When Westworld premiered back in October, it became an instant hit straight out of the gate, raking in knockout ratings and widespread critical acclaim. It had plenty of surefire draws: big budget cinematography, a headline-stirring mix of sex and violence, and an A-list cast that included the likes of Evan Rachel Wood, Anthony Hopkins, and Ed Harris.
But much of its appeal also came from its mysterious, twist-packed narrative, which fueled rampant online debate throughout its first season run. One of its most talked about plot points was its multiple timeline approach. In one narrative, we saw corporate cronies William (Jimmi Simpson) and Logan (Ben Barnes) arriving in Westworld, William for the first time and Logan as a repeat visitor. In another, it flashed forward 30 years, after the once kind-hearted William had become a hardened park veteran now named the Man In Black (Ed Harris). It first sprouted up as theory among fan circles, but was later confirmed to be true.
As the breakout series' second season continues to take shape, showrunner Lisa Joy has now revealed they aren't planning to revisit the multiple timeline format. During a Westworld panel at PaleyFest, she said that the idea had already served its purpose in framing Dolores' point of view, and they didn't necessarily "want to repeat the same thing." As she explained, per TV Insider:
“It made sense to do multiple timelines, because it showed how Dolores felt, and that confusion. ‘I’m in love, but [The Man In Black] is coming for me. [Only] then realize, I haven’t changed, but so much time has changed and now he’s this.’ The timeline thing is in service of landing that point of view for Dolores.”
Joy's comment suggests Jimmi Simpson, whose season 2 involvement was previously unclear, won't be returning. The finale tied up most of the loose ends in his story line, so it's safe to assume Westworld will focus on the present as it moves forward. If he does pop up, it would likely only be for a brief flashback.
It also implies Westworld's second season will be narrower in scope. As previously reported, it probably won't veer much into Samurai World, which viewers got a peek of when Maeve stumbled upon hosts from another sector of the park during her escape. The original 1973 movie that Westworld is based on included Westworld, Medieval World, and Roman World, but for now it seems the show will stick squarely to both its title park and modern day. Westworld's first season was a compelling, albeit tangled, web of mysteries, so it will be interesting to see how a sharper focus will play out.
Westworld season 2 is currently expected to premiere in 2018 on HBO.
Source: TV Insider