After a hugely successful first season of HBO’s True Detective, rumors have been swirling regarding what major actors or actresses will star in the show’s second season. No one is out of the show’s league, as the first season starred seasoned actors Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. McConaughey actually won his first Oscar one week before the season one finale, raising the show’s cred even higher. Actors of the highest caliber have been considered for season two and with each one being a close-ended story (in the tradition of FX’s American Horror Story), stars who act predominantly in movies do not have to worry about being tied down to a television script if they join the show.
The show’s creator, Nic Pizzolatto, has said that the second season will be set in California, but there’s still some debate as to the number of leads. Pizzolatto was hinting that there may be three. Could there also be a potential female detective this time around?
The following actors and actresses have been involved in the casting process or in casting rumors for True Detective‘s second season and we discuss how well they would fit into the HBO series.
Colin Farrell: The rumor of Farrell’s involvement makes sense, as he has the brooding intensity to fit perfectly into Pizzolatto’s moody drama. Reportedly, HBO has extended an offer to Farrell. The Wrap reported that that In Bruges actor was up for the role of Ray Velcoro, and Farrell could bring a combo of rough-around-the-edges and pretty-boy charm to the part.
Joaquin Phoenix: Phoenix was involved in the first batch of rumored names after the Deadline reported that the show’s three leads would be “a fortysomething male detective/cop with Joaquin Phoenix, Christian Bale and Josh Brolin as prototypes, a twentysomething male cop and a thirtysomething female detective, with Jessica Chastain as a potential prototype.” But there has been no follow up with Phoenix or word that he is still in the running.
Christian Bale: It was rumored that HBO reached out to the Batman actor early on. Even though he seems like a perfect fit into the dark, dangerous, and deep thought-filled world of the show, The Wrap reported that he passed on the role. Since then, Bale’s name has not come up again.
Jessica Chastain: Chastain was the first woman rumored to join the HBO show’s second season, but her reps quickly told E! that she would not be involved. This news disappointed pretty much everyone because the Zero Dark Thirty actress would have been perfect on the show.
Taylor Kitsch: Kitsch was rumored alongside Colin Farrell and the first episode of season two is listed as “rumored” on Kitsch’s IMDB page. His earlier work on Friday Night Lights was all Texas grit, proving that he had both the acting skills and the ability to fit the show’s tone. His name is still involved, even among new casting rumors. Also, he doesn’t have movies in the works, so he’s definitely still in the running as far as being available. TheWrap puts him up for the role of Paul Woodrugh.
Brad Pitt: A girl can dream. This rumor was a dead end, unfortunately. No matter what gender, people everywhere can agree that the amazing Seven actor would have excelled on the show.
Cate Blanchett: Blanchett’s name has been thrown around a number of times, but always as an after-the-fact statement. So this is most likely a rumor that’s going to go nowhere. But one can easily see the Blue Jasmine actress’s serious scowl and cerebral mind analyzing a crime scene.
Vince Vaughn: This would be interesting! Vaughn is being rumored as a lead, but as one of the season’s antagonists. Vaughn is in talks to play Frank Semyon, “a former thug-turned-businessman.” He has played creepy and darker before (i.e. Domestic Disturbance) and he was very serious at times (and played it well) in The Break-Up. Vaughn has two movies in post-production so he has the time. And the second season’s pilot is listed as a rumored role on his IMDB page too!
Josh Brolin: As mentioned above, Brolin’s name was included in the discussion toward the beginning of the rumor cycle. But not much has been made of the rumors since. And Brolin has a fairly busy film schedule lined up, so it’s not looking likely that we’ll see this serious actor on the small screen yet.
Russell Crowe: Crowe was another movie star brought into the mix as nothing more than a rumor. But, like Brolin, Crowe’s film schedule should be keeping him busy for the near future.
Michael Fassbender: Fassbender was rumored early on, but talk of his involvement ended almost as fast as it started. And Fassbender’s upcoming busy film schedule would make filming the show difficult. But the contemplative X-Men star would have been stellar in the show.
Elisabeth Moss: The latest Wrap report claims that Moss is being considered for the role of Ani Bezzerides, “a tough, no-nonsense Monterey sheriff whose troubled upbringing has driven her to gambling and alcohol.” She starred in a Golden Globe-winning performance as a female detective on the TV mini-series Top of the Lake, so it’s easy to imagine her in the True Detective universe. And she’s another one with the rumored listing actually making it to her IMDB page.
Michelle Forbes: Forbes’ name is the last one rumored by TheWrap as playing a potential ex-wife of Farrell or current wife of Vaughn. There’s no official word on her involvement, but the The Killing and True Blood actress can fit into any role.
(Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images for American Giving Awards)