12:45pm PT by Lesley Goldberg
'Big Little Lies': Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern, Zoe Kravitz Confirmed for Season 2 Return
HBO continues to ink new deals for season two of Big Little Lies.
Season one stars Shailene Woodley, Laura Dern and Zoe Kravitz have officially signed new deals to return to the award-winning drama series. They will reprise their roles as Jane Chapman, Renata Klein and Bonnie Carlson, respectively.
Given that season one was designed as a closed-ended limited run, the cast's contracts did not have options to do more episodes, and HBO is having to make new deals with the stars. Sources say the castmembers also scored sizable raises upon their return.
Season two will explore 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.
Woodley, Dern and Kravitz join returning stars Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman in season two, which added Meryl Streep as a series regular to play Perry's (Alexander Skarsgard) mother, Mary Louise Wright. Casting is also underway for Bonnie's father, sources say, among other new roles for season two. Skarsgard is also expected to return in some capacity, despite Perry's fate in season one.
Nearly the entire creative team is poised to return for season two. The biggest behind-the-scenes difference will be the director. Jean-Marc Vallee, who helmed every season-one episode, will return only as an executive producer. In his place, Andrea Arnold — who won an Oscar for writing and directing her short film Wasp — will direct all seven episodes. Writer-showrunner David E. Kelley, who was attached to Big Little Lies when it was originally a film set to star Kidman and Witherspoon, will again write all seven episodes, partially based on a story by Liane Moriarty. Kelley executive produces alongside Kidman and her Blossom Films topper Per Saari; Witherspoon through her Hello Sunshine banner; Bruna Papandrea; Vallee; Nathan Ross; Gregg Fienberg; and Arnold.