HBO's The Outsider Could Return With Season Based on If It Bleeds

the outsider ben menelsohn cynthia erivo
(Photo: HBO)

This year's Stephen King adaptation The Outsider on HBO proved to be a hit with critics and audiences, with the season finale's cliffhanger seemingly hinting at the continued adventures of the narrative, with a new report from Deadline noting that one of the stories from King's If It Bleeds could end up being developed into a new season of the series. The complication is that The Outsider novel was almost entirely exhausted for the first season, complicating the possibility of another season, but with that story's Holly Gibney having her own story in the If It Bleeds anthology, this might be how The Outsider can live on.

The 10-episode The Outsider follows police detective Ralph Anderson (Ben Mendelsohn), as he sets out to investigate the mutilated body of 11-year-old Frankie Peterson found in the Georgia woods. The mysterious circumstances surrounding this horrifying crime leads Ralph, still grieving the recent death of his own son, to bring in unorthodox private investigator Holly Gibney (Cynthia Erivo), whose uncanny abilities he hopes will help explain the unexplainable.

Gibney is a figure not only from The Outsider, but also in the Finders Keepers series of novels focusing on Bill Hodges. The short story focusing on Holly, If It Bleeds, sees the detective witnessing news of a school bombing, only for suspicions to be raised that the reporter covering the news could somehow have a connection to the tragedy.

Of the four stories in the collection, three are moving forward with adaptations, so while Holly's story might not officially be moving forward, we won't be surprised to see more of Erivo, even if that adaptation is considered its own limited series instead of a second season of The Outsider. However, HBO titled its sprawling fantasy "Game of Thrones," despite that merely being the name of the first book, so the future adventures of Holly could maintain the title, even if it distances itself from the source material.

Earlier this year, star and director Jason Bateman hinted that showrunner Richard Price was looking at ways to expand the series.

"Well I know that they’re talking about it and Richard Price is playing with some ideas and taking some first steps as to what that second year might and feel like," Bateman confirmed with Collider. "Obviously, it’s a complete free-ball because the first season exhausted 100% of [Stephen King’s] book, the IP. So, it’s really all up to him. I never like to step on the lawn of the writers. It’s something that I’ve always stuck with on Ozark. I leave Chris Mundy completely alone and I do my job as a director once I get the script. I chime in every once in a while and offer my opinion, but it’s always for the writer to take if they want and discard if they want."

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Stay tuned for details on the possible future of The Outsider.

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