If “True Detective” gets renewed for a second season—which seems likely, as it was HBO’s highest-rated new series since “Boardwalk Empire”—McConaughey and Harrelson will be swapped out for a new cast with a new storyline. It’s hard to imagine “True Detective” without its current leading men. But assuming that next season will feature another pair of brooding actors who weirdly mirror each other, here are some suggestions for potential duos in future installments of the show:
Peter Sarsgaard and Stephen Dorff
Despite being nearly interchangeable in appearance, Sarsgaard and Dorff would complement each other well. Sarsgaard makes a persuasive prince of darkness—for instance, as scumbag Chuck Traynor in Lovelace. Dorff is rakish without seeming quite so sinister.
Marisa Tomei and Catherine Keener
Tomei and Keener have the gravitas and sultry charisma to pull this off. I imagine Keener as a tough-talking, no-nonsense sleuth with Tomei as her slightly unhinged savant of a partner.
Paul Giamatti and John C. Reilly
What this pair might lack in sex appeal, it makes up for in likeability and totally magnetic screen presence.
Michael Fassbender and Benedict Cumberbatch
These two allegedly had a dance-off at the Golden Globes, which is all the proof of their chemistry I need.
Samuel L. Jackson and Giancarlo Esposito
For some shameless typecasting: Jackson as the hardboiled old-school detective, Esposito as the intense, soft-spoken cop with a past.
Scarlet Johansson and Jessica Chastain
Johansson was reasonably tough as the Black Widow in The Avengers. Chastain made a formidable agent in “Zero Dark Thirty.” Also, HBO is reportedly interested in targeting young male viewers.
Liam Neeson and Ralph Fiennes
Not only are their faces uncannily similar, they are also—a la McConaughey and Harrelson—close pals.
Mark Ruffalo and Bobby Cannavale
Both swarthy, both HBO darlings (Ruffalo will star in “The Normal Heart” for HBO Films in May), both seemingly hiding intense emotions behind hunky exteriors.