'Westworld' Season 3 release date, trailer, cast, spoilers for HBO's show
Westworld Season 2 ended on a major cliffhanger as several Hosts escaped the park and made it into a futuristic version of the real world. In Westworld Season 3, the HBO series will reveal what happens next, while also explaining exactly what’s been happening outside the park all this time and how humanity got to this point.
After a very long hiatus, the series is finally set to return in early 2020, introducing new characters (Aaron Paul! Kid Cudi!) and new locations both in and outside the park.
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. We’re just a few short months away, but while we wait, here’s everything we know about Westworld Season 3, from the release date, to the latest trailers, to all the plot details we’ve gathered up so far.
Spoilers for Westworld Season 2 (and possibly Season 3) below
When is the Westworld Season 3 release date?
March 15! HBO announced the news on Sunday night with a new trailer which offers our first timeline of how the story of Westworld gets from our modern-day society to the one portrayed on the show. In short: It’s not pretty.
The trailer describes something called a “Divergence” beginning with the real-life Hong Kong protests and President Trump’s impeachment and leading up to a presidential assassination, ecological and thermonuclear disasters, and a second Russian civil war.
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.
The world is stabilized in the year 2039 with the creation of a mysterious “system,” but that system is disrupted in the show’s present-day with the introduction of Hosts that escape Delos Parks.
Is there a trailer for Westworld Season 3 yet?
There are several! The first, which focused on Aaron Paul’s new character and revealed the real world of Westworld’s future, is embedded at the top of this page.
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 others 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.
A second trailer released during San Diego Comic-Con 2019 also offered a look at another Delos park, this one inspired by Nazi-occupied France during World War II.
Who’s returning to the cast ofWestworld 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 should 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.
The second trailer also confirmed that Thandie Newton (Maeve) will return as well despite sacrificing herself in the previous season — this is Westworld, after all. Maeve may be back, but whether she’ll be the same person or someone else entirely remains to be seen.
There’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. 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.
The 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 at some point, though perhaps not for a major role.
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’s 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.
We also know we’ll see at least one more park thanks to the Comic-Con trailer revealing a World War II-themed attraction. This could play a major role in Westworld Season 3 for any characters still stuck in the park. Beyond that, who knows what other mysteries and revelations were hidden by Arnold in this part of the park.
How many episodes will Westworld Season 3 have?
Unlike Seasons 1 and 2, Westworld Season 3 will run for just eight episodes (down from the usual 10). We’re not sure what to make of this just yet, but it definitely means a more succinct season than we’re used to.
Where can I watch Westworld when it premieres?
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.
Allie Gemmill contributed to this story.