The third season of HBO’s True Detective will begin filming in early 2018 with Oscar-winning actor Mahershala Ali taking the lead role as an Arkansas state trooper.
Ali, 43, who won the Academy Award for best supporting actor for his performance in Moonlight, follows in the footsteps of Oscar-winners Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, who played the leads in the first season and Colin Farrell and Vince Vaughn, the second season stars.
The series will be filmed in northwest Arkansas, according to a news release issued today by the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was excited about the prospect of the HBO series coming to his state.
“We’re thrilled HBO chose to film the series in Arkansas. This is a testament to the dedicated teamwork across state agencies and communities to position the state as a choice place to do business.”
Though the Arkansas news release did not reveal much about the third season, it did name British actress Carmen Ejogo as a co-star.
Ejogo has starred in such recent productions as Alien: Covenant, It Comes At Night, The Purge: Anarchy and Selma. The roles she and Ali will play were revealed in the news release.
“The next installment of True Detective tells the story of a macabre crime in the heart of the Ozarks, and a mystery that deepens over decades and plays out in three separate time periods.”
According to the news release, Ali will play Wayne Hays, an Arkansas State Police detective. Ejogo will play Amelia Reardon, “a school teacher with a connection to two missing children in 1980.”
The True Detective production will be the most expensive production ever filmed in Arkansas, Economic Development Commission Director Mike Preston said.
“With an estimated year from start to finish, we know that local businesses and vendors will enjoy a boon from the production.”
The benefits of the production coming to northwest Arkansas will extend to local actors who will be cast in the series and local technicians.
The decision to shoot the third season of True Detective in northwest Arkansas came after the Fayetteville City Council voted at its October 3 meeting to authorize spending $500,000 to attract a TV series, according to the Fayetteville Flyer. At the time it was revealed that the negotiations were underway but the particular series was not mentioned during public meetings.
Fayetteville’s director of economic vitality, Devin Howland, told the city council the TV series could bring in $899,000 in sales tax.
The Arkansas location was in competition with another area, according to the Flyer report, which did not name the other area.
Howland, citing a study from the Institute for Economic Advancement, said the series could have an economic impact of as much as $178 million to Arkansas.
True Detective debuted in 2014, with a second season in 2015. The series earned seven Emmy nominations, winning four.
True Detective is created by Nic Pizzolatto.