Another mystery surrounding True Detective season 3 has been resolved. The names of three more actors joining the latest installment of the award-winning HBO crime drama anthology have been revealed. The Crown‘s Jodi Balfour and Quantico vet Josh Hopkins will play characters close to the state police detectives, and Lonnie Chavis of This Is Us will play a young version of a key character, as we’ll discuss below.
True Detective season 3 is finally on the way after much speculation. Created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, the series premiered in 2014 with a cast led by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The two played a pair of Louisiana State Police detectives conducting a decades-spanning investigation of a serial killer. The show’s debut season earned rave reviews from professional critics and general audiences alike, as well as a long list of awards for its cast and creative team.
The series’ follow-up season didn’t fare as well, though, and its tale of a different trio of detectives investigating a series of interconnected crimes met with a lukewarm response despite maintaining respectable viewership for the network. This led to some uncertainty regarding a third season of the series, and more than two years passed between the final episode of season 2 and the announcement of a third season.
With a new season of True Detective now confirmed by HBO and in the works, here is everything we know about season 3 so far.
Three actors take on recurring roles
Yet another casting announcement has come, revealing three actors with recurring roles in the upcoming season. One of them, This Is Us star Lonnie Chavis, will be involved in scenes from an earlier decade, Deadline reports. He’ll play a young version of the lead character’s son, Freddy Burns, who is played by Ray Fisher. His onscreen father is the lead character, state police detective Wayne Hays (Mahershala Ali).
Meanwhile, Jodi Balfour and Hopkins will each be involved in a separate time period. Balfour, who comes to the series having played Jacqueline Kennedy in The Crown season 2, plays Lori, the romantic interest of Detective Roland West (Stephen Dorff). Josh Hopkins, on the other hand, plays an attorney who will depose state police detectives.
The cast of the upcoming installment in the anthology series is being filled out, with Scoot McNairy becoming the latest actor to sign on. Deadline reported his casting on January 17, revealing that he’ll play a father who experiences “a terrible loss” — one that somehow forms a 10-year link between him and two state police detectives.
McNairy comes to True Detective after having appeared in various TV series and films over the years. Notably, he starred in the 2017 Netflix western Godless, in which he played a sheriff in an Old West town. His work in film includes high-profile projects like 12 Years a Slave, Gone Girl, Argo, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
The list of actors continues to grow
Stephen Dorff is another recent addition to the cast, Deadline reports. The actor has extensive credits from over the years, spanning both film and TV. He recently starred in the second season of Fox’s Star, as well as the 2017 films Leatherface, Wheeler, and Jackals. Some of his other notable work includes the 1998 vampire superhero flick Blade and the 2010 drama Somewhere.
In True Detective, Dorff will play Arkansas State Investigator Roland West. So far, little is known about his role, but what we do know sounds interesting. Deadline notes that West’s career and life have been impacted by “a baffling crime.”
Another star joins the fun
The cast of True Detective has again gotten bigger. Actress Carmen Ejogo has boarded the series, according to The Hollywood Reporter. She was most recently seen in the second season of the Starz anthology drama series The Girlfriend Experience, but has also starred in films such as 2014’s Selma and 2017’s Alien: Covenant.
As True Detective‘s female lead, Ejogo will play schoolteacher Amelia Reardon. The character will apparently have ties to two children who disappeared in 1980.
Another award-winning star
True Detective attracted some high-profile stars for each of its first two seasons, and the third installment of the series appears to be continuing that trend.
Rumors began circulating in July 2017 that Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali was the leading contender to star in season 3 of True Detective, and the casting was confirmed later that month by HBO Programming President Casey Bloys.
Ali, who won a supporting actor Oscar for his performance in Moonlight and recently played featured roles in both Luke Cage and House of Cards on Netflix, will reportedly play a state police detective from Arkansas in the third season of True Detective. His character, Wayne Hays, has been expected to be the series’ lead.
Mixing it up behind the camera
Series creator Nic Pizzolatto will return to script all but one episode of the third season, according to The Hollywood Reporter. The one episode he doesn’t write — likely the fourth episode of the season — will reportedly be penned by Deadwood creator David Milch.
There will also be a new face in the director’s chair for the third season of True Detective.
Green Room and Blue Ruin director Jeremy Saulnier will co-direct the season with Pizzolatto. Although the latter has written or co-written every episode of the series so far, this will be his first directing credit for either movies or television.
Saulnier is also a relative newcomer in Hollywood, but both Blue Ruin and Green Room received high praise from critics and audiences, and share quite a bit in common tonally with the television series.
One constant for the series will be its executive producers, whio include Pizzolatto, Saulnier, season 1 stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey, and first-season director Cary Joji Fukunaga (who won a Primetime Emmy Award for his work on the series).
A new setting, a new story
After the first season unfolded in Louisiana (pictured below) and the second season was set around California, the third season of True Detective shifts the setting for the series to the Ozarks region of the United States.
According to the official synopsis for the third season, the narrative arc will follow 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.”
The wide span of time that will encompass the season is reminiscent of the first season’s story arc, which begins in 1995 and continues to 2012, nearly two decades later.
Updated on May 9, 2018: We added news of three actors with recurring roles.