‘The White Lotus’ Got Millions in Incentives to Film Next Season in Thailand Instead of Japan

The White Lotus season two

The White Lotus got millions of dollars in incentives to film its third season in Thailand instead of Japan. The hit comedy-drama anthology series by Mike White takes place at different fictitious White Lotus resorts around the world. Season one is set in Maui, and season two takes place in Sicily.

IndieWire reports that Japanese producer Georgina Pope spoke at the Tokyo Film Festival about a “high-profile showrunner” interested in shooting in Japan. Deadline confirmed that the showrunner was The White Lotus creator Mike White. “It was a great scout,” says Pope. “We saw some absolutely stunning locations all over Honshu. The showrunner loved it all, and I was feeling very confident that I had it all in the bag. The Thai government had just announced a renewal and improvement on their film-incentive system: a 30% rebate. For their project, that meant $4.4 million alone. Everyone looked at me with sympathy. At the time in Japan, we had no incentive in place at all. I could not respond with a concrete answer. All I could hear was the sound of a $35 million project flying out the window.”

The White Lotus Creator Mike White Teased a Far East Location for Season Three

Mike White, the creator of The White Lotus
Image Credit: Wiki Commons, By Canadian Film Centre from Toronto, Canada – Mike White Masterclass, CC BY 2.0.

The White Lotus series creator Mike White teased a Far East location for season three right after the shocking season two finale aired. “I think the third season would be maybe a satirical and funny look at death and Eastern religion and spirituality,” said White to Variety. “It feels like it could be a rich tapestry to do another round at White Lotus.”

As for which Thailand resort will stand in as the fictitious White Lotus, a Four Seasons is a reasonable guess. The first two seasons of The White Lotus were shot at Four Seasons resorts in Maui and Sicily, respectively. IndieWire reports that Four Seasons has resorts in four Thailand locations: Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Koh Samui, and the Golden Triangle.

As far as casting is concerned, it's unlikely that Jennifer Coolidge's fan-favorite Tanya McQuoid will return given her character's fate at the end of season two. Natasha Rothwell, who played the kind-hearted spa manager Belinda Lindsey in season one, is reportedly confirmed for season three.

The White Lotus won 10 Primetime Emmys and two Golden Globes. Due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, don't expect season three to premiere until 2024 at the earliest.

Author: Robert DeSalvo

Title: Entertainment News Writer


Robert DeSalvo is a professional writer and editor with over 25 years of experience at print and online publications such as Movieline, Playboy, PCH, Fandango, and The A.V. Club. He currently lives in Los Angeles, the setting of his favorite movie, Blade Runner. Robert has interviewed dozens of actors, directors, authors, musicians, and other celebrities during his journalism career, including Brian De Palma, Nicolas Cage, Dustin Hoffman, John Waters, Sigourney Weaver, Julianne Moore, Bryan Cranston, Anne Rice, and many more. Horror movies, sci-fi, cult films as well as gothic, postpunk, and synthwave music are what Robert geeks over.