After speculation that ended the moment the credits rolled on the Big Little Lies Season 1 finale, a deal is in place for Big Little Lies Season 2 at HBO, it was announced today.
Stars and executive producers Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman have both signed on for the seven-episode second season while other cast negotiations are underway.
Equally as important, a director was found to replace the departing Emmy-winner Jean-Marc Vallée.
An Oscar winner for her short film, Wasp, and director of American Honey, Andrea Arnold has been tapped to replace Vallée for the full-season run, and it was landing the esteemed director that led to the delay in announcing the pickup.
The original story was completed within the book, Big Little Lies, by Liane Moriarty, and Season 2 scripts have been written in whole by David E. Kelley based in part by story ideas by the original author.
According to HBO, the season will focus will be the "malignancy of lies, the durability of friendships, the fragility of marriage and, of course, the vicious ferocity of sound parenting. Relationships will fray, loyalties will erode … the potential for emotional and bodily injury shall loom."
"I’m excited to announce the return of Big Little Lies," HBO programming president Casey Bloys said.
“David Kelley wrote beautiful scripts and Reese and Nicole were, once again, a force to be reckoned with, reuniting the cast and recruiting the talented Andrea Arnold to direct. We look forward to working with this amazing group of artists."
“I’m thrilled to be bringing back this talented team of artists,” said Witherspoon. “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.
“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."
It couldn't have been a difficult decision to pull together this cast and crew again after sweeping the Emmy Awards earlier this year.
Big Little Lies earned 16 nominations and took home eight, including outstanding limited series, lead actress for Kidman, supporting actor for Alexander Skarsgard and supporting actress for Laura Dern.
In fact, it was backstage at the Emmys that the first hints from the producers started dropping.
There hasn't been a date yet for the start of production or an expectation for when we'll see Big Little Lies Season 2. After all, Witherspoon has also signed on for a two-season commitment with Jennifer Aniston to Apple TV for their series about morning news shows.
In any event, this is news most of us have been waiting to hear. What stars are you hoping return to the series and do you want to be told?
Hit the comments below with all your thoughts!
Carissa Pavlica is the managing editor and a staff writer and critic for TV Fanatic. She's a member of the Critic's Choice Association, enjoys mentoring writers, conversing with cats, and passionately discussing the nuances of television and film with anyone who will listen. Follow her on Twitter and email her here at TV Fanatic.