The first season of HBO’s breakout hit ‘True Detective’ is barely cold on the ground, having come to an exciting conclusion with last night’s finale “Form and Void,” but already fans of the dark drama are hungry for details on 'True Detective' season 2. We know the story of Cohle and Hart has come to a conclusion, while a second run of the anthology drama has been all-but-assured, but in the meantime we’ve gathered everything there is to know about ‘True Detective’ season 2 (so far).
Has Season 2 Been Confirmed?
UPDATE: Yes, 'True Detective' season 2 is officially a go, though it hadn't always seemed like it.
HBO is usually consistent with renewing its most talked about series (‘The Newsroom’ season 3 notwithstanding), though the ratings success and chatter surrounding ‘True Detective’ make a formal renewal something of a moot point. It’s likely that HBO wishes to secure its leading actors and work out scheduling before making a second season official, but worth noting is that series creator Nic Pizzolatto has already been locked into a two-year development deal for HBO that would include a second season.
What Will 'True Detective' Season 2 Be About?
Tim P. Whitby / Jason Merritt, Getty Images
UPDATE: Accompanying the first casting announcement for 'True Detective' season 2 was the first bit of plot details: "Three police officers and a career criminal must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder."
Colin Farrell will play one of the police officers, Ray Velcoro, "a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him," while Vince Vaughn portrays the career criminal, Frank Semyon, who is "in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner." More casting announcements, especially for the other two leads, will be announced shortly, as production is scheduled to commence in California this fall.
Pizzolatto has said on multiple occasions that the title ‘True Detective’ was intentionally generic enough to lend itself to any kind of detective story, lest we presume season 2 would pick up the same structure of two FBI agents investigating a rash of serial killings. That said, we do know that PIzzolatto previously tweeted (and deleted) that season 2 could explore a female perspective in a manner somewhat absent from the first season, while the showrunner also recently told Hitfix (somewhat cryptically) that “this is really early, but I'll tell you [it's about] hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system."
More recently, he revealed that, unlike the first season, which focused on the two detectives, he's "working with three leads" for season 2. "The characters are all new, but I am deeply in love with all of them. We have the entire season broken out, and I have a couple of scripts, and we’ll probably start casting within the coming month."
If nothing else, Pizzolatto at least admitted that the fans' embrace of the first season's unique blend of procedural, supernatural and philosophical has informed his ideas going forward. "It's informed exactly one thing," Pizzolatto said. "It's that I realize I need to keep being strange. Don't play the next one straight."
Where Will 'True Detective' Season 2 Take Place?
Pizzolatto revealed that 'True Detective' season 2 will "takes place in California. Not Los Angeles, but some of the lesser-known venues of California and we’re going to try to capture a certain psychosphere ambiance of the place, much like we did with season 1."
He also previously said, “Going forward, I want the show’s aesthetic to remain determinedly naturalistic, with room for silences and vastness, and an emphasis on landscape and culture. And I hope a story that presents new characters in a new place with authenticity and resonance and an authorial voice consistent with this season. Dominant colors will change. South Louisiana was green and burnished gold."
What Stars Will Return for Season 2?
All involved have been adamant since the beginning that ‘True Detective’ would only tell Martin Hart and Rustin Cohle’s story for the first eight episodes, picking up with an entirely new story in any subsequent seasons. Matthew McConaughey told reporters at the Oscars that his involvement was “finite” with the first season, and we wouldn’t expect Woody Harrelson to return, either.
That said, we don’t know if any of the peripheral stars of the first season would choose to return, or if in doing so would play different characters. Michelle Monaghan remains attached to HBO’s Ryan Murphy pilot ‘Open,’ though additional HBO commitments didn’t stop ‘Boardwalk Empire’’s Shea Whigham (Preacher Theriot) or Glenn Fleshler (Errol Childress) from putting in appearances.
The likely high-profile casting could necessitate some creative scheduling, but at the rate HBO will burn through its remaining hourlong dramas over the course of the year, we’d be surprised if ‘True Detective’ season 2 didn’t air sometime during or before spring 2015. At the very least, we could conceivably see HBO pushing season 2 to a summer series, given a stronger awareness of how popular the series has proven.
UPDATE: Though 'True Detective' season 2 lost director Cary Fukunaga, it at least acquired some 'Fast and Furious' flavor for the premiere. HBO formally announced Justin Lin to helm the first two installments of the eight-episode run.
Whereas the first season was notable for having Cary Fukunaga direct all eight installments, Fukunaga won’t make the same commitment to a second season, and directing duties will likely fall to multiple talents behind the camera. “We don't have any plans to work with one director again,” Pizzolatto told BuzzFeed. “It would be impossible to do this yearly as we need to be able to do post while we're still filming, like any other show. There's some great guys I've consulted, and we're all confident we can achieve the same consistency.”