After months of speculation and finger crossing, the second season of Big Little Lies is finally official. Today, HBO announced that the beloved, Emmy-winning limited series will be extended into a second run as Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have already signed their contracts, The Hollywood Reporternotes. One person who will not be coming back, however, is director Jean-Marc Vallée, responsible for the show's dreamy take on Big Sur, Pebble Beach and Monterey. He already has another HBO miniseries in the works with Amy Adams, after all. Instead, he'll be replaced by a female director: Andrea Arnold, who is best known for her 2016 film American Honey and has helmed a few episodes of Transparent.
“I’m thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists,” said Witherspoon, as The Hollywood Reporter points out. “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.”
Her castmate Nicole Kidman, who won an Emmy for her performance in Big Little Lies and subsequently penned a letter on domestic violence, was also thrilled about the addition of Arnold. "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,” said the actress, who this year announced her pledge to work with a female director at least once every 18 months. “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."
While the first season of Big Little Lies stuck close to the original scope of the book the series was based on by Liane Moriarty, it's unknown how season two will unfurl. What is known is that screenwriter David E. Kelley will be returning. Moriarty will likely be weighing in as well, as she revealed back in April that she has already started brainstorming how the show could pick back up. "I have started to think about ways this could continue," she said. "I wouldn't write a new book but perhaps a new story and then we'll see what happens.... My original reaction was what have they done? How have they left that out? ... I think I might have preferred to have had it in there, but I wouldn't argue against it either." There is not yet a release date for season two but stay tuned.