Production is ongoing for season two of True Detective, HBO’s critically-acclaimed anthology crime/drama series that was created by Nic Pizzolatto and premiered last year. Images from the set emerged online this week, depicting the new season’s leads – Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch – embroiled in a gunfight of sorts in downtown Los Angeles. Additional images from the ongoing L.A.-based True Detective shoot are now available; though again, none of them feature the other key player in this season of the show, Vince Vaughn.
The actor will take a break from his well-known fast-talking comedic style for Pizzolatto’s detective story, where he will portray Frank Semyon: a Californian “career criminal” who attempts to become a legitimate businessman. Semyon’s efforts to go legit are upended by the murder of his business partner: the person whose mysterious death ends up bringing together three capable, but troubled detectives (Farrell, McAdams, and Kitsch), as part of the investigation.
Vaughn, when interviewed by Playboy, revealed that he approached Pizzolatto to have him script a film adaptation of the 1970s TV series The Rockford Files, only to learn the writer was already working on another L.A. crime drama, in True Detective season two; this, in turn, led to the pair collaborating on the latter project.
Here’s what Vaughn said, when asked if he’s nervous about having a high bar to clear, set by True Detective‘s debut season:
Honestly, no, because Nic Pizzolatto is such a great writer, and so much of this is driven by his stories. I thought Woody [Harrelson] and Matthew [McConaughey] did an exceptional job with the first season. This one’s very different, though. It’s a totally different story, with its own characters. The thing that’s consistent is the richness of the characters and the quality of the material. That was Louisiana. This is a California-based story, and it was kind of birthed from here. A lot of it is set in Los Angeles. I really like my character. Nic is so great about investigating characters and their complexities in an authentic and engaging way. I want to watch this show not because I’m in it but as a fan of the material.
True Detective season two should indeed be quite different than season one (as Vaughn claimed); something that’s already evident in not just the casting selections for season two, but also in the choice to have director Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6) set the tone/look of the season by helming the first two episodes. Cary Fukunaga’s moody direction for season one allow the series to provide an often nightmarish vision of a Southern neo-noir, whereas season two (by the sound of it) may draw inspiration from the rich history of L.A. Noir stories that’ve been told going back to the 1940s.
Lin’s involvement also suggests True Detective‘s vision of the City of Angels will have a more contemporary edge to it. So much is likewise indicated by these early set photos, depicting Farrell and Kitsch brandishing firearms and fitted with proper bullet-proof vests, in the sequence(s) being filmed. That visual style should make for an interesting combination with Pizzolatto’s writing, which is expected to carry over the philosophical content and “richness of the characters” (as Vaughn puts it) that made season one’s storyline so popular at that.
True Detective season two also boasts an impressive supporting cast, prepared to bring Pizzolatto’s characters to life from the written page. That includes Kelly Reilly (Black Box) as Frank Semyon’s equally knowledgable wife, Jordan Semyon, as well as C.S. Lee (Dexter) as Richard Geldof: California’s state attorney general – who, like most every other character on the series, will have some darkness lingering beneath his respectable facade.
All that said, it remains to be seen how True Detective turn out quality-wise, compared to the show’s acclaimed first season. If nothing else, it does sound as though we’re in for something of a different experience this time around, which ought to keep the show all the more interesting to watch.
True Detective season two is expected to premiere on HBO in Summer 2015.
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