The Westworld cast and creatives returned to SDCC to talk about the show’s upcoming season 3 with a Hall H panel.
Westworld has always drawn a huge crowd at SDCC and this year was no exception, with the show occupying a coveted Saturday time slot in Hall H. Hypable attended the completely packed panel and live blogged the experience, which you can check out at the bottom of this post.
The panel featured the show’s creators, executive producers and directors, Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy, along with cast members Thandie Newton (Maeve), Tessa Thompson (Charlotte/unidentified host), Evan Rachel Wood (Dolores), Jeffrey Wright (Bernard/Arnold) and newcomer Aaron Paul. A few minutes into the panel, Luke Hemsworth (Stubbs) also joined the panel, just as Nolan was complaining about what a difficult personality he was.
The panel was moderated by Amy Webb who, according to her own website, is a quantitative futurist and a professor of strategic foresight at NYU. It looks like she does a lot of work and research surrounding AI, which was definitely evident when she took the stage to moderate the panel.
A lot of the Westworld panel consisted of big concept questions regarding AI and humanity. Check out the live blog feed for some direct quotes from the show’s creators. The panel was definitely more of a general discussion about the ideas surrounding the show rather than information about the show itself. Even after the panel, we’re almost completely in the dark about what’s to come in season 3!
That being said, it was really cool to get an idea of how much thought and research the creative team, and even the cast put into the show’s themes. While it was established that Westworld takes place some time between 2050-2060, many of the panelists touched on how close the world is actually coming to the “future” they’re showing.
In fact, Jonathan Nolan thinks Westworld is actually more hopeful than the direction the world is heading in. “When we started, Westworld was a dystopia and now, three years in, I think it’s actually kind of the best case scenario,” Nolan said.
“The AI we have on the show is thoughtful and I think we’re entering into an age of artificial stupidity. In the third season, we discard the idea of metaphor and show the world for what it really is, which is a giant shit show,” he continued.
Some of the best moments of the panel included a fan question for Thandie Newton about her favorite scenes, which led her to discuss how powerful she felt in Westworld season one during all of the scenes in which Maeve was nude. “I was not weakened by my nudity because it was not sexualized,” she said.
Tessa Thompson also got into an interesting discussion of the show’s violence. When she recalled a time when she got emotional after holding a gun to Jeffrey Wright’s head, Lisa Joy also commented, saying, “if you look at statistics about violence against women and the ways in which people can hurt each other it’s not like we’re showing an outsized version of violence. It should be uncomfortable. It should be terrible.”
Fans seemed excited about Aaron Paul joining the cast, with he, himself confessing that he’s a “psycho fan of the show!” His character, Caleb, will be a human construction worker with a robot named George. He will meet Dolores and will make her “question her ideas about humanity.” He teases a complicated past for his character that will affect his path.
Thandie Newton also confirmed that Vincent Cassel will be joining the cast. We even caught a little glimpse of him in…
The trailer!! Although the panel wasn’t reveal-heavy, it did begin and end with a trailer for Westworld season 3:
The trailer did a great job of showing what the Westworld world outside the park looks like. It looks very futuristic in terms of technology, and very clean and sleek otherwise.
It showed Dolores and Charlotte (or whoever is in her body) being badasses, with Dolores narrating the fact that they need to hide in the world for safety. Bernard also had some narration, saying “Ford made each of us for a reason, even Dolores.” That being said, it looks like he’ll be searching for someone who can stop Dolores. It might just be Maeve, who looks to be stuck in a Nazi era park. The trailer even gives us a brief glimpse of the Man in Black, who’s looking a little worse for wear.
Don’t forget to check out our live blog coverage of the panel, below! Posts are in reverse chronological order.
Hypable’s ‘Westworld’ SDCC live blog