The prospects of an Asian “The White Lotus” setting are all but confirmed as executive producer David Bernad continues to tease details about the HBO comedy-drama’s highly anticipated third season.
Speculations of an Asian location have made rounds since October 2022, with series creator Mike White teasing about going to “a whole different continent” for Season 3. He first mentioned considering Asia, then specifically named Japan while talking about cast member Jennifer Coolidge.
The critically acclaimed series was set in Hawaii and Sicily for its first and second seasons, respectively. When the latter ended in December 2022, White yet again hinted at an Asian getaway, citing a focus on religion and spirituality.
“I think the third season would be maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality,” White said in an “Unpacking” clip following the Season 2 finale. “It feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at White Lotus.”
This week, executive producer Bernad built up the hype during a keynote chat at the Berlinale Series Market in Germany.
“We’ve tried to work in Asia a lot and hopefully Season 3 will be our chance to make something happen there,” he said, adding that White almost worked in Asia for another project in 2016, as per Deadline.
Bernad also revealed that Evan Peters was originally slated to play Ethan Spiller in Season 2. The role ultimately went to Japanese English actor, writer and director Will Sharpe, who told The Playlist in December 2022, “I feel really lucky just to have been a part of it.”
Sharpe was Season 2’s lone Asian lead, prompting several fans to anticipate seeing him star in an Asian “The White Lotus.” On the other hand, the ending to Ethan’s story was left open for interpretation — such as what went on between him and Meghann Fahy’s Daphne Sullivan in a nearby cave — and some fans are demanding answers.