Last month we reported that Colin Farrell and Taylor Kitsch were in talks to lead season two of HBO’s crime series True Detective. In the comments for that piece, I was taken to task pretty hard for suggesting that the show might become a sort of Squandered Actor Rehab, a way station where working actors who’d lost some luster might go to challenge both themselves and viewers’ well-worn images of them. If it was a perceived side effect of season one, the idea of Farrell and Kitsch coming in and tearing it up for the HBO audience suggested this approach might become the show’s casting hook and, I thought, a pretty good hook at that.
I agree that my theory might have been less than expertly articulated, or “wobbly”, or maybe “half-baked” if you will, but readers fumed at the notion. Matthew McConaughey is enjoying the best period of his career! Colin Farrell works ALL THE TIME! Woody Harrelson is in The Hunger Games and doesn't need "rehabilitating", thank you very much! I threw in the towel on trying to explain myself. I wasn't arguing math; I was simply positing that True Detective gave its leads a cultural cache they hadn't enjoyed in quite a while, if ever. Yes, even McConaughey, who just won an Oscar for a movie most of middle America will never watch. As an executive producer of the show, I think even McConaughey would agree that True Detective gave him the opportunity to do things he wasn't getting to do elsewhere. Every actor mentioned above would no doubt agree that even the most regularly working performer would relish the chance to really go for broke in a well-written, long-form piece of dramatic content on the level of True Detective.
A working actor isn't always a creatively fulfilled actor, and even the most complacent thespian in Hollywood might perk up at the idea of getting a place at this particular table. That’s all I meant when I suggested last month that True Detective could become a place where underutilized actors might go to kick themselves and their audience in the ass.
Yesterday, Variety reported that Vince Vaughn is in talks to head up season two of True Detective. Huh.
According to The Wrap, Vaughn would be playing antagonist Frank Semyon, "a former thug-turned-businessman who's working with a local mayor and his political cohorts to spearhead the construction of a high-speed railway system that links Southern California to Northern California in order to reap financial gains from federal grants and land purchases." The Wrap goes so far as to say series creator Nic Pizzolatto wrote the part with Vaughn in mind. Huh!
The rest of the leaked plot breakdown concerns members of three law agencies converging on a crime scene near Big Sur with possible ties to the occult. Elizabeth Moss and Michelle Forbes are in the running to join the cast as the female lead opposite Farrell and Kitsch. Sounds intriguing, but I was in from the word go. More than anything else I'm finding myself unreasonably excited at the idea of a new, ocean-themed title sequence.