Welcome back. Westworld season 3 is, hopefully, just over six months away and, with a release date dangling in front of us, it's time to start digging through the clues and cryptic teasers we've seen so far. Below, you'll find plenty to tide you over, including information about new parks, trailers, and even a flashy new poster to comb through for answers.
However, with the show being relatively light on concrete info (it is Westworld, after all), we've had to do some serious digging. That's why you'll not only come across San Diego Comic-Con quotes from our time in the panel earlier this year, but also leaked set photos and cast revelations too. If you want to know who Aaron Paul is playing, it's just a quick scroll away. Plus, we'll try and figure out just when Westworld season 3 is releasing. We can't wait much longer!
Westworld season 3 release date
No release date just yet, despite SDCC having been and gone. It's still set for an unconfirmed date in 2020, but that could be any time next year. That said, season 2 premiered in April and with a Game of Thrones-sized gap to fill in its schedule, it’s likely HBO will use Westworld season 3 to fill that slot, which typically runs from April to May, and may even stretch into the summer months. This is so far all unconfirmed, and the first season aired in October, so don’t rule out an even longer wait.
It's also worth pointing out that, along with the Westworld season 3 release date still being MIA, we also don't have an episode count. Both previous seasons featured 10 episodes apiece, so it may yet follow the same pattern in 2020.
Westworld season 3 poster
New #Westworld posters featuring Tessa Thompson, Jeffrey Wright and Thandie Newton. #SDCC pic.twitter.com/Hl8ae9F12BJuly 20, 2019
Hooray, we’ve even got a Westworld season 3 poster to lovingly gaze at until we finally get a release date. Nothing fancy here, just three straight lines to indicate how many seasons we’re on, as well as charting the evolution of Dolores, Bernard, and Maeve. If anything, it’s almost too simplistic for a show as multi-faceted and furiously enigmatic as Westworld. Still, take a look at it below and let us know if you find any hidden clues tucked away in its fringes.
Westworld season 3 trailer
With the third season of Westworld not returning to our screens until some unconfirmed time in 2020, you’d be forgiven for thinking it would be a while before we clapped eyes on a Westworld season 3 trailer, but not so. HBO took advantage of the fact that pretty much everyone tuned in to watch the Game of Thrones finale and aired the first Westworld season 3 trailer right before episode 6 started.
You can watch the 90-second long Westworld teaser for yourself above, but it shows surprisingly little of the characters we’ve come to know. The main focus is on a new character played by Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul who narrates the trailer. “Sometimes it seems like the world looks alright, like they’ve put a coat of paint on it,” Paul says in a voiceover. “But inside it’s rotting to pieces.”
The Westworld trailer shows Paul’s character going about his normal life - work, visiting family, engaging in what looks suspiciously like crime - all set to the soundtrack of Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, and it’s not until the final few moments that we get a good look at the one and only Dolores. She doesn’t look in a good way and we're betting that Paul’s character, whoever he is, is about to get pulled into her very dangerous world.
SDCC 2019 also bestowed upon us a second cryptic trailer which showed off some of the outside world, including Dolores’ descent into villainy, and even a new park. While the more plot-heavy aspects of the show was left out of the new Westworld season 3 trailer for obvious reasons, there was still plenty to parse from it.
“We all have a role to play,” begins Dolores. The thematic ties to the previous two seasons of Westworld seem as confined as ever as the second season 3 trailer begins to play, though that’s immediately contrasted by the beautiful shots of the wide-open landscape in the world beyond the park.
Tessa Thompson’s robotic Hale is also seen having escaped from the park, while Bernard appears to be in exile in the world beyond Westworld – and wants to “put a stop to [Dolores].”
Maeve, though, is still stuck in the park – specifically the new War World (more on that below). The trailer ends with rapid-fire shots of Ed Harris’ The Man in Black looking worse for wear; Hale-Dolores being hunted down by (presumably) members of Delos, and Maeve kicking Nazi ass, because why not? We didn’t get very many answers from the Westworld season 3 trailer – but that’s the point, isn’t it?
Westworld season 3 cast
The biggest Westworld season 3 casting news is that Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul has joined as a series regular, Caleb, and he could be the show's most intriguing new addition.
Paul (who said during the SDCC panel that he’s a “psycho fan” of the show”) will be closely attached to Big Bad, Dolores throughout the season, and she might even mellow because of it. Evan Rachel Wood, for her part, told the SDCC audience that “Her interactions with [Caleb] kind of make her challenge her assumptions about humanity.”
