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True Detective director Cary Fukunaga talks candidly about problematic production period

True Detective
(Image credit: HBO)

True Detective's Cary Fukunaga has spoken about difficulties working on the acclaimed HBO series, of which he directed all eight episodes of the first season.

"The show was presented to me in the way we pitched it around town – as an independent film made into television," the director told The Hollywood Reporter

"The writer and director are a team. Over the course of the project, Nic [Pizzolatto, writer/creator] kept positioning himself as if he was my boss and I was like, 'But you're not my boss. We're partners. We collaborate.' By the time they got to postproduction, people like [former programming president] Michael Lombardo were giving Nic more power. It was disheartening because it didn't feel like the partnership was fair."

Fukunaga directed the critically acclaimed season 1, but did not return to helm season 2 or 3. He was an executive producer on both further installments, however.

"Nic is a really good writer, but I do think he needs to be edited down," Fukunaga continued. "It becomes too much about the writing and not enough about the momentum of the story. My struggle with him was to take some of these long dialogue scenes and put some air into them. We differed on tone and taste." 

Season 1 of the series starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson, while season 2 focused on Collin Farrell and Rachel McAdams, and season 3 saw Mahershala Ali and Stephen Dorff in the leading roles.

Fukunaga's next work to be released is the long-awaited No Time to Die, which will be Daniel Craig's last outing as James Bond. It's arriving in the UK this September 30, and in the US on October 8.

Until then, check out our guide to all of 2021's upcoming movie release dates.

Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.