FX confirmed Thursday that Atlanta will come to an end after its fourth season.
“Death is natural,” Glover said. “I feel like when the conditions are right for something, they happen, and when the conditions aren’t right, they don’t happen. I don’t feel any longevity. Because then things start to get weird.”
“The story was always supposed to be what it was. And the story, it really was us,” he continued. “Everybody in that writers’ room, everybody on set. It really was what we were going through and what we talked about. … I think it ends perfectly.”
Even though he inked a reported eight-figure deal with Amazon Studios last year, Glover’s contract reportedly allows for him to return to Atlanta, if he chooses. He hasn’t ruled out the possibility of exercising that option down the road. “If there’s a reason to do it, of course. Like a Christmas special,” Glover joked. “It always depends. I like keeping my options open.”
Brian Tyree Henry and Zazie Beetz also spoke about the end of the series. “I was a little emotional,” Beetz, who plays Vanessa “Van” Keefer on the show, said, “but I agree with Donald that we’re ending on what feels like a peak and not letting it peter out. I think the best thing is knowing when to end it, and knowing when to move on with things.”
Henry said that “it just naturally felt like it was time.” The actor, who plays Alfred “Paper Boi” Miles, continued, “Atlanta feels like an institution. You go to high school for four years, you go to college for four years, this was our own graduation of going somewhere bigger. I am so deeply connected to these people. That was the greatest gift of doing this show. If we decide to come back together when we’re 65, with arthritis medication and our walkers, we probably will because we’re all connected for the rest of our lives.”
Anyone who has followed Glover’s TV career shouldn’t be shocked to hear that he has chosen to end Atlanta after Season 4. What seems more in his thinking is that Glover originally wanted to call it quits on the ground-breaking series after just two seasons. He left his writers’ room gig at the comedy series 30 Rock after three seasons to pursue his own acting opportunities. He infamously departed from Community in its fifth season to dedicate himself to his music.
What has become a recurring theme in Glover’s career is that there always seems to be trick up his sleeve when he leaves one project. Shortly after departing 30 Rock, it was revealed that he landed his first major role as Troy Barnes in Community. His exit from Community led to Atlanta, which he starred in and created.
Glover discussed the final two seasons and said he almost wanted FX to put up a disclaimer indicating which episodes were written in 2019, given the supposedly prophetic nature of the subject material. “We actually prophesied most of 2020,” he said. “The world is extremely predictable. We really just knew how a lot of this stuff was going to pan out. Everybody needs to know that we wrote this in 2019. All the shit that’s in there is actually just us being like, ‘Oh, this is how the cycle works!”
Glover said Season 4 saw some alterations to reflect how much they have changed since initially writing the season. “We all got older and just went through our life. I think COVID was a very reflective time. So all of us kind of grew up,” he said. “The show’s very punk in a lot of ways, and I think we became more not punk, because we cared about stuff.”