Something ominous is on the horizon over at HBO and it’s in the shape of Westworld Season 3. The next season of Westworld won’t return until 2020 but as of May 2019, we’re already getting our first look at the next installment in this futuristic, complex series.
Seasons 1 and 2 of Westworld took us into the near future, where a Wild West theme park called Westworld was built with Turing test-passing robots that look, act, and feel like actual humans. Guests went there to do whatever it was that their hearts desired, be it participate in a dual, go on a raid with rogue Confederate soldiers, or spend the night gambling their cares away at the local tavern. But over the course of two seasons, Westworld became a show dedicated to exploring the nature of consciousness, what it means to be a sentient human, and the nature of evolution. In this way, the hedonistic set-up the show was built on gave way to a story that tracked the battle between the humans who run the park and the robotic hosts who want to escape.
Westworld Season 3 promises lots of intrigue, a deeper dive into the world of humans and hosts, more philosophical discussions about the nature of reality, and what it means to be human. Let’s take a look at everything we know about Westworld Season 3 based on what we know about the Season 2 finale as well as any new information about the latest trailers, the release date, casting news, spoilers, and more.
Spoilers for Westworld Season 2 (and possibly Season 3) below
When Will Westworld Season 3 Be Released?
In April 2019, Collider reported that Westworld Season 3 will be released in 2020. This isn’t too much of a surprise since there was a 2-year gap between Seasons 1 and 2, which premiered in 2016 and 2018, respectively.
The teaser trailer, released on May 19, reconfirms the 2020 release date. However, with it arriving earlier than expected, it’s possible HBO is now aiming for a spring or early summer release date now that the first trailer is out in the world.
Is There a Trailer for Westworld Season 3 Yet?
A teaser trailer for Season 3 was released on May 19 (you can watch above). In it, we get a better look at the setting for the new season as well as hints at a new protagonist for the season.
The teaser trailer focuses on new series regular Aaron Paul, who appears to be playing a maintenance worker by day and a criminal by night in what looks like the real world outside of Delos’ many theme parks. His character laments the failed promises made to him and other with the technological advances of the future, with scenes of him eating a lonely lunch next to a robot while on the job, visiting his mother in a hospital, and pulling off what might be a robbery with the rest of his crew. We also catch glimpses of Dolores, now in modern clothing and with an updated haircut. It’s unclear what she’s up to, but Paul’s character crosses paths with her at the end of the teaser and we see that she appears to be injured and in need of some help.
The teaser’s release came much earlier than we expected based on past HBO teaser rollouts. Unlike HBO’s 2019 Super Bowl ad, which featured teaser footage from hugely popular returning series like Game of Thrones, Veep, and Big Little Lies, as well as highly anticipated new series, including Watchmen, Chernobyl, and His Dark Materials, the Westworld Season 3 teaser wasn’t packaged with other upcoming shows and was casually released during the biggest night for HBO this year, the series finale of Game of Thrones
Who Will Be Returning for Westworld Season 3?
The latest teaser trailer confirmed that Evan Rachel Wood will be back for Season 3, but it’s unclear if she’s still playing Dolores or if she’s a different character. There have been no other confirmations made on who is returning for the third season, but we can make some educated guesses based on how Season 2 ended.
Tessa Thompson and Jeffrey Wright could return as Charlotte Hale and Bernard, respectively. We know Bernard escapes Westworld and joins Charlotte back at Westworld park creator Arnold’s home, so he’ll have to come back so we can learn how he’s getting on. Season 2 also ended with a host version of Charlotte escaping Westworld after Dolores uploaded her consciousness into the alternate Charlotte’s body.
Despite making a sacrifice to get her daughter — along with other hosts —to safety, ultimately dying in the process, it’s possible Maeve will return with Thandie Newton playing her once again. It’s also possible Maeve will be resurrected as a new host with a different backstory. Newton’s performance over the course of two seasons has been so memorable and integral to the show that it would be unimaginable for her to not also be lined up for Season 3.
It’s also a strong possibility that Ed Harris and Katja Herbers could come back for Season 3 as William aka the Man in Black and his daughter since we saw them both appear in Season 2’s post-credits scene. The pair’s fraught relationship was unpacked in Season 2, with William shooting his daughter, believing she was a host, as he sunk deeper into madness trying to escape Westworld. That post-credits scene shows that possible host versions of these characters survive far into the future, which means these two will likely come back in Season 3.
