Jennifer Coolidge’s wonderfully deranged Tanya McQuoid may not be reappearing after she—spoiler alert—fell to her death in the Ionian Sea, but fans of The White Lotus will be soothed by the fact that Mike White’s juicy satire will indeed be back for a third instalment, with at least one other familiar face in tow.
On 27 March, Variety revealed the show’s new setting: following its two seasons centred on resorts in Maui in Hawaii, and Taormina on the east coast of Sicily, the action will be moving to Thailand. Although HBO declined to comment, multiple sources close to the production confirmed the news to the publication, adding that White has been spending time in the country scoping out sites.
As the first two instalments were filmed at two Four Seasons hotels—The Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea, and San Domenico Palace, Taormina, A Four Seasons Hotel—it’s possible that the third season will also take place at one of the luxury group’s other properties. It has four in Thailand: a sleek, riverside retreat in Bangkok; a hotel set amongst the rice fields of Chiang Mai; palatial tented camps in the forests of northern Thailand; and a spectacular resort on the island of Koh Samui. Given the beachy backdrops of The White Lotus’s previous seasons—not to mention the fact that both have been set on islands—the latter option seems the most likely, though White might, of course, choose to switch things up this time around.
Even before the second season had premiered, the showrunner had hinted at the possibility of an Asia-set third instalment, and later added that it could focus on themes that the series has yet to delve into. “The first season kind of highlighted money, and then the second season is sex,” he said, in a behind-the-scenes video released after the finale. “I think the third season would be maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality.”
More details followed on 19 April, including the fact that Natasha Rothwell’s Belinda, the Maui hotel’s beleaguered spa manager in season one, would be back. After Tanya had a transformative experience during one of Belinda’s treatments, the heiress attempted to befriend her and offered to fund a potential wellness venture, before getting distracted by her then-burgeoning romance with Greg (Jon Gries). Will Tanya have left her a small fortune in her will? Or, has Belinda found another way to establish her business? And will Greg also return, and somehow pay for the part he played in Tanya’s demise?
It may be a while yet before we find out—due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, production has been delayed to early February 2024, with the series expected to land in 2025. However, per Deadline, the casting process is now in full swing, with 13 new roles set to be filled. Reportedly among them? “A patriarch, a corporate executive, an actress, a couple of mothers, a misfit and a yogi.” On 7 November, White provided another exciting season three update to Entertainment Weekly, saying, “It’s going to be a supersized White Lotus. It’s going to be longer, bigger, crazier. I don’t know what people will think, but I am super excited, so at least for my own barometer, that’s a good thing.” Bring it on.
This article was originally published on British Vogue.