‘True Detective’ season 3: Everything we know about the HBO series’ return

HBO premieres the first full trailer for 'True Detective' season 3

True Detective season 3 is finally on the horizon after much speculation about the hit series’ future. Created and written by Nic Pizzolatto, the anthology crime series premiered in 2014 with a season starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson that earned rave reviews from professional critics and general audiences alike, as well as a long list of awards for its cast and creative team.

More than three years have passed since the final episode of the show’s underwhelming second season, but now we have our first trailer for True Detective season 3.

With a new season of True Detective on the way and another impressive cast — led by Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali — supporting it, here is everything we know about season 3 so far.

The first trailer

The first full-length trailer for season 3 of True Detective (see above) was released by HBO on November 2, and the two-minute preview provides the best indication so far of the story that will drive the third chapter of the gritty series.

Previously, HBO provided the first look at the third season in late August with a 60-second teaser (see below) that didn’t offer much in the way of plot details but it did showcase its Oscar-winning star as Wayne Hays, a state police detective haunted by a mystery that spans several periods of his life.

A trio of recurring roles

A May casting announcement revealed 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 played by Ali.

Meanwhile, Jodi Balfour and josh 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). Hopkins, on the other hand, plays an attorney who will depose state police detectives.

More casting additions

The cast of the upcoming installment in the anthology series continued to fill out in January, with Scoot McNairy announced as the latest actor to sign on. Deadline reported 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.

Scoot McNairy in Godless Courtesy of Netflix

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 SlaveGone Girl, Argo, and Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.

A familiar face

Stephen Dorff was also added to the cast in January, according to Deadline. 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 LeatherfaceWheeler, and Jackals. Some of his other notable work includes the 1998 vampire superhero flick Blade and the 2010 drama Somewhere.

Stephen Dorff in Leatherface Lionsgate

In True Detective, Dorff will play Arkansas State Investigator Roland West. So far, little is known about his role.

A leading lady

Actress Carmen Ejogo boarded the series in November 2017, 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.

Carmen Ejogo in Starz’s The Girlfriend Experience Starz

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.

Bringing an Oscar winner along

True Detective attracted some high-profile stars for each of its first two seasons, and the third installment of the series continues 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 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, will 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 November 2, 2018: Added the first full trailer for True Detective season 3.

Movies & TV

More cast members join Jordan Peele’s ‘The Twilight Zone’ reboot

Get Out writer and director Jordan Peele is developing and hosting a reboot of the classic sci-fi anthology series The Twilight Zone for CBS All Access, and the cast for the first season is filling out with some familiar faces.
Movies & TV

Amazon Prime subscribers can see 'Aquaman' a week early

Jason Momoa will bring Aquaman back to the big screen for a solo feature in December 2018. Here's everything we know so far about the aquatic superhero's live-action adventure in the DC Extended Universe.
Movies & TV

One popular character won't be returning for 'John Wick 3: Parabellum'

The third installment of the wildly successful action series that stars Keanu Reeves as a deadly assassin forced out of retirement, John Wick 3: Parabellum, hits theaters in May 2019. Here's everything we know about the movie so far.
Movies & TV

Winter coming in spring? HBO reveals 'Game of Thrones' season 8 premiere date

With the eighth and final season looming, Game of Thrones fever has officially become a pandemic. Our list of all the relevant news and rumors will help make the wait more bearable, if you don't mind spoilers.
Home Theater

What’s new on Amazon Prime Video (December 2018)

Amazon Prime Video adds new titles each month that are available for free to all Prime members. Check out our list to find all the content hitting Amazon Prime Video in November and December 2018, from new original series to classic films.

Remembering Stan Lee, Fantastic Beasts 2 review, Apple goes Hollywood

This week on Between the Streams, we'll discuss the passing of comics and entertainment legend Stan Lee, a spoiler-free review of Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, Apple's new partnership with indie movie studio A24, and more.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix, from 'The Haunting of Hill House’ to ‘The Good Place’

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.

College sports are yours to watch live online with an ESPN+ free trial

It can be difficult to catch all the college games, especially for smaller conferences. Well, thanks to ESPN+ that’s no longer the case. Now, you won't need to miss any of your alma mater rival games.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in November, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to ‘Dracula’

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.

You can now watch soccer games online with streaming service ESPN+

Launched back in April, ESPN+ is a direct-to-consumer subscription streaming service. For a mere $5 a month or $50 per year, you can have access to the best sports content available including multiple soccer leagues.
Movies & TV

Out of movies to binge? Our staff picks the best flicks on Hulu right now

From classics to blockbusters, Hulu offers some great films to its subscribers. Check out the best movies on Hulu, whether you're into charming adventure tales or gruesome horror stories.
Movies & TV

Stay inside this fall with the best shows on Hulu, including 'Castle Rock'

It's often overwhelming to navigate Hulu's robust library of TV shows. To help, we've put together a list of the best shows on Hulu, whether you're into frenetic cartoons, intelligent dramas, or anything in between.

Cyber Monday 2018: When it takes place and where to find the best deals

Cyber Monday is still a ways off, but it's never too early to start planning ahead. With so many different deals to choose from during one of the biggest shopping holidays of the year, going in with a little know-how makes all the…
Movies & TV

The best new movie trailers: ‘Alita: Battle Angel,’ ‘Detective Pikachu,’ and more

Everyone loves a good trailer, but keeping up with what's new isn't easy. That's why we round up the best ones for you. This week, it's new trailers for cyberpunk adventure Alita: Battle Angel, game adaptation Pokémon Detective Pikachu…