Westworld took audiences by storm last fall, as the first season of the HBO's hit series debuted to record numbers. What you may not realize, is that the show was in production long before it finally aired.
HBO ordered the pilot episode from Lisa Joy, Jonathan Nolan, and JJ Abrams back in 2013. The show got picked up to series in the late months of 2014 and production began. The following year, production was shut down to allow Nolan and Joy to catch up with the scripts. Eventually, production wrapped, and the series debuted in 2016.
So, it was a three year process from start to finish, and the end product was definitely worth it. However, the creative team is aiming to skip all of those delays this time around, and that's part of the reason HBO announced that season two wouldn't air until 2018.
Setting expectations isn't the only step the producers are taking to ensure everything sails smoothly. During the Westworld panel at Paleyfest this weekend, Nolan and Joy - who are also husband and wife - revealed one big change they're making to the process this time around.
Unlike with season one, the writing duo are hammering out all ten episodes of season two before filming even begins. They want to have the entire story in place, and every character fleshed out, before the cameras start rolling. With this plan in place, production won't have to stop in order for the scripts to catch up.
This may seem like a small detail, but it's a major step toward making the second season the best it can possibly be. Nolan, Joy, Abrams, and the folks over at HBO are clearly committed to making that happen.