RED CARPET PREMIERE
5 Things to Expect From Westworld Season 2
By Katie Lucas and Allie Waxman
The cast and creators of Westworld gathered at the Cinerama Dome Theater in Hollywood to officially ring in the second season. With a week to go before the show returns, HBO asked for hints about the next installment of the epic drama.
It goes places you won’t expect.
“As crazy as Season 1 is, Season 2 is like taking a grenade to a show and exploding it horizontally,” said Ptolemy Slocum, who plays Delos Lab tech Sylvester. “The show went to places I would have never expected.” The man behind Hector Escaton, Rodrigo Santoro concurred: “We know the game, we know the players, but the world has been turned upside-down. Our characters are on a very different journey. Especially the hosts.” Luke Hemsworth, who plays Delos’ head of security, Ashley Stubbs, summed it up: “Season 1 was the tip of the iceberg. You’re gonna go deeper, bigger and pull apart everything that we teased in Season 1.”
It gets dark.
Evan Rachel Wood, who plays Dolores, described a shift in tone: “Amazing technological advancements are usually a double-edged sword and I think we’re seeing the opposite side of the coin this season. If we saw all the good last season, it’s all the bad this season.”
“Season 2 is like Season 1 with jet fuel poured on top of it and set on fire,” commented Jeffrey Wright, who plays Bernard and Arnold. “It’s expanded, exploded, splintered. It’s chaotic, thrilling and ‒ hopefully in a way that a jet fuel fire wouldn’t be ‒ it will be satisfying for fans.”
James Marsden, aka host Teddy Flood, calls out the new landscape: “The stronghold the humans have had is not necessarily there anymore. The power dynamic has shifted and we’ll see what happens when the oppressed get their power and freedom.”
“This season is pushing the envelope,” said executive producer J.J. Abrams. “[Original Westworld film writer and author] Michael Crichton who I met on this 20 years ago was obsessed with the [Frankenstein author] Mary Shelley question of what happens when you play God when you go too far and cross that line — what is the result? Season 2 is the answer to that question and it’s terrifying. Reading the news and watching Season 2, the gulf between fiction and what this series is and where we are is shrinking. It’s a terrifying thought.”
“There are some themes this season that were ahead of where the world was, currently. And the world has caught up,” said Slocum. Newcomer Katja Herbers also pointed out parallels between the show and the headlines: “[Facebook creator] Mark Zuckerberg the other day testified that he doesn’t understand all the ins and outs of this beast he’s created — Facebook. It’s all around us already. It’s not even that far away.”
When asked about her relationship to technology, series co-creator Lisa Joy admitted that the show has, “made me more suspicious of it.” Joy turned to her husband and co-creator, and noted, “but you were already suspicious of it.” Nolan nodded, and joked, “I’m excited for our robot overlords to take over.”
Season 2 of Westworld airs April 22 at 9pm ET.