True Detective Season 3 Went Through A Shake-Up Behind The Scenes

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True Detective fans have been waiting years for a new season of the crime drama series. A third batch of episodes is finally in the works with Mahershala Ali as star and a whole new mystery to be solved. Now, however, True Detective has gone through a shake-up behind the scenes that could mean big changes on set. Director and executive producer Jeremy Saulnier has departed the series and been replaced by Emmy-winning TV director Daniel Sackheim. Here's what happened.

Jeremy Saulnier signed on True Detective Season 3 as a director and executive producer early on. He already completed work on the first two episodes of the third season. Saulnier had to leave True Detective due to scheduling issues, so it sounds like there wasn't any bad blood that drove Saulnier from the set. That said, Saulnier and True Detective creator Nic Pizzolatto have reportedly had differences of opinion on the first two episodes.

No details are currently available about Jeremy Saulnier's next project, but Variety states that he's currently deciding between multiple projects to direct next. Saulnier had evidently been open about his ambition to tackle projects beyond True Detective, and the development that the show's shooting schedule would run for longer than expected meant that Saulnier would not be able to remain on board.

Direction on the second episode of Season 3 was already completed before Jeremy Saulnier had to officially depart, so that episode at least shouldn't noticeably change from beginning to end. Daniel Sackheim will be a new addition to True Detective, but there are major reasons to be optimistic about his contributions as new director and executive producer. He won an Emmy in 1994 for directing an episode of NYPD Blue and has contributed to series like House and The Americans in the years since. He's even on board the upcoming Amazon Prime series Jack Ryan as executive producer. Game of Thrones fans may know him as the director of two Season 6 episodes.

Daniel Sackheim will share the directing duties for the remaining six episodes of True Detective Season 3 with executive producer and series creator Nic Pizzolatto, who will make his debut as director for the episodes. It should be interesting to see how the episodes of the three directors compare. All eight episodes of the acclaimed first season were directed by one person, whereas a number of different directors split Season 2. Jeremy Saulnier and Daniel Sackheim are both veteran directors; their styles may noticeably differ from each other as well as Nic Pizzolatto's.

We'll have to wait and see. The third season of True Detective won't premiere until some point in 2019 on HBO. It will follow Mahershala Ali's character as a strange crime takes place that causes all kinds of trouble in the Ozarks. Carmen Ejogo also stars. Filming takes place on location in Arkansas. For what you can watch while you wait for True Detective to hit the airwaves once more, take a look at our midseason TV premiere guide and our summer TV premiere schedule. For more of what to expect in Season 3, swing by our updating cast list for True Detective.

Laura Hurley
Senior Content Producer

Laura turned a lifelong love of television into a valid reason to write and think about TV on a daily basis. She's not a doctor, lawyer, or detective, but watches a lot of them in primetime. CinemaBlend's resident expert and interviewer for One Chicago, the galaxy far, far away, and a variety of other primetime television. Will not time travel and can cite multiple TV shows to explain why. She does, however, want to believe that she can sneak references to The X-Files into daily conversation (and author bios).