Westworld Stars Preview Season 2 at SXSW Panel

Thandie Newton, Evan Rachel Wood and Jonathan Nolan give a first glimpse of the new season of HBO's robot drama.

by | March 10, 2018 | Comments

Westworld Season 2: Thandie Newton. photo: HBO
(Photo by HBO)

For fans of Westworld at South By Southwest, April 22 could not come soon enough.

On Saturday, showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, along with cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden, and Jeffrey Wright, sat down for a panel at the Austin festival, and not even a special guest appearance from Elon Musk could distract the crowd in the hall from what they wanted to know most: What the hell is going to happen in season 2?

Westworld‘s Certified Fresh first season ended with a bang — several, in fact — as the hosts turned on their human creators and guests: With one shot, Dolores took out Robert Ford and kicked off a robot rebellion. But it also ended with a bunch of questions remaining tantalizingly unanswered. Fans were left wondering, among many other things: Where is Maeve going to go on her quest? What exactly is Shogun World — and will we see it in season 2? And, finally, can Westworld‘s second season possibly prove as intriguing as the first?

Nolan and Co. were careful not to reveal any major season 2 spoilers when pressed by Wired Editor At Large, Jason Tanz, but they did tease the crowd with a few precious details. For starters, there will be a lot more action and a lot more more messing with our minds. And it won’t come in ways we expect.

“We wanted to treat [Westworld] a little bit more like a film franchise,” Nolan said when asked about whether he follows any master blueprint for the series. “Each season is like an installment. And the only way that I know how to do that is to change the game every season.”

Nolan also dazzled fans with never-before-seen footage from the upcoming season — prepare to hyperventilate when you see it — but we value our lives too much to go against the showrunner’s request not to spill any secrets. (We’ve seen what his mind is capable of.)

The actors on Saturday said they were as excited to return to Westworld for season 2 as the fans are to see it.

“I could not f—ing wait, I literally couldn’t wait,” said Newton. “It was like: Can we come home now?”

Wood added, “It was like waiting for Christmas to come. But it’s also daunting. You feel this looming sense of dread when you walk up to the set, because we don’t really get to know what’s going to happen, or what’s in store for us. We get really excited, and then we remember what show we’re on and we’re like, Oh none of this ends well.”

Westworld Season 2 Season 2: Jeffrey Wright. photo: HBO
(Photo by HBO)

Wright said that for his character, Bernard, season 2 is a completely different journey, one that began at the end of season 1.

“The first season was very much about establishing the order of the place, the rules of the place,” Wright said. “[Now] it’s all been ripped apart, it’s destroyed, and we’re recreating something.” He added that “season two for Bernard is, What the f— just happened?”

That was the feeling of a number of the actors working on the project.

“Episode to episode, we literally don’t know what’s going to happen,” Newton said. The actress said that she hates not having control, in work and in life, but for Westworld, “I will say no to control: Take me, do what you want — because it is the dopest s— around.”

Newton’s Maeve was a fan favorite in season 1, a host who grew savvy to what Delos Incorporated had going on, and who would eventually break out of the park. And when Wood’s Dolores morphed from damsel to revolutionary, it became clear that Westworld had given TV a pair of incredibly tough women and two characters who subverted the masculine stereotypes of the Western.

How does it feel to play those strong women, at this time, Tanz asked.

Normal,” Newton replied quickly. “It feels f—ing normal. It feels right. Sigourney Weaver in Alien, that’s like ages ago.”

When Newton revealed that she named her daughter “Ripley,” Wood jumped in: “That’s so funny, I almost named my son ‘Connor.’ I swear to God.”

Cue the high five — and rapturous applause.

While all on stage were careful about spoiling anything about the upcoming season, smart viewers would be wise to pay very close attention to episode one of season 2, which is rumored to be called, “Journey Into Night.” Towards the end of the session, Wright told the audience, “I actually went back and watched the pilot… just to see where we had begun. And there are things there. There are a lot of things there.

Will Shogun World be one of those things in the first episode of season 2? Cue the silence.

Westworld premieres on Sunday, April 22 at 9 p.m. on HBO.


Tag Cloud

Winter TV Trailer Universal HBO Tomatazos Mary Tyler Moore Video Games TV Land spy thriller BBC America 2017 Paramount Starz El Rey medical drama Bravo GLAAD RT History Grammys FX Valentine's Day blaxploitation Interview sitcom TIFF Crackle 2016 boxoffice finale harry potter Sundance YouTube Premium APB Extras golden globes docudrama zombies YA Showtime Fall TV NBC science fiction See It Skip It romance OWN Mindy Kaling ITV Comedy Central Character Guide E! Cosplay Syfy Podcast Apple TNT Nickelodeon cops travel USA Network TCM Box Office ABC Family PBS Britbox Animation Netflix Ghostbusters VICE IFC Awards TruTV thriller Spring TV LGBTQ robots Rom-Com VH1 Esquire GoT Year in Review Best and Worst psycho FXX SundanceTV Calendar Cartoon Network crime drama Walt Disney Pictures TV discovery Fox News Polls and Games justice league Nat Geo Country TCA 2017 BBC Kids & Family crime thriller DC streaming service Election political drama 2015 Watching Series Shondaland Ovation GIFs war talk show TLC adventure Marvel supernatural police drama Red Carpet Pirates ratings what to watch Certified Fresh National Geographic technology BET Western 24 frames Writers Guild of America social media CBS All Access Musical Drama Marathons Oscars Freeform Holidays 45 Emmys Rocky Sneak Peek Horror Countdown dceu Biopics transformers crossover Comic Book WGN ESPN festivals E3 Superheroes CNN Star Trek Action Musicals First Look Infographic Superheroe cults Schedule Pop historical drama period drama Warner Bros. President vampires Amazon Logo The CW streaming CBS CW Seed History Rock Sundance Now A&E Set visit Paramount Network unscripted Spike Columbia Pictures TBS Thanksgiving Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Opinion Winners dc DirecTV The Arrangement binge Acorn TV Ellie Kemper SDCC Food Network singing competition Trivia Pixar Dark Horse Comics 007 X-Men hist MTV DC Comics Super Bowl Toys mutant FOX Music Masterpiece serial killer Mystery Lifetime comiccon TCA Summer AMC Star Wars composers 21st Century Fox diversity CMT sports Creative Arts Emmys crime Martial Arts NYCC DC Universe Reality Competition Lionsgate cats Premiere Dates Sci-Fi Photos Christmas 20th Century Fox Hulu based on movie SXSW MSNBC zombie Disney Tumblr Sony Pictures aliens Comedy Teen Disney Channel ABC American Society of Cinematographers USA Song of Ice and Fire Reality biography politics Fantasy YouTube Red dramedy IFC Films cooking Lucasfilm Nominations cinemax Adult Swim PaleyFest