Christian Bale
Christian Bale with wife Sandra BlazicReuters

After last week's promise from HBO programming president Michael Lombardo that True Detective season two would star "well-known names," rumours have already linked Colin Farrell to a leading role.

Now Christian Bale is being linked to the show, but don't get your hopes up because according to The Wrap he turned down a part so that he could sign up to play Travis McGee in a forthcoming adaptation of The Deep Blue Goodbye.

Variety reports that while Bale has agreed to the part, there has yet to be an official offer. The film based on John D MacDonald's novel will be directed by Walk The Line and The Wolverine's James Mangold, with Leonardo DiCaprio also on board as a producer.

As well as Farrell, Jessica Chastain is another name which has been linked to the second season of True Detective – which has the clout to attract such stars following an acclaimed first season starring Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson.

Both actors recently received Emmy nominations for their efforts but will not return. It was established before the first episode even aired that Nic Pizzolatto's show would be an anthology, with a different story told with different actors in each season.

Earlier this year we hypothecised about some actors – 10 men, 10 women – who could lead the cast of True Detective season two.