True Detective season 3 is still happening at HBO and it just got a serious piece of the puzzle locked into place. Mahershala Ali, who recently won an Oscar for his work in the Best Picture winning Moonlight, has officially signed on to play the lead in the upcoming season of the acclaimed crime drama. There is still a lot that needs to happen before True Detective season 3 makes it to air, but this is a fantastic place to start.

The news of Mahershala Ali's casting in True Detective season 3 was first reported by The Tracking Board and was later confirmed during the Television Critics Association summer press tour. In addition to the casting, it was also reported by Variety's Diane Gordon on Twitter that HBO is currently looking for directors to helm the new episodes. Up until recently, we know that creator Nic Pizzolatto is working on a new season of True Detective despite the fact that HBO had not officially given the green light. That has changed now as it sounds like HBO is ready to get this thing moving.

RELATED: True Detective Season 4 May Happen, HBO Confirms Talks Are Ongoing
"#TrueDetective, Mahershala Ali will star. They're talking to directors. #TCA17 #HBO"

No specific directors were named, but we can guess with a recent Academy Award winning actor on board for True Detective season 3 that some more big name talent will be lining up to work on the project. As far as where Nic Pizzolatto is at with the new episodes? According to THR's Chris E. Hayner on Twitter, five scripts have been delivered and all of them are great. Great scripts? Great actor? This could be a good chance for HBO to make up for what happened with True Detective season 2.

"#TrueDetective: HBO Boss has read 5 scripts and thinks they're terrific. They're talking to directors. #TCA17"

True Detective season 1, which starred Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson in the lead roles, is considered by many to be one of the best seasons of TV produced in the modern era. Unfortunately, True Detective season 2 didn't live up to the very high expectations placed upon it by the first season. Not even close. The creative team doubled down on lead actors, bringing in Colin Farrell, Vince Vaughn, Taylor Kitsch and Rachel McAdams, but they didn't really resonate with fans and the narrative of the second season didn't help anything. Still, True Detective season 2 did well in the ratings for HBO, so doing another season makes sense.

There is no word yet on when True Detective season 3 might air, but it sounds like things are starting to heat up. Mahershala Ali didn't only star in Moonlight last year, but he also played the main villain on Luke Cage season 1, which really helped make 2016 a banner year for him. Hopefully, HBO can find some equally exciting additional cast members to join him for True Detective season 3 but they're certainly off to a promising start.