Matthew McConaughey Not Returning for Season 2 of 'True Detective'

"Season one was finite," 'Dallas Buyers Club' actor says at Academy Awards

Matthew McConaughey True Detective
James Bridges/HBO
Matthew McConaughey as Rust Cohle on 'True Detective.'
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Hours after winning the Best Actor Oscar for Dallas Buyers Club, Matthew McConaughey announced that he wouldn't be returning to the second season of HBO's critically acclaimed crime drama True Detective, according to E! 

"Season One was finite," McConaughey told the media backstage at the award show Sunday night. 

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HBO has yet to officially confirm a second season of the show, though Nic Pizzolatto, the show's creator, told Rolling Stone that he's already started writing the next season. (Like the first season, the author has eschewed a writing team in favor of writing the entire season himself.) "I've got three characters I love right now, and they're all unique, and neither of them is Cohle or Hart," he says.

The debut of the show's eight-episode run, which introduced McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as two Louisiana homicide detectives searching for a serial killer, was the network's highest-rated debut since 2010's Boardwalk Empire with 2.3 million viewers.

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McConaughey's departure may be more a function of Pizzolatto's plan for the show all along. True Detective was conceived as an anthology show, with each season telling a discrete story with a different locale and group of characters. This may include the emergence of a strong female protagonist. In a now-deleted tweet, Pizzolatto replied to one fan who requested a deeper look at the show's female characters with, "One of the detriments of only having two POV characters, both men (a structural necessity). Next season…" 

Speaking to Rolling Stone about the show, McConaughey explained what drew him in. "I loved the writing," he said. "I read the first two episodes, and I said, 'I'm in.' It's like Mark Hanna in Wolf of Wall Street or Ron Woodroof in Dallas Buyers Club. These are characters with clear obsessions, and that's what I've been choosing. Somebody where I could grab ahold of their obsessions and get drunk on them."

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