Everything We Know About ‘True Detective’ Season 3

After a disappointing sophomore outingTrue Detective is hoping to bounce back with its upcoming third season, which HBO just announced will premiere in January.

So what do we know about this third season of the HBO crime series so far? Who’s starring in it, what’s it about, and are there reasons to believe it will be an improvement? Let’s take a look at everything we’ve learned so far.

It takes place in the Ozarks over three different time periods

True Detective

True Detective | HBO

Based on the plot description alone, it certainly sounds like True Detective is looking to recapture the magic of Season 1 here.

After all, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the third season will tell the story of “a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.”

Deadline reports that both of the lead characters will have their life over three decades impacted by the crime at the center of the season, and based on the recently-released trailer, it looks like we’ll be jumping through significant lengths of time just like in the first season.

It will star Mahershala Ali in the lead role, while Stephen Dorff will play his partner

True Detective

True Detective | HBO

Just like the previous seasons of True Detective, this one has lined up a great cast, with Mahershala Ali starring in the lead role. According to Variety, he will play Arkansas state police detective Wayne Hays.

But Hays needs a partner, and filling in that role will be Stephen Dorff, who plays an Arkansas state investigator, Deadline reports.

The cast will also include Ray Fisher as Ali’s character’s son, Lonnie Chavis as that same character at a younger age, Carmen Ejogo as a schoolteacher, Scoot McNairy as a dad who suffers a loss, and Mamie Gummer as a mom who has a connection to the crime at hand.

Jodi Balfour also stars as the love interest of Dorff’s character.

Nic Pizzolatto will again write every episode, co-writing one with David Milch

True Detective

True Detective | HBO

Nic Pizzolatto has written or co-written every single episode of True Detective so far. He was the sole writer on every Season 1 episode and most episodes of Season 2, although there were two episodes in the sophomore season that he co-wrote with Scott Lasser.

For Season 3, Nic Pizzolatto again wrote every episode on his own except for episode four; he co-wrote that one with David Milch, the legendary creator of NYPD Blue and Deadwood, according to Variety.

For what it’s worth, it looks like Pizzolatto really took his time with the new season; the scripts for the first two episodes were completed prior to March 2017, before the third season was even officially ordered. This is good news considering HBO Programming President Michael Lombardo has suggested that the reason Season 2 was underwhelming was that Pizzolatto was not given enough time to work on the scripts.

Jeremy Saulnier will direct two episodes and Pizzolatto will direct some

True Detective

True Detective | HBO

Some feel that one reason Season 2 wasn’t as good as Season 1 was the absence of Cary Fukunaga, who helmed every episode of the first season but did not return after that. Unfortunately, he’s not returning for Season 3, either.

The good news is that Jeremy Saulnier will direct the first two episodes of Season 3; he’s the director behind films like Green Room and Blue Ruin. Saulnier was originally going to direct more than that, but he dropped out due to some issues with scheduling.

Now, for the remainder of the season, some of the episodes are going to be directed by Daniel Sackheim, who has helmed episodes of a wide variety of shows including NYPD Blue, while some will be directed by Pizzolatto himself. Pizzolatto has never directed before.

It will begin airing in January, and you can watch a trailer for it now

On August 26th, right before the series finale of Sharp Objects, HBO unexpectedly aired a full trailer for True Detective Season 3.

It doesn’t reveal a whole lot about the plot that we didn’t know before, but it certainly strikes the right mood and visual style to the point where even those who were disappointed by Season 2 quickly got excited for a possible return to form. We also get a slight glimpse at the older version of Ali’s character.

This trailer also revealed for the first time that the new season will begin airing in January, though we don’t yet have a specific date.