HBO has confirmed two of the four leads in the second season of True Detective. The eight-episode season will revolve around three police officers, one of whom will be played by Colin Farrell, working with a criminal (Vince Vaughn) as they untangle a conspiracy in the wake of a murder.
Vaughn will play Frank Semyon, a life-long criminal attempting to shift into honest work when the murder of a business partner threatens his newfound livelihood. Farrell, who confirmed his casting on the show over the weekend, is set to appear as Ray Velcoro, a detective caught in the middle of dealing with both corrupt police and the mob. The rest of the cast has yet to be announced.
Production will begin on the season, which creator Nic Pizzolatto wrote, later this fall in California. Justin Lin will direct the season's first two episodes.
Official word from HBO on the second season of True Detective comes after weeks of a swiftly churning rumor mill: Elisabeth Moss — fresh off her role as a small-town cop in Top of the Lake — was said to be closing in on the role of Ani Bezzerides, a tough Monterey sheriff struggling with booze and gambling; and Friday Night Lights' Taylor Kitsch was allegedly in the running to play the third detective on the case, Paul Woodrugh, a military vet.
Though most reports had stated the show only had three leads, series creator Nic Pizzolatto saw his antagonist as a fourth and wrote Semyon, a businessman with a brutish past trying to build a high-speed rail through California, with Vince Vaughn in mind. Michelle Forbes, who appeared in the first season of The Killings, was also reportedly in talks to assume the other female lead, either as Semyon's wife, or Velcoro's ex-wife, a victim of sexual assault.
While Pizzolatto is still putting the finishing touches on his scripts for the second season, this time around True Detective will reportedly center on the heinous murder of Ben Caspar, a corrupt city manager of a fictional California town. The killing comes in as the state works towards a massive transportation deal — likely Semyon's high-speed rail connecting North and South California — and the three detectives from various cities and branches are tasked with solving the case.
Though the proceedings sound potentially gruesome, Variety reported that HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told a crowd at the Guardian International Television Festival in Edinburgh that Season Two "won't be quite as dark as the first." Not that things won't get hairy, Lombardo insisted: "Nic explores the darkness in people's souls… It’s not as dark, but it’s not a light ride. Nic likes looking into the crevices of the soul."
Unlike the first season, though, the production schedule will not allow for one director to be behind the camera throughout Season Two. HBO was rumored to be looking at other filmmakers to handle two or three episodes apiece, including Andrew Dominik (Killing Them Softly, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford).