It just wouldn’t be True Detective without some behind-the-scenes drama. Following late Friday reports that director Jeremy Saulnier had left the project, new details suggest that creator Nic Pizzolatto may have clashed with Saulnier over tone.

The very fact that word of Saulnier’s departure broke late Friday could suggest an attempt to avoid scrutiny, though initial reports that Saulnier left over scheduling conflicts seemed otherwise unremarkable. Variety added a few new details, however, suggesting that – while scripts are promising – Saulnier and Pizzolatto weren’t necessarily getting along behind-the-scenes:

The network is said to be happy with the scripts for the third season, which revolves around a strange crime that takes place in the Ozarks. Mahershala Ali and Carmen Ejogo lead the ensemble cast. Sources said the filming on location in Arkansas has been tough at times, and that Pizzolatto and Saulnier had differences of opinion on the episodes.

The piece also states “it became clear the shooting schedule for the third would run longer than expected, which would have been challenging for Saulnier,” though it’s worth remembering this isn’t the first time we’ve heard creator Pizzolatto reluctant to cede control. He and Season 1 director Cary Fukunaga reportedly feuded during production as well, to the point Pizzolatto needed to clarify that an Asian-American director character in Season 2 wasn’t meant as a slight. Saulnier has not directly addressed the reason for his exit, but tweeted the below shortly after word broke:

Pizzolatto will now share directing duties on Season 3 with Americans vet Daniel Sackheim, while Deadwood boss David Milch will also helm an episode. Season 2 used a rotating set of directors, including Fast and Furious helmer Justin Lin, and Game of Thrones favorites Jeremy Podeswa and Miguel Sapochnik. And while Saulnier has completed work on two Season 3 episodes, the series is not expected to return until 2019.

There’s every hope True Detective Season 3 will return to its first-year high, but should Saulnier’s exit have us more worried than “scheduling issues” let on? Stay tuned for the latest.

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