The filming of ‘The White Lotus’ season 3 has been delayed due to ongoing WGA/SAG-AFTRA strikes. The production for season 3 was slated to commence in Thailand in January 2024, but with the onset of the strikes, the typewriters are left unused, and the lines are going unlearned. ‘The White Lotus’ joins the ranks of ‘Stranger Things,’ ‘The Last of Us,’ and ‘Yellowjackets’ as some of the TV shows impacted by the Hollywood strikes.
Created by Mike White, ‘The White Lotus’ is an anthology black comedy-drama series. It was initially developed as a six-part limited series, but its success led to the production of more seasons. The title refers to the fictional luxury hotel chain that serves as the setting for the show. The first season takes place in the White Lotus resort in Maui, Hawaii, primarily exploring wealth as the central theme. The second season is set at the Taormina, Sicily, branch of the White Lotus and focuses on sex. In a clip attached to the end of the season 2 finale, White revealed, “I think the third season maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality. It feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at White Lotus.”
In March 2023, it was reported that the third season would be set in Thailand. White was reportedly spotted in the Asian country, checking out various sites. HBO renewed ‘The White Lotus’ for season 3 in November 2022, while season 2 was airing. It was reported that, like the first two seasons, season 3 would have a mostly new cast.
In April 2023, news broke that Natasha Rothwell, who portrays spa manager Belinda Lindsey in season 1, would reprise her role in season 3. She was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie in 2022 alongside her co-stars Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, and Sydney Sweeney, eventually losing to Coolidge. The series received four other Primetime Emmys that year, including the Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series and five Primetime Creative Arts Emmy Awards. The second season has been nominated for 12 Primetime Emmys and 11 Primetime Creative Arts Emmys.
Speaking to Deadline, Francesca Orsi, the head of drama at HBO, stated that she hoped for a quick resolution of the issues. “While everything at this moment is pencils down, I’m hopeful that we can come to terms sooner than later,” she said. “Otherwise we will have to assess what is the end of the 24 schedule, what are the shows that are going to be delivered for 2025. At this point, those shows that I’m looking to air wouldn’t necessarily be ready if this strike last six to nine months. So yes, that’s a big question for us, but I think we’ll cross that road once we come to it.”
The intermediate period between the releases of the first two seasons was about 15 months. If the deadlock in negotiations between WGA/SAG-AFTRA and AMPTP continues, it’s unlikely that ‘The White Lotus’ season 3 will have a 2024 release. We can expect more updates on that in the coming months.