“Westworld” Showrunners Talk Season 2 Plans

Production on the second season of HBO’s sci-fi series “Westworld” is about to get underway next month with Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s series set to undergo a slight time jump in terms of story.

Appearing on Variety’s Remote Controlled Podcast, the pair spoke about plans for the second season which will not only deal with the events at the end of the first season, but will explore more of how the park came to be. Nolan says:

“I think the sacrifice he [Ford] makes at the end of the first season is very real. I think there will be an opportunity to explore a little bit more of the backstory of how this park came to be, a little more of that story. We’ll see the character’s presence will be felt in that sense in terms of filling in a few more of the gaps about the early history of this place.

It’s an ambitious season. We always knew that we wanted the stakes and the scope to increase dramatically and that means the scale of production increases as well. We have an amazingly talented group of writers, directors, and crew coming back and gearing up for what I think and what I hope will prove to be a season twice as ambitious as the first one.

Joy expects fans to do what they did last year, and examine every minute detail of the season on the likes of Reddit and other boards where they’ll come up with their own theories:

“For us, even though we’re creating it as we go along, we feel like we owe it to the fans to be bold and also to play this game with them where we’re like, ‘Do you want to figure it out? Do you want to play with us here? Hopefully now, because of the first season, the people who want to have this purist interpretation of the series, they’ll just develop their own theories in a vacuum – and maybe don’t log on to Reddit.”

Both Joy and Nolan are still bemused by the way those who discussed and explored the show in great detail in the forums figured out a key twist in the final episode weeks ahead of time – an in effect set-up their own disappointment:

Nolan: “When you’re working on a show like this where there are layers and there are details and you try to make every piece count, you’re hoping that people will engage on that level. In our wildest dreams, we didn’t expect the level of fan engagement and dialogue, which is why you do it… [like] that moment when they figured out the plot twist for episode ten 42 minutes into episode two.”

Joy: “It wasn’t like there were surprises that we’re trying to keep from the audience consciously; we were trying to lead a path of breadcrumbs. We anticipated that a small group of the audience might discover it, that that will be part of the game that we were playing with these die-hard fans. What we didn’t anticipate was that they would go to social media and talk about it and they would get circulated so that it hit a wider base of people who have an online presence and pick that up. There were also people who were still in for the surprise like my parents – I managed to surprise them.”

“Westworld” returns to HBO in 2018.