After a thrilling freshman season, HBO’s True Detective has become one of TV’s most talked about series and viewers are waiting on bated breath for season 2 details. In the meantime, the show has been racking up critical acclaim – including five nomination spots in the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards: Outstanding Drama Series, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series (Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey are both nominated), Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series, and Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series. We’ll know soon (from the time of this writing) how many of those nominations HBO can turn into wins but don’t expect the show’s creator and writer (Nic Pizzolatto) to rest on his laurels.
Pizzolatto is already hard at work preparing for True Detective‘s sophomore season – which will follow a different case and, in keeping with the series’ outside-the-box thinking, an entirely new cast of actors. As a result, there has been a lot of speculation (and some genuinely funny memes) regarding who will appear in True Detective season 2 and under what pretense. Fortunately, it sounds as though concrete answers are on the way – as Michael Lombardo, Programming Director at HBO, offered up new details that line-up well with existing rumors.
While attending the Edinburgh TV Festival (via THR) Lombardo commented on HBO’s production timeline for season 2, revealing a window for when the series is scheduled to return: “We’re going to start shooting in September for it to air next summer.” Given that True Detective season 1 debuted at the beginning of January (2014), fans will undoubtedly be disappointed to hear that HBO is waiting until summer of 2015 to premiere the next chapter.
That said, a protracted delay between season 1 and 2 of a cable series is par for the course in TV land – especially since True Detective is set to drastically alter its formula. Certainly, viewers would have loved to see season 2 in January 2015 but it would have been an incredible stretch for the creative talent working behind the scenes. Not to mention, now that True Blood is finishing up its run, HBO can plug True Detective into the supernatural series’ high profile summer programming slot.
Speaking on the pressure of following-up the critically acclaimed first season, Lombardo asserts that Pizzolatto has found his groove and, in spite of working from a completely blank page, has actually upped his game for season 2:
“When you have a success like True Detective it’s challenging, less for us and more for someone like Nic, how to face the page again and start afresh and not be haunted by the success of the show you’ve just done. But the writing is better than last season. It’s exceptional.”
To help grease the wheels and change things up a bit, from when Carey Fukunaga directed every single episode of season 1, HBO is bringing in multiple filmmakers (“three or four“) to helm season 2 episodes. The idea might seem scary to purists but Fukunaga has created a quality framework for other directors to follow. Replicating the tone and approach of a series isn’t hard for experienced TV directors – since they’re merely a cog in the machine, inserted to help guide an established crew of actors, cinematographers, and editors.
NOTE: The rest of this post contains potential SPOILERS for True Detective season 2 – should they turn out to be accurate. Read ahead at your own risk.
As indicated, Lombardo also provided clarification on who will comprise the “true detectives” of True Detective season 2 – since the story of Detective Rustin Spencer “Rust” Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) and Detective Martin Eric “Marty” Hart (Woody Harrelson) was concluded in season 1:
“[It has] different characters, a different setting. It’s set in California, all of California. There are three cops. One of the characters is female. I think that’s probably all I’m allowed to say. We’ll probably be announcing casting soon.”
Anyone who has been following True Detective casting rumors should already have a pretty good idea of who might be filling out those detective roles – but this is the first official confirmation from HBO that season 2 will up the count to three protagonists (not just three “leads”). Previously, we had heard from the network that its sophomore chapter would feature four main roles and, with this new information, we can safely assume the previously rumored character breakdowns are accurate – meaning season 2 should feature three detectives and a high profile villain.
In case you missed it before, here’s that full breakdown from The Wrap (along with the actors rumored for each role):
- Ray Velcro (Colin Farrell) is a grizzled detective who’s long had a rough time in “both his personal and professional lives.”
- Paul Woodrugh (Taylor Kitsch) is a 28-year old detective and veteran “who has seen his share of violence and destruction.”
- Ani Bezzerides (Elisabeth Moss) is a no-nonsense sheriff from Monterey, who has gambling and drinking problems as a result of her “troubled upbringing.”
- Frank Semyon (Vince Vaughn), a “former thug” who’s now a respectable businessman, pushing for the construction of a high-speed railway system that links Southern and Northern California.
As for what to expect from the actual storyline, Lombardo’s assertion that the show will take place in “all of California” lines up with the rumored details surrounding Vince Vaughn’s character – specifically that he’s intent on constructing a high-speed railway line along the coast of California. Previous season 2 details had suggested that the railway line is part of a larger plot of political corruption, which comes under investigation following the death of a local City Manager, bringing the three (troubled) true detectives together.
Of course, in this era of misinformation, it’s always possible that Lombardo (and HBO creatives) are merely parroting the most popular pieces of rumor and speculation – in order to keep what’s actually happening under wraps. Still, a more likely scenario is that we actually have a pretty clear picture of how season 2 starts. That said, given the show’s penchant for twists and shocking revelations, where exactly Pizzolatto will take audiences throughout the upcoming season remains a mystery – for now.
True Detective season 2 will premiere Summer 2015 on HBO
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