Westworld ended with a bang, figuratively and literally, on HBO this past Sunday. The robot revolt in an Old West theme park series wrapped up its first season with a cliffhanger as many of the main characters confronted a major change in the status quo. Butwhere does the series go from here? When will it be back? What new *worlds* will the series explore, and who will be left to explore them? These are all key questions that have been put to the show’s two shuwrunners – Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy – in the last 48 hours. So what are the answers? Spoilers ahead, obviously.
It’s been previously said by Nolan that the first season was about control, and the second season will be about chaos. Joy expanded on that saying that in the season to come, humans may be dropping like… Well, you know. “Well, the flies were always the canary in the coal mine of where the story was going, because they were the one not-programmed creature in the park,” Joy explained to TV Line. “So that tiny little slap that Dolores did at the beginning of the season was a harbinger of things to come. Now, in Season 2, now that the gloves are off, we’re gonna see a lot of flies — and they’re not necessarily gonna be actual flies.”
“I think part of it is we’ve looked at the hosts trying to become aware of the reality of their situation and who they are. To hear their own voices. That’s where we’ve gotten to at the end of this season,” Nolan added. “Now the thing we get to explore is once they’ve heard their own voices and once they’ve embraced who they are, what choices will they make? It speaks to a thing of how identity constantly evolves. They were steeped and raised in violence. These violent delights did indeed have violent ends at the end of the season. And I think we’re going to see how that pendulum swings going forward.”
We’ll be waiting a while to see that swing though. “We won’t be on the air until 2018,” Nolan told Variety. The delay, he says, is owed to the complexity of show. “We started that conversation with the network when were shooting Episode 2 and we realized the complexity of trying to write and produce the show at the same time. We both work in the movie business as well, and in the movie business the best that you can possibly hope for with a film franchise is to turn around another installment in two or three years. So really on that schedule, we’re doing great.”
Now for the big question: will Anthony Hopkins return? Ford getting shot in the neck seemed pretty definitive, but when your show’s full of robots, and robots that used to be people, you never say never. “We were very lucky to have one amazing season with Anthony Hopkins. We loved working with him,” said Nolan, who explained that with the show playing in multiple timelines, no character is ever really gone. “As for the show, where it goes, the characters — we’ve well established we’re playing in a more advanced ruleset in terms of death and resurrection than other [projects] I’ve worked on. So I would say: Assume nothing.”
Now for the big question: when are we going to see SamuraiWorld? “We’re definitely teasing there are other worlds,” said Joy to Entertainment Weekly. “How many other worlds and what is the nature of the other worlds is something we’ll start to explore more in season 2. But it was definitely fun filming those samurai [scenes].”
“Something we’re constantly asked is, ‘Is there a Roman World and Medieval World?’ We couldn’t say ‘no,’ because we wanted to go in a slightly different direction,” Nolan added. “This samurai-shogun world, for us, has a very specific relation to the Western. Some of my favorite movies are the Sergio Leone adaptations of the Akira Kurosawa samurai films: The Seven Samurai and The Magnificent Seven. In the period when the Western was the biggest genre in the world, the interplay between Westerns and samurai films in the domestic market in Japan was really cool. On that meta level, those two genres have this almost incestuous relationship with each other. We just couldn’t resist.”
You catch up with, or re-watch, the entire first season of Westworld now on HBO GO.