We are a little more than two months removed from the finale of the third season of True Detective, which represented something of a return to form for creator Nic Pizzolatto, right down to the frustrating ending. When it comes to character, mood, setting, and acting talent, Pizzolatto is one of the best around. When it comes to sticking the landing, Pizzolatto still hasn’t quite nailed it (and that is also true of the Magnificent Seven remake starring Denzel Washington that Pizzolatto wrote).
In either respect, Pizzolatto is starting to look ahead to season four now, although it appears that he scrapped the original idea he had for the next season of the HBO series and moved on to a new idea, as he told Indiewire.
“I had this idea, and to me, I think it’s a really strong idea, and it would be something I’ve never seen on television before,” Pizzolatto said. “But since then, I’ve had another idea that I’ve talked about with an actor, and that, to me, would be the most exciting thing we could do with True Detective.”
It’s unclear what that idea might be, or why it would be the most exciting thing he could do with the format, although he did add that “I think it would be really great for the fans.” If it is fan-service Pizzolatto is after, probably the most “exciting” idea would be a True Detective universe in which characters from season one and three somehow worked a case together (season two would be rightfully ignored). That obviously would be a logistical and narrative nightmare that would never work. The fact that Pizzolatto thinks he doesn’t “know if we’re going to get to do it” suggests that it may be exactly what he is thinking. (One way to get it greenlit, however, might be to convince Denzel Washington to return to television to make it, because no network would reject an idea with Denzel attached to it).
In either respect, it’s good to know that the ideas are percolating and that Pizzolatto is already eyeing a lead actor for season four.
However, the “crazy” idea that Pizzolatto previously referenced to Esquire for season three is still a possibility, although he told Indiewire that it’s more likely it would be used for “a different show, maybe a movie.” Speaking of which, Pizzolatto — who has been very hands on over the course of three seasons of True Detective — does seem interested in also developing other shows and leaving others to execute his vision. He even mentioned the possibility of letting other creatives take over season four of True Detective while he could stay on and produce.
As of yet, HBO has not greenlit an additional season of the series, although Pizzolatto probably would not pitch another season until he’s gotten most of it on paper. In the meantime, Pizzolatto adaptation of Ghost Army written by Rick Beyer and Elizabeth Sayles will soon be turned into a feature film directed by and starring Ben Affleck.