‘True Detective’ Season 2 to Follow Only 1 Lead Character?

Published 10 months ago by , Updated June 28th, 2014 at 3:49 pm,


True Detective Season 2 One Lead Actor True Detective Season 2 to Follow Only 1 Lead Character?

HBO’s dark, seedy crime drama, True Detective proved a sensation when it premiered earlier this year. With incredible performances from leads Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, breathtaking direction from Cary Fukunaga, and a premise which can be restarted each season to fit the anthology structure, True Detective is on the verge of being HBO’s next greatest hit.

Yet, it may not be around long enough to garner the same accolades awarded to HBO’s other long-running series like The Sopranos or Game of Thrones. A few weeks back at the Banff World Media Festival, creator Nic Pizzolatto suggested three seasons could be it for the gritty procedural. And considering Pizzolatto is the series’ sole writer it’s understandable why he’d be interested in a limited run for a series that could – theoretically – never end, but just reboot with each season like American Horror Story.

Whether True Detective will have (or even deserve) three or more season is still up in the air, but it’s likely the series’ second season will give a better impression of the endgame Pizzolatto is plotting towards. McConaughey and Harrelson aren’t expected to return, and when Pizzolatto spoke earlier about True Detective season 2 he mentioned they were “working with three leads” who’d be all-new characters.

However, The Wrap is now reporting that True Detective season 2 will only feature one male lead:


Wonder what happened to the other two characters Pizzolatto was writing? When he spoke earlier about the second season and mentioned he was working with three lead characters he admitted to being “deeply in love with each of them.” Clearly, he wasn’t all that attached, or particularly clear, if what The Wrap is reporting is true. It’s only the first script for the season, but were there more than one lead, they’d surely have been introduced and in need of casting.

Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in True Detective Season 1 Episode 3 True Detective Season 2 to Follow Only 1 Lead Character?

Being that True Detective is an anthology series, drastic changes from season to season should be expected. Yet doing away with the camaraderie and conflict that comes with two co-leads, exemplified so well by McConaughey and Harrelson’s rapport, seems like a misstep. Unless that lead is able to match the magnetism of their dual performances, it’s hard to believe True Detective season 2 will captivate audiences with the same intensity as season 1.

For the sake of argument, had those rumors of Jessica Chastain being sought for season 2 been true, then this report could have proven it to be a far more interesting casting decision. Having a woman detective grappling with the gruesome realities of True Detective‘s sordid world would have been a refreshing change of pace.

How would you react to only one lead character for True Detective season 2, as opposed to the buddy-cop routine from season 1? Let us hear what you think in the comments below!


Stay tuned to Screen Rant as more about True Detective season 2 develops.

Source: The Wrap

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  1. you know at this point I’ll trust his judgement. He blew us away with season 1. Lets see what season 2 looks like before we rush to judgement.

    • I will not watch True Detective unless they have two great male actors that have the same charismatic performances as Matt and Woody did. A woman detective? That is not original at all. HBO is getting very thin with all of the shows they have left. I only watch GOT, True Blood and Boardwalk Empire. All the other ones are crap. And let’s face it, Nic is NO VINCE GILLIGAN. I’ll take Breaking Bad over any of these shows as far as writing, acting and directing. In my opinion, if they pursue this 1 detective theory or a female male duo, you might as well watch Law and Order, CSI, NCIS the same old same old routine. No thanks. The only reason True Detective was a good show was because of the two Academy Award winning actors that made that show. Remember, to make any series or movie memorable and leave you wanting more has to do with the casting and the writing.

      • You think having two female leads is a tired over used thing? Clearly you haven’t watched the entirety of movies and television series since the creation of both. If you want more Oscar nominated talent, fine. But you can do that with females too!

      • Boy, are you daft. So much BS in that…even opinion-wise.

        True Blood is where you lost all credit, I think. Probably before that though…with the fact that you think that those actors ‘made the show’. They were amazing, but there is absolutely nothing an actor can do without words and direction. Next…how in the hell is TR going to be like L&O, CSI, etc. if it only has one detective? The show will suddenly implode and the writing will degrade? Give me a break…

        You’re also absolutely contradicting yourself… Yes, a show must have a great cast AND writing. The fact that there will be only 1 lead, if this is even true, has absolutely no impact on the actual output of the show and it’s creators.


