A major part of Westworld’s first season was the community that sprouted up in the show’s early days to try and solve the mystery.
This was especially true for the show’s go-to subreddit, r/westworld, where fans worked together every week to dig through each new episode’s frame, discover and decipher all the little clues, spinning up and knocking down theories along the way. Westworld co-creator Jonathan Nolan was actively aware of the Reddit chatter, previously admitting he would sometimes jump into the conversation.
Speaking at the Westworld SXSW panel, both Nolan and co-creator Lisa Joy acknowledged the community.
“We love to fuck with Reddit as much as possible,” Nolan joked.
While the second season has already wrapped shooting, Nolan and Joy have a “somewhat controversial plan we’re working on” that will let them interact with the community. What that means will reportedly be announced in the next couple weeks. (Does it have anything to do with the Westworld Delos tie-in website?)
Nolan teased the mysterious interactive component, saying:
Part of it stems from other shows. True Detective had a lot of fan theories that proved to be theories. There are lot of theories about Westworld’s first season that proved to be plot twists. I think for every fan theory, we actually had an episode that dealt with it.
We’re figuring out how to sort of interact with that in the second season. A somewhat controversial plan that we’re working on; we’ll have an announcement about it in a couple weeks. It’s incredibly gratifying to see people put that much work — not just into deciphering the season, but the fan art and music. The creativity you see coming back at you when you’re making one of these things is extraordinary.
The full hourlong Westworld panel — moderated by Wired site director Jason Tanz and featuring cast members Evan Rachel Wood, Thandie Newton, James Marsden and Jeffrey Wright alongside Nolan and Joy — was at times both silly (Marsden mused about a second cut of the show that made Westworld a sitcom) and powerful (Newton, in particular, gave a powerful speech about her work with V-Day fighting gender violence in Congo).
A series of clips were shown at the beginning of the panel that once again teased, albeit more directly, the samurai-themed Shogun World. The cast remained awkwardly silent when asked directly about the park.
Westworld’s second season premieres April 22nd.