The first and second seasons of Netflix's 13 Reasons Why had everyone talking — although not all of the chatter was positive. While popular, the young adult series has stirred up a lot of controversy over its portrayal of some very sensitive subject matters, including a graphic suicide, triggering sexual assault attacks, and even school shootings. However, the show has also been praised for opening up a dialogue about the dark, disturbing underbelly of high school bullying, so the streaming service announced the series will return for a third season sometime in 2019.
Although an exact release date has not been revealed, here's what we do know about 13 Reasons Why Season 3 so far.
Hannah will not be back this time. Katherine Langford led the first season as Hannah Baker, the teen who takes her own life and leaves a box full of tapes for Clay (Dylan Minnette) that explain the 13 reasons she made the tragic decision. Her presence continued into the second season, but the actress has since confirmed that she won't return for a third.
She told Entertainment Weekly, "For me, letting Hannah go was in Season 1; Season 2 was for Clay to let her go. It was being able to assist Clay on that journey as Hannah and let Clay have his moment to let Hannah go."
We'll see a lot more of at least two supporting characters. Actors Brenda Strong and Timothy Granaderos were promoted from recurring guest stars to series regulars ahead of Season 3, which means fans will see a lot more of Bryce's (Justin Prentice) strong-willed mother Nora and his sidekick Montgomery in the coming season.
Despite her son's terrible acts, Nora is a morally sound character, but Montgomery proved that he has an evil streak all his own after committing sexual violence and humiliation against Tyler Down (Devin Druid) in the show's second-most controversial bathroom scene.
Don't expect a new set of tapes to emerge. The second season's ending left plenty of room for more emotional exploration with the cast of characters already in place, so creator Brian Yorkey has indicated that the new season won't soon fall back on formula to introduce a new set of scandals.
"I do think that our interest in a second season was because we wanted to continue to follow these people. If there is a future for the show, to me, it's about these characters, and not necessarily a new set of reasons or a new set of tapes," he told The Hollywood Reporter. "Someone else might do that, but that's not my job to do that."
The setting will still be Liberty High School. Season 3 will also pick up in the same location as its predecessors. Local news outlets confirmed in the spring that the school district for Sebastopol High School, which serves as the shooting location for 13 Reasons Why's Liberty High School scenes, approved a deal with the production company for the new season to resume filming in its halls.
Abortion might be one of the new hot topics. At least one actress from the show has a timely idea for Season 3's content. Anne Winters, who portrays Chloe on 13 Reasons Why, told The Hollywood Reporter that she'd like to see the show approach the subject of abortion in its third run. "Abortion should be a topic. I don't know if she should do it or not, I'm going to leave that up to the writers. But I think that it should definitely be discussed," said Winters.
Considering her character was revealed to be pregnant with the child of an accused sexual predator at the end of Season 2, she might be just the person to bring that topical issue into the series. We'll see.
Off-camera cast drama has been a story in and of itself. Shortly before production was slated to begin on Season 3, things hit a bit of a snag as several stars of the show — including lead Minnette and supporting stars Prentice, Druid, Brandon Flynn, Alisha Boe, Christian Navarro, Miles Heizer and Ross Butler — banded together to demand salary increases before they could begin filming. That effort ultimately paid off for everyone involved, as they were each given increases in the nick of time.
That wasn't the only headline-making affair involving Butler, though. The actor was accused of teaming up with rocker Courtney Love and others to steal late music icon Kurt Cobain's guitar back from daughter Frances Bean Cobain's ex-husband. He's since denied any involvement with the alleged plot, but the headlines that surrounded the incident had to have offered up some very bizarre inspo for some series' subplot.
13 Reasons Why will return to Netflix in 2019.