The first season finale of Westworld appeared to kill off Robert Ford, the mysterious park co-creator played by Sir Anthony Hopkins, who was shot in the head by one of his creations at the start of the robot uprising Ford had himself created. Westworld showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy said that Hopkins had signed on for only a year, but when you have a show with lots of twists, and one where humans can be — and have been — revealed to be robots, were Hopkins and/or Ford truly gone?
(Spoilers for the season two premiere — which I reviewed here — follow.)
Tonight’s premiere episode offered definitive evidence that Ford was, in fact, human, as a Delos security team found his maggot-infested corpse in the spot where Dolores murdered him. But both character and actor aren’t quite finished with the series yet.
Elsewhere in the episode, William (a.k.a. the Man in Black) runs into the robot who is meant to be a little boy version of Robert Ford, who addresses William as if he is his elderly self. As the Ford robot and William discuss the new state of things in a park where the robots have free will and the ability to kill humans, the robot starts to speak with two voices at once: the boy’s, with what sounds like Hopkins’ voice laid over it.
This is not a Hopkins soundalike, but the Oscar-winning genuine article. HBO confirmed it was Hopkins himself doing the voice, and provided this statement from Jonathan Nolan:
“When available Anthony Hopkins graciously lent his vocal performance for our flashbacks.”
So Ford is really dead in the show’s present, and Hopkins will no longer be appearing in person, but you may see or hear versions of both going forward.