Westworld Season 2

‘Westworld’ Season 2: release date, casting news and fan theories

Spoilers for Season 1 below

Sci-fi/Western hybrid Westworld is confirmed to be coming back for Season 2. It wrapped up with some (hardly unexpected) mindfucker-y that left many viewers both confused, entranced and desperate for more. Luckily, Season 1 was just the start, and production on the HBO show is reportedly finished. Here’s all the key information you need to know about Westworld Season 2.

When is Westworld Season 2 out?

The show will return in Spring 2018. This was confirmed by HBO in July 2017, and again by star Evan Rachel Wood on Twitter.

One Reddit user has theorised that the show’s release date could be April 22 or April 29. Owing to Emmy eligibility rules, at least 5 episodes need to have aired before May 31 to be eligible for the award. April 22 or April 29 would fit that criteria, as well as lining up with several of HBO’s existing show schedules. Read the full post here. Jeffrey Wright, who plays Bernard, shared a post on Instagram last week which appeared to confirm April.

Has Westworld Season 2 begun filming?

Filming for new episodes has now been completed. This has been confirmed by several cast members Instagram posts in the last few weeks.

The production for the new episodes was besieged with problems, however. On November 2, filming for the show was suspended indefinitely after a male actor with a recurring was seriously injured off-set. The actor was named as Zahn McClarnon, a new cast member for the show. Filming resumed within weeks of the incident.

In December, filming was suspended due to forest fires in California, where scenes were being shot. “Due to nearby wildfires, Westworld stopped production earlier today and will resume filming as soon as it’s safe to do so,” HBO said.

Is there a trailer for Westworld Season 2?

Hell yeah! Check out the gloriously violent teaser trailer below.

So what does that trailer tell us? More than we expected, actually.

Chaos reigns over Westworld, but we get concrete assurances about who makes it through. Delores is seen in pretty furious mood riding a horse, Bernard is alive and kicking and Maeve takes a little look at the carnage she created.

In addition to this, HBO unveiled recently its 2018 preview and eagle-eyed viewers will be able to spot a lil Westworld 2 action within its snappily edited two-minute run-through.

How many episodes will there be?

As confirmed by Bloys, there will be 10 episodes, just like the first season.

HBO

Will the entire cast be back for Season 2?

Ed Harris, who played the older iteration of The Man In Black in the first season, confirmed that he’ll be back involved if the character returns – which as we’ve seen in the trailer, is totally on. Speaking to BBC Radio 4, Harris said “I was just talking to Jonah Nolan last night, who’s a creator of this thing [Westworld] with his wife Lisa Joy, and yeah, they’re doing another season. They’re going to do 10 more episodes, and I will be involved.”

He stopped short of any more details, though it’s likely that his character will play another large role.

His younger iteration, whose identity was kept secret throughout the show and was played by Jimmi Simpson, is set to return. Speaking to IGN at Comic-Con in July, Simpson confirmed that he would feature in the new episodes. “There’s a few more questions we’re going to answer for us about how that transition occurred” he said, when asked about how his character morphed into the Man in Black.

He gave firm confirmation that he will be back via Twitter a week later.

“I wish there was exploration between the time when William’s heart is broken and we see the result. I’ll say that,” Simpson said at The Golden Globes in January 2018. “I want to know how much it takes and how hard he tried not to go there. But, I don’t write the story, you know?”

Its unclear who else will return as characters in the new series just yet. Rachel Evan Woods (Dolores) and Thandie Newton will both return for the new series but Anthony Hopkins, who played the park’s creator, Robert Ford, and was shot in the season’s finale, has been cryptic about whether he will return.

Speaking to the Hollywood Reporter, producer Jonathan Nolan didn’t rule out Hopkin s return, saying “I think with this show, you want to assume nothing” in regards to his return, and speaking to The Mirror in December, Hopkins backed that up. “Nobody knows anything,” Hopkins said. “I don’t know anything. I cannot give any answers as I don’t know.”

In October, new cast member Katja Herbers dropped a massive hint that Hopkins was back. Speaking to Dutch site NU.nl, she said “To be able to work with top actors like Anthony Hopkins is, of course, also super exciting”. So if she is a new cast member, surely she is talking about working with Hopkins on Season 2.

James Marsden, who played Delores’ ally Teddy recently posted snaps from the set on his Instagram.

Ponderin' at the Ponderosa. 🤠🤔 Photo cred: @evanrachelwood #Westworld

A post shared by James Marsden (@james_marsden) on

Louis Herthum, who plays Peter Abernathy (Delores’ father), revealed that his character will return for the new episodes and that he will become a main cast member for the show. Talulah Riley, who played the the welcoming host Angela will also be promoted.

Will there be any new characters in Season 2?

You betcha. First up to join the crazy gang is The Leftovers star Katja Herbers, who is described as by Deadline as “a seasoned guest in Westworld whose latest visit comes at the park’s darkest hour”. Is she going to be the park’s saviour when it all goes a bit bananas next year? It seems that way…

As confirmed by VarietyGustaf Skarsgård (Vikings), Fares Fares, and Betty Gabriel will all join the Westworld crew. Skarsgård (pictured below) will be playing Karl Strand, “a white-collar guy comfortable in the field”, with Fares playing a new tech wizard called Antoine Costa, and Gabriel taking the role of Maling, a new enforcer in the park.

