It’s (finally) official: Prime Video has greenlit Season 2 of “Citadel,” with Joe Russo set to direct the entire season.
The first season of the spy drama, which premiered in April, had a number of directors attached, including Joe Russo, Anthony Russo, Jessica Yu and Newton Thomas Sigel. On Season 2, however, it will be solely Joe Russo on directing duties, with David Weil returning as showrunner.
Prime Video has also revealed that its big-budget original — which stars Richard Madden and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, and features Lesley Manville and Stanley Tucci — is its second most-watched new original series outside the U.S. behind “Rings of Power” and its fourth most-watched program worldwide.
All episodes of Season 1 will land on Prime Video on Friday. Meanwhile, the series premiere will be made free to stream without membership on both Prime Video and the ad-supported Freevee for a month in the U.S. and until May 28 internationally.
The show follows an international spy agency whose operatives, including Madden’s Mason Kane and Chopra Jonas’ Nadia Sinh, must come out of hiding to take down a powerful crime syndicate called Manticore. The series, which is the brainchild of Amazon and MGM Studios boss Jennifer Salke, was envisioned as an interconnected global franchise, with off-shoot series made in Italy and India, starring Matilda De Angelis, Varun Dhawan and Samantha Ruth Prabhu. The latter global series are now in production.
“‘Citadel’ is a truly global phenomenon,” said Salke. “Our goal was always to create a new franchise rooted in original IP that would grow Prime Video’s international audience. This show has drawn an outsize number of new international customers to Prime Video. Its massive worldwide debut audience is a testament to Joe and Anthony Russo’s remarkable vision, the incredible talents of Richard Madden, Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Lesley Manville and Stanley Tucci, and the tireless work of the creative teams, cast, and crew. Given the overwhelming number of our customers who have embraced this show, we are not only thrilled to share the premiere episode of ‘Citadel’globally without membership, but also confirm that the series will return for a second season.”
Anthony Russo and Jos Russo added: “AGBO is thrilled to embark on this next phase of the spyverse with Jen, Vernon, and the entire team at Amazon. The innovative storytelling of ‘Citadel’ has paved the way for an incredible, worldwide collaboration with creatives in front of and behind the camera.”
Despite its ambitious premise, however, “Citadel” has so far received mixed reviews from critics, who’ve remained wary of its formulaic approach to creating an international franchise à la “Squid Game” or “Money Heist.” In her Variety review, Alison Herman wrote: “After ‘The Rings of Power,’ Amazon is once more trying to buy a global phenomenon without the basic acumen to back it up. The Everything Store has gone mad, and ‘Citadel’ certainly can’t save it.”
Prime Video recently received $25 million in California tax incentives to relocate to the state from the U.K. The show is expected to pay $119 million in “qualified” expenditures — which include below-the-line workers and California vendors — making it the biggest show ever lured from out of state by the credit.
From Amazon Studios and the Russo Brothers’ AGBO, “Citadel” is executive produced by Anthony Russo, Joe Russo, Mike Larocca, Angela Russo-Otstot and Scott Nemes for AGBO, with Weil serving as showrunner and executive producer. Josh Appelbaum, André Nemec, Jeff Pinkne, and Scott Rosenberg serve as executive producers for Midnight Radio. Newton Thomas Sigel and Patrick Moran also serve as executive producers.