True Detective: Season 2 update
Finally there’s some solid news on the second season of HBO’s True Detective. Never has a rumour mill got so excited over a TV show with names from Brad Pitt to Jessica Chastain being linked to a role in the show. After the critical success of the first season and it’s role in the so called McConaissance it’s no surprise any actor worth their salt was being linked.
What we know
Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn are the first two leads announced, both rumoured now confirmed. We know the show is set in California, we know it’ll run to eight episodes as the first season did, and we know that Fast And Furious alumni Justin Lin will helm the first two episodes. The storyline will follow three police officers and a career criminal who is in danger of seeing his empire collapse after going straight.
Farrell will be playing one of the police officers, the possibly corrupt Ray Velcoro, and Vaughn the career criminal Frank Semyon, and as before the scripts will be written by creator Nicholas Pizzolatto.
What we can guess at
With the new setting expect the show to have a glitzier outlook, although as movies can contest there are seedier sides to California, and the intricacies of small town America are likely to stay high on the agenda.
At least one of the two main characters left to announce will be a woman, some of the limited backlash from the debut season was around its use and portrayal of women. Elizabeth Moss, superb in Top Of The Lake last year, has been rumoured for months now and deserves a chance. Rachel McAdams is another enticing potential, with Michelle Forbes mentioned but likely for a smaller role. The third name not going away is Taylor Kitsch who hasn’t been having the best of times in his nascent movie career.
While the show is not sticking with one director, as it did with Carl Fukunaga, everything points to three or four directors handling two or three episodes apiece. The appointment of Lin also suggests that there may be more action in the early scenes as he’s not known for subtlety, although he does have previous on TV with a few episodes of the awesome Community under his belt.
With many of the persistent rumours so far being proved correct it'll be no surprise if Moss and Kitsch are announced in the next couple of weeks.
What we think
A new setting was obvious, and critical to cutting the links with the behemoth that Harrelson / McConaughey season had become, whilst Pizzolatto owning the writing again will keep the through line that is so important to the success of the show.
Now, what to think about the casting of Farrell and Vaughn.
Taking Farrell first, he’s an actor that showed immense promise in his early Hollywood career, let’s forget about Ballykissangel for now. At 38 his best work was over a decade ago in Tigerland and Minority Report, since then he’s moved into direct-to-DVD movies (the risible Dead Man Down), god awful remakes (the abominable Total Recall, the best forgotten Fright Night), and the odd slice of genius (In Bruges). At best he’s lost his way, at worst he was never as good as he seemed. By taking on True Detective he’s showing that he’s interesting in rebuilding his career, now if he can just work on that accent.
Vince Vaughn on the other hand is still a highly marketable figure, but the quality of his output has been on a downward slide ever since the high of Wedding Crashers. Rather than go through the long list of terrible comedies the focus should be on his early career and work in Swingers and his dark turn in Domestic Disturbance as the Vaughn we can expect to see.
Both actors can bring an intensity to their work and the chance to reset their careers could prove this to be inspired casting.