HBO's Westworld season 3 is happening, but when will it release? The Westworld TV show is one of HBO’s biggest hits and is their long-term replacement for the soon-to-be-ending Game of Thrones. Westworld, which debuted back in 2016, has received great acclaim for its stunning visuals, approach to A.I., and twisty stories, which will undoubtedly continue in season 3.
Based upon Michael Crichton’s movie of the same name, Westworld takes place at the titular park, where guests can intermingle with the robotic “hosts” and live out whatever Wild West fantasy they wish, no matter how dark or twisted. Westworld season 2 released back in April 2018, with Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy’s show leaving things nicely placed for additional Westworld stories.
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It’s been off the air for a while now, and although fans will have to wait a bit longer for Westworld season 3, it'll be exciting when it returns. But what can fans expect from Westworld season 3? What’s the story going to be, and who's joining the cast? Westworld has only started to scratch the surface of its world and themes, and there’s a lot more to come in season 3 and beyond.
Last updated: April 15, 2019
Westworld Season 3 Release Date
Westworld season 3 doesn’t currently have a release date, although we do know it won’t be in 2019. Filming was expected to get underway on March 25 and is currently scheduled to last for around 27 weeks, with production expected to end in October. While that does mean that, like in 2017, there’ll be another year without new Westworld episodes, it does leave Westworld season 3 well placed to return in 2020. This was confirmed by HBO.
Filming for season 2 didn’t begin until summer 2017, and despite delays, it was able to hit an April 2018 release. To that end, there’s more than enough time for Westworld season 3 to meet a similar slot in April 2020. April is typically when HBO releases Game of Thrones, and they’ll need something to replace that. As with last year, Westworld season 3 is the logical choice.
Westworld Season 3 Story
While few details have been revealed about Westworld season 3’s story, the ending to season 2 did leave things tantalizingly poised. The Reddit-baiting season 2 finale offered up a number of twists and turns that will be explored in Westworld season 3. Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) has smuggled Bernard (Jeffrey Wright) out of the park and into the real world. Along for the ride is someone in the body of Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson), although it’s unclear who. Maeve (Thandie Newton) ostensibly sacrificed herself to save the hosts, but she'll return in Westworld season 3 as well. And then there’s the final stinger with William (Ed Harris), which takes audiences far into the future.
Westworld season 3, then, will have to pick up all of these plotlines. It’s going to venture into the real world, but also show viewers more of that much further along timeline. And, on top of that, there are still a number of parks just waiting to be revealed. The showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy have also promised we'll see a "radical shift" in the story, which fits with those elements mentioned. Even with all that, there's a chance there'll be less Westworld when it returns, with a recent report suggesting Westworld season 3 will have only eight episodes instead of the usual 10.
Westworld Season 3 Cast
It’s expected that the vast majority of leading cast members will return for Westworld season 3. That includes Wood, Wright, Newton, and Harris, who together serve as the leads of the show. Wood and Newton have both been vocal about their return, as they’ve secured new deals that will see them have equal pay to their male co-stars. Tessa Thompson is also expected to return. One actor who isn’t likely to feature in Westworld season 3 is Jimmi Simpson, who portrays young William, with Simpson previously suggesting that story's no longer a focus. It’s also unclear whether or not Anthony Hopkins will make another return as Dr. Robert Ford.
It’s quite likely that more Westworld season 3 casting announcements will be made once production is fully underway, but we do already know two big names joining the cast for Westworld season 3: Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul has signed on for a major role, although who (or what) he’s playing is being kept under wraps for now. Ready Player One and Master of None star Lena Waithe is also joining Westworld season 3 in an unknown role. Furthermore, Antonio Banderas is being eyed for a villain role; however, that has yet to be made official. Regardless, Westworld season 3 is shaping up to be yet another huge season.