Co-star on HBO’s Westworld, Ben Barnes, confirms he’s returning for season 2. Season 1 of the sci-fi series developed by Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy debuted on the premium cabler more than a year ago and took the internet by storm. The high concept drama took the premise of Michael Crichton’s 1973 film and created a complex tale of an amusement park populated by robotic hosts and human guests. Some of the fun of Westworld were all the theories the show inspired that were discussed among fans between episodes.
One of those biggest theories, that season 1 followed storylines in multiple time periods, turned out to be correct, with Jimmi Simpson’s William revealed to be a younger version of Ed Harris’ Man in Black. William’s arc throughout season 1, in which he visited the park for the first time with Logan (Barnes), seemed to bring him nearly in line with the Man in Black. However, although Harris is confirmed for season 2, it’s unclear if Simpson will return. Plus, Joy said earlier this year that multiple timelines are unlikely for Westworld season 2, which seemed to hint both Simpson and Barnes had wrapped up their time on Westworld, but we now know at least one of them is returning.
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In an interview with Screen Rant to discuss his next upcoming project, the Marvel Netflix series The Punisher, Barnes revealed that he’s been contacted to return for Westworld season 2 and has already reported to set. He said:
“I definitely have heard because I can tell you that I have been on set at least once already.”
Filming on Westworld season 2 kicked off earlier this year, but the show isn’t expected to return until 2018. Of course, Barnes is purposefully coy about his involvement in Westworld since the showrunners and HBO would no doubt prefer he not reveal any spoilers. Still, the fact of his return seems to confirm fans will get to revisit the earlier Westworld timeline in season 2 – and potentially see Simpson reprise his role as William, though that has yet to be confirmed. While this may seem to contradict Joy’s comment on no more multiple timelines, it doesn’t if Barnes only returns for a brief flashback sequence. Although the Westworld season 1 finale offered viewers a rather satisfactory conclusion to William’s arc, there were plenty of loose ends left – particularly the fate of Logan.
That being said, it’s also possible Barnes’ comment is somewhat of a misdirect. Since he says he’s been on set “at least once,” it’s possible he’s been on set more than that and has a significant arc in season 2. Whether that’s the case remains to be seen though, and considering the secrecy surrounding Westworld – which seems to rival any of Marvel’s projects – it may be some time before fans have a real idea of what to expect from Barnes’ turn in season 2. Still, those who enjoyed watching Logan’s antics in season 1 and his interactions with Simpson’s William will likely be glad to know he’s returning.
Westworld returns with season 2 in 2018 on HBO.