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Once again, we are set to return to The White Lotus resort for the upcoming third season of the scandalous HBO series. Created by Mike White, the first two seasons of the captivating dramedy, following the interconnected lives of various guests and staff at the titular luxury resort, has received widespread critical acclaim with 14 Primetime Emmy Awards.

The White Lotus has also become a firm favourite of LGBTQIA+ viewers thanks to its queer storylines, from the steamy hook-up between Isabella (Eleanora Romandini) and Mia (Beatrice Grannò) to Murray Bartlett’s high strung manager ‘normalising rimming’ with the help of Lukas Gage.

Jennifer Coolidge also reached a new peak in her career as Tanya McQuoid, who memorably opened fire on a boat of homosexuals before delivering the now-iconic line: “Please, these gays, they’re trying to murder me!”

Although McQuoid will not be present (we’re still in mourning), season three will undoubtedly follow another trip of affluent debauchery, the demise of another guest (or guests?) and, hopefully, more queerness. Read ahead for what we can expect from season three, from cast members to release date.

What is the plot of season 3?

Teasers for the third season have been swirling around since the end of 2022, when the second season was still airing on screens. “I think the third season would be 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,” White said at the time on Unpacking.

This was corroborated by White in a previous interview with Deadline ahead of the season two premiere: “I think it’ll be fun to maybe go to a whole different continent. You know, we did Europe, and maybe Asia, something crazy like that, that would be fun.”

Thailand is the confirmed new location, as reported by Variety. HBO has reportedly partnered with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to aid the filming. Janet Graham Borba, executive vice president of production HBO & Max, told the publication: “We are pleased to partner with the Tourism Authority of Thailand to execute Mike’s creative vision and showcase all that the beautiful country of Thailand has to offer, as the next group of guests check in to the White Lotus.”

“We are honoured to have Amazing Thailand featured as the filming location for the highly anticipated upcoming season of The White Lotus,” added Thapanee Kiatphaibool, governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. “The kingdom’s exotic natural beauty, rich historical sites and diverse landscapes are the perfect settings to share our fascinating culture, fantastic cuisine, top-notch wellness and luxury offerings, and most importantly our people and Thai hospitality.

“Thailand has long been considered one of the world’s favourite filming locations. The White Lotus project will certainly strengthen the kingdom’s status as a preferred filming destination and a beacon of experience-based tourism, inspiring even more visitors to Amazing Thailand.”

The finer details of the plot are still being kept under wraps, aside from confirmation that there will be a new group of guests at the White Lotus resort. However, it appears we are once again in for a treat with multiple twists. Natasha Rothwell told Vanity Fair at the LA premiere of Wonka, last December: “I gasped out loud a minimum of five times, and this was just me reading them. The scripts are a testament to Mike’s skill and ability to tell the most smart and entertaining stories.” She continued, with a warning to viewers: “Everyone needs to buckle up, because it’s going to get real!”

The cast?

The first cast members announced for the third instalment were named by Variety. Newbies include Leslie Bibb, Dom Hetrakul, Jason Isaacs, Michelle Monaghan, Parker Posey and Tayme Thapthimthong.

The next wave of new cast members to be announced were Miloš Biković, Christian Friedel, Morgana O’Reilly, Lek Patravadi, Shalini Peiris, Carrie Coon, Walton Goggins, Sarah Catherine Hook, Sam Nivola, Patrick Schwarzenegger, Aimee Lou Wood, Francesca Corney, Nicholas Duvernay and Arnas Fedaravičius.

In February, Variety confirmed that BLACKPINK star Lisa Manobal has joined the cast. She marks the second member of an iconic K-pop girl band to appear in a HBO series after Jennie, credited as Jennie Ruby Jane, starred as Dyanne in The Idol.

Since the initial cast announcement, Julian Kostov has replaced Miloš Biković after Ukraine’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs took to X (formerley Twitter) to call out Biković’s alleged ‘support of Russia.’

These new additions will join Rothwell, who will reprise her season one role as beloved spa manager Belinda Lindsey. In the season, she was infamously led on by guest and potential investor Tanya McQuioid (Coolidge).The news of her reprisal came in April 2023 when multiple sources confirmed to Variety.

Upon the announcement, Rothwell shared the news in a retweet, saying: “Belinda is back baby!”

Despite a plethora of new talent, the beloved Coolidge has confirmed that she will not be back for a third season. McQuoid memorably met her demise in the season two finale after she, in self-defence, massacred a boat of gay men.

In the season two finale, a group of “evil gays” plotted to kill Coolidge’s fan-favourite character for her money. After managing to take a few of them out, McQuoid fell off a yacht, knocked her head on a dinghy and proceeded to drown to death in the Ionian Sea.⁠

The pop icon referenced the now-iconic scene when accepting her second Primetime Emmy Award by thanking “all the evil gays”.

At the ceremony, Coolidge also thanked The White Lotus creator Mike White and confirmed that, sadly, McQuoid will not be resurrected for the third season: “He said I’m definitely dead so I am going along with it.” ⁠

Where can I watch season 3?

Production will start in and around Koh Samui, Phuket and Bangkok in February 2024.

HBO announced via Deadline: “The White Lotus season, that was going to be 2024 and that’s likely moving into 2025.” The pushback of fate was due to SAG-AFTRA strikes.

The White Lotus seasons 1 and 2 are available in the UK on Now TV