David Cronenberg said he turned down an offer to direct the first episode of True Detective Season Two, citing a poor script during an interview at the Reykjavik International Film Festival, Indiewire reports.
While discussing television’s rise as a serious, viable medium for creative filmmaking, Cronenberg said: “The heat is in TV. Last year, I was approached to direct the first episode of the second season of True Detective. I considered it, but I thought that the script was bad, so I didn’t do it. In TV, the director is just a traffic cop, but on the other hand, it is work, and there’s a lot of it.”
While the HBO show’s blockbuster first season was masterfully helmed by Cary Fukunaga, his departure from the director’s chair left a vacuum in Season Two that ended up being filled by seven different filmmakers. Pre-production, however, was marked by reports about a number of potential directors, many of whom ultimately passed, including William Friedkin, Andrew Dominik and now Cronenberg.
While Fukunaga stayed on as an executive producer, Season Two featured a thinly veiled jab at him — in the form of the director of a terrible movie being made by the men who killed Vinci mayor Ben Caspere — adding to the speculation about a feud between him and writer/creator Nic Pizzolatto.
Fukunaga, however, didn’t appear phased, telling Vulture that he had not seen a single episode of True Detective Season Two. Despite his role as executive producer, Fukunaga said he hadn’t been sent screeners, nor had he found time to binge watch because he was filming the heavily buzzed, Beasts of No Nation.
“Well, it’s a different show, different characters, different story,” he added. “It’s not necessarily my thing anymore. If it was Woody [Harrelson] and Matthew [McConaughey], of course I’d be more quick to watch because I want to see where those characters go. But if it’s all new characters, I can watch it whenever I have time to watch it. Other than the brand, it’s not my show. When I watch it all, I’ll check back in with you.”