Season Two of 'Westworld' Will Debut in Spring 2018

Thursday, 27 July 2017 - 7:50PM
Thursday, 27 July 2017 - 7:50PM
Season Two of 'Westworld' Will Debut in Spring 2018
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Finally, Westworld season two has a release window.

While we don't have a specific date just yet, HBO has announced that the robot cowboy theme park will return to our screens in spring of next year, just eighteen months(-ish) after we last took a trip to Westworld. Considering the wait we had for Game of Thrones season seven, and the delay we'll probably see for season eight, that's almost a speedy turnaround from HBO.

The SDCC trailer that we got last weekend is enough to prove that production has begun in earnest on the show, but there's a long road ahead until the entire season is in the can. This is not a quick and easy show to make, which is why we've been kept waiting indefinitely until this announcement, as showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have worked to put all the pieces together for what's going to follow the game-changing conclusion of the first season.

There's a lot riding on the upcoming second season - with Game of Thrones wrapping up soon, HBO is looking for a new big budget draw to keep the network on top. It's no accident that Westworld has overlapped somewhat with Game of Thrones, as HBO seeks to build up a cash cow that will adequately fill the gaps in their profits once George R.R. Martin's show departs from television (and before the spin-off shows can bear fruit).

It's interesting that we got a vague release date at this point, immediately after Comic-Con - it almost feels like an afterthought that's been tagged onto the second season's trailer to make its return feel a little more imminent. If this date had been decided on before SDCC, it probably would have been announced during the show's panel, which suggests that this is a very recent piece of scheduling that's been decided on in part thanks to the reaction that the trailer has received from fans.

The fuzzy nature of this date also allows for room for error - if Joy and Nolan need more time, as they did when making the first season of Westworld, there's some flexibility in the schedule. As long as it provides a nice stop gap for Game of Thrones fans, HBO will feel that Westworld season two is doing its job. If it manages to build on the successes of the first season to create a huge, cinematic experience in a regular series, then all the better.

Going forward, it's probably best to treat Westworld like a movie experience rather than a regular television show, putting it in the same category as Stranger Things and everything Marvel's doing with Netflix. Westworld is almost designed for a binge viewing experience, allows audiences to get a briefly absorbed into the show, before waiting a nice, long time for a second intense experience. This is probably the way more television will go in future, especially for big budget experiences or anything with a strong narrative running through it.

In this way, the Westworld experience could even surpass the film phenomenon, delivering a far deeper burst of storytelling than you'd get in two hours. The future for this franchise looks exciting. After all, 2018 isn't all that far away, and it'll be worth the wait if the second season manages to live up to the expectations that Westworld season one has given us.


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