There’s barely more than a month left until the premiere of True Detective – HBO’s latest addition to their roster of Sunday night original programming – and to make sure subscribers haven’t forgotten about the show’s impending arrival, a brand new, lean and mean promo clip has been put online for viewing. Just like the much more expansive trailer released back in September, the footage above places heavy emphasis on the darkness and moral murkiness of the material; this is a bad world that’s being presented, and one that’s defended by complex, perhaps ethically suspect anti-heroes.
It’s also one that’s harboring a serial killer with a decidedly cultish modus operandi. More than anything, the teaser affirms the idea that True Detective‘s story – told through numerous timelines, and over the course of 17 years in Louisiana – will revolve around a murderer with a seemingly pagan fixation, at least judging by the recurring natural imagery, the use of antlers, and the suspicious wooden statue Detective Rust Cohle (Matthew McConaughey) examines toward the end of the bit.
Of course, that’s not all that the trailer tells us about the plot here; like The Wire, there’s a lot of focus on the stress that detective work puts on its primary characters. That’s the aforementioned Cohle, as well as his partner, Martin Hart (Woody Harrelson); together, they’re the smart detective and the steady one, respectively. Cohle’s the career investigator, apparently amoral and with no attachments, while Hart has to balance his work in the field against a family life – something that many great contemporary cop series have shown to be a difficult task, at best.
If nothing else, True Detective should prove for good and all that TV has become a viable safe haven for movie stars looking to challenge themselves. Nobody would overlook a film loaded with this much talent – McConaughey and Harrelson alone should be more than enough to guarantee people tune in, while Cary Fukunaga gives the production some directorial gravitas – so then it stands to reason that they wouldn’t ignore television packing this gifted a cast and crew.
Both of Fukunaga’s leading men have been on stellar career runs the last few years – notably, McConaughey is receiving Oscar buzz for his role Dallas Buyers Club, while Harrelson has The Hunger Games: Catching Fire under his belt and Out of the Furnace on its way to theaters. And yet, amazingly, True Detective almost feels like a bigger deal than any of these. We’ll see if it lives up to expectations not long after ringing in the new year.
True Detective premieres on HBO January 12th, 2014.