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Everything we know about Donald Glover’s ‘Atlanta’ season 2

Donald Glover's 'Atlanta' offers two surreal trailers for its second season

Donald Glover shook up television and raked in Golden Globes and Emmy awards in 2016 for the first season of Atlanta, the show he created and starred in. Now, Glover’s surreal world, where a “black Justin Bieber” exists, is preparing to return for Atlanta season 2, and FX Networks released the first trailers for the new season.

In the show, Glover plays Earnest “Earn” Marks, a disgruntled airport employee who decides to get ahead in life by managing his rapper cousin Alfred ‘Paper Boi’ Miles, played by Brian Tyree Henry. Lakeith Stanfield from Get Out will reprise his role as idiot savant Darius, along with Zazie Beetz as Van, the mother of Earn’s child. Hiro Murai, who directed seven of the first season’s 10 episodes, confirmed he would be part of the new season.

While we wait for our return trip to Atlanta, here’s everything we know about the second season:

A look inside

The first trailer for the new season of Atlanta was released in early January and features Glover, Henry, Stanfield, and Beetz’s characters in a sliding vignette of scenes with no real explanation. The trailer is labeled as the “spotlight preview,” which explains why the characters are the only parts of the trailer illuminated by a spotlight, but that’s as explanatory as the trailer gets.

Why is Darius mowing a lawn while a dark figure steals items out of the window of a home? Why did the chain on Paper Boi’s neck look like it was being pulled off of him by a ghost? Hopefully, the new season will explain all of this in the show’s usual unorthodox fashion.

The second promo video is just as abstract as the first. Released on the show’s Twitter account a week after the first trailer, it shows Earn giving his trademark deadpan gaze into the camera as he constantly falls to the ground only to pop back up with a new outfit in front of different environments. Take a gander at the latest trailer for Atlanta‘s second season:

heavy rotation

— AtlantaFX (@AtlantaFX) January 14, 2018

Welcome back to Atlanta

FX announced in early January that Atlanta’s second season will return on Thursday, March 1 at 10 p.m. ET. Instead of the new season donning the “season 2” moniker, the network says the new season will be called Atlanta Robbin’ Season, a phrase first brought to our attention by one of the show’s stars.

In December, Stanfield put out a picture on his Instagram account of Atlanta cast members, with a caption which initially read: “Don’t call it Season 2. Tis ‘Robbin Season’ Feb 2018.” Weeks after releasing the photo the mention of “Feb 2018” was replaced with a fork and snowflake emoji next to the words “it’ll never come.” In the photo, the cast was donning jackets that read “Fall ’17 S2” on the sleeve, possibly commemorating the ending of filming. The photo has since been removed from Stanfield’s Instagram page.

In January 2017, the network announced that a follow-up to the Golden Globe award-winning first season from 2016 would not hit TVs until 2018. The two-year separation between seasons was partially due to Glover taking time off to film his role as Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Han Solo film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. 

Expect the unexpected

Even though filming Solo took up a lot of his time, Glover has kept a close eye on reactions to Atlanta‘s first season. In an October 2016 interview with Adweek, the subversive comedic genius explained that what happens in season 2 will be influenced by the reaction to season one.

“I think season 2 will be affected by how people take in the food we’re giving them, essentially,” Glover said. “I don’t know what that means, but I want to see how it all fits with them. Because I think that’s part of our making art is that we’re in this together. It’s a dance, really.”

The reclusive comedian may be listening to reactions, but in an August 2017 Hollywood Reporter profile, Glover made sure to let it be known that the new season will not be the same as season one.

“I don’t want to go into season 2 [with the mindset of] ‘Enough people liked it so just keep those people,’ because then you begin to give your audience a methadone drip of bullshit that keeps them happy as opposed to, ‘We did something controversial and more people were interested.'”

New Atlanta residents

While Glover has been mum on revealing details about the new season, Atlanta‘s IMDB page offers some insight into who will be populating Glover’s vision of Atlanta. Actors Matthew Barnes and Diane Seller are listed as playing new characters Lucas, and Lorraine, respectively, in recurring roles.

Fifteen-year-old Alkoya Brunson is credited with playing the role of “Young Earn” in episode 10 of the new season. That character name presumably means the Hidden Figures actors will be playing a younger version of Glover’s lead character, hinting at possibly a flashback scene in the episode. Maybe we’ll get to see if Earn grew into that perpetual scowl he wears in every episode, or if it’s been with him all his life.

Casting-call tales

A huge part of what made the first season of Atlanta so engrossingly hilarious was the myriad ridiculous, detailed characters Glover inserted into his TV universe. By the looks of the reported casting calls for the new season, we should expect more of the same in season2.

Popular casting website Project Casting listed numerous casting calls for the FX comedy between September and early December. Among the roles Glover’s show was asking fill were “VERY TAN Caucasians to portray Floridians,” and music industry hipsters who “listen to 1980s emo-rock because it’s a political statement.”

The show sent out casting calls for dozens of characters, but the most descriptive details were usually physical features those auditioning should possess.  What the casting call lacked in character details, it made up for in information about potential scenes from the new season. According to the casting call, season 2 of Atlanta will feature scenes in places such as, a recording studio, a college campus, a strip club, and an airport, which is where Earn works at in season 1.

The Hulu move

In May 2017, Hulu announced it would be the exclusive streaming option for Atlanta‘s first and future seasons, including season 2. Once it finishes on TV, you’ll be able to binge on the entire season on Hulu.  

Update: We added the two new trailers for the new season. 

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Keith Nelson Jr.
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Keith Nelson Jr is a music/tech journalist making big pictures by connecting dots. Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY he…
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