Oh thank goodness. The old Matthew McConaughey we all know and love seems to be re-emerging. Remember he sported that gaunt look last year, shedding 30 pounds to play an AIDS patient in “Dallas Buyers Club”? Everyone was shocked and worried.

But the 43-year-old actor showed off some muscles in a white tank top on the set of his next project, HBO’s “True Detectives” (or “True Detective,” depending on which report you’re reading), currently filming in New Orleans.

Matthew McConaughey in True Detectives

This series has promise. After being shopped around to various networks last year, it finally landed at HBO, which continues to deliver big movie stars like Al Pacino in “Phil Spector.”

Written by Nic Pizzolatto, who penned “The Killing,” the first season of “True Detectives” centers on a pair of detectives, Rust Cohle (McConaughey) and Martin Hart (real-life buddy Woody Harrelson), who cross paths on a 17- year hunt for a serial killer deep within Louisiana.

The series features a split narrative jumping between when the case opens in 1995 and the present as the two detectives testify in court after the case is reopened. Following an anthology vein similar to FX’s cult-thriller “American Horror Story,” subsequent seasons of the series may feature a new cast and different storylines.

In one way, I like that because it keeps the stories fresh and, hopefully, thwarts off that sophomore slump many shows experience. On the other hand, I kind of like seeing the same characters season after season. I admit, I dropped “American Horror Story” with season two, but that may be more about the disturbing emotional impact it had than the change of characters.

Cary Fukunaga, who directed “Jane Eyre,” is attached to direct all eight installments of “True Detectives,” with management company Anonymous Content linked to produce. The company’s Richard Brown, Steve Golin and Brad Dorros will also executive produce along with writer Pizzolatto. As part of the pickup deal for “True Detectives,” HBO also signed a development deal with Pizzolatto for other undisclosed projects.


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