Here’s what we know about ‘Atlanta’ season four

Donald Glover's acclaimed and gloriously unpredictable TV series is coming to an end later this year

The near-four-year wait for the return of Donald Glover‘s brilliantly uncompromising comedy-drama Atlanta finally ended back in March with the arrival of season three (don’t worry, the UK will get to see it in June).

Sadly, however, the end is already in sight: Glover has never wanted Atlanta to run for too long, and it was recently confirmed that the show’s upcoming fourth season will be its last. As we prepare, then, to say goodbye to one of best TV shows around, here is everything we know so far about Atlanta season four.

Is there a release date for Atlanta season four yet?

The fourth and final season of the series is set to premiere in the autumn of 2022.

Advertisement

FX, the channel that screens Atlanta in North America, announced back in February that the show’s fourth season, which has already finished filming, will air first in the US “in the fall”.

Glover subsequently told reporters at SXSW in March that “all good things end”, adding: “It felt like it was time to end [Atlanta]. I don’t like it when people [are] 40 pretending like they’re 15 and shit. It’s annoying.”

Speaking to PEOPLE about the final day of filming season four, Glover recalled: “It was really fun, everybody clapped, it was nice. But it was sad because we all really grew up together, none of us really knew what this was going to be, and everybody’s grown up and has families [now]. It just feels very special. It was kind of sad just because endings are sad, but they also mean that you had something special.”

Atlanta season 3
Donald Glover and Brian Tyree Henry in ‘Atlanta’ season three (Picture: Coco Olakunle/FX)

Who will star in season four of Atlanta?

The core quartet looks set to return.

While season three of Atlanta has yet to conclude at the time of writing – the season’s final episode is set to air in the US on May 19 – you can put good money on Earn (Glover), Darius (LaKeith Stanfield), Van (Zazie Beetz) and Al/Paper Boi (Brian Tyree Henry) all being a key part of the show’s final season.

Advertisement

Don’t rule out a host of surprise cameos happening in season four, either. Season three has already featured an unexpected appearance from Liam Neeson in the episode ‘New Jazz’, while Chet Hanks‘ somewhat self-deprecating appearance in ‘Trini 2 De Bone’ and the elusive Jai Paul actually showing his face in ‘The Old Man and the Tree’ have only enhanced Atlanta‘s ace-up-its-sleeve reputation for deploying guest stars.

The showrunners have also previously spoken about their desire to get Jaden Smith and Ryan Gosling on the show. “[Gosling] said he was a big fan, but he had something else [he was working on] and it just didn’t work out,” Glover told PEOPLE. “I was so bummed because the part [we had in mind] was so great for him.”

What has happened so far in Atlanta season three?

What goes on tour should most definitely stay on tour.

Season three of Atlanta has largely followed Earn, Darius and Van (though her screen time has been limited) as they join Al on his European tour, with chaotic/frustrating/bizarre/trippy (delete as applicable) visits to Copenhagen, London, Budapest and Amsterdam completed thus far.

Atlanta being Atlanta, though, things haven’t been quite as straightforward as that. Season three has included an array of standalone episodes – in some cases, actual mini-horror films (see season premiere ‘Three Slaps’) – that haven’t featured any of the main cast but still make for compelling viewing thanks to their biting mix of satire and surrealism. Along the way, they daringly confront the show’s audience with often uncomfortable questions about race, inequality and class. These offerings have only strengthened the notion that you should never second-guess Atlanta; you just have to sit back and enjoy the ride.

What have Donald Glover and his showrunners said so far about the plot of Atlanta season four?

Glover previously said that Atlanta seasons three and four “are going to be some of the best television ever made”, adding that The Sopranos is the only show that “can touch us”.

Quite the declaration. Asked about those comments by The Hollywood Reporter in March, Glover said he “stands by that 100 percent”. He added: “I feel like [The Sopranos] has a good mix of stuff, but obviously they’re completely different shows. I think I just appreciated that when I was growing up, [The Sopranos] just kind of showed me a lot about how to make something scary but real.”

Meanwhile, Atlanta‘s decision to relocate to Europe for season three has taken it away from its title city, but, as Glover explained recently: “It’s our point of view; it’s not really about the place… Atlanta is a state of mind.” Or, as Glover’s brother Stephen, who writes and produces Atlanta, told Variety: “Atlanta is everywhere and nowhere.”

Glover did reveal that Atlanta will “make a very heavy resurgence, as far as the actual place” in season four, suggesting that Paper Boi’s European tour will be wrapped up by the end of season three and he, Earn, Darius and Van will then head back to the US.

And while other plot details for season four have been kept under wraps, Glover told Variety in February that the idea of the final season was “have more fun”, adding: “Once you go through that cycle, you realise, oh, we did season four like season one, which was, act like you’re going to get cancelled!”

Advertisement
Advertisement