“From the western theme park to the technocratic metropolis of the near future, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn,” said Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming chief. “We can’t wait to see where their inspired vision takes us next.” These words came in a statement from Bloys when it was announced that Westworld season 4 is happening. Here’s everything we know about what HBO is planning for the future of their hit show.
THE HITMAKING COUPLE
Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan are the pair behind the hit series Westworld, which is loosely based on the 1973 Michael Crichton (Jurassic Park, Andromeda Strain) movie of the same name. The original starred Yul Brynner (The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven) as the Gunslinger, as well as in its sequel Futureworld.
The couple, who also happen to be married, has been working on the current Westworld series for nearly seven years, and had hoped to get the green light for Westworld season 4 in order to finish telling their story. Thankfully, HBO has given it to them.
Jonathan and Lisa first began working on Westworld in 2013 and while they wanted to follow the idea that Crichton first laid out, they had bigger ideas. “When Lisa and I were talking about the pilot, one of the things that was most exciting to us was, you learn the rules of these creatures and their world, and then you spring them out of there,” Nolan told Variety. “And you’ve withheld from the audience, for the most part to that point, what the outside world looks like.”
That’s exactly what they did, release the robots into the real world. That will continue in Westworld season 4.
THE CAST OF WESTWORLD SEASON 4
The first three seasons of Westworld took the familiar view (the Old West), then turned things on its head. Joy and Nolan moved the robots from the West to feudal samurai Japan and then into the real world of Los Angeles and San Francisco (among others) and set it in the year 2058. The series has run for 28 episodes and of those, only four actors have made an appearance in each. They are Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Evan Rachel Wood, and Ed Harris as the Man in Black. Let’s dig in to who will be back for Westworld season 4.
Since we know the fate of Evan Rachel Wood’s Dolores character, her return is in jeopardy. But the cool thing about robots, or robots that can be replicated, is just that. They can be replicated. So, perhaps Dolores will be back in some shape or form for Westworld season 4.
How about that Man in Black? Seasons 2 and 3 saw Ed Harris’ character change into William, someone fans liked. But at the end of season 3, during the season finale’s end credit scene, the big bad Man in Black reemerges. Nolan decided to drop a hint at a panel during the Paley Center for Media of what’s to come for Ed Harris. “[William] winds up becoming this thing [a host] that he’s controlled for so long. And on a visceral level, I just can’t wait to watch Ed kill everyone.” The 42-minute panel can be seen below.
Expect to see both Newton and Wright back for season 4.
THE PLOT OF WESTWORLD SEASON 4
The far, far future? Wright’s Bernard character immobile, covered in layers of dust is a good indication that when we see Westworld again, it’ll again be a whole different world and quite possibly far into the future. One thing we can hope for is the more linear way Joy and Nolan decided to tell their story after the first two seasons. The first two bounced around with dual timeframes and flash-forwards that gave way to a season three that was more focused. Hopefully, this will lessen the confusion many fans found to be annoying.
So, where in the far, far future could they be? If season four is to the be the season, maybe they will bring it full circle and back to the initial Westworld setting. There are still a few storylines that need to be resolved, so finding themselves back in that world would not come as a surprise.
We probably won’t see Westworld season 4 until 2022 at the earliest. With the pandemic shut down, production has been halted on many projects, and in normal times, the turn around for a show of this scope is a good year and a half. If you recall, it was almost two years between seasons two and three.
Of course, if Bloys had his way, they’d come much quicker. He told Variety, “As Jonah and Lisa will tell you, I will always say, ‘Can we get it sooner?’ As shows get bigger and more complicated, I think more time between seasons is probably becoming more of the norm.”
But the good news is, we will have Westworld season 4. We can always hope for sooner rather than later, but if you love the show then you’re willing to wait for more.