TRUE DETECTIVE creator Nic Pizollatto talks Season 2 rumours; life span of the show

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Time is a flat circle, as Matthew McConaughey’s Rust informed us with that distinctive drawl, which means we’ll see the same stuff coming around to happen again and again. And that’s exactly how it was on HBO’s brilliant True Detective, whose first season had barely concluded before the internet began doing what it always does, and spat out rumour after rumour about just what the next season of the show was going to be about. We heard about how McConaughey and Woody Harrelson might return, the location of the show, that Jessica Chastain may have been cast, that Brad Pitt was interested, and much, much more.

Thing is though, they were all complete hogwash, as creator/writer/showrunner Nic Pizzolatto explained to the Calgary Herald over the weekend:

“Literally, not a single rumor about casting that has been printed anywhere has any truth to it whatsoever. I mean that literally. I’ve seen entertainment reporters say ‘My sources say . . . ‘ There are no sources. There’s me and two other guys and they don’t even know what I’m doing.

I’ve talked to one person about it, possibly, and that has been it. We haven’t cast anybody. I have a secret list and that’s it.”

And it seems that not even the one story detail we took as fact – that the second season would focus on a pair of female leads – is actually that accurate.

“Again, it’s a rumor with no basis in fact. There is a strong female character. But I wouldn’t say it is female-led or anything like that.”

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So what’s the second season actually going to be about? Well, Pizzolatto isn’t telling. What he will talk about though is the series’ shelf life. True Detective was always planned to be an anthology series – i.e. each season features a completely new cast, with a brand new, unrelated storyline. All 8 of its first season episodes, all written by Pizzolatto, were directed by Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre, Jane Eyre), and the original plan was that another director would do the same for season 2, so that you essentially ended with a few 8-hour long movies. But that approach is already being scrapped, with a few different directors tackling the new batch of episodes, as the schedule and time commitment is just too grueling.

And yet, it’s still only Pizzolatto that will be doing the scripts; a fact that is already taking its toll, and which may mean that the show will have a very finite life.

“Every season, I’m essentially creating a brand new TV show. It can’t have any growing pains like a regular first season. If it works it has to work right out of the box. That’s incredibly exhausting. I mean, the job is exhausting to begin with, but it’s doubly exhausting and I’m writing every episode. I can’t imagine I would do this more than three years. I mean, I’d like to have a regular TV show. We’ll have some fixed sets, regular actors and I could bring in people to help and I don’ t have to be there every second. It’d be great.”

In a world where so many TV shows just have no idea when to call it quits, to the point where they don’t just start sucking, but actually drift so far away from the core concept that it becomes laughable (yes, Prison Break, I’m looking at you), I have zero problems with just 3 seasons worth of True Detective, especially if they maintain the stupidly high standards set by the first season. And if Pizzolatto is looking for ideas on how to end the show with a bang, then might I direct his attention to this list of possible buddy cops. I can totally see Ice Cube and Angela Lansbury topping McConaughey and Harrelson.

Last Updated: June 17, 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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