Well, that was fast. Less than a day after rumors began circulating that Jessica Chastain had been offered a starring role in Season 2 of True Detective, a new report states that the Zero Dark Thirty star and Oscar nominee is not doing the series.
The previous report claimed Chastain had been approached about the role, as True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto is reportedly considering a more female-driven story for the HBO anthology series' second season. However, E! has offered an update on the subject, noting that HBO denied the original report and stating that Jessica Chastain's reps have said that the actress is not doing the series.
If the goal is to focus Season 2 on one or two female detective characters, Chastain would certainly have been a great choice, given her acting talent and awards recognition. In recent years, she earned herself two Academy Award nominations (one for The Help and one for Zero Dark Thirty). But her plate may be too full for a run on television anyway. Fans should expect to see her on the big screen in Interstellar, and next year, Crimson Peak, The Zookeeper's Wife and possibly Mission: Impossible 5.
As for True Detective, this update puts us back in the dark as to what we can expect from the anticipated second season. The first season starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and centered on two detectives whose lives collide as they work together to solve a crime involving a ritualistic murder. The story jumps between the present day and the 1990's, when Harrelson and McConaughey's characters first met and started working on the case. While the murder mystery was the driving force of the story, the relationship between these two detectives was at the center.
True Detective is set up as an anthology series, which means the second season will focus on a new crime and a new set of characters, presumably played by new actors (McConaughey is definitely not returning). So fans are eager for any updates on who might be starring in the second installment. McConaughey and Harrelson certainly set the bar high, not only with their A-list status, but also with the chemistry they shared on screen. The second season would obviously be a good opportunity for different actors to show off their talent on the critically praised series, and the benefit of the anthology format, from an actor's perspective, is that they wouldn't need to commit to more than a season. From True Detective's (and HBO's) perspective, that's a great thing too, as it likely gives the series more options for its cast selection. Movie stars like McConaughey, Harrelson, or even Jessica Chastain, might be available to do an eight-episode season of the series and then return to feature work.
But it seems Chastain is out. Either she turned down the opportunity, or she wasn't actually offered it. E!'s report doesn't get specific on how close-to-true the original report was. But hopefully, we'll hear some more solid updates about the series in the near future.