Friday, June 14, 2024

Everything We Know About The White Lotus Season 3

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Spoilers ahead for The White Lotus season 2.

The White Lotus must have the best PR team in the hospitality business: In spite of an ongoing string of murders at the resort collection’s luxury hotels, guests are still booking additional stays. Before The White Lotus season 2 even reached its conclusion, HBO greenlit a third season—and there’s at least some chance Jennifer Coolidge’s character could make an appearance from beyond the grave. The season 2 finale saw the end of Tanya McQuoid-Hunt thanks to a twisted combination of failed assassination attempt, concussion and drowning, but showrunner Mike White remains as attached as ever to Coolidge’s character.

Beyond that tempting nugget, there’s little else we know about season 3, leaving plenty of room for speculation. Let’s break down the breadcrumbs we have so far.

Has production on The White Lotus started?

Season 1 debuted in July 2021, with season 2 hitting HBO in October 2022. Production has yet to begin on The White Lotus season 3, but it seems possible that the next chapter will follow a similar year-long timeline—meaning we could be watching another season by the end of 2023.

Where will season 3 of The White Lotus take place?

Death is likely to trail The White Lotus guests across international borders, but don’t expect that to stop them from stamping their passports. Showrunner Mike White has already hinted that season 3 would branch out from previous locales—Hawaii and Sicily, respectively—for an entirely new spot.

“We just turned in our last episode to the network yesterday, so it’s hard to think about the next race,” White told Deadline in October. “But if we did, I think it’d be fun to maybe go to a whole different continent. You know, we did Europe, and maybe Asia, something crazy like that, that would be fun.”

What will season 3 of The White Lotus be about?

The third season will follow a new group of guests, just as the season 1 cast passed the baton for season 2. In a post-finale interview on HBO, White teased that the third season will focus on, well, death.

“The first season kind of highlighted money, and then the second season is sex, and I think the third season, it would be a satirical and funny look at death and eastern religion and spirituality. And it feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round of White Lotus,” he said.

Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming and head of HBO drama series and films, didn’t give any specific details about the possible storyline as she announced the season 3 green light, but she did seem excited about creator Mike White’s vision.

“He’s only continued to reach new heights in season 2, which is the ultimate testament to Mike’s raw, unparalleled vision,” Orsi said earlier. “His courage to explore the uncharted waters of the human psyche, paired with his signature irreverent humor and buoyant directing style, have us all dreaming of more vacation days at the resort we’ve come to adore. We couldn’t be more thrilled to get the chance to collaborate on a third season together.”

Who will appear in season 3 of White Lotus?

Season 2’s cast was entirely different than season 1’s, with one notable exception: the incomparable Coolidge. Given White’s attachment to Tanya—and his personal adoration for the actress playing her—it seemed possible the showrunner would bring her back for yet another round. But that no longer appears to be the case given how the season 2 finale ended. “Jennifer is my friend and everybody loved her in the first season, and I was like, ‘I can’t go to Italy without Jennifer,’” White previously told Deadline. “And maybe that’s still the case. Like, maybe you can’t go to Japan without Jennifer, either. There are so many fun actors we’ve worked with so far, so it’s just kind of like who’s available?”

Of course, it’s always possible White dropped this tease as a red herring, in order to throw audiences off the scent of Tanya’s death in the finale. Still, it’s just as likely he’s being genuine, and Tanya could appear next season—perhaps in flashbacks.

Another possible familiar face? Season 1’s Connie Britton. In July, she told Deadline, “[White] wanted me to be in the second season, and there was an idea that I loved for the character. Our intention is to do it in the third season. A piece of casting didn’t work in the second season and we’re hoping to [do] that in the third season. I would love to see a spinoff on every character in that show.”

What else has White revealed about future seasons?

For now, the busy showrunner has remained focused on rolling out season 2, but he teased that audiences can expect one thing from The White Lotus, no matter the season: Murder. In an interview with NPR, he said that the mystery of who dies has driven a lot of interest to the show week after week, so he plans on using the same formula for season 3.

“It clearly is something that drives interest in the show. People will decide at the conclusion whether it’s satisfying or it feels just device-y, but at this point, I’m excited about the finale,” White says. “As somebody who’s been working in the margins, it is kind of nice to have viewers.”

This story will be updated.

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