On a recent edition of ‘Remote Controlled’, a podcast from Variety, featuring the best and brightest in television, ‘Westworld’ co-creators and executive producers Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy spoke about what they learned from the first season, the one question fans should be asking, and what’s ahead for Season 2. Star Evan Rachel Wood (who plays Dolores) also revealed what mysteries she figured out.
Nolan said: “When you’re working on a show like this where there are layers and there are details and you try to make every piece count, you’re hoping that people will engage on that level. In our wildest dreams, we didn’t expect the level of fan engagement and dialogue, which is why you do it.”
Joy said: “It wasn’t like there were surprises that we’re trying to keep from the audience consciously; we were trying to lead a path of breadcrumbs. We anticipated that a small group of the audience might discover it, that that will be part of the game that we were playing with these die-hard fans. What we didn’t anticipate was that they would go to social media and talk about it and they would get circulated so that it hit a wider base of people who have an online presence and pick that up. There were also people who were still in for the surprise like my parents — I managed to surprise them.”
But they’re careful to not give too much away about Season 2, which starts shooting in July. “It’s an ambitious season,” says Nolan. “We always knew that we wanted the stakes and the scope to increase dramatically and that means the scale of production increases as well. We have an amazingly talented group of writers, directors, and crew coming back and gearing up for what I think and what I hope will prove to be a season twice as ambitious as the first one.”
The duo confirmed that Ford (Anthony Hopkins) is dead: “I think the sacrifice he makes at the end of the first season is very real,” said Nolan.
In the second half of the podcast, series star Evan Rachel Wood weighed in, saying the actors were kept in the dark as much as the fans were. But she did figure out some of the twists along the way — that William was the Man in Black, for example — but the finale she didn’t see coming. “Killing Ford, I did not see coming, not in the way that they did it. I didn’t know it was going to be me, I didn’t know that’s how this show was going to end, I was just in absolute shock and I couldn’t believe that it was me. I couldn’t believe that I had to actually hold a real gun to Anthony Hopkins’ head and pull the trigger. That was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life.”