True Detective Creator Changes Season 4 Plans, Now Has 'Most Exciting' Idea If HBO Wants It

After a second season that did more to damage the burgeoning franchise than to expand it, True Detective tightened its scope once more for the memory-plagued dramas and tragedies of Season 3. While HBO hasn't made any concrete decisions about a potential Season 4, Nic Pizzolatto came out of the third season with a big idea that he definitely wanted to use for the next storyline. That's all changed, though, and he's currently got a completely different Season 4 pitch.

Nic Pizzolatto recently reflected on his initial concept for True Detective Season 4, and how it got flipped around to make way for a wholly new idea.

I had this idea, and to me, I think it’s a really strong idea, and it would be something I’ve never seen on television before. But since then, I’ve had another idea that I’ve talked about with an actor, and that, to me, would be the most exciting thing we could do with True Detective.

Understandably, Nic Pizzolatto isn't going to come clean about all the details wrapped up in either of his Season 4 storylines. So fans are in the dark as far as which one of the plots would be more interesting to potentially see coming to HBO. But it sounds like he's really pouncing on this new idea to be the way to go if the cable giant renews the dark mystery drama.

True Detective Creator Answered Most Of The Season 3 Finale's Biggest Questions

Even without hard facts, though, it's still super encouraging that Nic Pizzolatto has already spoken with one of the would-be leads for the project. And while the other person's opinions weren't shared directly, it can be assumed that the actor is more or less on board to follow the project with whatever step comes next.

True Detective has boasted some extremely impressive small screen casts across its first three seasons. By luring in Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson for the occult-driven Season 1, the HBO drama was a big catalyst in popularizing the trend of Hollywood's elite jumping over to the small screen for limited projects. As such, the actor that Pizzolatto pitched Season 4 to is likely a major talent that would wow audiences with a role in True Detective. (Personally, I'm dreaming of J.K. Simmons, Rhea Seehorn, Gary Cole, Regina King and more.)

While Nic Pizzolatto may have a lot of confidence in his own True Detective plans, he doesn't seem to be exceedingly cocksure about whether or not HBO will want to make it happen. Here's what else he told IndieWire about it.

I think it would be really great for the fans. I just don’t know if we’re going to get to do it.

That's nearly a direct 180 from what he was saying about Season 4 after True Detective closed out its haunting third season. At that point, just a few months ago, Pizzolatto was saying that HBO would probably be willing to move forward with a new season, but that he himself was possibly thinking about taking on other non-True Detective projects in the meantime.

To that effect, Nic Pizzolatto is saying that his previous Season 4 concept is one that he could possibly turn into an unrelated standalone project. It could work as either a film or a TV series, but the writer is not offering up any details about themes or plots. He also says he has a handful of other ideas for TV shows that he'd like to make happen, though he seems like he'd be perfectly willing to limit his duties to those of a producer, as opposed to a showrunner or head writer.

In fact, Pizzolatto would even welcome such a behind-the-scenes switch for True Detective Season 4, if that's something that HBO would be interested in. Sadly, we might be waiting a while to hear any news one way or the other from HBO, since Pizzolatto tends to craft most of a season's story before bringing it around to network execs. Maybe this exciting new idea will have him writing like the wind.

For now, True Detective is awaiting word on Season 4, but the first three seasons can be watched in full on HBO Go or the HBO Now app.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native, and is often asked why he doesn't sound like that's the case. His love for his wife and daughters is almost equaled by his love of gasp-for-breath laughter and gasp-for-breath horror. A lifetime spent in the vicinity of a television screen led to his current dream job, as well as his knowledge of too many TV themes and ad jingles.