In the upcoming season, Ali will play Wayne Hays, who The Hollywood Reporter describes as "a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas."
"Nic has written truly remarkable scripts. With his ambitious vision and Mahershala Ali and Jeremy Saulnier aboard, we are excited to embark on the next installment of True Detective," explained HBO programming president Casey Bloys.
The series has no production or premiere date, but Bloys revealed earlier this year, "I've read five scripts on the new season and I think they're terrific."
Pizzolatto wrote all of season three's episodes, with the exception of co-writing alongside David Milch for the fourth episode. Both previous seasons lasted eight episodes, but the episode count of season three hasn't been announced.
The first season proved to be a huge surprise hit for HBO, lauded not just for its neo-noir tone, but also for the chemistry between stars Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey. The gritty mystery paired wonderfully with the ambitious fantasy epic Game of Thrones, one of the network's biggest shows.
The second season, starring Colin Farrel, Vince Vaughn and Rachel McAdams, didn't quite connect with audiences or critics the same way. It's tough to say if the lackluster response was due to the subject matter or the incredibly high expectations, but after the disappointing response, a third season seemed questionable.
Hot off performances in Marvel's Luke Cage and his Oscar-winning turn in Moonlight, Ali could be exactly what the series needs to get viewers interested in the thriller. Additionally, Saulnier is a director on the rise, thanks to his siege thriller Green Room and southern revenge tale Blue Ruin.
With the first season set in Louisiana, it's possible the series aims to embrace its southern roots, bringing the series back to the Ozarks. Interestingly, Netflix recently released a hit series about crime and corruption set in the part of the country with the series Ozark.