HBO's The Outsider Gets Season 2 Update From Jason Bateman

the outsider ben mendelsohn cynthia erivo
(Image credit: hbo press)

When it comes to deep mysteries that have one foot in reality with another foot just outside of it, HBO is been on a streak, from Watchmen to The Outsider to Westworld. But while we know Watchmen probably isn't getting a Season 2, while Westworld will almost definitely keep going with Season 4, The Outsider's potential future with Season 2 is almost as big a mystery as the origins of El Cuco. But the world recently got an update of sorts from executive producer and co-star Jason Bateman.

Though Jason Bateman can't speak for everyone in a place of power at HBO, he was able to shed some light about what's happening behind the scenes with The Outsider's TV creator. Here's how he put it in an interview with Collider:

Well I know that they’re talking about it and Richard Price is playing with some ideas and taking some first steps as to what that second year might and feel like. Obviously, it’s a complete free-ball because the first season exhausted 100% of [Stephen King’s] book, the IP. So, it’s really all up to him. I never like to step on the lawn of the writers. It’s something that I’ve always stuck with on Ozark. I leave Chris Mundy completely alone and I do my job as a director once I get the script. I chime in every once in a while and offer my opinion, but it’s always for the writer to take if they want and discard if they want.

For those who watched The Outsider's enjoyably methodical first season, it's pretty obvious why everyone involved would want to bring a second season to life. For one, there's the promise of seeing co-stars Ben Mendelsohn and Cynthia Erivo back together again on screen, and without much of the opposing-opinion discomfort that colored their characters' co-existences in Season 1. Ralph Anderson and Holly Gibney will rise again! Or, at least, they deserve to.

The other reason why fans are likely hoping for The Outsider to make it to Season 2 is that Season 1 ended off on a vague but intentional cliffhanger involving the open-minded Holly Gibney. In the very last scene of the season finale, Holly had a hallucination involving Marc Menchacha's Jack, and viewers were then made aware of the cut on her arm, indicating that she was next in El Cuco's line of possessions.

Jason Bateman talked about how lucky he was that HBO gave him an open door creatively, with him having come from Netflix, where he's one of the leading forces on the crime drama Ozark, which he also executive producers and serves as an episodic director. Here's are some of his kind words for HBO:

And then to get the trust from HBO, as well, it was…they’re an incredible company. They didn’t have the same reason to trust me that Netflix did because Netflix has been working with me for these last few years and I was new over there at HBO, so I really appreciate them giving me the trust as well. I’m super proud of how that show ended up coming together. All the incredible work from the crew I hand-picked to come together there; they just crushed it. Those performances from that cast, they were just incredible as well.

For now, there's still no telling if or when we'll get to see The Outsider Season 2. But I, for one, trust that the great Richard Price can come up with a winning narrative to work with, even if Stephen King doesn't have any insights into it beyond appreciating Season 1. But maybe King has a sequel idea or two that he decided not to run with that could make Price's efforts all the more fruitful.

The Outsider Season 1 is currently available to stream on HBO Go and HBO NOW.

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.