Release Date: Sunday, April 22nd at 9pm on HBO
Cast: Evan Rachel Wood, Ed Harris, Jimmi Simpson, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, James Marsden, Ben Barnes, Tessa Thompson, Luke Hemsworth, Shannon Woodward, Talulah Riley, Louis Herthum, Simon Quarterman, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal
Writers: Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan
Westworld Season 2 began production in July 2017 with shooting in Moab, Utah and Santa Clarita, California. Shortly after, HBO announced the show would premiere in the spring of 2018. Despite the temporary suspension of filming due to a cast member’s medical emergency and the California wildfires that shut down production in December, the show remained on schedule. The trailer released during Super Bowl LII confirmed that the show’s release date was set for Sunday, April 22nd. April is typically the month HBO saves for Game of Thrones, but with no new season of the show until 2019, they gave the month to their other big hit series.
Westworld Season 2 will see the return of a number of major characters including Evan Rachel Wood as the oldest host in the park Dolores, Ed Harris as the Man in Black and Jimmi Simpson as his younger self William, Ben Barnes as Logan who introduces William to the park, Jeffrey Wright as Bernard, Angela Sarafyan as host Clementine, Tessa Thompson as Delos Executive Director Charlotte Hale, and Simon Quarterman as Westworld’s head writer Lee Sizemore. Talulah Riley who plays Angela, a host with a complex background and Louis Herthum who plays Peter, the host who acts as Dolores’ father were both promoted to series regulars for Season 2.
Surprisingly Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) and Elsie Hughes (Shannon Woodward) are also both set to return for Season 2. Stubbs was last seen captured by a tribe of Native American hosts when he went looking for the missing programmer Elsie. Ingrid Bolsø Berdal is also set to return as the snake tattooed bandit Armistice who was last seen in the Season 1 post-credits scene cutting her own arm off.
The one actor not returning to Westworld season 2 is Anthony Hopkins. His character, Westworld co-creator Robert Ford, was killed by Dolores in the Season 1 finale as part of his master plan to “save” the hosts cause complications for Delos at the same time. However, we will see a younger version of Ford in Season 2 played by a different actor.
Besides all of the familiar faces, Westworld Season 2 will include several new characters. The Wolverine actor Hiroyuki Sanada has joined the cast as Musashi – a character who is seemingly part of ShogunWorld. Vikings star Gustaf Skarsgård joins the cast as white collar worker Karl Strand while Fares Fares from Rogue One is playing tech expert Antoine Costa. Both men are series regulars along with Leftovers actress Katja Herbers who is playing Grace, veteran guest of the park who is thrust into the chaos. Betty Gabriel (The Purge: Election Year) will have a recurring role as Maling who is “trying to restore order on the ground.” Also joining the cast are Jonathan Tucker (American Gods) as commanding military officer Major Craddock and Neil Jackson (Nocturnal Animals) as the charming and resourceful Nicholas.
Season 1 of Westworld mixed the past and present, telling stories via multiple timelines. There was the long ago past with the story of Robert Ford and how he created Westworld alongside his partner Arnold Weber. There was also the not so distant past with William and the story of how he became the Man in the Black after his experiences with Logan and meeting Dolores in the park. And then there was the present with the hosts realizing their independence and trying to escape their loops and the Man in Black and the problems inside Delos. The theme of the season was the idea of “The Maze” and each character trying to reach its center, each to a different end.
Season 2 of Westworld will be larger and more expensive than the first. The show will “experiment with different points of view” so other’s character’s stories, outside of Dolores’ can be told. Since Season 1 focused almost solely on the hosts, the show will spend some time highlighting guests’ experiences in the park and what it was like for them before the mayhem started. It will also explore the world “beyond” the park– especially now that we know of the existence of six other parks created by Delos. One of these parks, ShogunWorld, appears to play a role in the show’s second season. There is also the future possibility of visiting Roman World and Medieval World, both which appeared in the original film.
Westworld Season 2 will not pick up directly after Season 1. However, the effects of the hosts rising up against the park’s guests will be felt. Nolan says while Season 2 was defined by “control“, Season 2 will be all about “chaos” now that Ford’s new narrative has been set in motion. While Season 1 was referred to collectively by the showrunners as “The Maze”, Season 2 is called “The Door“, hinting perhaps at the next step the characters must take to achieve independent thought and free will.
