Westworld season 3 won't premiere until 2020, HBO has now confirmed. Created by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy and based (very) loosely on the 1973 Michael Crichton film of the same name, Westworld was a huge hit for HBO following its premiere in 2016. Largely set within a futuristic, Wild West-themed amusement park populated by androids known as "hosts," Westworld follows a select group of the park's guests and staff as they gradually come to realize that the hosts' intelligence is far more advanced than it should be.
While Westworld season 1 was certainly well-received, its complex narrative and multiple time frames compelled viewers to pay close attention for fear of getting lost within the show's literal and figurative mazes. Season 2 doubled-down on this approach, introducing more real-world scenes, multiple timelines, different versions of characters and several brand new parks. The complexity of Westworld's second season didn't draw as much favor as its debut outing however, and many accused the series of being abstract for the sake of it, rather than to serve the story. Westworld's showrunners have since suggested a different approach will be taken in season 3, and Breaking Bad's Aaron Paul has also been cast in a major role.
However, fans will have to wait a while longer before seeing the continuation of the Westworld story, as HBO has now confirmed (via Deadline) that the show's third season won't premiere until 2020. While that's a long break between seasons, it won't be the first such lengthy break Westworld fans have had to endure.
Given that there was approximately a 16-month wait between Westworld seasons 1 and 2, its perhaps fair to assume that most viewers weren't expecting a quick turnaround with season 3. That said, the confirmation of a 2020 premiere means that the gap will be even longer this time, with fans looking at an 18-month hiatus at least between the season 2 finale and season 3 premiere. It's perhaps somewhat strange that this additional gap comes despite previous reports that season 3 would actually feature less episodes.
The size and scale of Westworld perhaps explain why such an extended production period is necessary. The series is one of the most visually impressive TV properties in recent memory and between the characters, music, story and location, Westworld's attention to detail is second to none. On the other hand, it could be argued that the long breaks between seasons contribute to the criticism that Westworld can be overly-complicated. Often, Westworld relies on viewers remembering small moments from previous episodes, or indeed previous seasons, and long periods offscreen are a huge hindrance in remembering these key elements. If a pre-return catch-up binge wasn't a necessity ahead of season 2, it certainly will be when season 3 finally arrives.
Westworld season 3 premieres in 2020 on HBO.