The new season is set in the Ozarks, with Ali (Moonlight, Luke Cage) as Wayne Hays, an Arkansas state police detective on a "macabre" case. The story covers three different time periods, all teased in the minute-long trailer.
"Before you ever knew me, I wasn't scared much. I wasn't a fearful man," Hays says in the trailer. "The things I've seen... the things I know... won't do anything but cause harm. My whole brain's a bunch of missing pieces."
Then, in one shot from a later time period, an un-aged image of Carmen Ejogo's character Amelia Reardon tells an older Hays, "Did you ever think you could go on and never once have to look back?"
"My job... there's no certainty," Hays' narration continues. "This case, it's more haunting than anything. I want to know the whole story."
The rest of the cast includes Stephen Dorff (Blade) as Hay's partner, Roland West, and Justice League's Ray Fisher as Wayne's son. Deborah Ayorinde (Girls Trip); Scoot McNairy (Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice); and Mamie Gummer (Emily Owens, M.D.) also star.
"The mystery of the deep woods. The fog over the mountains. The rivers. The water. The sense of scale when you get out to some of this nature. Also, what the buildings say about the lives behind them," creator Nic Pizzolato told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette in July. "So I feel like people will see it as an extension of character, something that embodies characters' emotional journeys while influencing those journeys."
Pizzolato, who attended the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, said it would have been a "disservice" to the season if they did not shoot on location in Fayetteville, Arkasnas, "because it's such a character in the story."
Pizzolatto is back as the lead writer, but he was joined by Deadwood creator David Milch after the poor reception season two received. Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) was also enlisted to direct, but he left after filming the first two episodes due to scheduling conflicts. The remaining episodes were directed by Pizzolatto and Daniel Sackheim (The Americans, Game of Thrones).
The third season of True Detective almost did not happen after the second season, starring Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams, earned a mixed-to-negative response, despite high ratings. It was a major disappointment after the critically acclaimed first season, which featured Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey.
True Detective season three will begin in January.
Photo credit: HBO