“True Detective” is poised to make a big impact on HBO when it premieres Sunday (Jan. 12). But don’t expect future seasons of the anthology series to feature Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. The two men seem very ready to have one take at the series and then be done going forward.
“It’s contained. That’s it,” McConaughey says at the HBO TCA 2014 winter press tour of whether they’ll be back for future seasons. After his comment, series creator Nic Pizzolatto quips to McConaughey, “We’ll talk later.”
Pizzolatto is excited about the anthology element of the series because, like “American Horror Story,” the “purposely somewhat generic” title allows for a variety of stories to be told. The show will work “as long as there’s some crime in there,” Pizzolatto says, meaning that there could even be a season where there’s no murder and instead it’s about a master criminal versus a great detective.
Part of what makes “True Detective” Season 1 work so well is the chemistry between McConaughey and Harrelson. “We get on each other’s frequency,” McConaughey says. “We confirm each other. We affirm each other.”
Of their enthusiasm to join the drama, Harrelson made it clear that he has a huge amount of respect for HBO. “There’s just no finer organization making amazing stuff out there than HBO,” he says. McConaughey has the same sentiment, saying, “It’s a different time in television.”
But instead of viewing “True Detective” as a TV series, McConaughey saw it as a “450-page film script.” On one day of filming, they knocked through 29 pages. “The wine tasted really good that night,” he says.
Pizzolatto has written novels and also worked on the first season of “The Killing,” but he says “True Detective” doesn’t share much in common with that show.
“Any of the ambitions and plans I had [for ‘True Detective’] were sort of gestated before I joined ‘The Killing.’… There wasn’t much ownership of it for me,” Pizzolatto says. “I like stories with ending. I like a good third act.”
“True Detective” premieres on HBO on Sunday at 9 p.m. ET/PT.