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David Cronenberg says he turned down True Detective because the script was ‘bad’

cronenberg turned down true detective due to bad script david
Denis Makarenko /
Ouch. If you thought you were the only one terribly disappointed by the second season of HBO series True Detective, think again. Eclectic director David Cronenberg says he turned down directing the first episode of season two because he thought the script was “bad.”

In an interview with IndieWire, the Canadian-born director known for a long list of films in the psychological thriller genre, like Dead Ringers and Scanners, said that he was approached to direct the inaugural episode, and did, in fact consider it. “But,” he says, “I thought that the script was bad, so I didn’t do it.”

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Adding another subtle, perhaps unintentional dig, he stated, “In TV, the director is just a traffic cop, but on the other hand, it is work and there’s a lot of it.”

Cronenberg’s recent projects include 2012’s Cosmopolis, and 2014’s Maps to the Stars, which stars Julianne Moore, John Cusack, and Robert Pattinson. For what it’s worth, Maps to the Stars has a less-than-stellar 60 percent rating on RottenTomatoes.

Justin Lin, best known for his directorial work in the Fast and Furious franchise, ended up taking on the directorial role for the first and second episodes in True Detective’s second actThe almost universal reception of the season was that it was hard to follow, and the characters (save for perhaps Colin Farrell’s character’s tortured soul) weren’t all that compelling.

Cary Fukunaga, who directed the first season, saw widespread acclaim for the show, which was nominated for and took home a number of awards. That inevitably led to especially high expectations for this second season. Fukunaga did serve as an executive producer on season two, but clearly left the leg work in the hands of others, and admitted to Vulture last month that he hadn’t even yet seen the season, while also suggesting that he had no part in it beyond being the EP.

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