On Saturday, Westworld paid its inaugural visit to Paleyfest in Los Angeles, where—I am loath to tell you—the showrunners revealed absolutely nothing about season two. They did, however, demystify one plot point from the first season’s finale.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, showrunners and married couple Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan made an appearance, together with cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Ed Harris, James Marsden, and Jimmi Simpson. Joy and Nolan were tight-lipped regarding the second season’s narrative details, but did assure the audience that they would ensure the show remained on schedule for —bah!—a 2018 premiere.
This time, the showrunners explained, they will write all ten episodes in advance of production, thereby mapping out the plot twists before the cameras roll. In light of last season’s narrative chaos, this decision seems wise.
We did, however, gain some useful knowledge regarding the season one finale which may well be relevant in season two. Viewers, myself included, puzzled over Maeve’s (Thandie Newton) last-minute decision to vacate the train she boarded to flee Westworld. Was this an act of free will, or was it programmed like everything else?
Nolan provided a definitive response.
“The way we designed and shot it...that is the first decision she has ever made of her own free will,” he said.
There’s no word on Samurai World, either, which seems to be in development at the end of the first season. Ed Harris, however, made two specific requests.
“I just don’t want to be naked, and I don’t want to wear a samurai suit...and I’m saying that publicly! I’m a Man in Black, not a Man in a samurai suit! Samurais don’t wear hats!”