Not only have the hosts taken over Westworld, but they’ve conquered San Diego as well. At Comic-Con this afternoon, the HBO series presented a stacked panel, with 14 actors from the cast in attendance. Even though season two has only been shooting for a week, co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy debuted a short trailer that dropped some tantalizing hints for Westworld‘s new season. Check out our recap of the trailer, as well as our reaction to the panel.
Season Two Gets Bloodier, Thanks to Dolores
The new trailer doesn’t offer much, but it does offer some captivating glimpses of season two. Bernard stands over a dead tiger. Lee Sizemore and Maeve stand in the park’s control room with a plethora of bodies (probably the latter’s doing).
The bloodbath that ended last season continues in full force. Dolores chases some victims into the park’s desert on horseback. Bernard heads into the desert with a squad of Quality Assurance soldiers. Moreover, William managed to survive the shootout that claimed Dr. Ford’s life, though he didn’t escape without some injuries.
Will the other hosts join Dolores’s crusade? We’ll have to wait for season two’s 2018 premiere to find out more.
Originally, Westworld Was Another Movie
The panel revealed that executive producer J.J. Abrams‘s original vision was for Westworld to be a movie, just like the 1973 film that inspired it. However, after input from Jonathan Nolan, it evolved into a TV series. Abrams was responsible for the series’ ultimate focus on the perspective on the androids, which the show emphasized much more than the original film. Given how successful season one of Westworld was, it seems that HBO made the right choice turning it into a full-fledged series. With more screen time, this allowed the creators the opportunity to delve into the full intellectual depth of the Westworld park.
The Producers Kept the Actors in the Dark
Nolan and fellow co-creator Lisa Joy developed a habit of keeping the actors in the dark about the show’s many twists and turns. Evan Rachel Wood didn’t know ahead of time that Dolores turned out to be “Wyatt,” the hyped-up villain of Dr. Ford’s new storyline at the park. It seems that Jeffrey Wright was the exception, since Joy dropped the bomb on him that Bernard was a host while episode two was in production.
Thandie Newton praised this tactic by the creators as “altruistic,” since it helped the actors give their all and prevented their brains from getting overloaded with too many plot turns. Jimmi Simpson also respected the tactic, since for him it was the greatest acting lesson. It’s refreshing to know that for the most part, the actors were on the same page as the fans, as I’m sure it made the impact of each plot twist even larger.
The Cast Has Fun (Maybe Too Much)
The panel had a plethora of lighthearted moments as well. Jonathan Nolan revealed that right before the panel, he did a tequila shot with Ed Harris. Harris also outed himself as a Game of Thrones fan. He compared Westworld to its fellow HBO show, saying, “It’s like Game of Thrones. I don’t know what’s going on in that thing but I enjoy watching it.”
Nolan was full of other quips, joking, “What we are trying to do with the show is slowly reprogram the entire human population.” He also shared that the show’s long-term plan is to franchise into a theme park. That’s certainly not far from the truth since HBO hosted an immersive Westworld experience at Comic-Con this weekend — similar to the new Star Wars hotel coming to Disney World in 2019.
More and more, Westworld is proving to have an indelible impact on the sci-fi genre. I just became a Westworld fan after binging the show last weekend, and I can’t wait for season two. Westworld returns to HBO next year, but in the meantime check out our predictions for the new season.