There’s a new murder to solve in Only Murders in the Building season three — and Selena Gomez’s Mabel, Steve Martin‘s Charles and Martin Short’s Oliver are on the case.
In the final moments of season two, the gang reunited one year after they went their separate ways. Charles goes back to starring in a reboot of the series that made him a star, Brazzos; Mabel continues renovating her apartment with Alice (Cara Delevingne); and Oliver gets offered a director role in a Broadway play.
Charles stars in Oliver’s play alongside none other than Paul Rudd as series newcomer Ben Glenroy. Right before the curtain rises, Ben and Charles are seen bickering and Charles utters, “I know what you did.” As soon as Ben steps onto the stage and recites his first line, he collapses and dies.
Rudd isn’t the only new castmember welcomed into the orbit of the murder-mystery-solving trio in season three. Meryl Streep joins Only Murders as struggling actress Loretta Durkin, who has a role in Oliver’s Broadway play and begs him not to give up on her. The season three trailer shows Ben isn’t a fan of Loretta, even going as far as to call her a “stinkarooni.” Could she be his killer? The trailer sure makes it seem that way. But, according to Hulu’s season three synopsis, Loretta actually helps the trio as they embark on their toughest case yet — one that sees them leave the comfort of the Arconia, much to the tenants’ joy. “At least you had the consideration to keep the body out of the building this time,” Mia Hoffman’s Uma tells Charles in the two-and-a-half-minute look at the upcoming season.
In a previous conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, co-creator John Hoffman admitted that Streep “was the dream” casting choice for Loretta, and then she “reached out to her friends Steve and Marty” about wanting to be a part of the show. “It’s this domino effect of wonderful experiences, and she is everything anyone has ever said about working with her. It [was] really a hell of a time on our set.”
Gomez echoed Hoffman’s sentiment about Streep when she shared a photo in April with the three-time Oscar winner to announce production on season three had wrapped. “I’m not sure I have enough words to explain just how beautiful this season has been,” she wrote in the caption. “It has been deliriously hilarious, challenging and for me, an absolute dream. I’ll post more soon. But I’ll I leave it with the woman I adore, look up to and love.”
The trailer sees Charles, Mabel and Oliver consider some of the other newcomers as possible murderers — including Jesse Williams’ Tobert, a documentarian with a particular interest in the case (and maybe Mabel), and Ashley Park’s Kimber, “the Tik-Tok-addicted starlet.” Matthew Broderick also makes an appearance in an undisclosed role.
As for returning castmembers, fans can expect to see similar faces in Tina Fey’s Cinda Canning, Da’Vine Joy Randolph’s Detective Dee Williams, Jane Lynch’s Sazz Pataki, Ryan Broussard’s Will Putnam and Michael Cyril Creighton’s Howard Morris, among others.
Only Murders in the Building season three will be told in at least two separate timelines, with the trailer revealing that Rudd will have a bigger role in the season than just dying at the beginning of it. Flashbacks will show events leading up to the murder of Ben, as well as the trio’s attempts to solve the murder in the present day.
In their own ways, the first two seasons focused broadly on the murder mystery, but more specifically on the life of a different member of the trio. Season three continues with that tradition and sees Oliver’s life come into the spotlight, explained co-showrunner Hoffman when asked what he could tease about it.
“This show has always had a touch of theatricality to the way it tells its stories,” Hoffman told THR. “If season one was a little more focused on the emotional storyline for Mabel and Tim Kono, and season two was a little more emotionally connected to Charles and his relationship with his father and himself, I’m very excited to both lean into the theatrical side of New York City and also into Oliver and his world.”
Only Murders in the Building season three premieres on Hulu Aug. 8 with two episodes, followed by a new episode weekly until the Oct. 3 finale.
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