HBO aired the final episode of its miniseries Sharp Objects tonight, and when it did so, it released the first look at the upcoming third season of its crime anthology show, True Detective, which will premiere in January 2019.
This new season will be set in the Ozarks, and will follow a state police detective named Wayne Hays (played by Moonlight and House of Cards star Mahershala Ali) as he investigates what appears to be the kidnapping of a child. As Polygon’s Julia Alexander noted, this trailer brings back some of the vibe that defined the first outstanding season for the series, teasing a weird mystery that’s divided up into a couple of different time periods as a detective works to solve a case, with allusions that something supernatural may be going on.
Written by Nic Pizzolatto and directed by Cary Fukunaga, the first season of True Detective premiered in 2014 to widespread acclaim, following two detectives (played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson) as they investigated the murder of a young woman named Dora Lange. That acclaim didn’t extend to the second season, which followed a new team of detectives as they investigated the death of a businessman in California. Pizzolatto wrote a majority of this season, with Deadwood’s David Milch credited as a co-writer for the fourth episode.
The icy reception of that second season led HBO to take its time with a third season — a break that’s lasted for three years. Last year, word broke that Ali was in talks to take the lead role in the third season, and it entered production earlier this year. Given Ali’s role in Moonlight, and coupled with the vibe that we’re getting from this trailer, this season looks like it might just recapture what made the first season so memorable. We’ll find out in January.