New TRUE DETECTIVE season 2 story/character details revealed, Vince Vaughn and more circling lead roles

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HBO’s True Detective has deservedly become the heavyweight champ when it comes to the “TV vs movies” argument. With the first season of Nic Pizzolatto’s gothic crime-drama anthology series attracting not only the ratings but also plenty of awards buzz, particularly for its two leads in Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, we’ve all been keeping a steady eye to see who and what Pizzolatto will be introducing us to next.

We’ve heard that the story would have something to with the transport system of a fake Californian city, and that there would be four leads this time around, with Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch being eyeballed for two of them. Now comes word from Deadline that Vince Vaughn is looking likely to take up one of those remaining spots, as the season’s main antagonist. Back when Pizzolatto had still been working out the concept for True Detective, he had also been working on a script for a reboot of The Rockford Files, which Vaughn had been set to star in at the time. In the end that movie went nowhere, but the two men kept up their friendship regardless, with Pizzolatto apparently now writing this role in True Detective specifically for Vaughn. No formal deal is in place yet, but unless some scheduling conflicts pop up, this one should be a lock.

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But just what would Vaughn and co be getting up to in this season? Well, The Wrap has managed to ferret out some details of the plot, and has put together this little story synopsis:

“The second season of True Detective will follow the death of Ben Caspar, the corrupt City Manager of a fictional California city who’s found brutally murdered amidst a potentially groundbreaking transportation deal that would forever change the freeway gridlock in California.  Three law enforcement officers from different cities and branches of the government are tasked with finding out who did it.  They soon discover their investigation has much broader and darker implications than they initially thought.

Caspar’s 52-year-old corpse is found on a lonely stretch of the PCH near Big Sur—his eye burned out, genitals cut off and satanic symbols etched on his chest.  It turns out he had a penchant for rough sex and may have been involved in the Occult.”

Along with that tantalizing tease, they also bring word that Mad Men star Elizabeth Moss is circling the last remaining lead role (with her, Farrell and Kitsch playing the 3 investigators mentioned above), while The Killing and Battlestar Galactica’s Michelle Forbes is also in contention for a key role. But The Wrap’s scoop doesn’t stop there, as they have seemingly managed to get more info on just who all these actors would be playing.

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Vince Vaughn will play “Frank Semyon, a former thug-turned-businessman who’s working with a local mayor and his political cohorts to spearhead the construction of a high-speed railway system that links Southern California to Northern California in order to reap financial gains from federal grants and land purchases”. Moss is reportedly eyeing the role of “Ani Bezzerides, a tough, no-nonsense Monterey sheriff whose troubled upbringing has driven her to gambling and alcohol.” Farrell’s lawman, Ray Velcoro, is said to have been “damaged by years of turmoil in both his personal and professional lives,” with Collider adding that he’s “a barely functioning coke-head with anger issues, [who is] on Frank’s payroll and is battling his ex-wife for custody of their only son, Chad.” Collider also shed some more light on Kitsch’s character, “Paul Woodrugh, a handsome, 28-year-old military veteran who has seen his own share of violence and destruction.  He’s a motorcycle California Highway Patrol officer who’s put on leave after soliciting oral ex from a beautiful girl he pulls over for drunk driving.” Michelle Forbes’ character is a bit more uncertain though, with both publications reporting that “she could play either Farrell’s ex-wife (a survivor of sexual assault) or Vaughn’s charming but mercurial wife.”

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That is a whole lot of very broken sounding people to throw together, which could either make for some of the most riveting viewing in years (and based on the talents of the performers, that’s a distinct possibility) or one big, convoluted, emotional mess. A lot of that will come down to who directs these episodes. Season was saw all 8 of it’s hour-long segments helmed by Cary Fukunaga (Jane Eyre) to critical acclaim, but the logistical hardships of that experience has seen Pizzolatto and co adopt a more traditional approach by getting a number of different directors to tackle maybe 2- or 3-episode batches in the new season.

The Wrap reports that one such director that was in consideration Andrew Dominik (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Killing Them Softly)but he may just be too busy with his Marilyn Monroe biopic Blonde. 

With Pizzolatto still tweaking the scripts for the season (and his assertion earlier in the year that all the previous rumours we heard were “bullshit”), all of these reveals could of course be completely debunked over the next few months. Personally, I’m really hoping that that’s not the case, as this setup and cast has me very intrigued, and I cannot wait to see more.

Last Updated: August 6, 2014

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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