The wait for The White Lotus season three already feels long and frustrating, especially given the arduous 118-day-long SAG-AFTRA strike halted production for the upcoming edition of the award-winning anthology series.
In fact, we’re nearly coming up to a year since we wrapped the shady dealings of Sicily—and lost (or did we?) fan favourite Tanya McQuoid (Jennifer Coolidge). Still, the HBO series has a piece of our hearts, and we’re counting down the days until it’s on our screens again.
Showrunner Mike White has confirmed that production has resumed effective immediately but hasn’t shared any details regarding the one question on our lips: the release date.
However, much like the devilish Jack (Leo Woodall) leaving clues to Portia (Haley Lu Richardson) about the menacing dealings in Palermo, White has left a trail of hints that give shape to what season three will look like. Let’s just say we’re more than excited.
Here is everything we know about The White Lotus season three.
The White Lotus Season 3 Filming Will Take Place In Thailand.
The most exciting news about The White Lotus season three so far is that we have a confirmed location: Thailand.
Tropical, humid and visually arresting, Thailand feels like the perfect choice after the crisp blue seas and crumbling history of Sicily in season two, and the classic American holiday destination of Hawai’i.
Ahead of the official confirmation, White had previously hinted that season three would 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,” he said in HBO’s supporting interview series for the show. “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.”
HBO declined to comment on the reports around the location, but given both season one and two of The White Lotus were filmed at Four Seasons resorts, it’s likely that the luxury hotel group will be involved again – which means The White Lotus season three could use one of their Thailand locations in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui or the Golden Triangle.
Sources say White has been in Thailand looking at possible filming locations, so watch this space.
Existing Cast Members Will Return For The White Lotus Season 3.
The White Lotus cast has always been a mixture of new or lesser-known faces and lauded actors, who every season become high-profile stars (ahem, Simona Tabasco) we want to see in every film, ever. The return of Don and Tanya McQuoid for The White Lotus season two brought joy to the hearts of many fans and there have been hints that another fan-favourite character may be making a return for The White Lotus season three.
Connie Britton, who played Nicole Mossbacher in season one, a busy high-flying CEO taking a family holiday with her adult children and (childlike) husband to The White Lotus in Hawaii. There were rumours Britton would be appearing in season two, but now the actress has clarified that while both she and White were interested, things didn’t work out.
“He wanted me to be in the second season, and there was an idea that I loved for the character,” she told Deadline in July 2022, adding “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 [do] that in the third season. I would love to see a spinoff on every character in that show.”
However, Britton was asked again in January if she would return for The White Lotus season three. “Of course I would,” she told Variety. “I think [Mike White] is a genius, but also a kind genius. I have loved collaborating with him and I’ll say yes to him ’til the end of time.”
Although Britton’s on-screen presence in season three is unlikely, another character from season one is slated to return: The White Lotus’ spa manager, Belinda.
After being swindled by Tanya, it seems that Belinda (Natasha Rothwell) packed in her sound bowls and headed east. No doubt she’ll be equally involved in the comeuppance of the guests who are reportedly visiting Thailand on a “wellness retreat”.
Another star who has voiced interest in returning for The White Lotus season three is Michael Imperioli, who played Dominic Di Grasso, a Hollywood producer on a generational holiday with his father and son. You might recall that his ex-wife (played by the one and only Laura Dern) called him during his stay at the hotel, which leads to our next rumour.
Will Laura Dern Appear In The White Lotus Season 3?
The topic of many a Reddit thread for The White Lotus is Laura Dern and her cameo in season 2. For the uninitiated, Dern played (as a voice actor) Dominic Di Grasso’s estranged wife, who calls Di Grasso in episode one. It’s a brief cameo but with such a seasoned actress involved, fans have long speculated that this was just the start of Dern’s involvement in the HBO series.
First, it’s worth noting that as we covered, Michael Imperioli (who played Di Grasso) is keen to return. “Who knows, maybe there’ll be another White Lotus season where Dominic comes with his wife and they patch it all up!” the actor told Esquire. “I don’t want to think about it too much, because the idea of that makes me so happy. I don’t want to be disappointed … I would want nothing more than that. I just loved working with Mike so much.”
For her part, Dern hasn’t mentioned any involvement – but she does have a history of working with White, co-creating the series Enlightened and working together on the film Year Of The Dog. It wouldn’t surprise us if her cameo was intended to be fleshed out in The White Lotus season three.
Is Tanya McQuoid Really Dead?
Many fans have speculated that Jennifer Coolidge’s iconic character Tanya McQuoid isn’t really dead, and will make a return in The White Lotus season three. Well, sadly Coolidge herself shut down those rumours in December 2022 during an Entertainment Weekly interview.
“There’s all kinds of reactions to it,” Coolidge said of the season 2 finale. “There was actually more than two people who thought it was like some sort of dream. They thought it was a dream even though I was in a body bag. They somehow thought it was all in Tanya’s head or whatever. They didn’t get that I was dead dead, forever. Dead in every sense.”
She added the final nail in the coffin later in the interview. “Mike and I had a talk about it. Mike was like, ‘I’m killing you off.’ He said that to me very early on, he said, ‘You’re not going to make it, Jennifer.'”
So we’re very sorry to any Tanya McQuoid fans, but we won’t be seeing Jennifer Coolidge in The White Lotus season three.
But, does that rule out Coolidge appearing as another character? That remains to be seen.
Who Is Cast In The White Lotus Season 3?
Currently, White hasn’t confirmed any further cast members, returning or new.
He has, however, divulged information about the characters he is casting for.
As per Deadline: “Thirteen roles are currently casting, nine of them series regulars — ranging in ages between 18-80s — with a patriarch, a corporate executive, an actress, a couple of mothers, a misfit and a yogi among the bunch.”
The tidbit about the mothers is particularly interesting. As gay Twitter is asking, will this pertain to pop-culture mothers like Kylie Minogue and Pamela Anderson, or mothers in a more literal sense?
When Will The White Lotus Season 3 Be Released?
There is no release date for The White Lotus season three, however, filming is expected to commence in early 2024.
“I’m seriously finishing scripts,” explained White, with sources confirming production is slated to begin in February, with a tentative release date of 2025.
More to come.