‘Westworld’ Cast Answers (Some of) Your Burning Season 2 Questions at SDCC
What the hell is happening on Westworld? There are so many different mysteries, it’s honestly hard to keep track of them all. Why are all the robots suddenly becoming conscious? What’s that voice they’re hearing in their heads? What’s Westworld founder Robert Ford up to? Who’s Arnold? Who’s The Man in Black? What year is it? Who’s a robot? Is there even a difference between robot and man anyway? SO MANY DAMN MYSTERIES! Yet Westworld, over the course of its first season, actually answered every single one of these questions – a particularly rare feat in the age of “We’ll explain what’s happening in the next season. Jinx, I meant the season after the next one. Just kidding – I don’t have any answers.”
So having solved most of its mysteries (the show still hasn’t revealed what’s outside the park), where can Westworld go next? Will season two embrace its Crichton-film roots and just become a bloodbath between man & machine? Will Anthony Hopkins come back? Does Ed Harris survive that season ending gunshot? Will the show still be broken up into different time periods? Will any of the new characters be robots in disguise (I’m looking at you, Jonathan Tucker)? SO MANY DAMN QUESTIONS!
So, I guess, I’m right back where I started – What the hell is happening on Westworld?
At the Comic Panel for Westworld, creators Jonathan Nolan & Lisa Joy, alongside the cast (Ben Barnes, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal, Ed Harris, Luke Hemsworth, James Marsden, Thandie Newton, Simon Quarterman, Rodrigo Santoro, Angela Sarafyan, Jimmi Simpson, Tessa Thompson, Evan Rachel Wood, Shannon Woodward, and Jeffrey Wright) discussed the mysteries of season one and previewed what’s to come in season two. Bullet point highlights are below.
- Nolan & Joy cite video games as incredibly important to the development of Westworld. They played a lot of Red Dead: Redemption. ‘There aren’t many jobs where you can play video games as research’, Nolan joked.
- For Nolan – he stated his perception of reality has shifted after one season of the show. He’s now convinced that he’s living in a simulation of reality. For proof: Nolan stated, “I just did a shot with Ed Harris in a parking lot.” Reality thus must be a heightened simulation.
- Nolan jokes the purpose of the show is “to slowly reprogram the entire human population… and to transition the show into an actual theme park.”
Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan keep the actors in the dark on the answers to the show’s mysteries. Evan Rachel Wood recalls how she figured out who Wyatt was during production. “I kept waiting for a casting announcement and I turned every rock and the only option left [was me].” Jeffrey Wright cites a different source for figuring out the show’s mysteries: “Reddit!”
- Thandie Newton plays coy on where Maeve is going in Season Two. “Is she going back [to the park] for her daughter?” Nolan though butts in, “I hope so. That’s what we wrote.”
- Jeffrey Wright says he knew more about the mysteries of season one than the rest of the cast. He didn’t know Bernard was a host when first shooting the pilot, but when production geared up for the whole season, Joy told Wright Bernard’s big secret. Going into this new season, Wright now really appreciates what the twist opens up for the character and the ‘big existential questions we have about ourselves.’
- On the most challenging scene to play – Wood cites when Jimmi Simpson dons the black hat at the end of the first season. Wood and Simpson invested so much into the love story between Dolores and William that it was hard to make such a dark turn at the end. Ben Barnes’ most difficult scene – his final horseback ride. Per Barnes, “Until you’ve ridden a horse balls to the wind, you will not know true terror.”
- James Marsden on his favorite Teddy death scene – “I love them all equally as I do all my children… I honestly can’t pick one. It’s all so tragic for [Teddy] because every-time is the first one for him.”
Will the glimpse of Samurai World (in the season finale) play a bigger role in Season Two? Nolan refuses to say a thing. Not one word. Come on, Nolan. Give me something to work with here…
- They’ve only been shooting season two for a week; but this didn’t stop Nolan and co. from previewing a little clip. We see the self-playing piano, gearing up, it’s pages and mechanics soaked in blood. Cut to a montage of images. Bernard stares at a dead tiger. A man hangs backward from a noose, attempting to grab a gun. We see the Westworld headquarters now with bodies strewn everywhere. A brief glimpse of Luke Hemsworth. I guess he’s not dead. Dolores rides on horseback, gun in hand, firing at people scattering around in fear. The clip ends with a bloodied Ed Harris staring out, smiling creepily as only Ed Harris can. Now that’s more like it, Nolan!
Westworld Season Two will (more than likely) premiere sometime in 2018