Gustaf Skarsgård

What’s going to happen in Season 2?

Currently, Nolan and co-producer Lisa Joy have kept tight lipped about what’s going to happen in the new episodes. However they have confirmed that the new episodes will not directly commence after last season’s finale. “We are definitely not picking up right where we left off” Nolan says.

One thing that people are excited about seeing is the introduction of other worlds.

In the finale, a brief scene confirmed that other parks like Westworld exist. In the 1973 film and the book it was based on, three parks –  Western World, Roman World and Medieval World – are featured. Speaking at Comic Con in New York at the end of last year, Nolan said that Roman World and Medieval World are not a part of their plans.

In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Nolan and Joy suggested that new worlds, in particular the Samurai World that was teased, will start to feature in the show. “We will ultimately encounter other worlds. Just when and where remains to be seen” Nolan said. Joy confirmed that Samurai World is in the works by saying, “it’s wonderful to work with actors we haven’t worked with before. This allows us a lot of access to Asian actors and the Asian community”.

Eagle-eyed viewers will notice that in the first trailer we see a washed up tiger on the beach with Bernard looking pretty perplexed by it. Outside of horses, animals in Westworld were few and far between, so it’s unlikely for a tiger to suddenly show up. That means we could be seeing Samurai World or East World leaking into West World, and the tiger could just be the first sign of that happening.

The speculation around this continues to grow, as leaked set photos shared with Westworld Watchers appear to show building styles that would look in place at Samurai/East World. The curved roof, in contrast to the shacks that were prominent in the first set of episodes is what have got tongues wagging. Take a look at them here.

Speaking at a Vanity Fair panel in October 2017, Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan joked they “had to save something for Season 2” when asked why Roman World and Samurai World didn’t feature in the show’s first batch of episodes.

Furthermore, eagled-eyed fans spotted that a clue at the interactive Westworld Experience in New York may have hinted at even more worlds. In a piece for This Is Insider, at least six worlds were hinted at in voice-over. “After fake security guards usher visitors into an elevator, an audio recording is played. It’s an announcement being made by Ashley Stubbs (played by Luke Hemsworth). After assuring guests everything will be fine, he says “parks one, three, and six” are undergoing emergency evacuation procedures.”

However as we now know that filming will start up in Utah, that the original Westworld universe is likely to be the primary basis for the next batch of episodes.

Plot details are thin while the writers are working on the show, but the theme of “chaos” as alluded to by Ford in the closing moments of the finale looks like to be a dominant theme.

With the host’s revolution on the way, it could be Dolores who is the spearhead of what is to come. In the finale, we learn that Dolores is actually Wyatt – the outlaw host in Ford’s narrative – and “that ruthlessness seen will carry over into the new episodes”, Nolan says. “The question will be when the dust settles and the pendulum stops swinging, who will Dolores be?”

The show’s official website recently updated with a new coded message, which you can see below:

What does it mean though? Fans are speculating that this could represent the lack of communication from the world to the outside, and that more peril awaits the guests of the park.

In an interview with DeadlineThandie Newton – who plays Maeve – goes into details about her character when she returns to the park. “In Season 2, we’re going to see her going back into the world that she has abandoned, which felt to me like an incredibly courageous and ultimately rebellious choice,” she said.

“Particularly as Maeve was informed by Jeffrey Wright’s Bernard character that everything that she’s done, like escaping the park, was programmed. I found that deeply disturbing, and Maeve also found it violently disturbing, to feel like your mind is not your own, that these acts of defiance that were brave and rebelling against her oppressors were preordained. It’s terrifying.” Basically, it looks like Maeve’s identity crisis is going to play a huge part to Season 2.

Tessa Thompson, who plays the park’s boss Charlotte Hale expanded on Maeve and her characters role for the new episodes in an interview with Elle. “It really is a season where I think women are king. I think they rule the world in the park this season,” she said. “This season you see her [Maeve] taking that entirely back and she’ll have anyone that she wants.”

Are any of the fan theories correct?

In a press conference last year, Nolan confirmed that Reddit had correctly guessed one of the twists coming in Episode 3. 

“Reddit has already figured out the third episode twist,” Nolan said. “So, we’re changing that right now” he revealed. “It’s annoying sometimes when people guess the twists and then blog about it, but the engagement is gratifying, on one level, because if someone guesses your twist, it means you’ve done an adequate job [of structuring the series].”

He didn’t go on to say which of the fan theories was guessed correctly, however.

Nolan also revealed that may people are incorrectly assuming that Westworld takes place in the future, in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter. “We had some pretty frightening conversations about [artificial intelligence] with people who have a front-row seat to what’s happening” he said. “We’ve all thought about this subject as science fiction for so long that it’s hard to understand it’s happening — right now.”