It came as little surprise yesterday when season one of HBO's True Detective was awarded multiple Emmy nominations, including for its leads Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, director Cary Fukunaga, and writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto. Of those four individuals, however, only Pizzolatto is involved with development on season two; details concerning the show's sophomore season are still hard to come, though it appears that Pizzolatto's plan for the series' next phase is beginning to take solid form.
In an interview from about two months ago, Pizzolatto said True Detective season two is shaping up to have three main characters, though it wasn't long after when claims emerged about the first script of season two having just one lead.
Pizzolatto, when he spoke yesterday with The Daily Beast after the Emmy nods were announced, claimed that the primary cast member count for this new season has now "ballooned a little bit" and is up to four "central roles" total. Mind you, that doesn't guarantee True Detective season 2 will devote equal attention to its four central players; in season one, for example, Michelle Monaghan arguably had a "central role" in the proceedings, yet she very much played second-fiddle to McConaughey and Harrelson.
In addition, Pizzolatto has backed away from his previous claim that True Detective season two is about "the secret occult history of the United States transportation system," having told Daily Beast that "I would actually just stick with 'set in California'," as far as descriptions of season two are concerned. However, Pizzolatto did comment on what he feels will be the thematic connective tissue between seasons of True Detective.
I guess it’s the authorial voice and sensibility. True Detective is a densely layered work with resonant details and symbology and rich characterization under the guise of one of the forms of this mystery genre. That’s what we shoot for.
Our Kevin Yeoman summarized True Detective season one as being television entertainment "that alternately reads like a dime store paperback and thesis statement" - an intriguing blend that quickly earned the show a larger following. It'll be interesting to see how season two fares by comparison, as such elements as Fukunaga's heavily atmospheric direction - coupled with McConaughey's now famous musings on life, death, and everything in between (which helped to coin the term "McConaugh-loging") - appear to have been more essential to the first season's popularity than perhaps even the actual storyline.
Meanwhile, HBO programming president Michael Lombardo is doing his part to keep everyone excited to see what lies ahead in True Detective season two, with comments like the one below (reported by The Wrap).
“The two scripts we have are… I hate to jinx it, but are more exciting than the first season. Nic [Pizzolatto]‘s an incredibly talented writer and he's blown us away with the first two episodes and we're in conversations now on the cast and I assume at least some announcements will be happening in the next week.”
Lombardo also mentioned that in all likelihood the main cast members in True Detective season two "will be well-[known] names," though obviously he declined to offer any hints about which specific actors have been engaged in said "conversations." At this point, critically-acclaimed talent ranging from Brad Pitt to Jessica Chastain have been rumored to become participants in the next era of True Detective - whether there's truth to any such claims, remains to be seen.
We'll keep you updated on development for True Detective season two as more information is made available.