'True Detective' Season 3 Trailer Pits Mahershala Ali Against His Past

HBO released the first full trailer for True Detective season three, spilling a bit more details about the case Mahershala Ali's detective is investigating.

In the new season, Ali plays Wayne Hays, a detective investigating the mysterious disappearance of two young children in the Ozarks of Northwest Arkansas in the early 1980s. However, Hays soon learns that the case is more than just two kids who ran off from their parents and he discovers strange connections.

Just like True Detective's acclaimed first season with Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, the new season unfolds in the past and the present. In the present, Hays struggles to come to terms with how the case ended. His memory is scrambled, and he sees people from his past who assure him he cannot escape what he left behind.

"This case — it's all I can think of. And I want to know the whole story," Hays said in the voiceover.

The rest of the cast includes Stephen Dorff (Blade) as Hays' partner Roland West; Ray Fisher (Justice League) as Hays' son; Deborah Ayorinde (Girls Trip); Scoot McNairy (Halt and Catch Fire); Carmen Ejogo (Zero Hour); and Mamie Cummer (The Good Wife). It was filmed on location in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where creator Nic Pizzolatto went to college.

Pizolatto is back as the lead writer, but HBO enlisted David Milch (Deadwood) to co-write after season two's poor reception. Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room) directed the first two episodes, with the rest directed by Pizzolatto and Daniel Sackheim (Game of Thrones). Saulnier was originally supposed to direct every episode, like Cary Joji Fukunaga did for season one, but Saulnier had to leave due to scheduling conflicts.

"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," Pizzolatto told the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette this summer. "So I feel like people will see it as an extension of character, something that embodies characters' emotional journeys while influencing those journeys."

The third season of True Detective will air more than three years after the second season, which starred Colin Farrell and Rachel McAdams, aired. Although the first season was critically acclaimed, season two was a disappointment, both with critics and audiences.


True Detective begins on Jan. 13, 2019. It runs eight episodes.

Photo credit: HBO