Reese Witherspoon on Big Little Lies Season 2 Director Change: "We're Just Thrilled to Welcome" Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold will helm the new season of Big Little Lies, replacing Jean-Marc Vallée

By Chris Harnick Jan 08, 2018 4:40 PMTags
Watch: Reese Witherspoon Explains "Big Little Lies" New Director

Big Little Lies is returning for a second season—yes, this is after winning numerous Emmys and Golden Globes in the miniseries category, a second season was not planned from the start, according to stars and executive producers Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman. Much of, if not all, of the cast from the first season is expected to return. Kidman and Witherspoon were the only ones locked in when HBO announced the return and Laura Dern told Ryan Seacrest on the Golden Globes red carpet that she'd be back, but one key figure will be sitting the new season out: Jean-Marc Vallée.

Andrea Arnold is replacing Vallée as director. Vallée won an Emmy for directing the series.

Everything We Know About Big Little Lies Season 2
Paul Drinkwater/NBC

"We are so deeply grateful to Jean-Marc Vallée. His vision for these characters, the way he guided us—everything. He put his artistry and his heart and soul into it. His musical taste is all over this miniseries," Witherspoon said backstage at the 2018 Golden Globes after the show won Best Miniseries or Motion Picture Made for Television. "Unfortunately he was busy, we did try and accommodate, but we wanted to get...the second season started soon because I do think the public wants it soon!"

Arnold, who won an Oscar in 2003 for Wasp in the Best Live Action Short Film category, will direct "incredible scripts" from David E. Kelley that was written based on a story from Big Little Lies book author Liane Moriarty.

"We're just thrilled to welcome her to our family," Witherspoon said. "Jean-Marc has welcomed her to the family and we're just thrilled we all get to do this again with each other."

When the second season was announced, Witherspoon and Kidman praised Arnold.

Big Little Lies Sweeps the 2018 Golden Globes With Best TV, Limited Series or TV Movie Win

"I'm thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists," Witherspoon said in a statement. "It gives us the opportunity to delve deeper into the lives of these intriguing and intricate Monterey families and bring more of their stories back to the audience who embraced and championed them. I'm beyond excited to be working with talented and acclaimed director Andrea Arnold who will be at the helm. Andrea's unique storytelling style will be a welcome addition to the filmmaking team."

"This is inspired by the overwhelming response by audiences around the world, conceived once again by Liane Moriarty, realized by David Kelley and now in the hands of visionary filmmaker Andrea Arnold," Kidman said in a statement. "What a journey this has been. I'm so grateful to have this opportunity to keep exploring these female characters and make this series with my friends."

Arnold's other credits include directing episodes of Transparent and I Love Dick, as well as the movies American Honey and Wuthering Heights.

Big Little Lies season two is not expected until 2019.