Ever since HBO’s limited series Big Little Lies, executive produced by and starring Nicole Kidman & Reese Witherspoon, became an overnight watercooler hit, talk started about extending the series with a second season. The conversation got even louder after the series landed 16 Primetime Emmy nominations earlier this month.
The issue is that Big Little Lies was based on Lianne Moriarty’s book, and there is no existing source material for a second season. But that might change, as Moriarty had been approached and has said that she is open to a second installment.
“I have started to think about ways this could continue,” she said in an April interview. “I wouldn’t write a new book but perhaps a new story, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Moriarty’s involvement is encouraging to HBO brass who are optimistic about extending the Big Little Lies franchise.
“I’m hopeful because Lianne Moriarty, the book author, is thinking about it,” HBO programming president Casey Bloys told Deadline at TCA. “These characters have lives past the book as written, so we’ll see.”
The high-profile original series, adapted by David E. Kelley and directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, sported a killer cast with stars Kidman, Witherspoon, Woodley, Alexander Skarsgård, Laura Dern, Adam Scott and Zoe Kravitz. The subversive comedy told the tale of three mothers of first-graders whose apparently perfect lives unravel to the point of murder.
Dallas Buyers Club Oscar nominee Vallée has said previously that “it’s a one-time deal” and should be left at the peak it achieved. But Witherspoon has been vocal about wanting to move forward with a second season, even asking fans to lobby Moriarty on Facebook.
One change from the book was the decision not to explicitly include the backstory of Bonnie (Kravitz) and her abusive father in the series, something that Moriarty sees as a possible open door to a follow-up.
“My original reaction was, ‘What have they done? How have they left that out?’” she told the Sydney Morning Herald. “But a lot of people have said that they could tell [what Bonnie’s true story was]. There had been little hints. … It’s implied in her performances and some little lines. I think I might have preferred to have had it in there, but I wouldn’t argue against it either. It also leaves open the possibility of Season 2.”