story arc for Severance Season 3 but has been polishing at least some of the story for Season 2.
That’s more or less where things stand, and I’m now feeling at least cautiously optimistic about the new season of Severance (filming for which began late last year). The participation of Willimon is an extra bit of reassurance that the Severance story, at least, is in extremely capable hands. Time, of course, will tell.