‘The White Lotus’ season 3: Everything we know so far

The HBO series will return for a third instalment, this time with a location reportedly in Thailand

Warning: This article contains spoilers for season 2 of The White Lotus.

The second season of HBO’s The White Lotus ended on as shocking a note as any whodunnit could. And yet, we still didn’t see it coming. Tanya (Jennifer Coolidge) takes a tragic slip off the side of a yacht and falls to her death. Her corpse is discovered in the Ionian Sea the next day by Daphne (Meghann Fahy), along with the bodies of the captors she murdered in order to escape. Hey, at least Tanya went out guns blazing. Although, she really should’ve taken her heels off first.

Just like the first season, White Lotus creator and showrunner Mike White had audiences engrossed in epic landscapes (Hawaii then Sicily), and also entangled in the complex web of characters he created. Who knew that by the end of this installation, we’d all be rooting for a pair of scheming escorts? As it turns out, troubled and ultra-rich vacationers are his speciality, and audiences want nothing more than to see these elites get played. And boy did they.

Now that fans are done theorising about the finale, there’s only one question that remains: where in the world will White take us next? Speculation around season three of White Lotus has already started. Fans are dissecting every morsel of information that the writer and director has given thus far. When will it come out? Who will be in the cast? What will it be about? Here, we break down everything you need to know about the upcoming season.

Yes, There Will Be a Season 3 of The White Lotus

Yes! HBO officially renewed The White Lotus for a third season back in November. You can expect a change of scenery and an ensemble of new characters. According to the network, the anthology series will return with a fresh set of vacationers checking into another White Lotus hotel.

“Reflecting on The White Lotus‘ humble, run-and-gun origin as a contained pandemic production, it’s impossible not to be awestruck by how Mike orchestrated one of the buzziest and most critically acclaimed shows,” Francesca Orsi, executive vice president of HBO Programming and head of HBO drama series and films, said in a press statement. “And yet, he’s only continued to reach new heights in season 2, which is the ultimate testament to Mike’s raw, unparallelled vision. His courage to explore the uncharted waters of the human psyche, paired with his signature irreverent humour and buoyant directing style, have us all dreaming of more vacation days at the resort we’ve come to adore. We couldn’t be more thrilled to get the chance to collaborate on a third season together.”


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The White Lotus Season 3 Release Date: When Will It Air?

Filming for season three has yet to begin. As for when it will premiere, nobody knows. But we’ll make our best guess. The first season of The White Lotus made its debut back in July 2021. The second instalment aired a little over a year later in October 2022. So, it’s possible we’re looking at a late 2023 or early 2024 release date.

That being said, Tom Hollander (who played Quentin in season two), recently revealed that the ongoing writers’ strike has sidelined things and that White has halted production. So much like everything else in Hollywood these days, expect a delay.

The White Lotus Season 3 Will Take Place in Thailand

“Next year, the Maldives!” Daphne may have been joking when she suggested visiting the South Asian archipelago for another contentious couple’s retreat, but she might not have been far off. White told Robb Report’s sister site Deadline that Asia isn’t off the table for season three after season one took place in Hawaii and season two was based in Italy. “I think it’d be fun to maybe go to a whole different continent. You know, we did Europe, and maybe Asia, something crazy like that, that would be fun.”

Executive producer David Bernad confirmed our suspicions during a keynote event at the Berlinale Series Market in Germany saying, “We’ve tried to work in Asia a lot and hopefully Season 3 will be our chance to make something happen there.”

Of course, Asia is a very big place, leaving plenty of room for speculation. However, Variety reported that production will take place in Thailand. While Tokyo was the rumoured locale for a while, it was confirmed by Deadline that the reason White settled on Thailand for season three was ultimately due to tax incentives.

At the Tokyo Film Festival, Japanese producer Georgia Pope spoke about a location scouting trip that she went on with a “high profile showrunner” and his producers and studio executives. “It was a great scout,” Pope recalled in her MPA keynote address. “We saw some absolutely stunning locations all over Honshu. The showrunner loved it all, and I was feeling very confident that I had it all in the bag.”

