True Detective, HBO's new hit crime/drama anthology series, begins production on its second season in a matter of weeks; and thus, we've been getting official casting news, character descriptions, and plot details for the past couple months now. Season two of writer Nic Pizzolatto's neo-noir show will move viewers away from the savage vision of small-town Louisiana featured in season one, replacing it with the morally-corrupted metropolitan jungle of California.
HBO had previously confirmed that True Detective season two will feature Colin Farrell as one of three detectives - a man named Ray Velcoro, who's in deep with mobsters - who "must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder." Meanwhile, Vince Vaughn will be handling the role of a "career criminal" named Frank Semyon, who finds that his efforts to 'go legit' could lead to his downfall, after his business partner is killed.
Taylor Kitsch previously indicated that he's onboard to portray one of the remaining cops on True Detective season two (having been rumored for several months before then), while last we heard Rachel Mcadams was the front-runner for the final lead role on the show's sophomore season. HBO has now confirmed that both Kitsch and McAdams are onboard; in addition, the network has formally announced Kelly Reilly as a key supporting cast member (following the initial reports of her involvement from back in late October).
Kitsch will be appearing on True Detective season two as Paul Woodrush, a veteran and California Highway Patrol officer "running from a difficult past and the sudden glare of a scandal that never happened," all while McAdams plays Ani Bezzerides, a Ventura County detective "whose uncompromising ethics put her at odds with others and the system she serves." Last, but not least, Reilly is playing Jordan Semyon, Frank's wife and a "former D-list actress who is a full partner in [Frank's] enterprises and ambitions."
Pizzolatto, with his writing for True Detective's second season, seems to be drawing from Los Angeles and Hollywood noir storytelling traditions this time around, compared to his take on Souther-fried noir tropes with season one. It's not just the characters, either; the mood and backdrop for the show's new season will be established in the first two episodes by director Justin Lin (Fast and the Furious 3-6), whose approach should aesthetically be far removed from what's come before (see Cary Fukunaga's almost Gothic, waking nightmare style on season one).
The casting for True Detective season two is likewise quite different. Season one leads Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson were (and are still) riding high in terms of their critical standing when the season began, whereas all four leads for season two could give themselves a serious career boost - and prove that their current fans' faith in them is not misplaced - by delivering strong performances on the show. Count us interested to see the final results, for sure.
True Detective season two is expected to air on HBO in Summer 2015.