Your trip back to Monterey is going to have to wait just a bit, Big Little Lies fans.
Now that HBO has officially renewed the hit limited series for a surprise second season, programming chief Casey Bloys is opening up about how the network came to its surprising decision and when fans can expect to see Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, and those stunning Northern California vistas back on their TVs.
Despite the fact that production on the seven-episode second season, once again penned exclusively by executive producer David E. Kelly, will begin with new director Andrea Arnold in the spring, it won't make it to air before the calendar year is through. "It would be impossible to get on in 2018," he admitted to Vulture, making this the second highly-anticipated HBO return delayed a full year in as many days.
While a second season had been rumored, with stars Witherspoon and Kidman championing for the opportunity, there was the small matter that the first season told the entirety of author Liane Moriarty's novel, complete with a rather perfect ending. Bloys admitted that everyone involved was skeptical about making a future season work, but that everyone was more than keen on working together once more.
"Maybe towards the end of airing, either towards the end of airing or right after it finished airing, we asked, 'Can we all work together again?' It was a more general, 'What can we all do?' than 'We have got to do Big Little Lies season two,'" he said. "Everybody had such a great experience together — truly, a really great creative experience together."
The first step? Turning to Moriarty for guidance. "We went to Liane...and asked, 'Do you see any more life in these characters? You wrote the book—do you see them having life beyond what you wrote?' She came up with a novella, which was key," he revealed. "David took it and thought, 'Is there something I can do with it?' Reese and Nicole were involved, and they felt that there was more life in the characters. Everybody approached it from a place of love and care [for] these characters and this property, and again, with a little dose of skepticism along the way."
While Witherspoon and Kidman (who won an Emmy for her stunning turn as domestic abuse victim Celeste) are the only stars presently attached to return, negotiations are underway with the remaining season one cast members, a list that includes Adam Scott, Zoë Kravitz, Laura Dern, Shailene Woodley, James Tupper, Alexander Skarsgård and Iain Armitage. Per HBO, most are expected to return.
One person who won't be returning, however? Season one director Jean-Marc Vallée, who has been replaced by Arnold. As Bloys explained it though, the network knew they'd never be able to land him for a second go-around, considering he would be just coming off another limited series for the network, the Amy Adams-starring Sharp Objects. "If he jumped in after [that] was done, it would've meant four years of his life doing limited series for HBO, and I think he's earned a well-deserved rest after he's done with Sharp Objects. I think if we didn't find Andrea [Arnold], I'm not sure we would have gone forward," he explained. "Andrea is a very exciting filmmaker. I think it's really cool to have her come in and give her take on this world and these characters."
Are you looking forward to a second season, BLL fans? Or are you worried that it may be too much of a good thing? Sound off in the comments below!