Things ultimately took a turn when a Thai production company informed the White Lotus crew of a 30 percent rebate. “For their project, that meant US$4.4 million alone…At the time in Japan, we had no incentive in place at all…All I could hear was the sound of a US$35 million project flying out the window,” Pope said.

While it’s not confirmed which hotel property in Thailand will host the series, it’s probably safe to assume that another real-life Four Seasons resort will act as the White Lotus. The hotel chain’s Maui and Taormina locations were used during filming for the previous instalments. And in Thailand, there are outposts in Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and the Golden Triangle.

Jennifer Coolidge as Tanya McQuoid in season two of The White Lotus. Photo by Fabio Lovino/HBO

The White Lotus Season 3 Story: What Will Happen?

As for what’s in store for season three, we’re short on specifics, but, thankfully, White did offer up some details on the potential theme in an exclusive clip for HBO. “The first season kind of highlighted money, and then, the second season is sex. And I think the third season it would be maybe a kind of satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality. And it feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at White Lotus.”

White also hinted that parts of season two could carry over into the third. Namely, the murder-for-hire plot involving Greg (Jon Gries), Tanya’s husband, and Portia (Haley Lu Richardson), her assistant, who was only starting to put the pieces together. “I think as far as like, what happens to Greg and the conspiracy of Tanya’s death, it’s possible that I think Portia is scared enough to just leave it alone, but the fact that all of those guys die on the boat, it feels like there’s gotta be somebody who’s gonna track it back down to Greg. But maybe you’ll have to wait to find out what happens.”

You can hear all of White’s thoughts on The White Lotus season two finale below.

The White Lotus Season 3 Cast: Who’s Returning?

If you recall, Coolidge and Greis’s characters were the only links between seasons one and two, so we wouldn’t be all that surprised if they reappeared in the third iteration as well. Although, it’s unclear if there are plans for Coolidge to reprise her role in any capacity, you know, given Tanya’s tragic death. If White does opt to continue the storyline, Coolidge has some choice words for the fate of her on-screen husband.

“My hope for Jon is that he’s not finished with Greg,” Coolidge told The Bear star Jeremy Allan White during Variety’s “Actors on Actors” series. “I hope there’s some comeuppance for evil Greg. I think he should, I don’t know, end up in a meat-grinding machine.”

Earlier this year, White reportedly told season one star Connie Britton that her character, Nicole, could return to the show. “He wanted me to be in the second season, and there was an idea that I loved for the character,” Britton told Deadline. “Our intention is to do it in the third season. A piece of casting didn’t work in the second season and we’re hoping to [do] that in the third season. I would love to see a spinoff on every character in that show.” Don’t get too excited, though. A spokesperson for Britton later revealed to TVLine that “she is not participating in the upcoming season.”

There is one piece of news, though, that has been confirmed. The third instalment will welcome back White Lotus vet Natasha Rothwell. Viewers will remember her as season one spa manager, Belinda Lindsey, who was scammed by Tanya. But hey, maybe this time she’ll be making an appearance as a guest of the resort instead of an employee. Crazier things have happened.

Natasha Rothwell as Belinda Lindsey in season one of The White Lotus. Photo by Mario Perez/HBO

Where to Stream The White Lotus Season 3

When season three of The White Lotus does eventually drop, your best bet is to head to Max (formerly HBO Max) where the episodes will be released weekly. In the meantime, you can catch up on seasons one and two of The White Lotus via the streaming app. If you haven’t already subscribed to Max, the platform offers three plans. For those who don’t mind ads, it’ll run you US$9.99 per month or US$99.99 for the year. That same service without ads will cost US$15.99 a month or US$149.99 a year. And if you opt for 4K UHD ad-free streaming, it’ll take you to US$19.99 a month or US$199.99 per year. Plus, you can stream the first episode of season one for free through the Max website. That should be enough to get you hooked.

This story was first published on Robb Report USA