Westworld Season 2 is just around the corner — and here’s everything you need to know about the premiere date, trailer, cast and news surrounding the hit show.
HBO’s lush futuristic thriller, with a foot firmly in the “old world,” is coming back in April. As SXSW festival has wrapped in Austin, Texas, loads of new spoilers and teases have been unloaded.
The return to Delos will be full of rancor and rage according to the tea leaves and especially after how the series wrapped up Season 1. Not to mention there’s a whole new “World” coming, Shogun World, where Japanese Samurai culture is the creative playground for clients to immerse themselves in.
But not so fast…we have a few rogue robot bull-runnings to navigate before we see Thandie Newton’s Maeve in Geisha garb.
Westworld finale recap (spoilers)
At the end of the first season we were left with an awakening when, with the immersive theme park hopping with reactivated hosts, the conflicted AI robot heroine Dolores Abernathy (Evan Rachel Wood) shot the creator, Ford (Anthony Hopkins).
We learned that all along, this was Bernard’s (Jeffrey Wright) long-simmering idea, to have the AI beings awaken in consciousness and rise up against the human clients who paid handsomely for pleasure and the pain — whatever their desire was.
Also discovered was that the nefarious Man in Black (Ed Harris) is the callous and cold-blooded William (Jimmi Simpson), who if you remember was the first one to court Dolores. The biggest discovery, of course, was Dolores being outed as being the killer Wyatt.
Meanwhile, Maeve (Thandie Newton) nearly walked out of Westworld but her programming compelled her to seek out her daughter trapped inside her memories.
Westworld Season 2 plot: New villains
Attack of the Drone Hosts! Co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have been quiet about any glaring tip-offs, so for this we have to look to EW — who got the photo scoop of some of what’s to come early — and to the socials and Indiewire, who were all over Westworld at SXSW in Austin.
That ominous white figure below is known as a “drone host”, according to EW. And if you watch the trailer further down, it looks as if the drone hosts might not be very friendly.
Also of note: The droid bulls above were inside the trailer from the Super Bowl, which showed robot bulls having the run of it inside Delos’ high-tech Westworld labs. Maeve may have reprogrammed them.
Meanwhile, also in the trailer Jefferey Wright is shown in a photo squared with a frightening faceless drone host, which, according to EW, “somehow relates to Delos’ top-secret project”.
Westworld Season 2 trailer
Westworld Season 2 cast: Who’s returning?
At SXSW, both Nolan and Joy were with their core cast — including Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, and James Marsden — for a featured panel discussion, in which details about Shogun World were dropped.
There are some unanswered questions…
What happened to Elsie Hughes?
Our Sapphic braniac behavioral programming aide de camp Hughes (Shannon Woodward) had disappeared under unusual circumstances late in Season 1. There was a memory flash of Bernard/Arnold where he was choking her but she did survive.
What happened to Ashley Stubbs?
Our brawny security chieftain Stubbs (Luke Hemsworth) was tracking Hughes when he crossed paths with Ghost Nation hosts — a tribe of “bloodthirsty savages” used as a scary Easter Egg of sorts in Westworld’s wild n’wooly narrative. EW reports that he’s still alive.
The core cast: Dolores, Maeve, Bernard, Teddy (James Marsden) and the Man in Black are set to return. And from IndieWire’s reporter’s Tweets, things look to be, um, steamy:
Evan Rachel Wood: “James Marsden is an angel.”
Thandie Newton: “And he’s still sexy as f***.”
James Marsden: “I like where this is going.”
Thandie: “I will f*** you, I will.” #Westworld
— Ben Travers (@BenTTravers) March 10, 2018
According to EW, fates are as follows:
William: Expect more backgrounder on our Man in Black.
Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) – Power roles have shifted, hers included.
Lee Sizemore (Simon Quarterman) – Our story auteur who writes the fantasies is still around and may be in jeopardy.
Clementine Pennyfeather (Angela Sarafyan) – She’ll be back, how cognitive remains to be seen.
And Bernard…Jeffrey Wright aka host and Delos programming head Bernard Lowe gave Deadline’s studio in Austin, Texas, an earful on his character.
IndieWire reported that everyone was mum about Maeve, as well as the samurai of Shogun World.
S2 clues from original pilot and SXSW
HBO spent four months turning the rundown J. Lorraine Ghost Town Manor, located just outside of downtown Austin, into their sci-fi Western town of Sweetwater with the Mariposa Saloon.
While there a random Samurai, tipping off Shogun World, was spotted by one SXSW attendee:
IGN went inside the SXSW Westworld installation for even more clues:
— Chris Hastings (@chrisjhastings) March 13, 2018
IndieWire reported from Austin that showrunners Nolan, Joy and actors Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright all rewatched the pilot again after they finished shooting Season 2 and recommend fans do the same.
“There are things there,” Wright said. “There are so many things there.”
“There are a lot of clues,” said Evan Rachel Wood.
Westworld Season 2 air date: When is it back?
Westworld returns for Season 2 on Sunday, April 22, 2018, on HBO.