After a whirlwind of a Season 2 that featured a lot of exciting (but somewhat confusing) twists and turns, Westworld's Bernard and Dolores ended up in the real world. With that development comes the impending loss of quite a few familiar characters, but Season 3 will introduce a new villain that will no doubt be a sight for menacing (and possibly electronic) eyes. Jason Bourne and Black Swan vet Vincent Cassel has been tapped to join the HBO drama, and it's a casting that, quite Franc-ly, we're loving.
Audiences may also remember Vincent Cassel from his roles in the Ocean's Eleven films, the nightmarish Irréversible, or one of the myriad other roles he's taken in his long career. Now, Cassel is headed to Westworld for a role that THR is reporting to be villainous, though HBO is being cagey about the rest.
That's not surprising, given the level of mystery that's frequently surrounded Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy's drama. It's also a bit frustrating, though, since there is little way of guessing what he'll be up to. Or, rather, of limiting our guesses about what he'll be up to.
This is primarily due to the major shift coming to Westworld Season 3, which saw Bernard and Dolores both escape from Delos' worlds to make their way into the series' non-roboticized reality. Showrunners Lisa Joy and Jonathan Nolan have teased there will be a radical shift for characters and viewers when the series returns for Season 3, which may focus on the hosts' new lives as they try to survive among humans. Assuming that even lasts.
As for how Season 3's changes may relate to Vincent Cassel's incoming character, we can only speculate. Cassel could play a Delos employee who is tasked with hunting hosts that have escaped the facility, which would likely be a brainier and less impulsive version of Gustaf Skarsgård's security grunt Karl Strand in Season 2. Of course, they'd hopefully need to recruit him from somewhere else, since no hosts should have escaped before now.
Of course, Cassel's villain could actually be a host himself. Viewers saw that in her current set up, Dolores does now have a machine that's capable of creating more hosts, so one would think she and the others will be trying to grow the host population through those means.
Or, the new character could be tied to whatever is happening with William's story, which reached its first shocking-ish conclusion when he shot his daughter Emily, believing her to be a host. The flash-forward epilogue then showed host versions of William and Emily meeting in the then-abandoned Forge. Perhaps Cassel's villain will be one to swoop in and see if he can bring the park back online after its initial demise.
Vincent Cassel is just one of the many fresh faces to cycle through Westworld's deep ensemble for Season 3, which necessarily needed new characters to replace most or all of those who were sacrificed in Season 2's finale. New cast members include Master of None and The Chi's Lena Waithe, and the in-demand Breaking Bad and The Path vet Aaron Paul, who will be a series regular.
Details on their characters remain scant as well, which is par for the course. It looks like fans will be left to wonder until HBO decides to roll out some details somewhere closer to the release date.
It's a valid question to wonder how many fans out there are still interested in these high-profile castings. After all, Westworld left quite a few people scratching their heads with Season 2, with viewers (and some stars) getting lost in the plot as the season went on. As well, others complained that the creative team relied too heavily on the timeline-switching tricks instead of telling a concise story.
HBO President Casey Bloys defended the series from that dialogue, and maintained that while some may have disliked the season, there were still plenty that liked it. Though Westworld's Sunday night airings weren't attracting Thrones-sized audiences in Season 2, the show has been an undeniable hit in delayed viewings across all platforms.
However big and/or favorable Westworld's fanbase is, Season 3 seems like an opportunity to distance the series from some of its past by making better sense of its somewhat confusing narrative. Additions like Vincent Cassel and Lena Waithe certain speak to the potential for what Nolan and Joy are cooking up to sway audiences for new episodes.
Westworld Season 3 is expected to arrive on HBO in 2020. Stick with CinemaBlend in the meantime for more entertainment news in the world of television, movies, and pop culture.