        • Clearly he is not serious about that comment !
          Guess he was just playing with us !

      • Dumb dumb dumb dumb.


      You know everyone on here seems like they can write a script or something better than Nic. But his work on the 1st season on TD was spectacular, I binged watched the season in two days.

      I think a solo detective is a great idea, Woody and Matthew always had eachother to ping ideas and theories on. With only one detective it will probably be a much stranger and obscure investigation

  2. I must say that I really liked how Matthew McConaughey Woody Harrelson played together. I would like to see them both in the next season also, but that’s just me.

  3. They should use nic cage as a detective hunting his evil twin only to reveal in the season finale that it is really one his split personalities doing evil. Plus he can scream all the dialog!

  4. I Cant Wait For Season 2! Everyone gives all credit to Mathew and Woodey but Nic is what Made the Show! Great story Great Characters Amazing Script. I Trust His vision. Jessica Chastian Would be Awesome!!

  5. Wouldn’t be the first time a crime procedural that draws you in with a fantastic plot has just one lead character. Just look at the success of British crime shows like Prime Suspect, Cracker, Bergerac, Lovejoy, Midsomer Murders, Luther and others over the last 40 years.

    I like that it’s not going with two leads because then it can’t be accused of doing more of the same.

    • Midsomer Murders and Lovejoy hahaha. Ok Dazz, Ok.

  6. Anyone know if Woody and Mathew are still producers moving forward? The writing from season 1 was excellent but the interaction of the two leads really made the show. I really think they need to loosely follow the American horror story anthology framework, I mean it works. Going to a single lead? I’ll watch it but would feel better if they tried to stick to the original framework that made season one so good.

    • But that’s a problem with audiences and studios. Too many people demand something different but then you get something different and people complain that they want it exactly the same as it was the last time around.

      Lets be honest, AHS has two reasons to watch, Lily Rabe and Jessica Lange. Take those away and you have a horrible cast given terrible lines to deliver as part of a bad plot.

      True Detective was brilliantly written and I guess we’re all so used to terrible writing, that’s why that show stood out amongst other detective shows and we’re only talking about the chemistry of the characters because the actors in question had great chemistry (otherwise, they wouldn’t have been cast).

      Take McConaughey and Harrelson away from True Detective and you’d still have a fantastic show and I think people are either deluding themselves or kidding themselves that those two actors alone made the show so great. It’d also be a shame if the people behind the show gave into expectation based on the previous 8 episodes and put either of the two leads back into season 2 or kept aspects exactly the same instead of going the lone female detective route that sounds so great and unique in today’s over-saturated market of US based cop duos/teams.

  7. I’d like to see Jake Gyllenhaal as the lead. He’s been stellar in his more recent roles (i.e. Zodiac, Source Code, End of Watch, Prisoners, Enemy).

    • @ Pat

      That’s a great selection.
      Gyllenhaal has turned in some great performances over the years and I’d be willing to give complete faith in season 2 with him as the lead.

      I just watched Prisoners again last week and still think he was the highlight.

  8. This makes sense. One lead is a good call, or even three. But two would inevitably draw unfavorable comparisons to Season 1. It’d be like if American Horror Story season 2 revolved around *another* family. Even if the new family was just as good as the old one, it would have been more of the same.

    Another bonus:

    Much like the awful Karate Kid remake actually starred a kid, rather than a 37 year old Italian man creepily infiltrating a junior highschool, season two of True Detective will actually be about a Detective, rather than, you know, True Detectives.

    What I’m saying is, it’s True Detective, not Two Detectives. Get off my lawn.

  9. Its the frist script… To state with certain finality that there is only one lead for the entire season is idiotic. One character may take precedence for the first episode as a vehicle or way into the world and story for the audience but there is no telling if that would remain for future episodes, the other female or male characters described could very well take precedence in the following ep for any number of reason that make sense to the story. Until we actually know what this season will even be about or the world it will take place in, this doesnt mean much if at all.

  10. jessica chastain is the worst…

  11. There was discussion about having short (10 episodes), rebooted stand alone seasons since last year. This was a planned strategy , so as to involve great movie actors a tv series usually could not get into long term contracts. I think they did pretty great with Season 1, I trust them to keep it going at a high quality.