The White Lotus season 3: release date speculation, cast and latest news
Get ready for another holiday from hell. **WARNING: Contains major spoilers for The White Lotus season 2**
The White Lotus season 2 has come to a dramatic end, with plenty of twists and turns and, of course, some casualties.
Naturally, thoughts are already turning towards the third season, which has officially been confirmed.
Season 2 of the mystery comedy-drama was set at a fictional White Lotus resort in Sicily, Italy, and followed a brand new cast of characters, with the exception of Jennifer Coolidge and Jon Gries’s characters, Tanya and Greg respectively.
Now that the second season has wrapped up, read on for everything we know so far about The White Lotus season 3, including where it might be set, who could star and when we can expect it to land.
Will there be a White Lotus season 3?
Yes! The show was renewed for a third run in mid-November after just three episodes of season 2 had aired, which is a testament to the huge response it received right out of the gate.
Creator Mike White said: "There’s no place I’d rather work than HBO and there’s no people I’d rather partner with than [chief content officer] Casey Bloys, [head of drama and films] Francesca Orsi, [senior VP] Nora Skinner and their incredible team.
"I feel so lucky to get this opportunity again and I am excited to reunite with my amazingly talented collaborators on The White Lotus."
Orsi added: "Reflecting on The White Lotus’s 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 humour 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."
The White Lotus season 3 release date speculation
HBO is yet to announce a release date for The White Lotus season 3, but we can deduce a rough a timeframe based on the pattern established so far.
There was roughly one year and three months separating season 1 (July 2021) and season 2 (October 2022), so it's reasonable to assume that the next episodes will follow a similar cycle.
If so, that would land The White Lotus season 3 with a release date in late 2023/early 2024.
The White Lotus season 3 cast rumours
There's no word yet on who will star in The White Lotus season 3, but it's likely that White will enlist a whole new cast of characters for his next nightmare vacation.
The only actors to appear in both seasons to date have been Jennifer Coolidge and Jon Gries, who play Tanya McQuoid-Hunt and her husband Greg respectively.
The show's creator had previously said he would love to feature Jennifer Coolidge again in season 3.
Speaking to Deadline, he revealed: "Jennifer is my friend and everybody loved her in the first season, and I was like, ‘I can’t go to Italy without Jennifer.’ 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.”
However, these comments came before the devastating White Lotus season 2 finale, in which Tanya was revealed as the dead body that washed up on the shore.
So either the third season could bring her back in the form of a prequel, or White was playing mind games all along.
We don't know what happened to Gries's Greg, though, so it is entirely possible he could show up at another White Lotus resort, armed with the money he's now inherited from Tanya's untimely demise.
On a special featurette for the final episode, Mike White commented on the consequences of Tanya's death and the murder of her wannabe killers for her scheming husband Greg Hunt.
White said: "I think as far as like, what happens to Greg and the conspiracy of Tanya’s death, it’s possible that I think Portia is scared enough to just leave it alone, but the fact that all of those guys die on the boat, it feels like there’s gotta be somebody who’s gonna track it back down to Greg."
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He added: "Maybe you’ll have to wait to find out what happens."
The White Lotus season 1 star Jake Lacy also told RadioTimes.com that there has been some discussion of his character, demanding estate agent Shane Patton, returning to the show for another round of mayhem.
He concluded: "Maybe six months from now when the thrill of this new season calms for a moment, [Mike White] might be like, ‘Are we really going to do a third? Are we going to have anyone back?’"
Meanwhile, Connie Britton hinted that she could return as season 1's Nicole Mossbacher for the third season after plans for an appearance in the second run fell through.
Britton told Deadline: "[Mike White] 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. A piece of casting didn’t work in the second season and we’re hoping to that in the third season. I would love to see a spinoff on every character in that show."
Where will The White Lotus season 3 be set?
The White Lotus season 3 will shift focus to another branch of the luxury hotel chain, following stop-offs in Hawaii and Italy in the first two outings.
To keep things distinct and open up new storytelling possibilities, it's likely that White will choose a vastly different location, which could mean an as-yet-unvisited continent such as South America, Asia or Africa.
Creator White hinted at this during a season 2 post-finale interview clip.
In the clip, White revealed that season 3 may take place in Asia and focus on "death and Eastern religion and spirituality".
"The first season kind of highlighted money, and then the second season is sex," White said. "I think the third season would be maybe a 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."
White has previously suggested that he’d want the third season to be set in Asia, telling Deadline: "I think it’d be fun to maybe go to a whole different continent. You know, we did Europe, and maybe Asia, something crazy like that, that would be fun."
In terms of story, the show is likely to retain its potent hook of a mystery death gradually revealed over the course of the season, with White telling NPR how effective it has been at drawing in viewers.
"When that first season became such a water cooler show [that] people were talking about, I was like, 'Had I only known if I'd put a dead body at the beginning of Enlightened, maybe people would've watched Enlightened,'" he began, referencing an acclaimed but abruptly cancelled show he previously made for HBO, which starred Laura Dern.
White added: "You realise these kinds of hooks do actually get viewers. It clearly is something that drives interest in the show. People will decide at the conclusion whether it's satisfying or it feels just device-y, but at this point, I'm excited about the finale.
"As somebody who's been working in the margins, it is kind of nice to have viewers."
Is there a The White Lotus season 3 trailer?
At the time of writing, The White Lotus season 3 is yet to start filming, so there's no footage yet. But rest assured we'll update this page when that changes.
The White Lotus is available on Sky Atlantic and NOW. Find out more about how to sign up for Sky TV. Check out more of our Drama coverage or visit our TV Guide and Streaming Guide to find out what's on.