It's been two years since the second season of "The White Lotus" concluded in December 2022 — more than long enough for post-vacation depression to set in. Eager fans are looking forward to "The White Lotus" season 3. The good news is that it's in the works. The bad news? It might take a while to check in.
"The White Lotus" first premiered in July 2021 as a limited series set in the titular hotel in Hawaii. The miserable problems of privileged (mostly white) people were contrasted against the daily degradations suffered by the staff who served them. The show's success in the ratings and on the awards circuit led to season 2, which shifted the location to Sicily and the focus to sex and power struggles.
Season 3 will feature a new cast and focus on a different theme as well as a new location. "I think the third season would be maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality," creator Mike White said in a behind-the-scenes video after the season 2 finale. "It feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at White Lotus.”
There have been quite a few new snippets of information about the upcoming season. Unfortunately, one of those tidbits is the fact that our return to the hotel simply isn't going to take place in 2024. Here's what we know about "The White Lotus" season 3 so far.
'The White Lotus' season 3 release date news
Though "The White Lotus" is returning for a third season, it won't be on your TV for quite some time. Though the recent writers' strike of 2023 came to an end in a relatively short amount of time, the SAG-AFTRA strike that occurred simultaneously meant that work couldn't yet begin on the show's latest set of episodes. At the time, casting was still taking place and scripting hadn't yet been completed.
With that in mind, HBO issued a statement via Variety to give fans a realistic date to expect that the show might end up returning. And that date isn't until 2025, according to HBO and Max chairman and CEO Casey Bloys.
“'White Lotus' season 3 probably would have been in play for 2024, it’s 2025,” Bloys told reporters at a press event, admitting that production had indeed been impacted by both the writers' and actors' strikes.
That's obviously quite a ways off, an entire year, to be exact. In a few months, there will likely be a more specific release date window to look forward to. Right now, however, it remains unknown.
'The White Lotus' season 3 cast
"The White Lotus" is an anthology series, so with each new season, there are new faces to be seen. Season 3 is no different, and there's a whole host of new cast members that you'll be seeing around the hotel.
In April 2023, Variety reported that Natasha Rothwell, who portrayed spa manager Belinda Lindsey, would be booking another appearance in season 3.
While "White Lotus" season 3 might bring back some of the previous two seasons' characters, Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) won't be one of them since she died after shooting the mafioso gays and then tumbling off the yacht.
While the decision to kill off a beloved character might seem strange, creator White said, "I was thinking, it’d be so fun to bring Tanya back because she’s such a great character, but maybe that’s the journey for her, a journey to death. Not that I really wanted to kill Tanya because I love her as a character and obviously love Jennifer, but I just felt like, we’re going to Italy, she’s such a diva — a larger-than-life female archetype — it felt like we could devise our own operatic conclusion to Tanya’s life and her story."
A wide variety of new actors are joining the crew in "White Lotus" season 3, however:
- Leslie Bibb
- Dom Hetrakul
- Jason Isaacs
- Michelle Monaghan
- Parker Posey
- Tayme Thapthimthong
- Walton Goggins
- Sarah Catherine Hook
- Sam Nivola
- Patric Schwarzenegger
- Aimee Lou Wood
The new cast members' roles have yet to be revealed, but with all of the rapid reveals of who's coming on board for season 3, it looks like additional information could also be on the way very soon.
'The White Lotus' season 3 location
Welcome to The White Lotus: Thailand!
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and HBO announced that filming on "The White Lotus" season 3 is scheduled to begin in February in Bangkok, Phuket and Ko Samui.
“We are honored to have amazing Thailand featured as the filming location for the highly anticipated upcoming season of ‘The White Lotus,’” said Thapanee Kiatphaibool, TAT Governor, in a press release.
“The kingdom’s exotic natural beauty, rich historical sites and diverse landscapes are the perfect settings to share our fascinating culture, fantastic cuisine, top-notch wellness and luxury offerings, and most importantly our people and Thai hospitality.”
While neither TAT nor HBO confirmed the exact filming location, we can make a strong guess that it will be at a Four Seasons hotel. Season 1 was filmed at the Four Seasons Resort Maui at Wailea and season 2 was filmed at San Domenico Palace, a five-star resort operated by Four Seasons in the town of Taormina, Sicily.
Fans have previously speculated that season 3 could film at one of Thailand’s four Four Seasons properties. Two of them are in Koh Samui and Bangkok.
'The White Lotus' season 3 plot and season 2 ending
The second season of "The White Lotus" left audiences with plenty of lingering questions, particularly surrounding Greg and the shocking events that lead to Tanya's death. With that in mind, it seems the next season could potentially build on these happenings, particularly to address a variety of questions that went unanswered at the season's conclusion.
The finale sparked intrigue about Greg's true intentions toward Tanya, his mysterious phone conversation, and whether Portia would ever confront him about the extent of his responsibility.
As for the anticipated third season, creator White has hinted at a shift in setting and thematic focus. While the first season delved into the dynamics of wealth and the second into the complexities of sexual relationships, season 3 is expected to explore themes of death and Eastern spirituality. This pivot could change the series' mood significantly, but in a way that could end up attracting new eyes.
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Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and tech for over 13 years for publications including Tom's Guide, MTV, Rolling Stone, CNN, Popular Science, Playboy, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, and more. She's also appeared as a panelist at video game conventions like PAX East and PAX West and has coordinated social media for companies like CNET. When she's not writing or gaming, she's looking for the next great visual novel in the vein of Saya no Uta. You can follow her on Twitter @MolotovCupcake.