‘True Detective’: Nic Pizzolatto Shifts Plans for Season 4 — and Eyes More Projects as a Producer

The creator, writer, and director told IndieWire he's plotting a new season that's "the most exciting thing we could do with 'True Detective.'"
True Detective Season 3 Episode 6 Mahershala Ali HBO
Mahershala Ali in "True Detective"
Warrick Page / HBO

While fans revel in the afterglow of “True Detective’s” return to form, Nic Pizzolatto is already thinking about what’s next. First and foremost is the potential Season 4 of his hit HBO anthology series, but there may be even more TV projects on the way from the Emmy-nominated writer.

As for his police drama, Pizzolatto told IndieWire he’s moved on from his initial idea for a follow-up.

“I had this idea, and to me, I think it’s a really strong idea, and it would be something I’ve never seen on television before,” Pizzolatto said, referencing a “crazy” idea he mentioned to Esquire after Season 3 wrapped. “But since then, I’ve had another idea that I’ve talked about with an actor, and that, to me, would be the most exciting thing we could do with ‘True Detective.'”

Pizzolatto said he still wants to do something with the original idea — “it might be a different show, maybe a movie” — but he’s focusing on this new plan he “really, really wants to do for Season 4.” He did not provide any additional details or the name of the actor he spoke to, and even expressed a bit of pessimism over getting this version of Season 4 off the ground.

“I think it would be really great for the fans. I just don’t know if we’re going to get to do it,” he said.

Speaking earlier this month, HBO president of programming Casey Bloys said HBO was just waiting to see what scripts Pizzolatto turned in before making a decision on Season 4. The creator has said previously he often writes out most of a new season before pitching the network, so a formal commitment could still be a ways off.

Timing could be an issue — for potential talent as well as Pizzolatto. The writer recently turned in a new draft of Ben Affleck’s next directorial feature, “Ghost Army,” which got the green light at Universal Pictures, but he’s got more ideas all his own floating around, as well.

Pizzolatto said he would “love” to take on more projects as a producer, where he would oversee a new series while another writer (or writers) took on the “lion’s share of the execution.” He even said he would consider such a role for “True Detective,” if HBO would agree to the arrangement.

“I have [about] four ideas for shows I’d love to see manifest,” Pizzolatto said. ” I would love to become more of an entity to help shape and guide things while other writers and directors were absorbing the lion’s share of the execution. I think there will always be things where I’ll think, ‘OK, this I need to do all myself’ — because it would be very near and dear [to me]. But I would definitely like to do that.”

Pizzolatto said beyond letting one or two writers take the helm, he’d like to oversee shows with full writing staffs, as well. An executive producer on “True Detective” since the beginning, Pizzolatto has yet to produce another TV project through to fruition. Since breaking onto the scene with the HBO series, he wrote the screenplay for Columbia Pictures’ 2016 “Magnificent Seven” remake, and his debut novel “Galveston” was adapted into a film starring Ben Foster and Elle Fanning in 2018.

“True Detective,” which received strong reviews for its third season, is eligible for the 2019 Emmys in the Limited Series categories.

“True Detective” Seasons 1 – 3 are available to stream via HBO Now. 

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