Big Little Lies‘ Jean-Marc Vallée, the director who helped make the HBO drama into the Golden Globes-winning force it is today, is not returning for the second season. But that’s not for lack of want or effort.

“We are so deeply grateful to Jean-Marc Vallée,” series star and executive producer Reese Witherspoon told press backstage at the Golden Globes on Sunday. “His vision for these characters; the way he guided us — he put his artistry and his heart and soul into it. His musical taste is all over this miniseries. Unfortunately he was busy.

“We did try and accommodate, but we wanted to get the second season started soon because I do think the public wants it soon,” she continued. “We were very lucky to have Andrea Arnold respond to the material and David [E. Kelley] wrote incredible scripts. Liane [Moriarty] wrote an incredible piece that he’s adapting, so we’re just thrilled to welcome her to our family. Jean Marc has welcomed her to the family, and we’re just thrilled we all get to do this again with each other.”After strung out teases of “will they? won’t they?” banter from the cast and crew, HBO formally renewed Big Little Lies for season 2 with Andrea Arnold (Transparent, American Honey) in the director’s chair. Creator David E. Kelley is also returning to write and produce the new episodes.

“It feels like, [Shailene Woodley] and I were just talking about it, that for this show to resonating now at this time is extraordinary,” Nicole Kidman remarked. “It allows us to speak and be seen and be heard.”

Credit: FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

Big Little Lies took home four Golden Globes this year: best television limited series/motion picture made for television, as well as best actress (Kidman), best supporting actress (Laura Dern), and best supporting actor (Alexander Skarsgård) in the same genre.

See the full list of winners from the 75th annual Golden Globes here.

Reporting by Maureen Lee Lenker.

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