Aaron Paul’s character is down as a series regular and, interestingly enough, will also have a robot pet, named George.
He’ll be joined by other newcomers Master of None star Lena Waithe, Scott Mescudi (aka rapper Kid Cudi), and former NFL player Marshawn Lynch, who all appear in the teaser trailer as part of Paul’s crew.
As for other new Westworld season 3 cast members, Deadline has also reported that French actor Vincent Cassel, who you might recognise from Black Swan and Ocean’s Twelve, will play a new villain. This is, of course, unconfirmed, though Thandie Newton mentioned off-hand at the SDCC panel that she spoke to Cassel during filming. Could they be sharing scenes together?
As for returning Westworld cast members, we know Evan Rachel Wood will be back as Dolores and probably Jeffrey Wright as Bernard, too, given where we left him at the end of season 2. But some other familiar faces have since been confirmed for season 3, which may surprise you and could count as minor spoilers, so make sure you want to know before reading on.
Despite her apparent demise in season 2, Thandie Newton confirmed her character Maeve will return for the third season when she revealed that she would be receiving equal pay with her male co-stars for Westworld season 3. This has since been doubly confirmed by some leaked set photos, which also feature her beau Hector, played by Rodrigo Santoro (more on those below).
Tessa Thompson will also be back, but we’re not sure as who as Dolores clearly has her own body again. “We have a very diabolical arc for her planned out,” co-creator and showrunner Lisa Joy tells THR. “Part of the fun for the character will be self-realization. She will be realizing the things we know about who she is."
And although many assumed that the Man in Black wouldn’t return, Ed Harris, is very much involved. Speaking with HuffPost earlier this year, Harris was tight-lipped on his role: "I have no idea where it's heading. We're not supposed to start shooting season 3 until next June, so I don't even know if I'm in it or not," Harris said. "I figure I am? But I don't know in what capacity, and I don't know what will be happening. We'll find out."
Basically, expect anything and everything. It is Westworld, after all.
Westworld season 3 location and parks
The Westworld season 2 ending sees Dolores break out of the park, so does this mean that the majority of Westworld season 3 will be set in the real world? According to Nolan, the answer is yes.
He elaborated to EW, saying: “We’re very excited about where the third season goes. It’s been a long build-up to get outside the park. And we’re incredibly excited about what that looks like and sounds like and what exactly our Hosts discover out there.”
While that all sounds well and good - and we personally can’t wait to see Dolores take on the real world - can a show like Westworld really leave… well, Westworld behind?
Thankfully, Joy told THR that we haven’t seen the last of the park. “I don't necessarily think that we've seen the last of these artificial worlds that are central to the concept of our series as a whole,” she said. “But the major lens that we will have is going to be the real world. If the park does emerge and come back, we would plan on explaining how that could be, and why.”
So, what parks could be unveiled? A Reddit user has uncovered shots of a medieval village, while the marketing has previous for teasing new parks. Season 2, for example, revealed Shogun World before it was confirmed in the show. If that's the case again, be sure to keep a beady eye out for any cryptic-looking HBO websites that don't quite fit in.
There's also three other DELOS worlds yet to be revealed AND the Hosts’ virtual paradise known as the Sublime. When asked about why those three other parks weren’t revealed in season 2, Nolan replied: “Well, not all of our favorite characters have managed to escape yet, so…” implying that Maeve and some of the other Hosts who are still in park might wander into these new worlds during season 3.
And, so it proved at SDCC: We finally have confirmation of War World, a Nazi-ridden WW2 park, thanks to the Westworld season 3 trailer. Not much is known about it just yet, but you can see that Maeve is very much stuck in there – doing what, we can’t be certain – and it might be a struggle to get out.
There’s even a website available for you to browse if you want to know more about the park: Discoverwarworld.com. There, you’ll find a message mirroring the show’s events – namely, that the park is shut down – as well as a shot of what looks to be a French or Belgian-style village with a war plane hovering overhead.
Westworld season 3 timeline
Westworld's timelines have caused us all more headaches than we care to admit and have become a hallmark of the show, so it’s safe to say that season 3 will feature a few different timelines.
But, based on the Westworld season 2 post-credits scene, could one of them be set in the far flung future? “Not necessarily,” Nolan told EW. “We just love the ability to play in perceptual terms with the Hosts being immortal.” Of course, that post-credits scene is more of a mind-blowing WTF tease rather than an actual indicator of what’s to come!