Are Any New Actors Joining the Westworld Cast for Season 3?
In April, Deadline reported that Vincent Cassel has been cast in Season 3. According to their report, Cassel may be playing one of the villains (or maybe the only villain) of the season and will possibly be a series regular. As is the case with other casting news, there are no details on whether Cassel will be a host, an actual human, or something else entirely. Cassel’s casting also marks his first English-language television role in his 30-plus year career.
Previously, we learned Ready Player One and Master of None star Lena Waithe has been cast in Season 3, as has Breaking Bad alum Aaron Paul. The first teaser trailer seems to confirm Paul and Waithe’s characters will be playing small-time criminals who work together. The names and backstories for their characters haven’t been confirmed. Paul has been confirmed as a series regular and it’s possible Waithe could be a regular, too, given her prominence in the teaser trailer.
The teaser trailer also revealed that rapper/actor Kid Cudi and football player Marshawn Lynch have also been cast in Season 3. Kid Cudi plays an inmate who appears to know Paul’s character or, at the very least, is willing to provide him with some intel. Lynch appears to be one of Paul and Waithe’s characters’ collaborators on the robbery they commit early in the teaser.
What Is the Plot for Westworld Season 3?
Details around the expected story arc for Westworld Season 3 are being kept under wraps. The May 19 teaser trailer shows us a new world that may or may not be the actual world outside of all the Delos theme parks through the eyes of a new character (played by Paul). Something is clearly brewing as Paul’s character grapples with the failed promises of the future and Dolores (or a character who looks a lot like Dolores) enjoys life in the city before later appearing to be shot or severely injured. The end of the trailer hints at Paul’s character and Dolores teaming up, although that’s still vague.
Previously, spoilers about Season 3 from series creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy gave us our first clues about what to expect from the season.
A June 2018 interview Joy did with The Hollywood Reporter contains hints about what’s next for Dolores and Charlotte, who both escaped Westworld. At the end of Season 2, Dolores uploaded her consciousness into a host version of Charlotte. This allowed the host version of Charlotte/Dolores to escape Westworld as the park was being evacuated, and we saw her set up shop in Westworld park creator Arnold’s old home with the intention that she would begin creating new hosts.
Per Joy’s comments to THR, there will be at least three main hosts. She teased, “We technically have three [hosts] because Hale is out there, too, or someone who certainly looks like Tessa Thompson!”
Similarly, we know that Season 3 will have to plant lots of narrative seed to bridge the gap between its current day, which involved Charlotte escaping Westworld, and its future setting, which was glimpsed in a Season 2 post-credits scene showing the Man in Black eventually being turned into a host. As the series creator later revealed, that scene takes place in a post-apocalypse scenario. Should we be preparing for a Skynet-level host takeover?
Joy touched on that in her chat with THR, too:
The world is dramatically different. Quite destroyed, as it were. A figure in the image of his daughter — his daughter is of course now long dead — has come back to talk to him. He realizes that he’s been living this loop again and again and again. The primal loop that we’ve seen this season, they’ve been repeating, testing every time for what they call “fidelity,” or perhaps a deviation. You get the sense that the testing will continue. It’s teasing for us another temporal realm that one day we’re working toward, and one day will see a little bit more of, and how they get to that place, and what they’re testing for.
Chances are also good that we’ll finally (finally!) get a glimpse at the other Delos parks, like Medieval World and Roman World, which we know exist based on the fact that we went into Samurai World and, briefly, the colonial India-themed park in Season 2.
How Many Episodes Will Season Westworld 3 Have?
As with Seasons 1 and 2, Westworld Season 3’s episode count will almost definitely be 10 episodes. You can also expect each episode to hit the 1-hour mark, undoubtedly making for another dense, twisty season.
Where Can I Watch Westworld When It Returns?
Since Westworld will remain at HBO for Season 3, you will be able to tune in every week as a cable subscriber. If you’ve already cut the cord and ditched TV once and for all, you’ll still be able to watch in real time with HBO Now or catch up on each new episode the day after it airs with HBO Go.