Debuting in early 2014, HBO’s Nic Pizzolato-created drama True Detective arrived on TV screens with a large amount of hype. Thankfully for all involved, the show more than lived up to expectations. True Detective’s slowly unwinding murder mystery quickly became the subject of social media discussion and water cooler talk, as did the standout performances from A-listers Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as lead characters Rust Cohle and Martin Hart.
Of course, we’ve long known that McConaughey and Harrelson wouldn’t be coming back for round two of True Detective, due to the series’ much publicized status as an anthology. Attempting to fill the large shoes of McConaughey and Harrelson will be no less than four leads, three police officers and one career criminal attempting to go legit. Playing the three cops will be notable names Colin Farrell, Taylor Kitsch, and (most likely) Rachel McAdams. Assuming the role of the embattled crime boss will be Vince Vaughn, taking a break from his recent comedy work.
HBO is now rounding out True Detective season two’s supporting cast, now that the leads are either locked in or on the verge of being so. Deadline reports that four more names are being added to the growing acting roster as of today.
Black Box star Kelly Reilly (also known for such films as Sherlock Holmes and Flight) is joining the True Detective season 2 cast as a calm, confident character named Morgan. Meanwhile, Abigail Spencer (a veteran of such TV shows as Rectify, Suits, and Mad Men) will play sexual assault survivor Alicia; Leven Rambin (The Tomorrow People) will portray drug-addled beauty Sophia; and Michael Irby (Almost Human) is up for the role of Elvis, McAdams’ partner on the force. Reilly’s role is a regular one, while Spencer, Rambin, and Irby will be recurring players. The former’s deal is said to be in the final stages, while the other three are nearly locked up.
With today’s news, the principal casting on True Detective season two is nearly done, which is a good thing, as the first table read for the series is tomorrow. The shadows of McConaughey and Harrelson’s Emmy-nominated performances loom large over this next True Detective tale, and the fact that producers felt they needed four leads to compensate for the loss of Cohle and Hart is pretty telling.
For Farrell and Vaughn, True Detective represents a chance for the former to rehabilitate his somewhat stalled career, and the latter to remind audiences that he’s capable of being more than the comic relief. For McAdams, True Detective could very well serve as a launching pad to A-list status, while Kitsch is looking to continue to cement his spot in the upper echelons of Hollywood.
Of course, the world of True Detective can’t be fully realized without a dynamite supporting cast, putting mountains of pressure on the shoulders of actors like Reilly, Spencer, Rambin, and Irby. After all, this isn’t TV, it’s HBO, and with that comes lofty standards to uphold.
True Detective season two is expected to premiere on HBO in summer 2015.