Big Little Lies started out as a limited series, but its finale left watchers wanting way more of the Monterey moms and their story. Thankfully, HBO announced that Big Little Lies season 2 is on the way, with seven new episodes. Here’s what’s been confirmed so far:
1. Season 2 will premiere in June 2019. After so, so much waiting, HBO finally announced that Big Little Lies will return to our lives on June 9, 2019. The announcement was made at the 2019 TCAs in February 2019 and yes, I am going to tag myself and say that I’m Meryl Streep’s wig.
5. There’s a new director attached. Jean-Marc Vallée directed every episode of season 1 and is quoted as saying, “If we do a season 2, we’ll break [a] beautiful thing and spoil it.” He somewhat predictably decided not to return for the second season and was replaced by Andrea Arnold, who previously directed episodes of Transparent and I Love Dick as well as films including the Oscar-winning short Wasp.
6. The OG members of the Monterey Mom squad will be back! Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman will also return as executive producers, while Zoë Kravitz, Laura Dern, and Shailene Woodley will reprise their roles onscreen.[instagram]https://www.instagram.com/p/BghzhldBgIo/[/instagram]
7. The author of Big Little Lies also wrote season 2’s story. Big Little Lies is based on a book of the same name by Liane Moriarty, and while Moriarty never published a sequel to the book, she wrote a new story that season 2 will be based on. Season one showrunner and writer David E. Kelley will also return to write the episodes.
8. Alexander Skarsgård will definitely turn up again. Alexander won an Emmy, a SAG Award, and a Golden Globe for his portrayal of Perry, but his character was also revealed as the victim in a fatal (and frankly welcome) stairway “accident.” That said, Nicole accidentally dropped a huge spoiler for the second season and said Perry "has a little bit of a part." Alexander has also teased, “I don’t even know if I’m really dead or not. I feel okay right now, but we’ll see," but it seems Nicole just gave it away and he could appear in some flashbacks.
9. Meryl Streep will play Perry’s mom. And she’ll arrive with plenty of questions about her son’s death. In April 2018, Nicole shared a first look at Mary Louise Wright (Meryl) with Celeste’s “darling boys.” What are they looking at? A secret recording from the ghost of Perry? Meryl’s cinematic history?[instagram]https://www.instagram.com/p/BhMrLYlFjfr/[/instagram]
10. Perry’s mom and Madeline will have some sort of showdown. In August 2018, Reese and Meryl were spotted filming a scene involving an ice cream cone in Los Angeles. More specifically, Madeline was seen hurling the cone at Mary Louise. Does the latter get too far in her personal investigation? Is this Madeline’s way of warning her?
11. Bonnie’s parents will show up. In April 2018, the Hollywood Reporter broke the sad news that Zoë’s real-life parents Lenny Kravitz and Lisa Bonet will not play Bonnie’s parents on BLL. Rather, those roles will go to Martin Donovan (of Weeds fame) and newcomer Crystal Fox, who will play Martin and Elizabeth Howard, respectively.
12. Renata will have some “challenges” in her marriage. In February 2018, Deadline released some basic plot points for the next season, including Renata facing some marital difficulties.
13. Bonnie will struggle with what she did to Perry, as it relates to something else in her past. The same Deadline report suggested that there’s more to Bonnie than meets the eye, and Perry’s death will drag up some unsavory memories for her.
14. There will be a hot, “offbeat” surfer in town. Please welcome to the stage (via Deadline) actor Douglas Smith, who will play Corey Brockfield, who’s also an “aspiring marine biologist” and Jane’s (Shailene) coworker. The Canadian actor’s filmography includes the TNT series The Alienist, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and Big Love, in which he played Bill and Barb’s son, Ben. Here he is looking cute on the beach:
And here he is doing a handstand on a surfboard, since no official images of his character are available yet.
15. The cast will receive significant pay raises. Via ABC News, Casey Bloys, the president of programming for HBO, confirmed in April 2018 that the cast will receive pay increases. He also told THR in an earlier interview that the pay raise was a “direct result” of the Time’s Up movement. “One of the things that’s come out of thinking about the movement and some conversations with Reese, who’s really at the forefront, is something we’ve done recently. We’ve proactively gone through all of our shows—in fact, we just finished our process where we went through and made sure that there were no inappropriate disparities in pay, and where there were, if we found any, we corrected it going forward.” In January 2018, THR reported that Reese and Nicole, who are also producers on the show, will earn $1 million per episode on season 2, compared to $250,000 to $350,000 per episode on season 1.
16. Otter Bay Elementary will welcome a new teacher. Mo McRae, who was most recently seen in Pitch, will join season 2 as Michael Perkins, a new second-grade teacher who causes Renata’s daughter to have a panic attack after a lesson on global warming. In May 2018, HBO confirmed that P. J. Byrne will reprise his role as the school’s principal. The network also announced that Poora Jagannathan (Gypsy, The Night Of) will play a new character named Katie Richmond, although no further details were available.
18. Production wrapped in August 2018. And judging from everyone’s shout-outs to Arnold, viewers are in for a strong second season.
19. No matter how many seasons HBO will order, Nicole and Moriarty will continue to work together beyond Monterey. In July 2018, Nicole and producer Burna Papandrea purchased the film and TV rights to Moriarty’s upcoming book, Nine Perfect Strangers, which will hit bookshelves September 18. According to a release, Nicole will play a best-selling romantic novelist who’s on a 10-day retreat at a secluded health resort.
20. In January 2019, HBO released a compilation of its 2019 TV lineup, and Meryl made an appearance. Behold, at the 26-second mark, Meryl (as Perry’s mom) saying, “I want to know what happened that night” while the camera pans to the ladies in a lineup at the police station. Get excited!
Most of the cast subsequently shared a photo of the lineup moment. To borrow Reese’s words, “It’s all happening.”
21. Whether or not there will be a third season is TBD. While BLL creator and executive producer Kelley has said “it’s 1 and 2, and we like our closure with season 2, but that will probably be it,” Nicole has other ideas. When talking about the possibility of season 3, she said, “There’s no plan for it to end, specifically. This was a long shoot for us, and it was an enormous amount of work, and we’re just amazed that we can be here.” Interesting....
22. How many of these petty, shady, juicy, scream-y episodes will we get? Most HBO seasons have around 10 to 12 episodes (unless you’re, ahem, Game of Thrones), but since the creators and stars weren’t planning on a second season at all, season 2 of BLL is going to be SADLY brief at only seven episodes, per HBO. So soak up the Monterey sunshine while you can!
This post will continue to be updated as more season 2 details are released.