True Detective season 3 premieres on Sunday, January 13 at 9/8c on HBO, nearly three-and-a-half years after the second season aired. Although many were in doubt that the third season would ever happen after a rough response to season two, True Detective is coming back to HBO with new detectives, a new case, and a fresh location.
After HBO unveiled the trailer for the third season in August, 2018, fans of the first season were thrilled that the tone seemed more in line with the original season than the last. True Detective‘s Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson starred in season one, which received widespread acclaim and fanfare, earning both of its leads Emmy and Golden Globe nominations and averaging 2.3 million weekly viewers (in Live+SD numbers), according to TV Line. Season 2 — starring Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, Taylor Kitsch, Kelly Reilly and Vince Vaughn — received far lower ratings, but averaged a slightly larger weekly audience.
In the trailer for season three (above), we see Detective Wayne Hays attempt to uncover the unsettling story of missing children in southern Missouri, in an investigation that forces him to revisit his past while he continues to be haunted by his memories. The mystery of the missing children continues to deepen over the decades following their disappearance, as the story plays out in three separate time periods.
The HBO synopsis of the third season reads: “Touch darkness and darkness touches you back. From creator/executive producer Nic Pizzolatto, comes this searing series of troubled cops and the investigations that drive them to the edge. Each season features a new cast and a new case.” Check out details about the cast of season three below:
Detective Wayne Hays – Played by Mahershala Ali
Detective Wayne Hays is a retired, 70-year-old Arkansas state police detective. In the year 2015, Hays is struggling with symptoms of dementia but remains plagued by doubt involving a case about two murdered children that the detective worked 30 years ago. Hays’ story plays out over three separate time periods covering the 1980s, 90s and 2000s, as he continues to question the outcome of the case and his own sanity.
Mahershala Ali recently won a Golden Globe for “Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role” for his role in the movie “Green Book.” Ali also brought home another Golden Globe in 2017 for his starring role in the hit film “Moonlight.”
Roland West – Played by Stephen Dorff
Roland West, played by actor Stephen Dorff, is an Arkansas state investigator and partner of Detective Wayne Hays. West and Hays are on a mission to track down the suspect who kidnapped the Purcell children. In True Detective, he assists Hays with the case throughout the season, and in the process his life and career are turned upside down by the baffling crime.
Dorff is a film and television actor who is known for roles in films like Sofia Coppola’s “Somewhere,” John G. Avildsen’s “The Power of One,” Tarsem Singh’s “Immortals,” and comic book adaptation “Blade.” He also recently appeared on the Fox music drama Star, and starred as the abusive boyfriend in Britney Spears’ “Everytime” video.
Amelia Reardon – Played by Carmen Ejogo
Amelia Reardon, played by actress Carmen Ejogo, is an Arkansas schoolteacher and aspiring writer who has a connection to two missing children. Reardon eventually marries Hays, the two start a family, and Reardon goes on to write a non-fiction book about about the grisly crime, the investigation and its effect on their family.
Ejogo is known for films such as “Alien: Covenant,” “The Purge: Anarchy,” “Sparkle” and many more. Ejogo has also appeared as civil rights activist Coretta Scott King in two films: “Boycott,” and “Selma.” While preparing for the role in Boycott, she met with King and was given King’s blessing for her portrayal.
Lucy & Tom Purcell – Played by Mamie Gummer & Scoot McNairy
Lucy Purcell is the hard-drinking, young mother of the two children who are kidnapped. She walked out on her husband and children months before the kids disappeared, and blames her estranged husband Tom Purcell for their deaths. Tom is “a father who suffers a terrible loss that ties his fate to that of two state police detectives over 10 years,” according to the HBO synopsis. The children were living with Tom when they vanished.
Gummer, the daughter of Meryl Streep, is known for her role on The CW series Emily Owens, M.D., and played the recurring role of Nancy Crozier on The Good Wife and its spin-off, The Good Fight. McNairy is an actor and producer known for his roles in films including “Monsters,” “Argo,” “12 Years a Slave,” “Gone Girl,” and “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.” He is also known for his role on Halt and Catch Fire.
Other Actors on the Show Include Brandon Flynn, Michael Graziadei & More
Actors such as Brandon Flynn of 13 Reasons Why, and Michael Graziadei from American Horror Story and Kingdom will be joining the cast above as miscellaneous characters throughout the season. Graziadei plays a character named Dan O’Brien, and Flynn plays the reoccurring role of a character named Ryan Peters, although there isn’t much known about their characters yet.
The Crown and Rellik star Jodi Balfour will play West’s love interest Lori, with Quantico‘s Josh Hopkins cast as private attorney Jim Dobkins, who is involved in deposing state police detectives as part of an ongoing investigation, according to Digital Spy.
Ray Fisher, Michael Greyeyes, Jon Tenney, Deborah Ayorinde, Rhys Wakefield, Sarah Gadon and Emily Nelson will also star in season three of the crime anthology.
Nic Pizzolatto is the sole writer of the third season with the exception of Episode 4, which he co-wrote with David Milch. According to Deadline, Game of Thrones director Daniel Sackheim directs alongside Pizzolatto, who will make his directorial debut. Jeremy Saulnier directed the first two episodes.