Back in 2016, HBO's Emmy-winning "Westworld" thundered onto the cable network with its futuristic meditation on mortality, scientific overreach, and our hunger for technology-infused corporate entertainment.
Created by Jonathan Nolan ("The Prestige," "The Dark Knight") and wife Lisa Joy ("Pushing Daisies," "Burn Notice"), this provocative sci-fi series expanded upon the 1973 film of the same name directed by "Jurassic Park" author Michael Crichton. Its cautionary tale focused on the Delos theme park where robotic characters interact with wealthy guests in a sort of "Devil's Disneyland."
The HBO and HBO Max series rose to a crescendo at the conclusion of season 2 with a revolt and massacre at the Delos Island park compound where Charlotte/Dolores escaped to infiltrate the real world with several consciousness pearls in her purse.
After an unpopular season 3 detour that left viewers bewildered and unsatisfied with the further explorations of androids infiltrating modern society and a plan to exterminate humans, "Westworld" is back with an enigmatic trailer hinting at answering some burning questions left abandoned two years ago.
Due to the outbreak of the pandemic when the last season dropped in 2020, now is the time to catch up on season 3 before the new chapter arrives on June 26.
There's been a shroud of mystery over the fourth season and the show's producers have kept silent as to its exact synopsis, but now we’ve got the initial two-minute teaser that should incite interest back into its complex (and often very confusing) mythology.
After the season 3 finale with Dolores (Evan Rachel Wood) appearing to subdue the evil super-computer named Rehoboam that deleted her artificial intelligence, and a mass casualty event setting up an apocalyptic future that elevated Westworld's Hosts to planetary overlords, it's unclear which direction this new season will take.
Many "Westworld" legacy cast members will make return appearances in this potentially-final season, including Thandiwe Newton, Evan Rachel Wood, Tessa Thompson, Ed Harris, Jeffrey Wright, Luke Hemsworth, Angela Sarafyan, and Aaron Paul. "West Side Story's" Academy Award-winning co-lead, Ariana DeBose, is also slated to appear as a recurring guest star.
This trailer offers few clues as to the series plot, but HBO did officially state that season 4 would be a "dark odyssey about the fate of sentient life on Earth."
Delivering cryptic images of familiar characters like Jeffrey Wright's Bernard, Aaron Paul's Caleb, Evan Rachel Wood's Dolores, Ed Harris' Man in Black, and Thandiwe's Newton's Maeve gives us some foundation to build our speculations on, but with "Westworld’s" notorious timeline shifts and dizzying simulations, anything is possible!
HBO's "Westworld" returns with an 8-episode season 4 starting June 26. You'll be able to watch it on HBO and the streaming service HBO Max.
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Jeff Spry is an award-winning screenwriter and veteran freelance journalist covering TV, movies, video games, books, and comics. His work has appeared at SYFY Wire, Inverse, Collider, Bleeding Cool and elsewhere. Jeff lives in beautiful Bend, Oregon amid the ponderosa pines, classic muscle cars, a crypt of collector horror comics, and two loyal English Setters.