“Westworld” may not be the only fantastical world we visit when the Emmy-nominated HBO show returns in 2018 for Season 2.
Hiroyuki Sanada’s rep confirmed to TV Guide that the actor has been cast in several episodes of the series, which followed a robot-populated Wild West theme park set in the future in Season 1. Sanada, who’s appeared on “Lost” and in 2017′s “Life, will play a character called Musashi, according to Deadline.
Other actors new to “Westworld” have been confirmed for Season 2, including newcomer Katja Herbers, “Vikings” regular Gustaf Skarsgård and Fares Fares of “Rogue One.”
The season finale of “Westworld” revealed that the open prairie of the West wasn’t the only attraction for super-wealthy park customers. While escaping the park, Maeve (Thandie Newton) comes across a world populated by robots in full samurai warrior gear with the initials SW — which fans guessed to be Samurai World or Shogun World. Clearly, it wasn’t park creator Dr. Ford’s first rodeo.
The news of the Japanese actor’s casting leads many to believe that we’ll see more of this new world when the show returns. Further details of Sanada’s role have yet to be revealed, though, so it’s uncertain.
New research on Asian representation on television shows airing in 2015–2016 indicates that often, characters of Asian descent are on screen as token representations — or not at all ― so we look forward to seeing Sanada come 2018. (Plus, if Felix, the curious robot technician from Season 1 played by Leonardo Nam, returns, Sanada won’t be the only actor of Asian descent with a prominent role.)
News of the upcoming “Westworld” season has been kept under wraps — even during the audition process. In July, casting director John Papsidera told HuffPost’s Todd Van Luling that he doesn’t reveal character arcs to actors auditioning for parts and even gives them fabricated scenes to read.
“In any kind of fanboy world, you take extra care when people want to get that information out on the internet,” he said, later adding, “We don’t really talk about where [the role] goes and what they do because there’s so many intricacies in ‘Westworld,’ and stories, and secrets.”