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Mahershala Ali officially confirmed for True Detective

Mahershala Ali will star in the third season True Detective, HBO bosses have officially confirmed.

It has long been reported that the Oscar winner would be the latest actor to star in the anthology series, and on Thursday (31Aug17) executives from TV network HBO officially greenlit the season and confirmed the Mahershala would front it.

The Moonlight star will play the lead role of Wayne Hays, a state police detective from Northwest Arkansas, in the show which will tell the story of a "macabre crime" in the heart of the Ozarks and "a mystery that deepens over decades". It will also feature three separate time periods.

Original showrunner Nic Pizzolatto is the sole writer of the series, except for episode four, which he co-wrote with David Milch, who is best known for shows like NYPD Blue and Deadwood. Pizzolatto will also direct alongside Jeremy Saulnier, who helmed horrors Green Room and Blue Ruin.

"I'm tremendously thrilled to be working with artists at the level of Mahershala and Jeremy," said Pizzolatto in a statement. "I hope the material can do justice to their talents, and we're all very excited to tell this story."

"Nic has written truly remarkable scripts," said Casey Bloys, HBO's president of programming. "With his ambitious vision and Mahershala Ali and Jeremy Saulnier aboard, we are excited to embark on the next installment of True Detective."

The first season of the crime drama series, directed by Cary Fukunaga, starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson and was critically acclaimed and a ratings hit in 2014. The second series featured Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams and Vince Vaughn and received a mixed reception in 2015, causing the concept to be put on hold by TV bosses.

According to Variety.com, Fukunuga, McConaughey and Harrelson are listed as executive producers alongside Scott Stephens, Steve Golin, Bard Dorros, and Richard Brown.

The third season does not currently have an episode count or an air date.

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