Mahershala Ali has been confirmed to star in True Detective season 3, should the third season move forward. The first season of HBO's critically-acclaimed anthology crime series, created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, starred Matthew McConaughey as Rustin "Rust" Cohle and Woody Harrelson as Martin "Marty" Hart, two detectives who spent years investigating the Dora Lange murder. The season garnered acclaim from critics and audiences alike, and the series was heralded as 2014's best drama series. HBO quickly commissioned another season with Pizzolatto again scripting the story.
However, Cary Fukunaga, who directed the show's entire first season, didn't return for the second season, which instead had multiple directors join the fold (as is the case with most other TV shows). Unfortunately, the second season -- which starred the likes of Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Vince Vaughn, and Taylor Kitsch -- couldn't capture the same critical recognition as its previous season. Despite seeing an increase in average viewership, the network held off on confirming another season until convinced the story would work. It wasn't until earlier this year that rumors began swirling about another season of True Detective, and it wasn't until Mahershala Ali's reported involvement with the project that things were finally starting to move forward.
Today, Deadline has reported that HBO president of programming Casey Bloys revealed during the premium cable channel's summer TCA presentation that Mahershala Ali (Moonlight, Luke Cage) had closed his deal to star in the third season of True Detective, should the network choose to move forward with another story, which hasn't yet been given the green light.
Interestingly, the confirmation of Ali's involvement with True Detective season 3 also doubles as confirmation that there has been movement on another season of the critically-acclaimed series. People may remember that, following the conclusion of the show's second season, it was reported that HBO might not ever pursue another season of True Detective since the follow-up of Rust and Marty's story failed to capture the same rapturous praise. That's what makes this announcement all the more intriguing. In addition to revealing Ali's casting, Bloys also said that he's read the first five scripts from True Detective season 3 and that they're "terrific."
Bloys expressed his excitement and enthusiasm about the story and revealed that they are now looking for directors to helm the project. It's worth noting that, after the second season's conclusion, HBO brought on Deadwood creator David Milch to aid Pizzolatto in writing the third season. It's unclear at this time what the story will be about or when the season will air, though at least audiences now know that HBO has made progress on True Detective season 3.