True Detective
Jessica Chastain and a memorable scene from season oneReuters / HBO

Oscar-nominated star of Zero Dark Thirty and The Help Jessica Chastain has been offered a leading role in season two of HBO's smash hit drama True Detective, according to reports.

Nerdist claims to have learned exclusively that Chastain has been offered the lead in Nic Pizzolatto's series, but has yet to accept. Representatives of the 37-year-old declined Nerdist's request for comment.

Pizzolatto has only briefly teased season two in an interview with HitFlix after the first season's finale. He said that the show's return would be about "hard women, bad men and the secret occult history of the United States transportation system."

True Detective season one followed Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson's Rust Cohle and Marty Hart over a period of 17 years as the hunt down a sadistic serial killer in Louisiana. Highly rated by both fans and critics, a second season was inevitable.

However Pizzolatto made clear before the first season even aired that each season of the show would be separate, and follow separate characters in different settings. So no, McConaughey and Harrelson won't be returning.

Speaking to Buzzfeed, Pizzolatto revealed a potential locale for the season, saying he has "been reading about the last 40 years of Southern California government." At a Television Critics Association panel in January he also said: "We're generally concerned with the places that don't get much press and where you wouldn't normally set a television show."

It has also been revealed that the second season wouldn't be directed by a single person as with season one.

True Detective season two will likely air in January 2015.