It’s official: we will return to Westworld for a second season.
HBO has confirmed that it has ordered Westworld Season 2 from creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy.
The series, based on Michael Crichton’s 1970s sci-fi movie, takes us into a hedonistic theme park staffed by artificially intelligent hosts, a place in which human guests can explore their every appetite, no matter how noble or depraved. Anthony Hopkins stars as the park’s founder and creative director Dr Robert Ford. Alongside Hopkins, alongside Ed Harris (Pollock, Apollo 13) as The Man in Black, Thandie Newton (Mission: Impossible II) as madam Maeve Millay, Evan Rachel Wood (Thirteen, Mildred Pierce) as Dolores Abernathy and James Marsden (X-Men) as Teddy Flood.
Produced by Kilter Films, Bad Robot Productions and Jerry Weintraub Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television, the programme’s mystery-within-a-mystery format has proven an instant hit, prompting mass speculation from viewers about the mythology behind the park, its android residents, its human controllers and the motivations and manipulations that are at play between the two.
HBO’s new programming president, Casey Bloys, told Variety that the fan obsession that has grown organically around the world has been a pleasant surprise, as the dawning of artificial consciousness raises more questions with every passing episode.
“The level of detail that people devote to thinking about it is impressive,” comments Bloys.
The show has arrived at a time when HBO needs a success: its period music drama, Vinyl, failed to win over audiences or impress critics earlier this year, while Game of Thrones will kick off its penultimate season next summer. Westworld, though, has more than delivered. In the US, it has averaged 11.7 million viewers per episode, taking into account streaming, VOD and re-run activity.
In the UK, meanwhile, Sky Atlantic broke records with an overnight audience of 458,000 for Episode 1 and more than 1.38 million viewers catching up on-demand over the following seven days – the most successful launch of a brand new series in the channel’s history, including Season 1 of Game of Thrones and Fortitude.
“It’s fantastic to have a broad-based cultural and ratings hit to build from,” Bloys said of Westworld. “That’s a great, great luxury.”
Westworld Season 2 will once again span 10 episodes, with Nolan and Joy remaining showrunners. Alongside the duo, the series’ exec producers include J.J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub and Bryan Burk.
HBO has also ordered second seasons from its original comedies, Insecure and Divorce.
“We’re thrilled that the saga of Westworld will continue for another season,” Nolan and Joy said in a statement. “During the lengthy journey to the screen, our incredibly talented actors, staff and crew became a family, and we look forward to the privilege of continuing this experience with them.”
Not seen Westworld yet? You can catch up with our review of each episode here, where you can also read where to watch it online.