HBO describes the new season thusly: “Three police officers and a career criminal must navigate a web of conspiracy in the aftermath of a murder.” Farrell will play Ray Velcoro, “a compromised detective whose allegiances are torn between his masters in a corrupt police department and the mobster who owns him,” while Vaughn has been cast as Frank Semyon, “a career criminal in danger of losing his empire when his move into legitimate enterprise is upended by the murder of a business partner.”
Additional casting — notably the other two main cops — is still to come, though HBO also confirmed that Justin Lin will direct the season’s first two episodes, stepping in for Emmy winner Cary Joji Fukunaga. It’s doubtful Lin (or anyone else) will again attempt to direct all eight episodes of the season. Nic Pizzolatto will again write the entire season; when I spoke with him at the end of season 1, he described the new season as being about “hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system.”
After early rumors of actresses like Jessica Chastain, Rachel McAdams and Elisabeth Moss for the female lead, recent reports suggest a less rareified pool that includes Jessica Biel, Malin Akerman, Jamie Alexander, Brit Marling, Oona Chaplin and Kelly Reilly. Nor do we know when exactly the new season might be able to premiere, given that it’s still being cast.
One thing’s for sure: given how much attention is now being paid to every detail about the franchise, season 2 will arrive with the burden of heavy expectations that season 1 never had to deal with. Even with McConaughey and Harrelson as leads, the first season was made in obscurity, from a relatively unknown creator, but it exploded into the zeitgeist almost from the moment it premiered. We already know far more about the new season than we did at this stage of the first, and expect to hear (and see) even more once it goes into production. It will sneak up on no one. Hopefully, it’ll be so good that this doesn’t matter.