"You guys just always pull out all the stops," Jennifer Coolidge, as her unforgettable character Tanya, says in one of the opening scenes of The White Lotus's second season. "Whenever I stay at a White Lotus, I always have a memorable time." Jennifer Coolidge, as usual, is not wrong. The anthology series, created, written, and directed by Mike White, has been one of the buzziest, funniest, and all-around watchable shows for both of its seasons so far. And while we feel the full range of emotions watching each and every episode, at the end of the day, it's exactly what Tanya says it is: memorable.
We've now gotten a look at two different stories at two different White Lotus resorts. Season 1, of course, was set in Hawaii, where the manager (Murray Bartlett) slowly lost control as everything around him blew up and the resorts wealthy guests got into all sorts of madness and trouble. Season 2 moved the action to Europe, for a season in Italy, set on the gorgeous landscape of Sicily. This time around, the manager (Italian actress Sabrina Impacciatore) seems to have a slightly-stronger handle on things, but the drama and social faux-pas of everyone in and around the resort continue to run rampant.
We don't know for sure what kind of story Season 3 of The White Lotus will tell, or, even, where it might be set. But we can take some guesses. Because while The White Lotus has proven to be a show that can totally reinvent itself from season to season—not totally different from shows like Fargo, American Horror Story, or True Detective—it still has maintained much of the same DNA as it continued from one story to the next. And that starts, of course, with Jennifer Coolidge.
Here's everything we know about The White Lotus Season 3, and what kind of vacation may or may not be in store for us.
Will there be a Season 3 of The White Lotus?
Yes, there will! HBO announced back in November that The White Lotus will return for a third vacation. Francesca Orsi, HBO's executive vice president of programming and head of drama series and films, released a statement along with the official news of the renewal:
“Reflecting on ‘The White Lotus’’ humble, run-and-gun origin as a contained pandemic production, it’s impossible not to be awestruck by how Mike orchestrated one of the buzziest and most critically acclaimed shows. And yet, he’s only continued to reach new heights in season 2, which is the ultimate testament to Mike’s raw, unparalleled vision. 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.”
Which is to say: yes, there will be a Season 3 of The White Lotus. And yes, Mike White will once again write and direct it. And yes, we will be watching.
What would Season 3 of The White Lotus be about?
In an interview aired on HBO Max after the Season 2 finale of The White Lotus, creator Mike White revealed that he's already got an idea for one the main themes of Season 3: death.
"The first season kind of highlighted money, and then the second season is sex," he said. "I think the third season, it would be, maybe, a kind of satirical and funny look at death and eastern religion and spirituality. It feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at White Lotus."
In the same post-finale interview, White also ever-so-slightly hinted that perhaps we could hear more about the fallout of Greg's scheme.
"I think as far as what happens to Greg, and the conspiracy of Tanya's death, it's possible that Portia is scared enough to just leave it alone," he said. "But the fact that all of those guys die on the boat, feels like there's got to be somebody who's going to track it back down to Greg. But maybe we'll have to wait to find out what happens."
One thing we can be certain of right now:the story will once again move to another resort location. "I can’t wait to welcome you to the next White Lotus property," the text from HBO's official Twitter read when the official renewal was announced.
Let's get a little creative from here, shall we? We couldn't possibly get into the micro aspects of the story to come. But we've already seen a White Lotus story in a tropical location (in Season 1's Hawaii resort), and we've seen a White Lotus story in a European location (in Season 2's Sicily resort).
So what could be next? Maybe we head to Colorado or the Swiss Alps for some kind of Ski Resort. Maybe things really take a turn and we see The White Lotus' venture into theme parks in the wild, wild, west of Orlando, Florida. Maybe we see some sort of rural, upstate New York kind of resort, not quite for skiing but just a cold-weather, rustic getaway.
It doesn't really matter though—wherever that shell logo shows up, we know the drama will follow.
Who would be in the cast?
At this point, it's hard to say. While Tanya did figure out the devious plan set up by Greg, Quentin, and the "high end gays," she also still was the Tanya we've come to know and love over two seasons of The White Lotus—so even her intact $500 million net worth couldn't help her figure out how to make it off Quentin's yacht.
So Jennifer Coolidge won't be back for Season 3. But, as White spoke about in the post-finale interview above, while Tanya's story had an "operatic" quality to it, there's still the matter of Greg (Jon Gries), and we could see him again in the future (or maybe just hear a line of background information explaining what's happened to him in the time between seasons).
It's also possible that White sticks with his own tradition and follows another character onto Season 3. Could that be someone like Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), Albie (Adam DiMarco), Cameron (Theo James), Harper (Aubrey Plaza), Lucia (Simona Tabasco), or even a Season 1 character like Dillon (Lukas Gage) or Shane (Jake Lacy)? It remains to be seen.
Connie Britton, who played Nicole Mossbacher in Season 1, said that there were plans for her character to return in Season 2 that they're now eying to include in Season 3. “He wanted me to be in the second season, and there was an idea that I loved for the character. Our intention is to do it in the third season," she said. "A piece of casting didn’t work in the second season and we’re hoping to that in the third season."
Alexandra Daddario and Jake Lacy revealed that White told them plans for their characters, Rachel and Shane.
“Shane and I would be on a boat, talking about other people, annoying everyone around us,”Daddario said in the interview, before Lacy continued. “Mike texted Alex and I with this idea for an episode where the two of us are talking for a half hour; it’s just the banality of rich people on a boat.”
Lacy also shared the idea that his character, along with his mother (played by Molly Shannon) would just be in the background of another season, going full Karen on another concierge. "It’s like, ‘That guy is still out there. He’s not even on trial; the dude is still going on vacation!”," he said, referring to the fact that his character should be guilty of manslaughter at least.
For the purpose of random speculation, let's also think about who else might be fun to see in a future White Lotus season, though.
Here's one idea: Jack Black. It's been nearly two decades, but Mike White has written for him twice before, in the modern classic The School of Rock and also the underrated comedy Orange County (White also notably appeared in both of those films in small roles, as Ned Schneebly and a teacher, respectively). Wouldn't it be great to see that reunion happen on HBO's White Lotus? Black's career also got started on HBO, with both the Tenacious D miniseries and as a bit player on Mr. Show. It's written in the stars!
Speaking of written in the stars, Laura Dern would be a fantastic fit in a future White Lotus season. Not only did she have a memorable voice cameo in Season 2 (as Dom's (Michael Imperioli) estranged wife, Abby, but she's also starred in two HBO shows before: Big Little Lies, which of course similarly satirizes the wealhy, and Enlightened, which was written and directed by—you guessed it!—Mike White. Let's make it happen.
When would Season 3 of The White Lotus come out?
We can't really pencil anything in just yet. But Season 1 of The White Lotus debuted in July 2021, and Season 2 debuted at the very end of October 2022. So, by that same pattern, maybe we could be thinking about an early 2024 debut for Season 3—or October 2023 if they can move quickly.
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