Big Little Lies, one of 2017’s most acclaimed television series, will make an unexpected return as HBO announced Friday that Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have signed up to reprise their roles and executive produce the show’s second season.
Meryl Streep – who recently earned an Oscar nomination for her role in Steven Spielberg’s The Post – has joined the cast as Mary Louise Wright, mother of Perry Wright (Alexander Skarsgård). Variety detailed Streep’s character, who arrives in Monterey after her son’s death, determined to find answers and help take care of her grandchildren.
The show, based on Liane Moriarty’s 2014 novel of the same name, was initially planned as a limited series. However, the show’s Emmy-winning success (it won eight Emmys, including Outstanding Limited Series) and cult status led HBO and series creator David E. Kelley to explore a second season, even without a novel to guide the characters.
“It gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them,” Witherspoon said in a statement (via Variety).
Kidman added, “This is inspired by the overwhelming response by audiences around the world… What a journey this has been. I’m so grateful to have this opportunity to keep exploring these female characters and make this series with my friends.”
While the majority of the Season One cast will return, there will be one change behind the camera as filmmaker Andrea Arnold takes over for Jean-Marc Vallee, who won an Emmy for directing the entirety of Big Little Lies‘ seven episodes.
“I’m beyond excited to be working with talented and acclaimed director Andrea Arnold who will be at the helm. Andrea’s unique storytelling style will be a welcome addition to the filmmaking team,” Witherspoon said.
HBO promises that the series’ second season will find the characters navigating “the malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting.”