HBO is currently basking in the glory of their final season of Game of Thrones, but the day is soon approaching when they no longer have the same stranglehold on the pop culture conversation as they do now. They’ve invested some serious money into Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy‘s sci-fi western series Westworld as an heir apparent, but the audience has dropped significantly from the first to the second season.
But after a frustrating second season, the show is making all the right moves to hook me all over again. Multi-hyphenate Lena Waithe (Ready Player One) has joined the cast for Westworld season 3, which will air on the premium cable channel sometime in 2020.
According to Deadline, Lena Waithe “will appear” on Westworld during its third season, though the extent of her participation remains unclear. Is she just dropping by for one episode, or is she going to be a new series regular? The former seems more likely at this point, since announcements like these, even if they’re light on details, typically contain information about a performer’s status on a show.
Waithe is the first black woman to win a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, taking home the prize for her work on the season one Master of None episode “Thanksgiving,” which featured her character coming out of the closet to her family. She got her start working as an assistant to Ava DuVernay, and eventually worked became a writer on shows like Bones and Transparent. She produced the 2014 movie Dear White People (and continues to be a close collaborator with DWP writer/director Justin Simien), she’s the showrunner of the BET series Boomerang, and she created and executive produces the Showtime original series The Chi. Plus, Waithe wrote and is producing Queen + Slim, a provocative new movie hitting theaters this November. This woman is everywhere.
Waithe will join fellow new recruit Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) in Westworld season 3, which – spoilers for season 2 ahead – will follow the Evan Rachel Wood‘s Dolores inhabiting the body of a host robot replica of Tessa Thompson‘s character Charlotte Hale. It’s implied that the action is going to shift away from the Delos theme parks and the hosts are going to infiltrate the “real world,” drastically changing the scope of the show.
Production is now underway on Westworld season 3, which is said to be arriving on HBO sometime next year. Nolan and Joy just signed a new deal with Amazon, but they plan to keep running Westworld should it be renewed for a fourth season and beyond.
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