Amid the many flaws of True Detective Season 2, most would agree on the lack of Season 1 director Cary Fukunaga’s uniform vision, reportedly owing to a dispute between he and creator Nic Pizzolatto. Now, both men clear up a supposed Season 2 potshot Pizzolatto took at Fukunaga, but it still feels pretty chilly in here.

As the gossip goes, Pizzolatto and Fukunaga repeatedly clashed over direction of True Detective Season 1, even if the end result was uniformly hailed by fans and critics alike. Fukunaga remained onboard in Season 2 as a producer in name only, while an early episode saw a character that many thought suspiciously alluded to Fukunaga, that of an Asian-American director investigated by Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams’ characters.


Speaking to Variety of his upcoming Netflix film Beasts of No Nation, Fukunaga confirmed that he’d had no input on the second season, in spite of his producer credit, or HBO’s initial plan that he help shepherd a new feature director every year. Instead, Fukunaga offered “I really wasn’t involved. My involvement in the second season was as much or as little as they needed me. It turns out they didn’t need me.”

And while Fukunaga brushed off suggestions that the director character was a slight, asking “what’s there to make of it,” Pizzolatto separately offered a much more detailed rebuttal:

The director character in episode 3 was absolutely not meant to represent or allude to Cary in any way. The actor (Philip Moon) was hired because I was a fan of his from ‘Deadwood,’ and he arrived with the look he had. I have the utmost respect for Cary, and I look forward to his new picture.

It remains to be seen how HBO handles a potential third season of True Detective, given the poor performance and blame laid at Pizzolatto’s feet, but we’d doubt if Fukunaga had much future involvement with the franchise, even if the network opted for creative shakeup. Pizzolatto has also kept notably off-radar with the press, but have both men really buried the hatchet?

Is there some sprawling, Vinci-style conspiracy still at work behind the scenes of True Detective?

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