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Westworld Season 3 Might Not Premiere Until 2020

There may be a long wait between trips to Westworld.

Ahead of the season 2 premiere of Westworld, which is just days away at the time of writing, series co-creator Jonathan Nolan spoke with Entertainment Weekly about the future of the acclaimed sci-fi Western drama. Westworld fans were understandably disappointed when they learned there would be a year-and-a-half-long gap between the first and second seasons, and it appears that the substantial wait won't be a one-time thing. Nolan hinted that there might be another 18-month window between season 2 and season 3, meaning the series' third turn may not premiere until 2020. 

Though he didn't confirm or deny an exact 2020 premiere date for season 3, Nolan did mention that extended development periods and production between seasons is a key part of discussions Westworld creatives are having with network HBO.

"We want you excited to come back after 18 months but [also feeling] that you haven't been left hanging on the edge of a cliffhanger — that doesn't really feel fair to the audience," Nolan explained. "It's an ongoing conversation with our friends at HBO, and for us, with a show of this scope and scale, we're not interested in doing the compromised version. We want the show to get bigger and bigger and more ambitious and this takes time. We want to take all the time we need to get it right."

Regarding how many seasons Westworld will run for, Nolan kept a tight lip on revealing a set number, though he did admit that the story the show tells has a definitive ending — one that has the potential to change with each new season. 

"When we wrote the pilot, we thought we'd get a bit further [into the story during season 1] than we did. The shape of the season emerges as you get down to writing. We want to feel like the show is rocketing ahead, and [we] want to be fearless. We have an idea about how this breaks down, but it's not so much the number of seasons but the ambition of the story we're telling," said Nolan. "These hosts don't live on the same timeframe we do and don't have the [same] four-year lifespan as [Blade Runner] Replicants. If left to their own devices, they could live forever. So our story has some real scope to it. There's a story here with a beginning and middle and end."

Nolan added that each season of Westworld is meant to feel like a feature film, and promised that viewers will get a strong sense of resolution come the end of the second season. 

"We don't like to endlessly build mystery. We like to settle our debts by the end of the season," he noted. "We view each season as a self-contained chapter and the questions [raised at the start of each season] are largely answered by the end of each season. We want each season to feel satisfying the way a film franchise feels satisfying with each film."

Both Nolan and fellow series co-creator Lisa Joy have confirmed that Westworld season 2 will explore another park, ShogunWorld, and will journey into the outside world as well. Four other parks operate under the Delos Destinations, Inc. banner, so perhaps season 3 will take viewers on a visit to one of those. 

Before we get too ahead of ourselves thinking about season 3 of Westworld, however, we have season 2 to look forward to. The second season of Westworld will premiere on Sunday, April 22 at 9 PM on HBO.