The “Westworld 3” panel at Comic-Con — or “Westworld III” or “Westworld” Season 3, pick your poison — started with a hush. Moderator Amy Webb kicked things off with blunt questions about who’s coming back, after a few series regulars appeared to be killed off in the finale.
For example, would Ed Harris be returning as The Man in Black?
Jonathan Nolan kept the official answer under wraps, but did hint he would be returning. “I’m not going to call him and tell him he’s not on the show anymore,” Nolan told the Comic-Con crowd. As Webb continued with more direct questions and Nolan, along with co-creator Lisa Joy, kept dodging them, new cast member Aaron Paul called a time out.
“I think we should play the trailer,” he said. “I think we should play it now and then talk about it — the trailer is very good!”
Nolan said that Comic-Con tradition demands they screen the trailer at the end of the panel, but the cast persisted: “Oh, Jesus Christ, just show the fucking trailer,” Thandie Newton said.
So they did. And, as you can watch for yourself below, there was one new clip of Ed Harris in the lengthy spot, as well as shots of Luke Hemsworth — who came running onto stage as a surprise, after the panel began — and Rodrigo Santoro. Harris also got his own character poster, released along with five more during the panel. (See below.)
“There’s a difficult part toward the end of every season,” Nolan said. “Let’s face it, we have the best cast on TV, and the highest praise on our show is we kill you. […] Those calls are difficult.”
Even after the trailer debuted, the cast struggled to answer questions — except for Aaron Paul, who kept demanding answers and providing a few himself. When Jeffrey Wright avoided answering whether Bernard gained consciousness — “That’s the question, isn’t it?” — Paul said, “But what’s the answer?” Wright just laughed.
“I don’t know how to talk about this show because I never know what I can say!” Tessa Thompson said, summing up the moment. “It’s really fun.”
As for Paul, he did give a few more details about his new Season 3 character, a construction worker named Caleb. When asked how that job has changed in the future, Paul said, “Oh it’s all the same. There are some robots involved. I have a robot. His name is George. He’s a very helpful robot, and I love him.”
As for where Caleb falls on the hero or villain scale, Paul said he’s somewhere in between.
“You’ll see very early on this season that Caleb has a complicated past,” Paul said. “There’s a bit of a white hat and a black hat.”
“We’re still in the middle of the shooting, so I’m looking forward to seeing what’s next for this guy,” he said. “Each script that we read, the onion is peeled back for us as actors. Obviously, this is a new character to this world, to this show, but I think what Caleb does is give fans of the show a look at one of the humans living in this futuristic society.”
Evan Rachel Wood also provided some insight into how Dolores has changed in the new season, including how “her interactions with Aaron kind of make her challenge her ideas about humanity.”
“She’s a fish out of water this season,” she said. “She’s truly on her own. Obviously we lost Teddy. That was kind of her fault. She regrets it, she’s sorry. […] She’s taken these mysterious pearls with her, and we don’t know who they may be.”
The pearls can be seen in the trailer, too, when Delores handles black orbs early in the footage. Perhaps a few dormant characters can still return — as Tessa Thompson said, “You’re never really dead on ‘Westworld.'”
As for the bigger picture, Nolan said he’s had a change of perspective regarding the series’ perception of the future.
“When we started, ‘Westworld’ was a dystopia, and now three seasons in, it’s kind of the best case scenario,” he said. “The form of AI we have on the show is thoughtful — murderous, but thoughtful. I think we’re headed into the world of artificial stupidity.”
Take a look at the new trailer below and decide for yourself. “Westworld” Season 3 is expected to premiere in 2020. Check out the look of the new character posters below.