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‘Big Little Lies’ Season 2: Everything to Know About HBO’s Blockbuster Follow-Up

The network's smash 2017 hit is coming back for more. But when (and with whom)?

Big Little Lies Shailene Woodley, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman

Hilary Bronwyn Gayle/courtesy of HBO

Big Little Lies” had the perfect ending. Back when it existed purely as a limited series, the seventh and final episode closed with a group of women united on a sunny Monterey afternoon.

Now that the epilogue to that murder mystery will stretch at least an entire season, the TV world looks to HBO for one of the most hotly anticipated follow-ups in recent memory.

We should note that some of the information below references pivotal events from the end of Season 1. You’ve…been warned.

Season 2 will have one director, but it’s not Jean-Marc Vallée.

“Fish Tank” and “American Honey” director Andrea Arnold will direct all seven episodes of Season 2. In addition to being behind the camera, Arnold will serve as an executive producer, as Vallée did last season. (Vallée, whose next project is HBO’s latest big literary miniseries adaptation, “Sharp Objects,” will also stay on in an EP role.)

This won’t be Arnold’s first trip to TV — she’s previously worked on episodes of “I Love Dick” and “Transparent.”

Liane Moriarty’s picking up where her novel left off.

David E. Kelley is writing all seven scripts, as he did for the opening season. Instead of working from the Liane Moriarty novel of the same name, Kelley will take his cue from a story written directly by Moriarty herself. The author addressed the possibility of a Season 2 back when “Big Little Lies” won Best Limited Series at last year’s Emmys.

"Big Little Lies" HBO

“Big Little Lies”


Meryl. Streep.

Fresh off her 21st Oscar nod, Streep is in line to play the role of Mary Louise Wright, the grieving mother of Perry Wright, who died after a fall down concrete steps at the close of Season 1. There are few shows who wouldn’t want to have her as part of the cast, but the idea for Streep to play Mary Louise came as Moriarty was writing what became the basis for Season 2.

[Updated April 5]

Nicole Kidman shared the first on-set look of her and Streep as family members. If there are fireworks in Season 2, it looks like things between Celeste and Mary Louise are starting out on a civil note.

All the main original cast members are returning, too.

Stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman announced their return when Arnold was revealed as the director behind Season 2. Shailene Woodley, Zoe Kravitz, and Laura Dern are all on board as well, re-upping for the second season.

[Updated February 27]

Variety reports that Adam Scott will also be returning, reprising his role as Ed Mackenzie.

[Updated February 28]

Madeline’s ex-husband Nathan, Renata’s husband Gordon, and young Ziggy will all be returning, too. James Tupper, Jeffrey Nordling, and Iain Armitage have all locked in official deals to come back to the series, according to Variety.

[Updated April 3]

More favorites are officially back, including Robin Weigert as therapist Dr. Amanda Reisman. Kathryn Newton (Madeline’s daughter with ex-husband Nathan) and Sarah Sokolovic (Tori Bachman, the wife of Joseph, the local theater company head that Madeline had an affair with) have been brought back as series regulars.

Back to the coffee shop!

Courtesy of Dern herself, some quick behind-the-scenes Instagram posts hint that the show might not be moving too far away from some of the familiar sets from Season 1. The first sign (literal and figurative)? A snap of Dern and Witherspoon outside Seaside Coffee Shop.

When is Season 2 debuting?

Reports from late last year pointed to a spring start date on production. Given that timeline, a late 2018 premiere isn’t out of the question, especially as HBO looks to clear a wide berth for the return of “Game of Thrones.” But if this were to premiere in advance of going back to Westeros, the network is shaping up for a wild 2019.

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