Details about the second season of Westworld are as mysterious as the meaning of Ford's maze in Season 1, but the producers of the HBO robo-drama actually gave us some idea of what is coming in Season 2 at the show's San Diego Comic-Con panel.
The series' panel hosted a terabyte of panelists, including co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, and cast members Ben Barnes (Logan), Ingrid Bolsø Berdal (Armistice), Ed Harris (Man in Black), Luke Hemsworth (Stubbs), James Marsden (Teddy), Thandie Newton (Maeve), Simon Quarterman (Lee Sizemore), Rodrigo Santoro (Hector), Angela Sarafyan (Clementine), Jimmi Simpson (William), Tessa Thompson (Charlotte), Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores), Shannon Woodward (Elsie) and Jeffrey Wright (Bernard/Arnold).
Here's what we learned about Season 2:
1. The fantastic cast will be even better. Neil Jackson (Sleepy Hollow) and Jonathan Tucker (Kingdom, Justified) will be joining Season 2. Jackson will play a man named Nicholas who finds himself in unfamiliar territory, and Tucker will play a military officer named Major Craddock. Nolan fans might remember Jackson from his turn as Rick Dillinger — Finch's original Man in the Suit — in Nolan's Person of Interest, and everyone else might remember Tucker from anything he's been in, which also includes American Gods, Parenthood and, yup, Person of Interest. Maybe Nolan can find a way to bring Michael Emerson and Jim Caviezel in, too? Perhaps as A.I. experts?
2. The cast can have fun! Rather than the usual intense recap of Season 1, the panel kicked off with a kind of amazing gag reel, as over intense music and scenes from the season we saw people flub lines, knock into doors, and one horse that just will not stop pooping.
3. Here's a confusing hint! If you want to know what Joy studied for Season 1? The video game Red Dead Redemption. For Season 2? Blake's "Auguries of Innocence." So if you don't mind reading a ton of poetry for clues about your favorite robot show, you've got an afternoon planned out for you.
4. Maeve may not be returning for the reason you think. At the end of Season 1, Maeve got on a train — and then immediately got off, seemingly in order to track down the robot she, at one point, had as a daughter. But when asked if that was the first conscious decision her character had made, Newton teased, "...Is she going back for her daughter?" To which Nolan quipped back, "She better be, that's what we wrote." Still, Newton felt like regardless what Maeve is doing, the choices she makes going forward will be very different in Season 2. That is, of course, if she's making choices at all.
5. They're not giving up Samurai World quite yet. A tease at the end of the Season 1 finale seemed to indicate we might see other theme parks in Season 2 — specifically one fans have taken to calling Samurai World. A fan asked how much of a role it would play in Season 2, to which Nolan shot back, "How much do you want it to play a role in Season 2?" and then continued, "Doesn't look like anything to me."
6. There's a trailer! They had only been filming for a week, but they had a teaser to show! The footage opens with the player piano revving up, shots of Bernard with a fly on him. A dead tiger, a man hanging from a tree trying to grab a gun, dead people in headquarters, partygoers run from Dolores hunting them on a horse... And the Man in Black putting his black hat back on, covered in blood. He slowly, faintly smiles.
Westworld Season 2 is coming in 2018 to HBO.
With reporting by Tim Surette.