Before HBO unveiled its critically acclaimed first season, Westworld had to traverse a lengthy path to screen. The sci-fi western was in development for years before finally charging ahead. In August of 2015, its first teaser was released, seemingly indicating the full series would soon follow. But in January, production halted, and rumors began to swirl about what was holding up the project.
Creator Jonathan Nolan later explained they’d simply sped ahead too quickly. The show’s ambitious setup and elaborate storyline mandated careful examination and Nolan, along with his fellow members of the creative team, wanted to regroup and map out the series’ full narrative. When Nolan explained the Westworld season 1 delay, he said the writers were focused on creating "a big story" rather than rehashing the same basic storyline over several seasons.
So, when news broke that Westworld likely wouldn’t return until 2018, it wasn’t all that surprising. In a recent interview with The Independent, Luke Hemsworth, who plays security head Ashley Stubbs, confirmed producers are spending careful time with season 2. As he told the publication:
“They are trying to get it right. They don’t want to go in doing what they were doing last time where they were under the cosh the whole time. They want to go in with a clear plan - A to Z and everything in between - at least have drafts in place.”
Now that viewers have had a chance to see Westworld, which unfolded an extremely complex narrative over the course of its first season -- one that kept fans and critics alike on their toes, theorizing about where the park's hosts and guests were headed -- the break in production makes sense. Additionally, the show's cinematic scope is high-grade, and it requires intricate costumes and complex special effects. As Nolan said previously, these costumes, sets, and effects take plenty of time and effort, even after the intricate story has been crafted.
While the drawn-out gap between seasons is certainly understandable thanks to the massive scale of Westworld, both in terms of its storytelling and its visuals, it also puts a lot of pressure on the series to continuously deliver. Its first outing raked in widespread praise, knockout ratings, and rampant buzz, so HBO's latest hit will need to stay on par the second time around in order to keep momentum. It’s a high bar to hit, but they already did it once and the extra time to get it right should help them do it again.
Westworld season 2 has not received an official release date, but will reportedly arrive in 2018.
Source: The Independent