HBO has officially confirmed the Tracking Board’s June scoop that Mahershala Ali will star in the third season of TRUE DETECTIVE, while also announcing that Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) will executive produce and direct alongside series creator Nic Pizzolatto.
The next installment of True Detective tells the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks, and a mystery that deepens over decades, playing out over three separate time periods.
Ali will play the lead role of Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas. It’s unclear whether the third series will follow the previous True Detective formula and give Ali a partner who would serve as the co-lead, but the wording in HBO’s announcement seems to suggest a single lead… or at least one per time period.
It’s interesting that HBO is venturing into the heart of the Ozarks, given the fact that its rival Netflix has a series called Ozark that is also set in the region — which is apparently fertile ground for a crime series looking to leave behind all the intersecting freeways of its second season. Of course, the Ozarks span three states, so I certainly think it’s big enough for both series. After all, how many TV shows are set in either New York or Los Angeles. You get my point…
Plus, Ozark doesn’t yet have quite the same cultural cache that True Detective has enjoyed during its up-and-down run, and it lacks the brand-name creator that HBO has in Pizzolatto, who will be credited as the sole writer of the series with the exception of Episode 4, which he co-wrote with David Milch.
Joining Pizzolatto and Saulnier as executive producers will be the original True Detective trio of Matthew McConaughey, Woody Harrelson and Cary Joji Fukunaga, as well as Scott Stephens and Anonymous Content’s Steve Golin, Bard Dorros and Richard Brown.
“I’m tremendously thrilled to be working with artists at the level of Mahershala and Jeremy. I hope the material can do justice to their talents, and we’re all very excited to tell this story,” Pizzolatto said in a statement.
“Nic has written truly remarkable scripts. With his ambitious vision and Mahershala Ali and Jeremy Saulnier aboard, we are excited to embark on the next installment of True Detective,” added HBO’s Casey Bloys.
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief