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True Detective is officially coming back for season 3, with Mahershala Ali as an Ozark cop

89th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images

After a hiatus of more than two years, True Detective is officially coming back — and with a lead actor whose casting has left fans of the HBO anthology series, which stumbled in its second season, excited again.

Mahershala Ali (who won the 2017 Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Moonlight) will star as Wayne Hays, an Arkansas state police detective. According to the season’s official logline, Hays investigates a “macabre crime” in the Ozarks and becomes tangled up in a mystery spanning three decades.

True Detective creator and showrunner Nic Pizzolatto will continue on as its primary writer, and will also be making his directorial debut on the show alongside Green Room director Jeremy Saulnier. Pizzolatto has been criticized for the series’ second season, which lacked the smooth directorial stamp of season one’s Cary Fukunaga and relocated from swampy Louisiana to Los Angeles in order to double down on its crime noir feel.

As a result, HBO was apparently cautious about greenlighting the third season. But programming director Casey Bloys seems wholly enthusiastic about season three, telling Variety that Pizzolatto “has written truly remarkable scripts.”

Though there are currently no further details on casting, a production schedule, or a premiere dates for the new season, that hasn’t stopped True Detective’s hungry fan base from swarming around the news. We can only hope the new episodes will deliver more of the kind of intricate plotting and symbology that turned us all into true detectives during the show’s iconic first season.