'Westworld' Renewed for Season 4

Westworld has officially been renewed for a fourth season on HBO. Season 3 of the sci-fi drama is airing right now, and it has apparently done well enough to earn another round at the premium cable network. HBO programming president Casey Bloys made the announcement on Wednesday.

Westworld Season 4 will see the return of showrunners Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy — the executive producers who adapted the franchise for TV from the classic 1970s TV movie. Other executive producers and behind-the-scenes creators are signed on to return as well, although so far, there have been no casting announcements. Given that the current season is still going, this might be an effort to avoid spoilers.

"From the western theme park to the technocratic metropolis of the near future, we've thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn from the minds of master storytellers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy," Bloys said. "We can't wait to see where their inspired vision takes us next."

Westworld made waves when it premiered in 2016, turning the 1973 movie written by Michael Crichton on its head. Since then, it has expanded its fictional world in some surprising directions, straying into other virtual theme parks and, finally, into the wider futuristic society beyond. This season, the robots — or, "hosts" — have escaped into the world beyond their theme park, revealing a civilization not unlike other dystopian sci-fi franchises like Blade Runner. Still, the series continues to provide twists and turns that show the true potential of the genre, and pull the rug out from audiences just as they begin to understand what is going on.

Right now, Westworld stars Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright and Luke Hemsworth as artificially intelligent hosts, with Aaron Paul, Ed Harris and Vincent Cassel playing humans. The fact that none of these actors were confirmed for Season 4 is a big ominous for the rest of Season 3, which has two more episodes to go. Nolan is a co-writer on the season finale, airing on Sunday, March 3.


Still, the cast did celebrate the renewal on social media, which must count for something. Shortly after the news broke, Wright retweeted it, adding: "Welcome to our world... again." On Instagram, Wood wrote: "Time for another loop."

Meanwhile, on Wednesday morning Newton retweeted an ad for HBO Max, WarnerMedia's new streaming service that launches at the end of May. Her post hinted that could expect something new from her on the streaming platform, with a smirking emoji. We'll just have to wait and see what that could mean. Westworld airs on Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.