HBO dropped a bit of a bombshell tonight tied to the season finale of the critically acclaimed miniseries Sharp Objects, opting to surprise viewers with the first True Detective Season 3 trailer for the long-awaited new season of the HBO anthology series. As with seasons 1 and 2, this third season hails from creator and showrunner Nic Pizzolato, but it presents a brand new story, new mystery, and new characters. Oscar-winning Moonlight actor Mahershala Ali leads this Arkansas-set tale, which plays out in three separate time periods as a state police detective digs deeper into the heart of a macabre crime.
This trailer offers a taste of Ali’s performance as well as the Northwest Arkansas setting (where it was also filmed), and is Stephen Dorff playing Ali’s partner? We also catch glimpses of Carmen Ejogo and Scoot McNairy, and we see a little bit of the time jumps which appear to find the actors donning old age makeup.
Blue Ruin and Green Room filmmaker Jeremy Saulnier signed on to be the primary director of True Detective Season 3, but he left after only directing two episodes. Pizzolatto is directing half the season himself, and the remaining episodes were finished out by veteran TV director Daniel Sackheim. HBO took a while to greenlight True Detective Season 3 after the response to Season 2—for which Pizzolatto wielded a heavy amount of creative control—suffered a severe drop off from the raves of the first season, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and was directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga.
While there may be reason to be skeptical, this debut trailer is pretty excellent, and even if Season 2 was imperfect I found it to be a fascinating ride. So for better or worse, I’m all in here.
Check out the True Detective Season 3 trailer below, which also reveals that the new season will premiere on HBO in January.