Women Will Rule Westworld Season 2, and Other “Worlds” Will Be Explored

Westworld is one of my favorite shows that debuted last year, making the long wait for a second season damn near excruciating. However, as showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy continue to make appearances, we’re getting more and more information to piece together that paint a picture of what we can expect.

Production continues on the second season of the HBO series, and yesterday Nolan and Joy appeared at the Vanity Fair Summit in L.A, where they answered questions about the show’s direction, albeit as cryptically as can be expected from anyone involved in a show with J.J. Abrams’ name on it.

As reported by Deadline Hollywood, when asked about why they left Roman World and Medieval World (worlds that exist in the original Westworld film), Nolan replied, “We had to save something for Season 2.” Whether that means that we will be seeing those worlds specifically or not remains to be seen. But it certainly seems like a possibility.

As it stands now, we already saw a glimpse of a world to come at the end of Westworld S1 with a glimpse of hosts from Samurai World, so it would stand to reason that the others aren’t far behind. However, it might be a while before we find out. Already, we won’t be getting more Westworld until Spring 2018 (no date has been announced yet), and to hear the showrunners tell it, there are big, drawn-out plans.

Nolan told IndieWire last year that S1 would only tell “about an eighth” of the full story they have in mind. He said, “Our story is a really big one. It’s the story of the origin of a new species on this planet, and being able to tell that in chapters and commit to aggressive moves season-by-season that propel that story upwards and outwards and inwards.” Joy clarified that this doesn’t mean that there are necessarily eight seasons planned. “We’ll definitely find a way to pack it all in, I think, to whatever box we are lucky enough to have,” she said. “But there’s a lot more to go.”

Meanwhile, to hear the actresses on the show tell it, Season Two will find the women, particularly the female hosts, exerting a lot more power over their own narratives.

In an interview with Coveteur, Evan Rachel Wood seemed really jazzed for Dolores’ trajectory in the coming season, saying, “We’re midseason right now, and it is twice as ambitious as the first one. Twice as crazy! I didn’t think it could get bigger or crazier, and now we’re halfway through, and I just can’t even believe what we’re doing. I’m on the show, and I’m still getting shocked and surprised at everything that they’re throwing at me. [Dolores is] a very different character this season.” Judging by the way Dolores is strapped up in the Season 2 trailer, she most certainly is!

I’m thrilled that Tessa Thompson, who plays Charlotte, doesn’t (at least at first) end up on the casualty list after the events of the Westworld S1 finale, as I was intrigued by a woman in power at Delos. Thompson says of S2, “It really is a season where I think women are king. I think they rule the world in the park this season… Particularly for the women that play hosts on the show, because you see them as sort of objects, like Thandie Newton’s character who works in a brothel and can be had whenever people want her. This season you see her taking that entirely back and she’ll have anyone that she wants.”

And what happens to the women who aren’t hosts? Meep! I’m both dying and afraid to find out.

Lastly, Nolan and Joy talked about artificial intelligence, and its implications on humanity the better the technology gets. Nolan seems to have a more optimistic view of A.I. He says:

“I feel evenly split between the fear that A.I. will enslave us and make us do its bidding and my fear that it won’t. If you look at things that have gone down in the last year, humans are terrible at running this world. It’s clear that there’s room for improvement. [Systems] can yield dramatic improvements in a way our world functions. [sic]”

Joy, on the other hand, likened A.I. to a human-created system: capitalism. She says:

“People like to ask, ‘Why would A.I. want to be evil and destroy us?’” A corporation’s goal is to make profits. It’s very simple. It’s binary. It’s either less or more. Computers work along the same thing. If you can see how, with the simplest of directives that can get blown into something beyond what could image [sic], that’s the kind of thing we’re talking about.”

So, Westworld is basically reminding us that human beings are really good at destroying themselves through systems they themselves create. Cool. Coolcoolcoolcoolcool. I’m gonna go cry now.

And yet I can’t help but watch this show.

If you need to catch up, S1 of Westworld is available anywhere you can get HBO, as well as on Blu-ray. If you want the Cliffs Notes version, check out the recaps I wrote with our good friend Maddy Myers for our decidedly different takes on the show.

Will you be watching Westworld next season?

(via IndieWire, image: screencap)

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Tags: Evan Rachel Wood, HBO, Jonathan Nolan, Lisa Joy, Tessa Thompson, Westworld, women in television

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