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True Detective Season 3 Gets Another Trailer

True Detective has a question for you: just how psyched are you for season 3?

HBO is guessing that the answer will be "very," especially after you get a look at this trailer for the new season, which stars Academy Award winner Mahershala Ali as a detective haunted by a disturbing case from his past.

Ali will play the same character at multiple points during his life, as he attempts to come to terms with a case involving two missing children that dogged him early in his career. Also featured in the cast are Stephen Dorff (Blade), Carmen Ejogo (Alien: Covenant), Brandon Flynn (13 Reasons Why), and Michael Graziadei (American Horror Story).

The first season of True Detective, directed by Cary Fukunaga and starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrellson, was a resounding success for HBO. Creator Nic Pizzolatto was credited with crafting an intense, Southern gothic-flavored new take on the crime procedural, bolstered by the performances of the leads and Fukunaga's expert photography.

Season 1 was released in 2014, and season 2 quickly followed the very next year. But it was widely seen as a huge letdown; Fukunaga departed, to be replaced with a revolving stable of directors, and Pizzolatto's writing became less focused, resulting in a season that felt bloated and disjointed despite clocking in at a tight eight episodes. It told a completely different story from the first season, with a new cast including Colin Farrell, Rachel McAdams, and Taylor Kitsch — also regarded as a downgrade.

Season 3, however, is shaping up to be a true return to form. Ali is on an incredible hot streak, picking up a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Moonlight in 2016 and appearing as one of the best parts of the mediocre first season of Netflix's Luke Cage the following year. The new season also appears to be in surer directorial hands, with acclaimed helmer Jeremy Saulnier (Green Room, Hold the Dark) handling the first two episodes, and TV veteran Daniel Sackheim (The Man in the High Castle, Better Caul Saul) splitting the remaining episodes with Pizzolatto.

This new trailer certainly seems to promise a vibe more in line with the first season than the second, with cinematography draped in shadows and the haunted visage of Ali (seen as a green rookie, a seasoned detective, and an elderly man) staring into our souls as he intones in voiceover, "Things I've seen, things I know... wouldn't do anything but cause harm." HBO appears to have heard the criticism of season 2, and by all appearances the network has taken pains — not to mention three years — to get this third outing exactly right.

True Detective season 3 will premiere on HBO on January 13, 2019.