Why Westworld Shut Down Production For Season 2

Hanzee Zahn McClarnon Fargo FX

On the heels of House Of Cards ceasing production on their Season 6 due to allegations regarding Kevin Spacey, Westworld also announced they had halted production on their upcoming Season 2. While details were scarce as to why initially, it has now emerged that Season 2 has halted production due to an off-set injury involving a key actor in the series. Actor Zahn McClarnon, who joined the series this season in a recurring role, is now on the mend after what sounds like a very scary incident.

TMZ reports that Westworld ceased production on Season 2 when they learned Zahn McClarnon had fallen at his home and sustained a very serious injury to his head. McClarnon was reportedly rushed to the hospital, where he was placed in the ICU. While the situation sounds very serious, has been reported that Zahn is on the road to recovery, but still in the hospital.

Little is known about Zahn McClarnon's role in Westworld Season 2, but it would appear his role is substantial enough that production can't continue without him for the time being. Prior to his casting, McClarnon had gained a fair bit of attention in recent years for his portrayal of Hanzee Dent in Season 2 of Fargo. McClarnon is also known for his role as Officer Mathias on the drama Longmire, and is featured in the show's final season which debuts on Netflix in a couple of weeks.

As far as how Zahn McClarnon's incident will reflect the release of Season 2 of Westworld, we really have no way of knowing. Season 2 of the series was teased to be releasing in 2018, and while no specific date was given for release, Season 1 began in early October. If that's the timetable HBO is shooting for, one would imagine there's plenty of time for the Westworld crew to assess the situation and figure out the right way to move forward in a way that doesn't affect the show's release.

That said, Westworld is a series that has not shied away from missing deadlines in order to get things right. The show shut down production prior to Season 1 to work on the story, and actor Luke Hemsworth stated way back in late 2016 that Season 2 could take a while to put together as well. So while it could be that Zahn McClarnon's role in the show could be substantial enough to halt production, it could also be that Westworld doesn't want to compromise any plans or their current vision, and HBO is granting them the leeway to slow things down while one of their actors is in recovery.

As of writing, we have no reason to believe Westworld isn't on track for a 2018 release. For some spoilery details regarding Season 2, check out our "What We Know" guide on the show, or another detail that has surfaced that could make for some exciting changes in the series. For more on can't miss fall television, visit our fall premiere guide.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.