Michael Pitt is becoming very well known for striking secondary characters and yet he has so far successfully avoided type-casting. Pitt brings a quiet menace to the table, and can be found mostly pretending to be playful and coy in both Hannibal and the film Funny Games. Of course, he’s also famous for portraying Jimmy Darmody on Boardwalk Empire. It’s easy to see Pitt as a villain, but his smoldering eyes and playfully twisted qualities would be a great fit as lead for True Detective. Choosing Pitt is such an obvious, easy choice that it almost seems cliche.
That doesn’t mean he wouldn’t totally kill it.
Rust and Marty were both known for being hard men deeply buried problems and emotions. That is to say, neither of them were very much “fun” in the traditional sense of the word. Pitt could bring a certain sort of fun to True Detective without making it campy or forced.
True Detective doesn’t necessarily have to continue in the tradition of strong, stubborn, and brooding male leads. Casting Pitt would be making a sort of statement about what to expect from the second season; that we wouldn’t be getting more of the same.
With a recurring role on Hannibal as Mason Verger, it’s unlikely that we’ll be seeing Pitt take on True Detective. It does, however raise an interesting point — How firmly does True Detective need to stick to the first season when it comes to tone and casting for it to still feel like True Detective?