The first trailer for Westworld Season 2 was a teaser released during San Diego Comic Con 2017. It gave a little hint at the direction the show is heading in, showing the hosts finally fighting back against the park’s guests. It was just enough to get fans excited and speculating about the season to come. The full-length Season 2 trailer aired during Super Bowl LII. It was HBO’s first Super Bowl trailer in 20 years, proving just how important the show has become for the network. This longer trailer featured a voice-over by Dolores eerily promising to rebuild the world for the hosts. A new promo for HBO also revealed some additional Season 2 footage.
Reddit users also uncovered a hidden trailer revealed in the Season 2 poster. The poster had a code which sent fans to a page within the Discover Westworld site called “Find the Door“. This 16-second trailer featured a number of doors shown throughout the series with an ominous voiceover declaring, “You’re in my game. In this game, you must find the door“, circling back to the season’s overarching theme.
After releasing the Super Bowl teaser trailer and a number of short featurettes showing off new material, the full-length Westworld season 2 trailer is finally here. Not only do we get to see more of Dolores, Maeve, and the other hosts after their revolt last season, but the world outside of the park is finally revealed. We see Dolores out at a party in new clothes, but shots of young William later tease this could be from the past when Delos was just getting started. But it will still mark our first look at the world outside of the park and the Delos labs.
We also get to see the reveal of ShogunWorld in the Westworld season 2 trailer. Teased at the end of last season, the new park is one of five additional ones run by Delos and is themed after feudal Japan. At one point, we see Maeve dressed for the park walking amidst chaos and several other parks tease we’ll see just what it’s like inside ShogunWorld when season 2 premieres. And on top of the new look at the show, there was even an Easter egg hidden in the Westworld trailer that led to another season 2 promo.
The writers for Westworld season 2 have also not been announced yet, but showrunners Nolan and Joy are sure to be heavily involved. They wrote (either together or alongside another writer) almost every episode in Season 1. Other Season 1 writes included Captain America: Winter Soldier writer Ed Brubaker, The Leftovers write Kath Lingenfelter, Halley Wegryn Gross, and Dan Dietz. The concept for the show was based off the movie written and directed by Michael Crichton.
We do know however, that the first episode of Season 2 is most likely called “Journey Into Night” as teased by Nolan.
There has been no announcement about the directors for season 2 of Westworld yet. The first season included showrunner and writer Jonathan Nolan behind the camera as well as Game of Thrones vets Neil Marshall and Michelle MacLaren. Prolific TV directors Richard J. Lewis and Frederick E. O. Toye also directed episodes. Toye was the only other person besides Nolan to direct 2 episodes of the 10 episode series.
The poster for season 2 of Westworld was released via a set of clues on actress Woodward’s twitter page. A link to Discover Westworld was provided with the words, “No one is in control. Ask Aeden“. If you go to the website, you’ll discover Aeden is a Westworld guest services host who you can chat with. Several other cast members also got in on the fun, tweeting motion posters with additional clues. Putting them together leads to the phrase “Chaos Takes Control” which, once given to Aeden leads him to reply “Welcome to the New Frontier” with a link to the Season 2 poster. The poster shows a half-formed robotic vulture under a blood red sky next to a black hat alongside the Season 2 tagline.
With Westworld season right around the corner, the creators of the series decided to offer fans a trade: for 1,000 upvotes on Reddit, they’d release a spoiler-filled video breaking down the new season. Naturally, the post reached its goal and the video in question was released. And surprising few, it turned out to be an elaborate prank. After some footage of Bernard—narrated by Jeffrey Wright—sets up the opening of the new season, we cut to Sweetwater where Angela Sarafyan (Clementine) sits at a piano and begins the opening chords of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ by Rick Astley before Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores) joins her on vocals. After the song, the remainder of the 25-minute video features black and white footage of a dog at the piano before a brief memorial pops up for Bento (aka the Keyboard Cat, who recently passed). All told, the video is multiple layers of trolling targeted at a community well-known for such behavior.