With the Westworld season three finale now in the books, fans of the HBO series undoubtedly have questions about the future of the show along with the fate of its characters. In a lengthy interview with Variety, co-creators Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy did their best to address what’s in store for their epic AI tale and whether or not key cast members will be back for the recently renewed season four.
Spoilers for Westworld season three below.
In the final moments of “Crisis Theory,” Dolores seemingly sacrificed herself to destroy the powerful AI-system Rehoboam in an effort to free humanity from its algorithm-cage and gift the world with true free will. Despite the fact that at least two of Dolores’ clones are still running around in the form of Charlotte Hale (Tessa Thompson) and Lawrence (Clifton Collins Jr.), there are understandable questions around Evan Rachel Wood‘s future on the show. After what Variety described as “a six-second pause,” Nolan answered a direct question about her potentially leaving Westworld:
I f—ing hope not. Let me clarify: Dolores is gone. We’re not yet discussing publicly the direction the show is taking, but the fun thing about this show is, you know, from the beginning Lisa and I wanted to make a show that constantly reinvented itself, that could be a different show every season. I think it’s important with a show in which death can be impermanent — these are robots, after all — to mark the occasion with Dolores. That version of that character is gone. We love Evan Rachel Wood and we haven’t [sighs] started talking publicly about exactly what the show looks like going forward. But it looks very different.
As for talking publicly about the future of the show, Nolan and Joy shot down reports that Westworld will end after six seasons because they don’t know how much time they’ll need to finish the series, but they did make it a point to say they’re erring towards not overstaying their welcome. That said, the reason they’re not sure how many seasons the show will run is because they haven’t even started writing the fourth season yet, which is also why they’re not sweating the recent production shutdowns and the complications involved with getting Hollywood up and running. A lengthy wait between Westworld seasons was already in the cards.