One of the bona fide water-cooler TV hits of the summer is HBO’s “The White Lotus,” creator, writer, and director Mike White’s satirical look at the foibles and follies of a group of rich people vacationing at a hotel in Hawaii. As with previous HBO smashes like “Mare of Easttown” and “Big Little Lies,” discussions of a possible second season are already swirling — including in the mind of the series creator, who previously made “Enlightened” for HBO.
“We have had discussions, but it remains unresolved,” White told TV Line, while adding that preliminary discussions for a follow-up have occurred, but the cast and setting would need to change. “It would have to be a different hotel, like, say, ‘The White Lotus: San Tropez’ or something.”
He added an anthology-style approach along the lines of the Marvel Cinematic Universe would allow the series to open up to new characters. “I don’t think you can credibly have [all the Season 1 guests] on the same vacation again,” he said. “But maybe it could be a Marvel universe type thing, where some of them would come back.”
Indeed, given the collision course the ensemble is already headed on, from Jake Lacy as a snotty rich-kid newlywed to Jennifer Coolidge as a wildly grieving alcoholic and Murray Bartlett as the manic hotel manager falling off the wagon, it’d be hard to imagine the same cast for a new season.
“We only made one-year deals with the actors,” White said. “So we’d have to find out who is even available.”
“The White Lotus” shot on-location during the pandemic, adding to the series’ high-stress, pressure-cooker environment, also aided amply by composer Cristobal Tapia de Veer’s dread-filled score.
A second season of “White Lotus” feels like an inevitable possibility for HBO as it looks to revisit some of its biggest hits. For one, the “Sex and the City” followup “And Just Like That” is already filming in New York City, with many of the cast (sans Kim Cattrall) returning for the redux. Also, Kate Winslet said there are “some very cool ideas” already in the works for how to make a second season of “Mare of Easttown,” an HBO hit earlier this year.