Jodie Foster now investigates among the glaciers, True Detective 4 will be set in Iceland: the TV series becomes (almost) horror

There is something rotten in Alaska, indeed in Iceland, where in recent weeks and until April the fourth season of the cult series True Detective is being filmed a few kilometers from the capital Reykjavík, a supernatural thriller created in 2014 by Nic Pizzolatto, and brought to the successful by the pair of detectives played by Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson. Broadcast in Italy on Sky, True Detective 4 (subtitle: Night Country) moves for the first time the story that has always been set in the heat, between California and Louisiana – between the snows and ice of Alaska, rebuilt on the coasts of Iceland and in the director’s RVK Studios Icelandic Baltasar Kormakur.

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Jodie Foster, all set for the 4th season of True Detective

A real Nordic Cinecittà inaugurated in 2018 and chosen by the producer HBO for logistical reasons (there is no lack of darkness and ice) and economic ones, given the extremely affordable cost of Icelandic geothermal energy, which comes from underground. «Our technicians are used to working in extreme climatic conditions, energy costs nothing and even the floors of the studios are heated. In addition, we do not use either Russian or Ukrainian gas »explains Kormakur, who managed to bring to his studios, with True Detective, the largest television production ever to arrive on the island. The polar station from which the fourth season takes off, set at Christmas 2023 and not surprisingly aired for the end of next year, was also rebuilt here: «When the long winter night falls in Ennis, Alaska reads the press release of the HBO, which in recent days has broadcast a first teaser of the series – the eight men who run the research station Tsalal Arctic Research Station vanish without a trace». To solve the case, as per tradition, will be two detectives: Lieutenant Liz Danvers (two-time Oscar winner Jodie Foster, 60 years old) and former soldier Evangeline Navarro (Kali Reis, 36 years old), “committed to facing their past and the dark truths that lie beneath the Arctic ice. Not very reassuring truths, judging by the still photos hanging in the scenography department, on the second floor of the Kormakur citadel: studies on mummification, human bodies and animals twisted in the ice, monstrous grimaces and unnatural expressions on faces. The series, shot by Mexican Issa López, and produced by director Barry Jenkins with Jodie Foster, is orphaned for the first time by its creator Pizzolatto. And eight years after the first mystical season promises a decisive return to the supernatural, with Foster’s character grappling with a case in which madness plays a central role. His house, a two-story wooden cabin rebuilt in the Reykjavík studios, tells the story of a scruffy, work-obsessed character with democratic sympathies (Obama stickers on the door): the kitchen is dirty, the case files abandoned on the sink among tin boxes and food scraps, while an open agenda is on the living room table. Concentric writings stand out on his pages, in a nervous handwriting: “Never sleep, never forget you read don’t forget the black hand”.

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The estate

Alongside Foster is the actress, former professional boxer and indigenous women’s rights activist Kali Reis, in the role of a tough character: the storyboards of the scenes shot in Iceland portray her in riot gear, busy managing a demonstration of miners, and again in a horror-tinged flashback as he speaks in the desert, in a marine uniform, with his superior with a torn face. The place chosen to set the story is the fictitious city of Ellis with its six main locations, the police station, a restaurant, a fast food restaurant, a tattoo shop, a gas station and the place that cannot be missing in a horror thriller, even in the ice: the cemetery.


Jodie Foster now investigates among the glaciers, True Detective 4 will be set in Iceland: the TV series becomes (almost) horror