Don’t despair if you’re desperate to find out what’s going on in that end-credits sting though, because if Joy is to be believed, we will return to that timeline... at some point. “I think that storyline is something we'll get to eventually.” Joy told THR. “But season 3, the main story will not be leaping that far forward. I'm really curious creatively to see what happens to Bernard and Dolores, now that they've finally earned their freedom. I think we'll see a lot more of that.”
Don't forget, too, that Westworld season 3 may mess about with multiple timelines, simultaneous timelines, and plenty of other timey-wimey nonsense. If your heard hurts during the show's return year then, don't worry, you won't be alone!
Westworld season 3 story
Unsurprisingly, the showrunners are unwilling to go into specific details about the Westworld season 3 story, but Nolan did have this to say when THR questioned him on the plot of the upcoming season:
"I think it's a radical shift," he said. "What's compelling and appealing about these characters is that they're not human. As we said in the show, humans are bound by the same loops the Hosts are, in some ways even smaller. You couldn't expect human characters to withstand and survive the kind of story that we're telling. The Hosts have a different version of mortality, a different outlook. I think clearly with Dolores, as she's laid out, there is a longer view here, a larger set of goals. They're existential. They span eons. And that's a fascinating level of story to engage in."
Joy added (also via THR): "The first season was a more intimate look at the park from within the loops. In the second season, the hosts broke out of their loops and were able to explore more of the park. In the third season, they've broken out of the park itself. We're in a new terra incognita. From the beginning, when Jonah and I were thinking about the series as far back as the pilot, we knew we wanted to explore other worlds in the park, and we also knew the one world we would start to see little glimpses of throughout the first two seasons was the real world, and that we would get there eventually — and when we did, it would be a whole new experience."
Reading too much into those comments (because, why not?), it appears the Westworld 3 story will, again, focus on Dolores as a central character. We'll also be getting more of a peek at the real world; the audience only ever received glimpses of what's outside the park during various flashbacks in season 2.
This season, though, might not have you rushing to Google and Reddit quite so readily in search of theories and hidden keys that will unlock the show’s mysteries “This is season is a little less of a guessing game and more of an experience with the hosts finally getting to meet their makers,” Nolan told EW.
The double-meaning of ‘makers’, though, can’t go unnoticed. Things may be a little more straightforward, though that, too, brings about an air of finality that wasn’t present in previous seasons.
Tessa Thompson, during the Westworld SDCC panel, may disagree, as she’s already second-guessing what she can and can’t talk about. She said, “I don’t know how to talk about the show because I don’t know what I’m allowed to say.” Could we expect the show’s myriad twists and turns to make a big comeback yet again in the third season?
Nolan, though, didn’t reveal anything about the story at the show's big Hall H panel – his reluctance to divulge plot points is almost legendary at this point – but revealed that the Westworld season 3 ‘theme’ would be “The New World” in much the same way as Westworld season 1 was encapsulated by the theme of “The Door.”
Westworld season 3 episode count
The Westworld season 3 episode count has been confirmed, and you might be a little disappointed. Instead of its usual batch of 10 episodes, April 2020 will kick off an eight episode run, as confirmed by HBO in early September.
Westworld season 3 set photos
Before we go any further, let me be clear: the below Westworld season 3 set photos contain major spoilers for the returning series and should be avoided by anyone who’d like to watch the show somewhat cold.
If, however, you just can’t resist finding out everything there is to know about the series, then keep on scrolling and check out some leaked Westworld season 3 set photos, which show a returning character in a completely new setting…
Maeve the Nazi hunter. Thandie Newton on the set of #Westworld season 3. pic.twitter.com/Fi5HPPLF7EMay 25, 2019
[SPOILERS] [IMAGES] Westworld season 3! Hector & Maeve are in Reichworld & it’s set two years after Dolores’ & Aaron Paul’s character timeline. #Westworldseason3 pic.twitter.com/mOKIwRqwoOMay 29, 2019
You can see more Westworld set photos featuring Maeve (and Hector!) in what is now confirmed to be War World thanks to JustJared, but there’s also a few shots floating around of Dolores and Paul’s character, althought they don’t give much away:
New Westworld Season 3 Set Pictures! pic.twitter.com/rfwa4JnQpXMay 6, 2019
So, there you have it! Everything you need to know about Westworld season 3... for now. Again, be sure to stick with GamesRadar in the coming months for any and all new Westworld season 3 news.