Sifting through all the casting rumors and plot snippets swirling around Season 2 of HBO's crime anthology True Detective has us feeling like Rust Cohle piecing together enough evidence to nab the Yellow King. (Anyone have a Lone Star beer for us?)
We understand the excitement, though: True Detective's debut season was a shot of pure TV adrenaline, with masterful filmmaking and an instantly iconic performance from Matthew McConaughey. And since Season 2 starts from scratch with a new cast and story, fans are desperate to know what (and who) to expect from the follow-up — even casting it themselves via the #TrueDetectiveSeason2 meme.
HBO shed a little light this week by confirming that Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, and Black Box star Kelly Reilly will join Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn in the Season 2 cast. But let's back up a bit, like any good detective, and review what we know. Here's everything we've been able to gather so far about True Detective Season 2… and everything we still don't know about it.
What's it about? The official logline from HBO is terse and vague: "Three police officers and a career criminal must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder." But a leaked casting breakdown elaborated on that a bit, revealing that the plot kicks off with the brutal murder of a crooked city manager in a fictionalized California town.
Three law enforcement officials from different departments swoop in to untangle the conspiracy and figure out who killed him. Plus, creator Nic Pizzolatto has hinted that Season 2 would deal with "hard women, bad men, and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system." That fits with rumors that the plot centers on a potential transportation deal that would solve California's gridlock problem once and for all. (Which is life-and-death stuff in L.A., you know.)
Who's behind the camera? Pizzolatto, who penned all eight Season 1 episodes, will once again be the sole writer in Season 2. But instead of employing a single director like last season's Emmy winner Cary Fukunaga, Season 2 will rotate directors, with Fast & Furious veteran Justin Lin helming the first two episodes. The Exorcist director William Friedkin has also been rumored to direct an episode, but that's still unconfirmed.
When will it air? That, we don't know. Filming is already underway in California, but HBO hasn't set a premiere date yet. Season 1 debuted in January, but that's just two months away, so we're guessing Season 2 will appear sometime in the spring — perhaps paired with the new season of Game of Thrones?
Who's playing who? We have five actors confirmed for Season 2 so far, and HBO has released a bit of character info on each:
Daredevil, Phone Booth, Alexander
He's Playing: Ray Velcoro, a "compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him."
Will He Fit? Despite his lackluster run at the box office lately, Farrell has impressed us in smaller films (The New World, In Bruges), and we'd like to see what he can do with Pizzolatto's florid prose backing him up.
Being a wiseass in big-screen comedies like Swingers, Old School, and Wedding Crashers.
He's Playing: Frank Seymon, a "criminal and entrepreneur in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner."
Will He Fit? Critics snickered on Twitter when he was cast, but we think Vaughn could actually pull off a dramatic role, especially one that uses his innate charm in menacing ways. And hey, who can claim they were fully sold on McConaughey a year ago?
Playing the swooning love interest in The Notebook and The Vow. Plus, Mean Girls, always.
She's Playing: Ani Bezzerides, a "Ventura County Sheriff's detective whose uncompromising ethics put her at odds with others and the system she serves."
Will She Fit? After Season 1's much-discussed "woman problem," it's nice to see a female detective join this season's investigation. And McAdams is certainly capable. Although if this was the role that Jessica Chastain and Elisabeth Moss were reportedly considered for, we'd have to put McAdams third on that list. (Sorry.)
Playing the coolest dude to ever set foot on a Texas high school football field, Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights. Also, a pair of high-profile bombs in John Carter and Battleship.
He's Playing: Paul Woodrugh, a "war veteran and motorcycle officer for the California Highway Patrol, running from a difficult past and the sudden glare of a scandal that never happened."
Will He Fit? Oh, we'll always welcome Riggins back to our TVs. (And we're sure millions of women will welcome the sight of him riding a motorcycle.) A crime-solving trio of Farrell, McAdams, and Kitsch is promising, and we're intrigued by this "scandal that never happened," too. Is Olivia Pope available to handle this?
Starring as bipolar neurologist Catherine Black on ABC's short-lived drama Black Box. She also co-starred in Denzel Washington's Flight, as well as the Sherlock Holmes movies with… Rachel McAdams!
She's Playing: Frank's wife Jordan, a "former D-list actress who is a full partner in his enterprises and ambitions."
Will She Fit? Reilly may not be as well-known as the other announced cast members, but if she can act opposite Denzel, she can hold her own with this bunch. Let's just hope her character gets a bit more dimension than Michelle Monaghan did last season.
Anyone else? No one that's been officially announced by HBO, but a few familiar names are in the mix for supporting roles: Abigail Spencer (Suits, Rectify), Michael Irby (Almost Human), Lolita Davidovich (reportedly playing Kitsch's ex-showgirl mom), James Frain (The Tudors), and Big Love alum Christian Campbell.
That's about it, really; HBO has been stingy about releasing information so far. (Farrell and Kitsch both confirmed their roles in the press before the network did.) But we'll be sure to pass along any further details we come across, on the off-chance one of them makes us all think we're mainlining the secret truth of the universe. Or something.
True Detective Season 2 premieres in 2015 on HBO.