The show is set to return later this month, over two years after its third season concluded airing.
Co-creator, writer, director and executive producer Lisa Joy, writer and executive producer Alison Schapker, actors Evan Rachel Wood, James Marsden, Jeffrey Wright, Luke Hemsworth, Angela Sarafyan, and new addition Aurora Perrineau all took part in the panel.
Wood’s previous character of Dolores met her end in season three, but the star will return in season four with a new character. Joy described the new figure, who is called Christina, as “a normal woman living in a big city, trying to make it as a writer”, adding that she “looks a lot like Rachel Wood but maybe more nerdy. Less plundering and murdering, more dating. Everyone else went out in the dirt/heat [for Season four] and she’s at her desk.”
Wood said of the new role: “She’s wonderful and just trying to make it in the big city. And that big city looks somewhat like New York. You’re a writer, you have a job, then there are those dates you go on… it’s slim pickings out there, not going great. There’s a lot of duds, [and] some good ones.”
Marsden, meanwhile, was asked if he knew when he was going to be back in the show, after sitting out season three. “Sometimes you have to go away to come back,” he said. “It’s an amazing thing to be a cog in this beautiful storytelling wheel. You never really know where it’s going to go.”
Elsewhere, Schapker and Joy also gave updates on some of the show’s other characters. “Caleb [played by Aaron Paul] having been through hell and back for seven years has changed — he’s haunted,” Schapker said. “Maeve [played by Thandiwe Newton], who we love, [is] somebody else that will kick a lot of ass this season. We pick up a few years later and if Maeve has to pick a side, what will she do? She’s on a warrior’s journey.”
Joy added: “We last saw Maeve and Caleb ready to kick some ass, [with] the whole city exploding as they dismantled Rehoboam. And then when we find them, it’s seven years later. Each of them have gone on with their lives — their own way — and the world has been freed by sweet dead Dolores. And the question is: Are the hosts still around somewhere? Can they find a new place in this world? Can hosts and humans interact peacefully?”
A trailer for season four of Westworld, which premieres on June 26, was shared last month. In it, various characters played by the likes of Wood, Newton, Ed Harris, Wright, and Thompson can be seen amongst shots of a dystopian New York.