Mahershala Ali to Star in “True Detective” Season 3 (Exclusive)

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In stunning pre-holiday news, Oscar winner is nearing a deal to play the lead on the third season of HBO’s , the Tracking Board has exclusively learned.

Sources caution that Ali’s deal hasn’t closed yet, but insiders are confident that it will. The third season of True Detective has not received a greenlight yet either, but given the fact that the show is one of the crown jewels in HBO’s programming lineup, insiders say it is definitely expected to return.

HBO has a tradition of casting big names in True Detective, including Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in Season 1, and Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Taylor Kitsch in Season 2. The show has never had an African-American lead before, and Ali is a rising star in Hollywood, so his casting is a smart move on the network’s part, as well as creator Nic Pizzolatto.

There are no plot details for the highly-anticipated third season, and as such, there’s no word on who Ali will be playing. Should a deal close, True Detective would serve as Ali’s return to television following stellar turns on Netflix’s House of Cards and Luke Cage.

Ali won an Oscar for his soulful supporting performance in Moonlight, which also won Best Picture. Coming off a banner year that also included turns in Hidden Figures, Kicks and Free State of Jones, Ali recently wrapped Robert Rodriguez’s Alita: Battle Angel and he’ll soon be seen in the acclaimed Sundance film Roxanne Roxanne. Ali also just signed on to lend his voice to Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie, as first reported by the Tracking Board.

Ali is represented by ,  and attorney Shelby Weiser.

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