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A scene from the first season of True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

LACEY TERRELL

There have been all kinds of rumours and speculation about the cast for the second season of the hit HBO series True Detective – and none of it is true, says the creator of the series. Nic Pizzolatto says he is about to meet with directors and get the casting process underway – but no decisions have been made yet.

"Literally not a single rumour about casting that has been printed anywhere has any truth to it whatsoever," Pizzolatto said on Wednesday. "I've seen entertainment reporters that say 'my sources say.' There are no sources. There's me and two other guys. And they don't even know what I'm doing."

Pizzolatto, speaking with reporters at the Banff World Media Festival, also says he's not sure he can do more than three seasons of the show.

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True Detective, starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson as police detectives tracking a serial killer in Louisiana, aired early this year on HBO, and was an enormous critical and audience hit.

It's an anthology series – where each season will feature an entirely new story, setting, characters, and as a result, of course, cast, while keeping the spirit and soul of the show.

Pizzolatto says season two will feature four lead characters, none of whom have been cast yet, despite a great deal of speculation and online wish-listing, with names such as Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt linked to the show. (McConaughey has also said he would be open to returning.) Pizzolatto, says one of the four leads will be a strong female character, but adds there's no truth to rumours that the show will be female-led – or to any of the casting speculation.

"I talked to one person about it possibly, and that has been it. We haven't cast anybody. I have a secret list and that's it."

Pizzolatto was a writer who became interested in television during the beginning of its renaissance with shows such as The Sopranos, The Wire and Deadwood. After his novel Galveston was published in 2010, he found occasion to meet with an agent in Los Angeles, mentioned his interest in writing for television, and was told to write scripts. That July, he wrote six TV scripts, and a star showrunner was born.

Pizzolatto says season two is "pretty much" broken out, he's written the first two scripts, and he's happy with them. He'll be meeting with directors when he returns to California and gets the casting process underway. He's hoping to begin shooting in the fall – depending on the cast members' schedules.

He also has some ideas for season three. But he's not sure if he can stick with the series beyond that.

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"Every season, I'm essentially creating a brand new TV show and it can't have any growing pains, like a regular first season. If it works, it has to work right out of the box and that's incredibly exhausting. I mean the job's exhausting to begin with, but it's doubly exhausting, and I'm writing every episode. So I can't imagine I would do this more than 3 years," says Pizzolatto, who adds he would like to work on a "regular TV show" and does not rule out writing more novels in the future.

"But this was sort of how I shoe-horned my way in, so I'll be sticking with it for a while. I am very excited about the opportunity the format of the show affords, though. I mean that hard work ... comes with this great opportunity, which is to create a new TV series every year. That's exciting; it's just time consuming and draining."

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