Late last month, Deadline reported that Oscar-winning Moonlight actor Mahershala Ali was in early talks to follow Matthew McConaughey and Colin Farrell to star in the next season of HBO's True Detective. On Wednesday, the network confirmed that news at the Television Critics Association's annual press event, announcing that Ali has signed on to play the lead, should the series get the greenlight.
The new season is currently in development, and, though the project itself has yet to be officially OKed by the HBO gods, the network's president of programming Casey Bloys said the new episodes are "terrific"—which is good news for anyone who was disappointed by the 2015 follow-up to the incredible first season.
"I've read five scripts for a third season... I was very impressed and excited," Bloys told the Television Critics Association this week. "We have a deal with Mahershala Ali to play lead. So right now we are talking to directors and when we find a director that we want to hire, we'll be a go for that."
After True Detective's second season turned out to be a shitshow of robot dicks, muddled plots, and bad diet advice, HBO seemed on the fence about renewing Nic Pizzolatto's true crime series for a third season. But between Ali's starring role and the news that David Milch—the guy behind Deadwood and NYPD Blue—is helping Pizzolatto build out the new story, things are looking up.
And when it comes to finding a director for the new season or getting it into production, it doesn't look like HBO is rushing it. Bloys said Wednesday that the network has learned its lesson after fast-tracking its mess of a second season and is giving Pizzolatto and Milch all the time they need to get things right.