Production for season 3 was delayed due to the writers and actors’ strikes.
Season 3 will reportedly be set in Thailand, multiple sources told, though HBO has not yet confirmed the news.
Showrunner Mike White had already hinted that season 3 would branch out from previous locales—Hawaii and Sicily, respectively—for an entirely new spot.
It had seemed, initially, that the show might be eyeing Tokyo as its next spot. (Johnny Knoxville almost revealed the season 3 filming location back in February. He told Vulture in an interview published February 16: “Mike White is a very close friend of mine. He and I had been in Tokyo together. I think that’s where the next … oh, I’m not giving anything away.”) With White planning to explore “eastern religion and spirituality” in the next season, filming in Tokyo made perfect sense, but it now seems as though Thailand is the likeliest locale.
What will season 3 of The White Lotus be about?
The third season will follow a new group of guests, just as the season 1 cast passed the baton for season 2. In a post-finale interview on HBO, White teased that the third season will focus on, well, death.
“The first season kind of highlighted money, and then the second season is sex, and I think the third season, it would be a satirical and funny look at death and eastern religion and spirituality. And it feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round of White Lotus,” he said.
Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming and head of HBO drama series and films, didn’t give any specific details about the possible storyline as she announced the season 3 green light, but she did seem excited about creator Mike White’s vision.
“He’s only continued to reach new heights in season 2, which is the ultimate testament to Mike’s raw, unparalleled vision,” Orsi said earlier. “His courage to explore the uncharted waters of the human psyche, paired with his signature irreverent humor and buoyant directing style, have us all dreaming of more vacation days at the resort we’ve come to adore. We couldn’t be more thrilled to get the chance to collaborate on a third season together.”
Season 2’s cast was entirely different than season 1’s, with one notable exception: the incomparable Coolidge. Given White’s attachment to Tanya—and his personal adoration for the actress playing her—it seemed possible the showrunner would bring her back for yet another round. But that no longer appears to be the case given how the season 2 finale ended. “Jennifer is my friend and everybody loved her in the first season, and I was like, ‘I can’t go to Italy without Jennifer,’” White previously told Deadline. “And maybe that’s still the case. Like, maybe you can’t go to Japan without Jennifer, either. There are so many fun actors we’ve worked with so far, so it’s just kind of like who’s available?”
Of course, it’s always possible White dropped this tease as a red herring, in order to throw audiences off the scent of Tanya’s death in the finale. Still, it’s just as likely he’s being genuine, and Tanya could appear next season—perhaps in flashbacks.
Another possible familiar face? Season 1’s Connie Britton.
There were reports, however, that Natasha Rothwell was set to return as Belinda, the spa manager Tanya befriended (and bamboozled) in season 1.
What else has White revealed about future seasons?
For now, the busy showrunner has remained focused on rolling out season 2, but he teased that audiences can expect one thing from The White Lotus, no matter the season: murder. In an interview with NPR, he said that the mystery of who dies has driven a lot of interest to the show week after week, so he plans on using the same formula for season 3.
Much like fans of the show, actors have their own opinions about some of this season’s mysteries.
Fahy said in a Q&A that she believes something definitely went down between Daphne and Ethan on that island.